Tips for finding your job in the banking sector

Are you sifting between banking jobs posted online, wondering how to secure the best one for you? You know the jobs are out there, and that you have the right qualifications, so how do you go from fantasizing about your next great role to actually landing the offer? Below are some tips that can make that transition possible.

Include the right keywords

If you’re submitting your résumé electronically, be sure to use the precise keywords employers include in their postings for banking jobs. The phrasing that is used in the job description should also appear, when relevant, on your résumé. Often this is simply a matter of rewording your materials, because you might have described a duty one way whereas your prospective employer describes it another. You want to go with how they phrase it.

That way, when your résumé is being reviewed and compared to what was advertised in the job posting, the reviewer will see that you are a great match for the opening. This is especially relevant if your materials are being scanned by a computer, which will be looking more strictly for exact phrases.

Use LinkedIn and Twitter

Remember, we are living in the Digital Age, and you don’t have to be fresh out of college to be expected to have an online presence. Employers understand this when considering candidates for banking jobs. LinkedIn is the popular professional site to create a profile on (if you haven’t already), and career expert Farnoosh Brock advises using it to share your experience with groups.

“Find areas of expertise,” Brock says, “and share your knowledge freely with people that are asking questions. HR and hiring staff browse those professional groups and contact the ideal candidates. It’s your own pre-screening interview!”

Like LinkedIn but a lot more casual, Twitter has become a highly social way to interact with everyone from your favorite celebrity to the hiring managers of hot finance and banking jobs. With respects to this site, Brock says the right hashtags can help get you noticed.

“Use Twitter and the right hashtags to answer questions,” he advises. “Companies are getting more and more into Twitter more to listen than to talk as well as use it like a search engine. Be the answer that pops up when they search the hashtags of your industry and show your expertise with useful tweets.”

Dress to impress at the interview

It might sound superficial, but handling people’s money — often in very large sums — is the name of the game in banking jobs, so it is imperative that you look prepared at first glance. It’s critical that you project trust, respect and confidence when you meet your interview panel face-to-face. They will be looking at you with questions such as, “Would a client trust this person with her money?” floating through their heads. Thankfully, some advanced planning can help you ace this initial evaluation.

You’re not expected to be fashion model, but you need to look professional. Richard S. Deems, Ph.D., author of “Hiring: How to Find and Keep the Best People” (Career Press, 1998), puts it thusly: “Be well dressed and coordinated — in other words, don’t look sloppy and make sure colors are coordinated.”

Be your most organized

“Organize your thoughts — get in the habit of answering a question in sequence,” Deems suggests for your interview. “Example: you will probably be asked, ‘Tell me about yourself.’ Don’t give them a rambling history. Instead, say something like, ‘First, I’m a person who likes things to be organized and in place; let me give you an example… Second, I enjoy showing people how finances can be organized; let me give you an example… Third…,’ another strength and example.

“Most people who hire new employees in the banking industry are well organized, like things to fit together, and appreciate sequences,” says Deems. Because banking jobs are very competitive, candidates who understand this and show it during the interview are likely to be taken more seriously.

What You Need in a Bank

With all of the changes in the banking industry over the last few years, it is getting harder and harder to get a bank that has everything you need.  And if they do, they charge a boat load of fees to pay for it.  When looking for a bank, here are some things you should look for, because the best banks out there still offer them.


 Whatever bank you choose, it should be convenient for you.  For most, that means offering a full suite of online products, such as online banking and online bill pay.  It also means being able to reach you where ever you are – so does your bank offer mobile banking?

Finally, do you even need to go to the bank?  The best banks out there offer services such as scanning your checks into the computer, or taking a picture of your checks with your phone to process as deposit.

No Fees

 Next is how much in fees does your bank charge?  The best banks charge very few fees.  I’m a firm believer that you should still be able to get free checking, free checks for your checking account, and that your bank should reimburse any ATM fees you incur (especially if they are an online bank).

You bank should also not charge you any fees for transferring money or for using online services like Quicken or Mint.  You’d be surprised how many big banks do.

Full Service

Finally, I think that all banks should be full service.  Banks like Clydesdale Bank offer everything from basic checking and savings accounts, to loans and other services.  You bank should be there to serve your needs, and this means having everything related to your finances in one place.

Another popular bank even has insurance and investing under one roof, which makes it very convenient as a consumer.  However, make sure that you aren’t just doing it for convenience, but also because the prices and fees are reasonable.  With all the competition in the banking sector, there is no reason to choose the best deal!

Post by Robert

What are the Benefits of a Savings Account

Most people know what a savings account is: it’s a bank account that is offered by most banks and credit unions that allows people to deposit money in for safe keeping.  By you depositing money in a savings account, you are actually helping the bank make money.  The bank uses the money you deposit to make loans, and in exchange for this, the bank pays you interest on your money.  To get depositors, banks essentially put their savings accounts on offer by showcasing as high an interest rate as possible.  But what are the benefits to you, the depositor, for putting your money into a savings account?

Safety and Security

The biggest reason to get a savings account is the safety and security of your money.  If you have a large sum of money, you shouldn’t be keeping it in your house under your mattress.  That just isn’t safe – you open yourself up to the potential of being robbed.

By putting your money into a savings account at a bank, you keep your money safe.  Furthermore, your deposits will be insured up to the FDIC limit, so you don’t have to worry about your money being lost if the bank goes under.  This makes it a perfect solution for an emergency fund.


Next, savings accounts pay interest on the money your deposit.  If you just keep all your money at home, you won’t earn anything on your stash of cash.  By shopping around for a bank with a good interest rate, you can earn a reasonable rate of return on your deposit.  This can be a good, secure, source of income, especially once you retire.


Finally, having a savings account allows for flexibility.  You can have your savings account be the central hub of your finances.  You can setup direct deposit to have your paychecks deposit into one.  You can also easily transfer money to a checking account to spend as needed.  And since you own the account, you can always withdraw your money from the savings account whenever needed.

Post by Robert

What do you have in common with a corporate banker?

Have you lost track of your finances?  Do you take out $300 on Monday and have no idea where it all went by Thursday?  Do you forget to make payments and then get charged with late fees?  Do you sometimes bounce your checks and get insufficient funds fees?  Hopefully not, but for many Americans, not tracking where money is spent, making late payments and bounce checks is a way of life.  However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

You may say, “I’m just bad with money,” but that doesn’t have to be the way it is.  In fact, you are your own corporate bank and should treat your finances as such.

Someone who specializes in corporate finance for large U.K. or U.S. institutions must make wise financial decisions for the institution.  A corporate banker analyzes the business’ cash management solutions (how much money is spent and how much money comes in during a particular period of time) and also plans for short-term and long-term investments.

Your job is to be your own corporate banker on a personal level.  You are in charge of your own finances.  How are you doing?  Would you be fired, or are you a skilled financial manager?

If your financial situation leaves much to be desired, don’t use the excuse, “I am just not good with money.”  Instead, empower yourself.  You are your own corporate banker.  How can you improve your finances?

Maybe you need to start by cutting your unnecessary expenses.  Then, perhaps you need to earn more income.  Maybe you can ask for a raise at work or work extra hours.  Maybe you need to get a side job or create a side gig doing something you enjoy.  Between cutting expenses and increasing your income, you should see your cash flow improve.

Next to tackle is debt.  If you have credit card debt, put as much money as you can on the debt.  You can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year in interest charges by paying off your debt.  In addition, each debt that you pay off increases your monthly cash flow.

After debt, you will want to set aside an emergency fund to protect you from unexpected expenses like job loss and home or auto repairs or sickness.

After all of the basics are in place, you should be able to begin to invest for your short-term and long-term goals.

Successful personal finance is not difficult.  However, what is difficult is changing your mindset.  If you can convince yourself that “I am not good with money” is a myth you are telling yourself daily and that instead you are a corporate banker in charge of your money and your life and your job is to make the best possible financial decisions for your financial situation, you will be able to begin to improve your situation.  Your attitude toward yourself and money is the most important part of personal finance.

Post by Melissa

What’s Brilliant About Avoiding Bank Overdrafts?

It may seem like a simple question: Why should anyone avoid overdrafts on their bank account? But the simple answers – that they cost money in fees, plus end up as a “ding” against your credit score – only tell half the story.

The other half is learning how to be savvy about how you do it. The road to financial freedom is not one smooth highway. There are bumps, curves, narrow and wide sections, times when you’re stuck going slow and other times when you have to decide if you want to risk aggressively passing the other guy – all points where smart decisions must be made. It’s about developing the skills and becoming familiar with important tools.

Take the bank overdraft problem (please!). These days, we have many automatic withdrawals for everything from utilities and telecom (phones, cable TV and broadband Internet hookups) to car and home payments, insurance and condo fee assessments. The problem is when an emergency expense happens – it can drain your bank account even as those automatic withdrawals loom in the days ahead.

What to do?

You have several options:

Get cash advances from your credit card – The fees can be steep, particularly if the cost folds into your credit card balance.

Get a cash advance from your next paycheck – The fees are steep when you take a year to pay them off. But few borrowers require so much time. These payday loans are usually paid with the next paycheck to come, taken care of in a matter of weeks, not months or years.

Ask family members for cash advances – This actually works in some families, although data suggest it’s a rare phenomenon. When you borrow personal loans  from friends or family, be sure to articulate the transaction on paper before money changes hands.

As should be clear, each of these approaches requires you to do something different or something new. While that is difficult for most people, to change a routine or try something they’ve never done before, it’s all a part of good stewardship of your resources – money and intellect – to give it your best shot. When you do, you are practicing your God-given brilliance at finding solutions to sticky, costly problems.

Guest Post by Elisa