A job in banking and investment is so attractive to a huge number of graduates that it is very tough and challenging for an individual to get a position in this field. You need to be ahead of the crowd to gain a certain competitive advantage in the race of securing a job in banking and investment.

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You need to show your potential employers that you have all it needs to do well in your job. Besides a suitable qualification and a strong academic record, you need to show them you have the needed competencies. Think about skills such as teamwork skills or communications skills. These skills are important but they are not enough. You would need more than that to be outstanding. There are other important skills and competencies that you need to develop and enhance to get your dream job.

1.      Intellectual Abilities

You need to be smart and bright enough to do well in your job. Employers in banking and investment industry wouldn’t specify that you need to be smart. In fact, they would use some of the following terms, like “be able to learn new concepts quickly” or “be able to grasp new information” or “strong in learning”.

You need to deal with data, financial information, and other information related to a business or a project. You will also be able to work with different business in different industries and natures of projects. If you don’t have the ability to learn and understand new concepts quickly, you wouldn’t be able to do your job well, that is for sure.

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Also, there are newer and more complicated products and services in banking and investment. You need to be smart enough to understand these concepts and also be quick enough to learn a new one. Quick learners will lead to quicker and better results.

Other than the intellectual abilities, you should also show your potential employers that you have the intellectual curiosity that won’t stop learning.

Here are some tips to practise psychometric tests for banking and finance graduate positions.

2.      Resilience

Working in banking and investment can bring you a lot of benefits such as big pay check and bonuses. However, along with the huge benefits, you need to trade off for your hard work. You have to work for long hours, in a fast-paced and highly stressful environment. The pressure that you need to work under is very high. Also, deadlines that customers set and new information that can change your whole projects will be very tough for an inexperienced banker to deal with.

With that kind of environment, not anyone can work in this field for a long time, unless you are a resilient person who can cope well with high pressure and impending deadlines. That is the reason why banks and investment firms are seeking for employees who are resilient and can work well under intense pressure. These potential employees should also be open to criticism and can maintain a professional working attitude under a high pressure. You need to show that you welcome all of the constructive criticism and consider setbacks as ways to learn new things. You should also have to show that you are hard-working, diligent, and self-disciplined.

3.      Global outlook

The global outlook is becoming more and more important to many employers.  Just have a quick look around the job descriptions of many banks and investment firms, you will come across some terms such as “global outlook”, “willing to work aboard”, “language skills” or “knowledge of at least 2 languages”, and “international experience”.

Being able to speak 2 or more language is becoming an advantage for many candidates. With proficiency in at least 2 languages, you have more chances to work with internal customers or work aboard.

4.      Enthusiasm

This is not really a soft skill that you can work on but it is definitely something that employers in banking and investment want you to show. Only when you are enthusiastic about your job you would be eager to learn new things, welcome new challenges, and remain positive under the high pressure of the environment you are working under.

Tips on elaborate these skills on CVs and Interviews

After you know about these important skills, of course, you need to enhance them. Taking part in activities which help you enhance these skills and competencies would help. And more importantly, you need to demonstrate that you have these skills on your CVs or to your potential employers when you have an individual interview with them.

1.      How to demonstrate your intellectual abilities

There are quite a few ways for you to prove that you are an agile learner.  First of all, your potential employers will evaluate your intellectual abilities by looking at your academic records. You don’t need to have good grades in all of the subjects, though it can work to your advantage. Make sure that some subjects, which are related to your numerical skills and the jobs you are applying for, have good grades.

Second of all, you need to show that you have successfully used your knowledge in a practical occasion. For example, you can demonstrate that you take part in a business contest or competition and get a good result from it. In addition, you can show that you have taken part in a team project. Participating in an internship program and getting good results and recommendations can be a great help to show off your intellectual abilities.

In the interview, you should expect to be asked some questions like “How many petrol stations are there in your neighbourhood” or some math solving questions. These questions are not there for you to find the exact answers. You should, instead, provide reasons for your answer and that is what the employer is interested in- how you assess the questions, how you divide the issues, and how you can come up with possible solutions for your answers.

2.      How to demonstrate your resilience

You can show your resilience in many easy ways. You can demonstrate how well you manage your time among your study, your work, and your personal life. Talk about a case when exams and deadlines are coming and how you organise your life around these occasions. If you have worked part-time in a fast-moving environment such as in a restaurant, you can also demonstrate your skills and what you have learned from this job- such as how you manage time and remain professional when it is super busy.

Besides, you can also talk about one time you receive a constructive criticism. Talk about how you receive that criticism and how you use for your personal development instead of feeling disappointed or angry with that criticism.

3.      How to demonstrate your global outlook

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You need to be aware of what happens in the industry and other industries, not just in Australia but all over the world.  In the interview, you might be asked some questions like “Tell me about the recent trends in the banking industry” or “tell me a development in other markets and what impacts that development can have in our company?” You need to be able to answer these questions well to show that you are aware of the social and economic changes.

You can also demonstrate your global outlook by showing the recruiters that you have studied aboard or you have taken in a short-term study program in an overseas country. And if you don’t have any of these, you can tell these employers that you have taken part in projects or work part-time in a restaurant where you learn about different cultures.

4.      How to demonstrate your enthusiasm

Employers will evaluate your enthusiasm in many ways as much as possible. It would start with your CV and your covering letter. In these papers, you need to show your passion for your career in banking and investment, where your passion stems from, and what you do to pursue a career in this industry. It could be shown in your major in banking or finance. Or if you graduate from a different major, show your enthusiasm in your part-time job or internship, or any project or event that change your mind and persuade you to follow a path to become a banker. You should also demonstrate your passion for the company that you work for.  It could be from the career fair, information from your friends or family, or information that you read elsewhere.

In the interview, your recruiters will ask some questions like “Why you want to work for us” or “why you want to pursue a career in the industry”.  You can mention things you have previously stated in your CV. In addition, you can also specify a unique special thing about the bank or investment firm that you are applying for. This will help to show that you actually do intensive researches about the company. Also, try to link the uniqueness of the firm to your strengths and experience, to show that you can fit well into their team.

Here are some of the most important skills that banks and investment firms would look for in its candidates. These skills are intellectual abilities, resilience, global outlook, and enthusiasm, to name just a few.  You should take a look at your CV to see which skills you still lack and think about ways to enhance these skills of yours. Only when you equip yourself with sufficient skills and competencies you can get a good job in a competitive field like banking and investment.

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