How to Write a Banking CV
The UK's retail banks, familiar sights in every town's high street, offer many careers and job opportunities, from customer-facing work at branch level to delivery of services and products such as leasing, credit cards and trade credit at regional and head offices, plus IT, marketing, research and business development, and internal business services.
Candidates with all kinds of backgrounds apply for many of these jobs, including graduates in any subject from business to the arts. The sheer diversity of applicants at all levels means that you need to work especially hard at making your banking CV effective in marketing you as the right candidate for the job.
It can be quite a challenge, when you attempt to write your own banker's CV. Instead, you could let the CV Writing Service at Bradley CVs noticeably improve your banking CV. This service offers outstanding, personally tailored CVs at a range of affordable prices.
Profile for a Banker's CV
Who you are and how you work is as important in a banking role as specialist skills required to do the job. With fierce competition for professional banking jobs, the employers want to see not just numeracy and financial literacy in a banker CV, but also a degree of drive and ambition.
Your 4 to 6 line profile is where you have chance to create an impact almost as soon as the employer looks at your CV. If you're a recent graduate and have training in financial and business subjects, this is certainly where you should highlight that fact. Industry accreditation is valued, so mention your chartered finance or accounting qualifications, if you have them.
If you're applying for another specialist role, such as a marketing position, then you should mention your training and education in that subject here.
Otherwise, you should highlight the strengths and experience you are offering. In addition to your directly relevant experience, you need to highlight the qualities that make good retail bank employees: good communication skills and the ability to negotiate and influence others, integrity, business awareness and financial acumen, a hard working approach and adaptability.
Many banks value the qualities of trust and team spirit above everything else. While individual passion and motivation is important, it always needs to be balanced out with a collaborative approach. This usually applies to everyone within the organisation.
So while you might highlight your desire to perform and achieve targets, you must always state that you understand the ethos of accountability. Excellent customer focus always has to be more important to you than individual goals.
Investment banking jobs require a specialist skill set, so mention these in your Profile, if you will be applying specifically for investment banking jobs.
Achievements for a Banking CV
When writing achievements in your Banking CV, you need to focus on how you have been able to make a difference, rather than how you followed your job description to the letter. While banks are generally conservative (with a small 'c') in their corporate culture, as employers they still wish to employ staff who go above and beyond their role - in the right way.
Achievements on Banker's CVs are bullet-pointed sentences that enable you to describe a personal accomplishment. This is usually work-related, ideally in a position that is similar to the one you're applying for.
If you're a recent graduate, it may be harder to do this, but you can draw on placements or relevant projects you've worked on during your studies. You can also look at extracurricular activities to show your strengths - team sports or community activities are ideal for this.
The best achievements are those that can be quantified. In other words, you can provide a cost or time saving, number of customers attracted or benefited, profit made, etc. This serves as evidence, enabling the CV's reader to envisage how you could help their business too.
With roles in banking, you can focus on targets or objectives you've met, either in your own individual efforts or within a team. If you're coming from outside banking, think about achievements of this nature that are most relevant to a financial institution. Fund-raising is a good example, as is gaining sponsorship for an event.
If you've worked in any kind of sales role, provide information about the amounts you sold or income you generated on your Banking CV. Or, how many customers did you serve? If you worked for an organisation, state what its turnover or size of product range.
The point of doing this, even if it's not something you achieved in a working situation, is that you're showing an awareness of figures. You're not just stating that you did something, but that you are able to quantify what you delivered. Doing so shows that you have a logical approach - this is something that banks like in candidates' skill-set.
Emphasise communication skills, teamwork, analytical thinking, problem-solving ability, decision-making capability and the ability to work under pressure when writing up your achievements. These are all qualities that go down well in banking employment.
It can be difficult trying to analyse your own achievements, if you'd like help, then you should ask a CV writer who is highly experienced in interviewing to produce your Banking CV for you.
Career History for a Bank CV
There is no ambiguity around the services offered by retail banks to their personal and business customers - they look after their customer's money by selling a range of financial services and products.
Nor can there be any ambiguity about your CV: bank employees need to have integrity and display reliability, punctuality, accuracy and dedication. As you write of your career history, you need to emphasise these at every turn, while also specifying your responsibilities and the specialist skills you used.
Given the retail nature of the high street bank, you need to emphasise jobs that have involved customer service and sales. If you're aiming to work in back office areas such as marketing, risk assessment, operations management (research and development) or human resources, then, clearly, you need to emphasise roles that are relevant to these areas or present your transferable skills.
Read the job description carefully to see exactly where the bank you're applying to places its priorities. For example, so much of a bank's work is relationship-based that demonstrating a strong understanding of customer service is always going to be important. Retail banking is all about the customer and building positive relationships at every level to ensure excellent service provision.
IT skills are essential to work in a modern day bank. Virtually all activities take place online - while banks still handle cash, all sums need to be entered on the proprietary system. Current accounts, savings accounts, all types of plastic cards, and financial services products such as mortgages and insurance policies are viewed online, with all transactions entered in the same way. While banks will train new employees on their in-house software, demonstrating that you've been able to learn and adapt to new systems in previous positions will strengthen your application enormously.
Look at the bank's website to see what kind of language they're using and reflect this as you write your banking CV. Banks define themselves by their mission statements - this informs the company report and the corporate writing style. While you shouldn't copy exact words and phrases, it's important to get the same 'feel' in your choice of language.
Every area of your bank CV should be well-presented and completely free of grammatical or typographical error. Working in a bank requires accuracy, so you have to show this in your CV. Your career history should be written with attention to specific descriptions of each job - and do describe what you were doing, rather than what your job description said.
At the same time, personalise your descriptions. Bank work may be more predictable than equivalent jobs in other industries, but it doesn't mean your banking CV has to be dull. You can make it a little more individual by using adjectives and verbs (descriptive words and action words) to convey your approach to these tasks.
If you think about writing up each of the responsibilities as if it were an achievement, then you're going to create more impact than if you simply list duties. You can include your awareness of why you were completing particular tasks - i.e. the objective you were pursuing.
Qualifications and Training for a Banking CV
If you have completed a banking MSc programme, or an MBA with a focus on finance, investment, etc., list this first. It is appropriate to briefly detail your specific studies.
If you have a Bachelor's degree, list your degree, the result you achieved, the academic institution and the year of graduation. There is no need to go into detail about the subjects you studies on your banker's CV, unless you completed a placement or dissertation with direct relevance to the banking sector or the job you are applying for.
Industry accreditation is immensely valued, so list your CISI (Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments), CFAUK (Chartered Financial Analyst UK) and CA (Chartered Accountant) qualifications, along with dates and name of the training organisation.
In-house training by your current and previous employers comes next. This might include IT, customer service, sales, human resources, products, services and processes training courses. List all the courses, with dates, but do not go into further details.
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