How to Get a Job at a Bank: Online Guide 2021 Is education necessary for bank jobs? Bank positions, requirements, and duties Where to look for bank job openings? How to apply for a bank job? An interview for a bank job: how to get ready? Bank jobs during the pandemic: a new rise Final thoughts
How to Get a Job at a Bank: Online Guide 2021 Is education necessary for bank jobs? Bank positions, requirements, and duties Where to look for bank job openings? How to apply for a bank job? An interview for a bank job: how to get ready? Bank jobs during the pandemic: a new rise Final thoughts
Updated 05/01/2021

How to Get a Job at a Bank: Online Guide 2021

Have you decided to build a career in a bank and are looking for tips to get started? This comprehensive guide will help you choose the right position for your skills, size up the best bank job offers, and successfully pass all the hiring process stages.

Have you decided to build a career in a bank and are looking for tips to get started? This comprehensive guide will help you choose the right position for your skills, size up the best bank job offers, and successfully pass all the hiring process stages.

Banks offer jobs for almost any education and experience in financing. However, even the junior or trainee position can open many doors to building a remarkable future career. Banks are a reasonable choice for employment in a pandemic with numerous positions to choose from. While other industries have suffered from the global crisis, bank services have remained on high call. In this article, we will check the available opportunities for your professional growth as a bank employee, find out where to look for worthy job offers, and go over how to get into banking jobs with no experience and what steps you need to take to successfully get hired.

01

Is education necessary for bank jobs?

Formal education requirements have become no longer obligatory in many industries. However, the banking sphere is still out of this trend. The minimum requirement for starting a bank career is a high school diploma or GED. Candidates without a degree still have great chances to start a career in banking.

While there are very few direct banking specialties available, employers often consider candidates with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Finance, Accounting, and Business Administration. The requirements in education are relatively flexible, depending on the position and key responsibilities. For instance, recruiters may consider candidates with a B.S. or M.S. in Math for auditor or analyst positions, while a high school diploma is enough to be a bank teller. Many staffing agencies provide training programs for bank tellers, and banks often perform in-office training to make sure their personnel develops all the necessary skills to service clients.

Getting a job at a bank with no experience

If you want to make a career in an office, a bank is a good place to start. There are entry-level positions available for people without experience. Be realistic, don’t apply for middle- and senior-level positions if you haven’t previously worked in a bank. Focus your efforts on open jobs with a minimum education and qualification requirements, such as a bank teller. The following skills may help you to obtain a bank job with no experience:

  • Cash handling skills: numeracy skills, cash management, processing bank transactions, cash drawer maintenance, knowledge of financial principles and practices
  • Customer service skills: problem-solving, good written and spoken communication skills, teamwork, conflict resolution, attention to details, document processing
  • Technical skills: proficiency with computers and software, strong typing and data entry skills

Be sure to point out all skills you have from the above list in your resume and cover letter when applying for bank jobs for the first time.

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02

Bank positions, requirements, and duties

You can pursue numerous types of jobs in the banking field. Here are 10 popular positions for bank workers. Find their primary duties, basic education, and skills requirements below.

1. Bank teller

Duties: bank tellers usually sit at the front desk and are responsible for customer service. They cash checks, move transactions between accounts, create bank accounts, withdraw money, deposit money, etc.

Education: high school diploma or GED, plus on-the-job training

Skills: high ethical and confidentiality standards, stress-resistance, good communication, problem-solving skills

2. Banker

Duties: usually, a banker meets bank clients (individuals/entrepreneurs) and helps them get loans. Also, bankers provide consulting services to help clients arrange investments and manage their capital.

Education: bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or accounting

Skills: excellent verbal and written communication, risk analysis, problem-solving skills, a solid grasp of computers and technologies

3. Loan processor and loan officer

Duties: loan officers review, approve, and reject loan applications. They evaluate each applicant to define whether they are eligible to get a loan from a bank. Once a loan officer originates a loan, a loan processor (also called a clerk) checks the applicant’s financial history and handles all documentation.

Education: bachelor’s degree in finance or business administration, real estate

Skills: risk analysis, good communication, knowledge of legal theory

4. Mortgage consultant

Duties: mortgage consultants help bank clients get a mortgage loan. They assess clients’ financial history and property and define what banks can loan them money on the best terms.

Education: high school diploma + in-depth knowledge of the mortgage loan field

Skills: risk analysis, good communication, knowledge of legal theory

5. Credit analyst

Duties: credit analysts review the bank client’s financial history and credit score to recommend approval or rejection for obtaining a credit account.

Education: bachelor’s degree in economics or finance

Skills: statistics, ratio analysis, financial and tax regulations

6. Investment analyst

Duties: investment analysts help bank clients observe available investment opportunities and pick the best ones for investing their money. Also, investment analysts help in asset liquidation for cutting debt and many other financial management aspects.

Education: a bachelor’s degree at minimum; often, such specialists have a master’s degree in finance, economics, or accounting

Skills: good communication, problem-solving, statistics, maths, risk management, legislation, etc.

7. Relationship manager

Duties: relationship managers take care of communication between the bank institution and its customers. They are responsible for engaging new customers and developing customer loyalty among existing ones.

Education: bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, or communication

Skills: excellent communication, problem-solving skills, ability to resist stress, claim management

8. Financial advisor

Duties: together with investment bankers, financial advisors help bank clients define their financial goals, build a strategy, and pick resources to achieve them.

Education: bachelor’s degree in economics, business, or finance

Skills: a few years of experience in the finance area, strategic thinking, excellent communication, analytic mind

9. Underwriter

Duties: underwriters review the applications for a loan, evaluating applicants’ ability to pay off the loan. In case of approval, they prepare a contract, setting the loan amount and terms of payment.

Education: bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, or math

Skills: attentiveness to details, risk management, statistics

10. Auditor

Duties: internal bank auditors review internal bank processes and assess financial management, expenses, and other risk management criteria. They also check compliance with all acting laws and regulations, assess financial stability, etc.

Education: bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, management, or finance; often employers require a master’s degree in the same fields for upper-level roles

Skills: attentiveness to details, analytic skills, strategic thinking, risk management

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03

Where to look for bank job openings?

The days when people got their job right out of school or university are gone for good. Now job seekers have to be proactive, researching all available channels of open positions. Thankfully there are a lot of job search opportunities to enter a career in banking.

1. Networking

Networking is also referred to as a hidden job market, i.e., the jobs that are never posted online or offered publicly. According to different estimations, about 70% of jobs are never posted. Recruiters find future bank workers by word of mouth, using their contact circles. And the importance of networking continues to grow. Hiring a reference from an existing employee is also a common practice among financial institutions. To maximize your chances for hire, you should know how to get a bank job that is never posted publicly.

The simplest way to attract hidden bank job opportunities is to demonstrate your intentions to start a banking career in all your social network profiles and share them in your circle offline. If you have former colleagues, friends, or relatives working in a bank, let them know you are interested in getting a bank job. Join professional banking communities and take part in online discussions, webinars, offline meetings.

2. Professional social networks

At a certain point, professional social networks belong to Networking. However, it is the #1 source of quality hires, so they are worthy of a separate note. According to Forbes, 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find or check candidates. And even if you found a job posting via another channel, you can be sure a recruiter will review your LinkedIn profile to evaluate if you're a suitable candidate.

3. Online job boards

Online job boards are in the Top 3 sources of quality hires (together with employee referrals and social networks). Most job seekers use them, so you definitely should too. Here are some online boards that specialize in banking job openings:

  • Google for Jobs
  • American Bankers Association
  • BankJobs
  • iHireBanking
  • eFinancialCareers
  • Wall Street Oasis
  • Mortgage Bankers Association
  • FinancialJobsWeb
  • FinancialPositions

4. Company websites

Lots of banks post information about available career opportunities through their websites. If you’re focused on getting hired to a specific bank, check its company website to see if there are open vacancies. It is also a great chance to contact the bank representatives directly, as there is usually contact information you can use. Making a call and sending direct mail to the HR department may increase your chances of being noticed among other candidates. Also, it may help to get a quicker response to your application.

5. Cold Calling

If you’re looking for positions in a specific bank but find no available job postings online, you can make cold calls. Use the contact details from the bank websites, introduce yourself, ask about any upcoming job openings, and offer to send your resume if such openings are expected. Don’t forget to attach a cover letter with a resume to increase your chances of being considered.

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6. Internships

Some banks offer internship programs. After the internship course, the best interns get hired. In general, temporary employment often leads to permanent positions. This is how to get a job at a bank for post-graduates or people with no bank-specific experience.

04

How to apply for a bank job?

The application process begins with preparation. Before you get started, take care to prepare all supporting application documents.

1. Clean up your credit report

Jobs in the financial sector imply having a clean credit history. It’s not a mandatory requirement, but delinquent credit accounts may affect the chances of approving your candidacy and getting hired. Before applying for banking jobs, request a copy of your credit report from one of the federal reporting bureaus like Experian or Equifax. You can get a free credit report copy once a year. It makes sense to take it to the interview in case the employer asks you to show it.

2. Create a resume

If you already have a resume, optimize it by emphasizing your bank-related experience and professional and soft skills. Your application should be focused on the bank job, even if your past career was in another area.

Make sure to include information about your education, previous places of employment, and primary duties. Recruiters like numbers: if you can express your input in terms of quantity, insert it into your resume. For instance, if you worked as a sales manager, you can point out the sales volume you made daily/monthly. If you worked as a customer support manager, indicate the number of successfully resolved tickets daily (on average).

Don’t yield to the temptation of composing a long, overly detailed resume. Respect the employer’s and recruiter’s time, describe your professional profile strictly to the point.

3. Compose a cover letter

While everyone knows that the resume is a must, many applicants underestimate a cover letter’s power. Nevertheless, 83% of HR professionals consider cover letters important in making hiring decisions.

Even being unread, a cover letter adds points to your job application. It shows that you are serious about the new job opportunity by expressing your willingness, readiness, and potential value for the bank.

Write a clear, courteous cover letter addressed to your future employer. It should convey intelligence and enthusiasm while not sounding trite. In this case, it will raise your chances of getting hired.

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The way of sending a job application depends on the source of the job opening. If you found it online and have no specific contacts to send your application, fill in the available online form, and attach your resume and cover letter. If you are negotiating with a recruiter or a bank representative, send your documents directly to this person.

05

An interview for a bank job: how to get ready?

Usually, the primary concern of candidates is what questions the interviewers will ask. They will vary depending on the position you applied for. There can be questions about your personality, situational judgment, attention to details, math, financial theory, past job experience, expectations for the future job, and many others. Be ready for specific questions about bank operation, services, financial terms, taxes, and other industry-specific aspects.

It would help investigate the bank’s culture, work principles, and history before the interview. You can easily understand the potential working environment and the employer’s expectations towards new employees. It also significantly decreases stress and makes candidates feel more comfortable during the interview. And finally, it is a proven way to stand out during an interview and impress an employer.

Usually, it takes some time after the interview to receive the final decision regarding the hire. It is acceptable to send a follow-up email or make a call a few days or a week after.

06

Bank jobs during the pandemic: a new rise

While the world economy seriously struggles from the long-running lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank sphere has experienced an uprise. The demand for loans and other bank services is growing. As a result, 8 of 15 Top American and European banks hired 19,000 new employees in the first half of 2020.

While national banking giants are still holding up comparatively well, smaller local banks have slowed down new employee hires, unable to resist economic losses due to the pandemic. However, there are still many job openings for banking available online. You have a great chance to enter this field today.

The Coronavirus crisis has pushed banks to speed up their digitalization and rethink the entire operational and business model. All crisis events result in a revolution in rapid digital transformation. For the labor market, it means high demand for the new workforce to support and develop these changes.

According to Yana Trihub, a Career expert and GetCoverLetter CEO,

“Despite rapid digitalization and automation, in-person communication with customers and on-site management by humans is still in high demand. An up-to-date bank employee may need to demonstrate a comprehensive technological background. However, human capabilities like empathy, leadership, problem-solving skills, and creativity still prevail due to the nature of business”.

07

Final thoughts

The changing economic environment raises new challenges for bank job seekers. Smaller local banks are hiring much fewer people than national and global banking giants, and companies worldwide are moving towards remote operations. So don’t be surprised to get a remote bank job offer. To minimize the impact of the pandemic and increased competition, focus on your goal, actively search for the bank job of your dreams, and get adequately prepared for the hiring process. There are dozens of opportunities to jump into banking today. Use this chance to start building your bank career right now.

Reveal your best potential for the future position. Create a professional resume for a bank job with all necessary information in place.

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