Considered among the safest workplaces, banks are indispensable to the national as well as international economy. Being at the core of the financial services industry, banks are among the leading employers within the field. If you are among the thousands of aspirants dreaming of working in a bank, then here is the first thing you need to ace — creating the perfect resume.
Shortlist a profile
Jobs can be found in commercial and retail banking, community, rural or cooperative banking, credit unions and investment banking. Before you start applying for banking jobs, you need to carefully study which of these jobs is meant for you. Try and research what each of these profiles means and what they entail in terms of day to day responsibilities. Each job profile calls for a specific resume.
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All about keywords
The HR personnel hiring for banking profiles are often flooded with applications. So a lot of them use the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes. This system is nothing but a software that can parse (read) your resume and determine if it qualifies for the opening by matching keywords. To bypass an ATS, your resume needs to contain the right keywords that are being searched. Some keywords that you might want to include in your resume (in projects or KRAs) could be:
Financial planning, fixed asset accounting, fraud and risk analysis, IFRS, financial projection, general ledger and trial balance, etc. Remember to spell out acronyms in case an ATS is programmed to look for the full-term.
But the focus should be on role-specific keywords. For instance, for investment bankers, keywords may include mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business transformation, integration, financial modelling, research, deals, deal flow, deal-making and negotiating. Relationship managers can go for client relationship management, lead generation, business development, portfolio management, consumer banking, cross-selling, etc.
Give an edge to your resume
Add a separate special accomplishments section to showcase relevant achievements in the banking domain. Numbers, percentages, and other metrics make your accomplishments more remarkable in the minds of hiring managers. Highlight any banking sector-specific certifications that you might have acquired.
Speak about accomplishments rather than general duties; highlight your efficiencies. Use PAR (Problem, Action, Result) format in job descriptions, qualification highlights to stand out.
Use the right words
When writing job descriptions, or even project KRAs, use action words to begin sentences. Words like achieved, created, audited, prepared, delivered, analysed, researched, led, forecasted, coordinated, monitored, developed, managed, handled, etc, are called action words because they denote actions or accomplishments.
Do not use phrases like ‘creative’, ‘virtuoso’, ‘improved’ or ‘advanced’, passionate’, ‘motivated’ since these are too clichéd and take the attention away from the core value that the resume is trying to show.
Remember that the best resumes are crisp and short. Try and keep your resume to a single page and if not, do not go beyond two pages.
— The author is the founder of Get Set Resumes and Resumod.