Everything You Need to Know About How to Get a Job at a Bank

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 26, 2023

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Getting a job in a bank is a great career option. Whether it's a temporary or long-term position, it provides valuable experience, specialization, and some financial benefits. You need some qualifications and skills before you can start the job search experience. In this article, we explore what a bank job entails, how to get a job at a bank, tips to help you get your dream bank job, and the skills you need to succeed in the role.

What does a bank job entail?

A bank job is any role that involves work in a financial institution and includes various positions. Usually, you provide banking services such as creating and closing accounts, advising on bank products, and helping customers with loan applications.

How to get a job at a bank

Follow these steps to learn more about how to get a job at a bank:

1. Determine the position that interests you

You need to determine the position that you want to apply for or the career path you want to follow. This is because there are various options, and each position has unique requirements, duties, and salary. Consider your existing qualification and interest before deciding on your preference.

Here are some common job titles for bank employees:

Teller

A bank teller helps customers complete their monetary transactions, like making withdrawals, transfers, and deposits. You'll need to relate directly with customers if you decide to be a bank teller. Hence, you need exceptional interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and customer service skills to succeed in this role. You also need proficiency in arithmetic, computer, and the ability to record and count cash as a technical skill.

Related:

  • Key Bank Teller Skills: Definition, Examples, and Tips

  • How to Write a Bank Teller Cover Letter with No Experience

Bank manager

A manager oversees the bank's daily operations, including staff supervision, identifying and meeting sales goals, and creating schedules. Bank managers earn more than bank tellers and need to meet higher academic and experience qualifications. You must possess great organizational, management, and interpersonal skills to succeed as a bank manager.

Related: How To Become a Branch Manager in Canada: Guide and Salary

Accountant

An accountant oversees the bank's financial records. This specialized position requires more advanced academic requirements, usually a bachelor's degree in finance or accounting. You also need math proficiency, critical thinking, system analysis, data analysis, and knowledge of relevant regulatory standards to succeed as an accountant.

Related: The Differences between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant: A Review

2. Complete the relevant academic requirements

A bank job requires you to meet formal educational requirements. The exact requirements depend on the role that you want to apply for. Here are the common educational requirements based on some relevant roles:

  • Bank teller: You need a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, to increase your chances of getting hired, you can get a college or university education or a bank teller certification from an accredited institution.

  • Bank manager: You need a bachelor's degree in relevant fields such as business, finance, accounting, or management.

  • Accountant: You need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a finance-related field. Some banks prefer candidates with a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

3. Gain relevant experience

You need experience in a similar position to prepare for the role. Usually, you need around one year of experience to get a bank teller position. However, you need considerable experience in the banking industry to be promoted to a management role. For instance, you can start as a bank teller part-time while studying for your undergraduate degree. You need to understand how the bank operates and exhibit strong leadership skills to gain relevant experience.

4. Prepare your resume

Regardless of the position, you need to prepare a compelling resume for your application. Your resume must also display that you have both relevant technical and soft skills needed to deliver results.

Here are some things to highlight on your resume for a job at a bank:

  • Highlight your educational qualifications. Depending on the role, you must demonstrate that you've met the educational requirements. For instance, if you apply for a managerial role, you must show that you have a degree.

  • Show your previous experience. Ensure you discuss your previous experience in similar roles. Highlight what you did while in the role and how it contributed to company goals.

  • Demonstrate your customer service capabilities. You need to relate with clients when you're working in a bank. So, companies look out for those with great customer service skills. Ensure you express this in the "Skills" and "Work experience" sections of your resume.

  • Demonstrate your math proficiency. Understanding basic arithmetic is a requirement that banks look out for regardless of the position you apply for. Ensure you show your proficiency in basic calculations on your resume. You might need some advanced knowledge of math if you're applying for a higher position.

Read more: 14 Resume Writing Tips to Help You Land a Job

5. Find a bank job

You need to find bank jobs within your location. You can begin by asking your contacts or using professional job search sites such as Indeed. This ensures you can streamline your application to banks that require your services. You can also talk to employees at banks to discuss job openings in their firms.

6. Apply to the job

Once you find a job opening, you need to send your application to the bank. Follow the tips below when applying for a banking role:

  • Research the organization. Conduct research to ensure you're comfortable with their work culture. This also helps you tailor your application to reflect their values.

  • Understand the job description. Regardless of your general idea of the position you are applying to, ensure you research the organization's job description. This helps you identify the role's specific duties or requirements. You can then update your resume and cover letter to reflect these specific skills and impress hiring managers.

Tips to increase your chances of getting hired

Follow these tips to stand out among your peers and start a career in the banking industry:

Ensure you're visible

Visibility is an advantage in the banking industry as people are more likely to contact you if they believe you can deliver on a job. Use social media and other professional websites to become visible. You can also attend conferences and workshops where you're likely to meet potential employers.

Follow up on your application

While you can expect to wait for some time after submitting your application, you can always follow up on your application. Two weeks after you send your application is appropriate if you don't get a response. Hiring managers look for passionate candidates, and this shows you're eager and still interested in the job.

Prepare for your interview

While you wait for an update from the hiring manager, prepare for the interview. This ensures you have more time to prepare and cover everything you need to know. You should prepare for technical and behavioural questions while you wait for the invitation to an interview.

You should practice the STAR interview method. It involves answering questions by identifying a relevant situation, your task, the action you took, and the positive result. It allows you to highlight your capabilities through your past action and convince the hiring manager you can offer value in a workplace.

Important skills to develop to get a bank job

Hiring managers look for both technical and soft skills when selecting candidates for bank jobs. Regardless of the specific position that interests you, here are some skills for bank jobs you need to develop or improve:

Computer skills

Banks now rely on technology and computers to perform their functions. This is why they look for candidates who are proficient with a computer. You need to be able to operate basic computer and banking software. It also helps to express your ability to keep up with new technologies and learn them quickly.

Communication skills

You need to work as part of a team, and you must communicate effectively with them as well as clients if you work in a banking customer service role. Practise the four types of communication in your personal and professional life to master this essential skill. Communicating complex finance subjects in simple terms to colleagues and customers is important for bank jobs.

Time management and organization skills

You need to meet deadlines, so you need exceptional time management and organization skills. Companies look for candidates who can work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment when hiring for bank jobs. So, you must be able to organize your work, identify priority tasks, and deliver results within the deadline.

Multitasking

Bank jobs come with various overlapping responsibilities. For instance, you might need to report to multiple clients at the same time. Therefore, you must perform various tasks simultaneously and still maintain the required quality.

Attention to detail

You need a high level of thoroughness and attention to detail to work in a bank. Usually, bank jobs are repetitive, and you must remain focused to ensure high-quality delivery. Learning how to focus and eliminate distractions so you can pay attention to detail is essential in banking roles.

Problem-solving and analytical skills

You must identify problems, analyze the situation, and provide solutions to them using good judgment and creativity. Various issues can arise within a bank's environment. Problem-solving and analytical skills ensure you can resolve them and ensure productivity.

Integrity and ethics

Bank jobs require a high level of confidentiality and discretion. Companies want employees who can protect their client's information. You need to exhibit your integrity and ethics at every stage of your job search process.

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