When you apply for a job, the first impression an employer has of you is usually your CV. For this reason, you have to be sure that your CV is clear and concise. You should ensure it portrays the best version of you and is specific for a banking and finance application.
Your Banking and Finance CV should only be one side of A4.
- Everything you include on your CV needs to add value to your application
Sub headings you should include:
b) Work Experience
c) Volunteering Experience (non essential and should only be included if applicable)
d) Positions of Responsibility (non essential and should only be included if applicable)
e) Awards and Achievements (non essential and should only be included if applicable)
f) Skills and Interests
Each section should be written in reverse-chronological order.
This means your most recent experiences should be included first, and your least recent experiences last.
Don’t just say what you did, be sure to include the impact
- Eg. Managed a local football team, and took them from mid table to winning 4 trophies in 3 years
- This allows the hiring manager to instantly see the impact of your responsibilities
Demonstrate the interest you have for working in Banking and Finance, this can be done through any Internships, Insight Days or societies you are a part of
- This is essential to show your commitment and passion for the sector
- Demonstrate key skills you have learnt through these opportunities
- Communication, interpersonal, analysis or deductive
How to improve your CV right now:
- Use our free CV checker
- Complete a Virtual Internship at the https://www.theforage.com
- Take a look at our Banking and Finance guide
Cover letter: Some Banking and Finance applications may ask you for a Cover Letter alongside your CV. This is where you should show why you have decided to apply for the role. Let them know the following:
1) Why THIS company
- Do your research on the company –
- A lot of recruiters say they look for creativity and effort when writing about the company they are hiring for
Here are some factors you should consider before answering the before
- What are their key values
- Why are their values important to them?
- How can you demonstrate that you have these values also?
- Why this company over other companies?
- With this you should ensure to highlight the positives of the company that you are applying for and focus on why this is important to you as an individual and to your future careers.
- What contacts do you have at the company?
- What is their strategy and your opinion on it? What do you think the future of the company could look like
- What recognition have they received and how does it make you feel?
2) Why this opportunity in particular?
- What do you expect to learn from this opportunity?
- How is it structured, will there be an opportunity to work across different divisions? What will that allow you to do?
- Why a particular division over another eg. sales and trading over operations or M&A
- If you are able to, you should link your skills to your motivation to work in this role
3) What are you able to bring to the role
- What are your key skills and how do they relate directly to this role?
- A list of skills they are looking for can be found in the job description
- Be specific and provide evidence for the skills you have
- Focus on the results that you have achieved
- As with your CV, focus on evidence and tangible achievements
Some banking and finance companies opt to include application questions, these are much more direct than the cover letter.
Here are some examples of Application Questions from Banking and Finance Companies, as well as our tips on what to include when answering them.
1) Describe your motivations for applying to this company?
- What stands out about this particular Employer?
- What will the experience involve? Why does this interest you in particular?
- What do you hope to gain from the experience?
2) Please provide 3 key skills that you have gained from University, work experience or extracurricular activities and how they will help you succeed at this company?
- Talk through each skill one at a time
- Name the skill, how you developed this skill (with detail if within the word limit), and then how it will help you succeed in your chosen division at the Employer.
Top Tips on answering Application Questions:
- Ensure you stay within the word limit
- Be clear and concise with your answer
- If you are describing a skill, be sure to give examples
A large number of Banking and Finance employers also use online tests as a stage in their application process. The online tests can take numerous forms. Ensure you check the online tests that your employer uses, and practice them.
- Practice tests on https://www.assessmentday.co.uk/assessmentcentre/
- The company you are applying for may have some practice tests on their site
- Practice your analytical, numeracy, reasoning skills