Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Depending on which area of banking you prefer, applying for a career in banking requires a little research and plenty of interview preparation. Bank management will look for a candidate who is knowledgeable in his or her field, demonstrates the ability to work well with others and shows flexibility in his or her work.
Prepare a resume package. Wherever you want to work, you should have your resume and any work samples ready to present. If you are applying online, chances are you will be given an e-mail section where you can write a short "cover letter" to the employer along with a place to attach your resume.
In the e-mail, be sure to include any important information about yourself such as recent accomplishments and, more importantly, how you can help the bank. Don't forget to include a response mechanism in your cover letter such as a phone number and e-mail address so the prospective employer can get in touch with you quickly.
Be sure your resume is created in a format that can be read with ease. Typically, candidates create their resumes in Microsoft Word, which also offers resume templates to help guide you through the process. Be sure your resume is current and punctuates your achievements, written in an active voice.
If the position you are applying for requires you to upload work, be sure you check the site's size requirements. You may need to re-adjust your PDF or sample file format accordingly.
Of course if you are applying through traditional means, through a colleague or over the phone, you should print and present your resume and work samples along with a cover letter.
Apply for jobs. In the past, job seekers would have the arduous task of purchasing the newspaper and scanning the classifieds. If that didn't pan out, you would have to either contact a recruiter or try another paper.
Today, job candidates have tremendous advantages with the Internet and social media networking. Applying for jobs has become easier and less time consuming because you can research a number of job board websites and upload your resume and any sample work.
In the field specific to banking, there are a few websites that house only bank-related jobs. Try www.bankjobs.com to explore numerous aspects of banking careers. This site has job bank postings throughout the United States and abroad.
Another website to try is www.netbanker.com. It isn't a job board, but the blog lists continuous news and information about the financial sector that will give any smart bank job seeker insight into which banks are looking for help and are growing.
Of course, there is always your local newspaper, career sites such as Career Builder and Monster, as well as craigslist.
Some of the online business networking sites are great for re-connecting with old business associates. LinkedIn (www.linkedIn.com) connects people from similar (and other) business disciplines and acts as a business networking forum. Get back in touch with associates who can help you with leads and information about jobs.
Allow time before checking on your application.
Depending on which area of banking in which you want to work, you should give your job contact a little time before checking on the status of your resume. During a recession, many employers are flooded with applications, so the review process can be time consuming.
If you applied online, you may receive an e-mail message either confirming that the company received your resume and is reviewing all the candidates, or one that simply states they will respond to you at a later date.
Prepare for the interview.
Once you've been asked to interview, you should be ready. Identify who you will be meeting and their relation to the company. Many banks will ask you to meet initially with the human resources manager for the first interview.
No matter who you meet, prepare a list of questions that includes how they see your role in the bank, where they see the bank heading in terms of growth and development and what the bank's strategy is to grow assets, deposits and loans.
As with any interview, conservative business attire is imperative. Be sure you keep the makeup light, jewelry to a minimum and nails covered with no polish or clear polish. Bring a few copies of your resume to the meeting and your sample work portfolio if applicable.
A strong handshake should conclude the meeting and be sure to thank your interviewer for his or her time. Ask when he or she will be calling you and what will be the next step in the process.
Some job candidates will send the interviewer a thank-you note a few days after the interview. If you plan to do this, be sure it is a brief note, written with your neatest handwriting, and be sure you thank the interviewer again and include your phone number in the note.
Other job seekers will follow up with a phone call. If you choose to call your interviewer, wait at least a few days after the interview and tell the interviewer you are just calling to thank him or her for meeting with you. Don't try to re-sell yourself and do not call repeatedly. Eventually, the bank will make a decision and should contact you at that time.
Apply for many jobs, not just one or two. Apply for jobs often. Check the want ads at least once a day. Be open to responding to different kinds of jobs as long as you are qualified. Try different avenues for jobs. You never know where you will find the next opportunity.
Be persistent, but not a pest. Review and revise your resume as often as needed. Avoid using slang and improper grammar in both your resume and cover letter and in the interview.
- Apply for many jobs, not just one or two. Apply for jobs often. Check the want ads at least once a day. Be open to responding to different kinds of jobs as long as you are qualified. Try different avenues for jobs. You never know where you will find the next opportunity.
- Be persistent, but not a pest. Review and revise your resume as often as needed. Avoid using slang and improper grammar in both your resume and cover letter and in the interview.
Gina Ragusa has made a career out of writing for the past 15 years, with an emphasis on financial institution writing. Ragusa has written for Consumer Lending News, Deposit and Loan Growth Strategies and Community Bank President. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University.