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The Must-Haves on a Resume in the Banking/Credit Union Industry

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The financial services industry is ever-changing and so are the needs/requirements for the talent the institutions typically seek. Sure, there are some positions within financial services that require past banking experience. However, we’re going to take a look BEYOND experience and discuss the other details that you must include on your resume.

Education

This may seem like a no-brainer; however including GPA, Cum Laude, or Dean’s list info can be very beneficial. Especially for those that have recently graduated. If you’re well into your career, this rule does not apply to you because your experience will speak for itself. Banks and Credit Unions also love to see any Banking-related certifications or degrees.

Certifications/Awards

Listing your certifications or awards from either prior jobs or from school is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates that may be under consideration for the same role. There are a ton of certifications that are very desirable in the banking/financial services industry, such as CFA, FRM, CISA, or CRCM. Certifications illustrate your knowledge of the industry and show your dedication to the financial industry.

Volunteer Experience/Extra Curricular Activities

Many banks and credit unions have heavy community involvement. According to Her Campus Media, “Volunteerism can equip a student with ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills including technical, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership, to name a few. Most people who volunteer are devoted to a cause and can easily convey their enthusiasm via a natural narrative.” These qualities that you’ve gained from volunteering—communication, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and enthusiasm—are superb skills to have listed on your resume, cover letter, and other applications materials.

Specific Accomplishments

Accomplishments are important because it illustrates your contributions to your previous employer. When you’re detailing your accomplishments, make sure to be complete and precise in what you say. Use exact numbers or any sort of quantitative result when you can. These statements are very impactful as it shows the potential value you may add to the institution you’re applying with.

Banks and Credit Unions, obviously, are driven by numbers, most of the time. Whether it’s a dollar amount, a percentage of growth, money saved or decrease in error ratio, these are all great ways to make your resume stand out.

The Most Obvious Job Search Tip That (Almost) No One Follows

The Most Obvious Job Search Tip That (Almost) No One Follows

The Most Obvious Job Search Tip That (Almost) No One Follows

When you were in elementary school, did your teachers ever have you do the “following directions” test? Here’s an example of a few. They were tricky and designed to make kids who were over eager and didn’t follow instructions look and feel foolish in order to teach them to take their time and not rush through assignments. Well if you took one of those tests and it actually taught you something, you probably didn’t apply to my Marketing Specialist job.

In the last paragraph of my job ad, I requested that candidates send their resume AND A COVER LETTER to me directly and I included my email address. Out of the 16 applications I have received, I have only received one cover letter. Presumably, most candidates probably skimmed the ad to make sure it was a decent fit, hit the apply button, and off zoomed their resume. If this sounds like something you’ve done before – you are making a huge mistake for a few reasons:

  1. You are showing that you’re not detail-oriented and that you rush through things

Just like the kids in the “following directions” test, you’ve made a fool of yourself. Sure, you have a bullet point on your resume that says you are “detail-oriented,” but you just completely disproved that.

  1. You’re missing an opportunity to sell yourself

Whether the job ad is asking for a cover letter, references, a portfolio, a writing sample, you’re missing out if you don’t include it. When a recruiter or hiring manager can only judge you based on what you provide, why wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward? Additional documents are the perfect opportunity to expand on your strengths, explain any weaknesses, and showcase your personality.

  1. You’re not customizing your application to the job

Your resume and other application documents should be tailored to every. single. job. you apply for! So if you’re not customizing your resume and cover letter to each job, you could potentially be handing the job to your competitor. Comb through the job description and tweak your resume to reflect the same verbiage used in the ad. Prioritize your skills under each position based on what is most important to this particular job.

  1. You don’t know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for

When I asked for a cover letter, it wasn’t because I want to torture any potential employees (I promise!). For my Marketing Specialist, I was specifically looking for someone who was detail-oriented and had great writing skills. So while cover letters may seem outdated on the surface, keep in mind that the hiring manager may be looking for more than further explanation of your skills.

So next time you go to apply for a job, be sure to thoroughly read the job description and follow all of the application steps. It may seem like a lot of work, but that’s why they say job searching is a full time job!

4 Steps Closer to Your Next Job Interview

Ethnicity Business People Career Job Search Concept

Today we’re giving you all the tools to get through the job search one step at a time. Combine these four steps with your skills and confidence and you will lead yourself straight to an interview.

Step 1: Ready

“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.” –Ivern Ball

Direction: Research your marketability.

A good place to start when you begin a job search is inward. Understanding and sharing your brand is essential when tapping into the job market. We recommend you start by researching your marketability.

  • Find out how your line of work is rewarded in the market. >>Pay Scale: Salary Calculator
  • If you are opening to relocating for your career, find out where you should live to maximize your compensation. >>Pop Sugar: Market Research
  • If you know where you want to relocate, find out how it compares to your current market. >>Pay Scale: Cost of Living Calculator
  • Next, evaluate your skills and determine which skills are in demand. Take online courses, both paid and free to further your professional development. >>The Muse: Professional Development
  • Skills Evaluation: Technical skills are quickly becoming a standard across business. >>The Muse: Skills Evaluation
  • Find out how to leverage job boards to uncover the most valuable skills. >>U.S. News: Job Boards

Step 2: Aim

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupry

Direction: Update your job search materials.

  • Resumes and cover letters should be tailored to the position you’re applying for. >>Life Hacker: Resume Tailoring
  • Select companies you want to work for. >>LinkedIn Research Company  LinkedIn is a great place to start but don’t forget to research the company website, press releases, financial reports, and social media.

Step 3: Fire

“Vision without execution is hallucination.” –Thomas Edison

Direction: Selectively apply for positions that align with your skills.

  • Read between the lines. Not having all of the requirements for a position doesn’t make you unqualified, it creates opportunity. >>The Muse: Job Requirement Awareness
  • Develop a job application strategy and organize how you approach your next job search. >>About Careers: Applying for Jobs

Step 4: Reload

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” –Henry Ford

Direction: Get organized.

  • After you have strategically applied for the most ideal jobs, it’s time to get organized. Use these suggestions to ensure you have a post application strategy. >>About Careers: Job Search Strategy
  • Follow-up with HR professionals and the most effective way possible, seek out the hiring manager. >>About Careers: Contact Hiring Manager
  • Measure your job search success. Find out how to evaluate your job search and make the proper changes. >>U.S. News: Measure Search Success

 

Getting to the interview is the first step in showcasing your unique style. Make sure you approach each step in the process with confidence and you are sure to land interviews.