We all want to make ourselves as appealing as possible to hiring managers. Yet it’s not always easy to divine the formula for optimal attraction.
We can, however, make some educated guesses. And one simple yet clever way to determine what interests finance recruiters is to track what they’re searching for in resume and CV databases.
That’s the idea behind this recent list, which provides ten of the most common skills desired by recruiters. The most common skill search involved the C family of programming languages — great news for those with coding chops.
Other high in demand skills include the following:
- Compliance (a skill much in demand with the largest banks)
- Java programming (with recruiters seeking anywhere from three-to-five years of experience, ideally)
- Business analysis skills (particularly in demand in the Asian market)
- Product control (some of these positions are open to those with no experience)
- Auditing skills (recruiters want preferably three-to-seven years of experience)
- Operational risk (banks are focusing more than ever on corporate culture and reputational risk)
- Project management skills (reflecting an ongoing need for people to update processes and systems)
- Fund accounting (one-to-three years of experience)
- Relationship management skills (booming in Asia — experience is also big plus)
While hard skills such as the above can help you land a great job, they don’t represent a comprehensive list of attributes that recruiters find attractive.
Here are a few more that are equally prized by hiring managers and recruiters.
A roving intellect
A certain level of intelligence is a prerequisite for a career in banking. Yet evidence that you’re in possession of considerable mental horsepower is guaranteed to pique the interest of recruiters. They’re seeking people who can quickly assimilate and internalize new information and ideas — agile learners who can grasp new concepts quickly. Combine those traits with intellectual curiosity and you’ve got an almost irresistible combination.
Languages or foreign experience
Here an undeniable truth: If you speak a second language and you’re willing to relocate overseas, your odds of landing the job of your choice are significantly increased. While Wall Street is a magnet for young bankers worldwide, much of the job growth is in the developing world. Financial institutions especially prize employees who are able to thrive in an international context. Many of the world’s premier banks list global perspective or foreign languages among desired competencies. If you’re a young banker looking to separate from the pack, this is one of the savviest ways to do so.
The ability to be an ace communicator
Every field has its own jargon — but finance terminology is often particularly challenging. When working in the field you’ll likely have to deal with people who are conversant in finance lingo — and also with those who are absolutely mystified by it. The ability to take complex information and present it in a clear and easily understandable form is a skill that will draw the approval of any recruiter. If you can communicate — orally and in writing — in a well-structured and accurate fashion, you’ll have a serious edge over competitors who can’t do the same.
Creativity and innovation
Recruiters wade through massive slush piles of resumes and CVs. If you want to stand out, a creative spark is vitally important, whether it’s on your CV,expressed during an interview or made manifest in your work. An entrepreneurial spirit also helps you stand out. Recruiters — and by extension employers — are seeking dynamic young workers with the ability to think in an innovative manner.
If you can convince a recruiter you possess the ability to produce fresh insight and new approaches, you’re likely to garner serious interest.
If you want to put yourself in prime position to land the job of your dreams, it’s not always enough to have a skill that’s in demand. The most successful candidates display a range of hard and soft skills — representing the “total package” that recruiters are searching for.