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Tips for Getting a Career in Banking

Banking for many people is considered a stable job because banks aren’t about to shut down, there are plenty to choose from and you can really choose from a diverse set of jobs, from a bank teller to an investment banker and analyst to a customer specialist. It all boils down to the money, keeping accounts organized, being able to work hard and keep your cool, and being able to help customers and your bank grow. Does this sound good to you? How can you break into this world?

What Type of Job in Banking do you Want?

Banks hire many different people to fulfill different roles and each of those roles will require something different from its applicants. At the bottom of the hierarchy there are bank tellers who work with the general public. Banks generally hire entry level workers for these jobs, but it’s still a good idea to have things like sales experience and customer service experience.

Then there are the specialists, such as mortgage specialists, investment specialists and account specialists. These jobs pay better (in particular investment banking which can be quite lucrative with the right experience at the right places), but they also require a good deal more experience and education. For example, many banks vastly prefer to hire graduates of top tier schools with business degrees in order to get the cream of the crop and to get reliable hires. However, if that doesn’t describe you, you can still break into the business by starting lower and working towards it by going to school for a degree and learning all you can in the field.

You also have to decide what kind of bank you want to work in-a small community bank, a regional bank or a national bank. Each of them will have different standards for hiring as well as a different ‘community’ so it’s important to do your homework and make sure you have a CV and cover letter that is catered to your target.

Some Things Remain Consistent

No matter what type of banking you want to do and no matter where you wish to apply, there are some things which will make you most attractive to employers:

  • A resume which highlights your organizational skills, your money skills, you communication skills and your customer service skills
  • A good credit report, employment records and no criminal record
  • A professional appearance on the day of the interview (business wear no matter what the actual dress code is)
  • An education (or plans to get an education) related to your chosen field such as business, financing, accounting or communications (for bank tellers) or something that could be stretched to be related to those fields in a positive way
  • Remember that you probably don’t want to just go into this job for the money; bank tellers in particular make a fairly modest amount, though you do get to enjoy perks like discounted and free bank accounts, dental and medical benefits and vacations. Instead, a job like this demands that you actually enjoy working with people, running numbers, keeping up with financial news, and helping your bank succeed.

    Banking isn’t necessarily the easiest field to get into, but with the right attitude, highlighting your skills on your CV, a good education and some persistence, you can break into the field. Good luck and hope you love numbers!