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Top Resume Tips for a Career in Banking

Searching for a new job can be daunting. Here are some helpful tips to help you polish your resume and land that job in no time.

September 29, 2023 | Tiffany Barnes

A smiling OMB employee wearing OMB blue and green shaking a customers hand

When going into any field, it’s important to stand out from every other job candidate. This is especially true when entering or moving within the financial industry.

The ultimate objective of your resume – likely their first impression of you – should be to show potential employers you’re a good fit for their company, and what value you’ll bring if hired.

Start with a Good Profile

This section is especially important because it’s likely one of the first things prospective employers will read. The profile summary should go at the top of your resume below your name and contact information and is designed to hook the reader as you describe yourself and what you offer in terms of valuable qualities.

When writing your objective, keep it concise. This is an opportunity to pinpoint career aspirations and give a brief summary of who you are, both as a person and an employee.

Pro tip: Look over the job summary or job description and try to utilize relevant keywords from it that align with your goals and experience.

Your Experience Matters

This section should serve to summarize the relevant professional experience you have gained in previous positions, as well as the value you can offer a future one. When listing your work history, place it in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent experience.

Important phrases to use in this section include:

  • Worked as part of a team to accomplish
  • Responsible for
  • Contributed to
  • Skilled at
  • Managed
  • Collaborated
  • Achieved, earned, completed, or accomplished
  • Power words such as designed, introduced, launched, or originated

Here are some things you can list in your experience section:

Internships and volunteer work: If you've done any internships or volunteered, these experiences are incredibly valuable. They show that you've been in a work environment, learned specific skills, and contributed to a cause or organization.

Relevant coursework: If you've taken courses, either in school or online, that are directly related to the job you're applying for, include them. Mention projects or assignments that demonstrate your skills and knowledge.

Part-time jobs: Even if your part-time job wasn't in your desired field, it still counts. Highlight responsibilities that show transferable skills like communication, teamwork, or time management.

Personal projects: Have you worked on personal projects or hobbies related to the job? Maybe you've built a website, started a blog, or created art. These can demonstrate your skills and passion.

Leadership and clubs: If you've been involved in student organizations, clubs, or taken on leadership roles, include them. They showcase your ability to work with others and take on responsibilities.

Related Post:Top 8 Productivity Tips for Work and Life

Include Your Education and Certificates

Most job listings detail the requirements of the position. Depending on the position you’re applying for, a degree may or may not be required. That said, relevant classes, degrees or certificates relating to the financial field you’re interested in will certainly help you stand out as a candidate.

Use this section of your resume to list your educational background and any relevant certifications or credentials you’ve earned.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Relevance is key: Your educational background should be prominently featured, especially if it's directly related to the job you're applying for. Include your highest degree first, and if you have multiple degrees, you don't necessarily need to include every single one. Focus on what's most relevant to the position.

Graduation date: It's generally a good idea to include your graduation date. This gives the employer a sense of when you completed your studies and can be important, especially if it's a recent degree or certification.

Certificates and licenses: Highlight any certificates, licenses, or professional qualifications that are relevant to the job. This could be anything from a Project Management certification to a nursing license. They demonstrate your expertise and commitment to your field.

Continuing education: If you've taken any courses, workshops, or training beyond your formal education that relates to the job, don't hesitate to include them. Lifelong learning is a big plus, and it shows you're keeping your skills up-to-date.

GPA: Mentioning your GPA is typically more important for recent graduates or if you have a stellar academic record. If your GPA is not particularly impressive, you can skip it.

Space matters: If you have years of professional experience, your education can be condensed. You can put your degrees and certifications in a brief section near the end of your resume. However, if you're an entry-level candidate or a recent graduate, your education may be a more significant part of your resume.

Remember, your resume is all about showcasing how your education and certifications make you a perfect fit for the job. Tailor your resume for each application by emphasizing the educational aspects most relevant to the position.

Relevant Skills Add Up

This section should highlight your strengths and skills for prospective employers at a glance. It’s often appropriate, and encouraged, to use a bullet point list for this. Use this as an opportunity to list both banking and general professional skills.

You can also list any additional languages you speak or write fluently. This is especially attractive to financial institutions expanding into new markets or that have an international presence.

Here is a starting place of skills that may be beneficial to include on a banking job application, if applicable:

  • Customer service
  • Efficient transaction processing
  • Sales and promotions
  • Data entry
  • Cash handling
  • Task prioritization
  • Balance allocation
  • Complex problem solving
  • Time management skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Due diligence

Stand Out with Your Layout

Design and layout may not seem like a priority, but don’t rule out the importance of your resume’s visual appeal.

Stick with a simple and professional font that’s 11 or 12 points in size. Keep your resume clean and crisp by utilizing one-inch margins on all sides. An effective resume should be one or two pages in length, but never more.

The Applicant Tracking System is a widely used human resources computer software that organizes employment applications and automates portions of the hiring process. Because of this, it’s extremely beneficial to design your resume in a way that optimizes it for ATS to ensure your resume makes it to the hiring manager or HR department.

Finally, have someone else glance over your resume to ensure it looks good and doesn’t contain any errors. The more eyes the better. Refresh your resume regularly and be open to new ideas that can help you land the career path of your dreams!

Consider a Career at OMB

OMB is constantly growing and looking for talented individuals to join our team. Check out our careers page to see employee testimonials, current job openings, or to send a message to our HR team.

OMB and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decision.

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