Show that you have skills that can be transferred
Without a history of finance-related jobs, you’ll need to use your involvement in sports, student societies and part-time or voluntary work to stress your suitability for banking. Identify examples of situations where you showed the skills banks are looking for: teamwork, leadership, entrepreneurship, resilience and stamina. Any job shadowing or volunteering will have given you plenty of transferable skills. The same goes for drama groups, travel or college projects and internships.
Let’s say, for example, that you did fencing at university. Did you also have a position on the club committee, organise competitions or train as a referee or coach? Or maybe you enjoyed acting and helped put on a play. Did you fund-raise, manage the accounts or run the publicity? Maybe you were interviewed on local radio or negotiated a money-saving deal on costume hire?
Make notes on anything you’ve done that shows you’re an inspiring presenter or are creative at solving problems, finding short cuts to solutions or spotting opportunities. What examples do you have of situations where you’ve shown initiative, leadership and team work? Write them down. The same goes for demonstrations of numeracy, analysis, attention to detail and time management in your project work.
Interests that show your strength of character and resilience are also impressive. Competitive sports and high energy activities (think mountain climbing or long-distance cycling) are a plus.
Banks also like to think they're hiring entrepreneurs. So, have you (for example), set up your own eBay business, university society, or IT support firm? If you’ve proven yourself in another field – show it. You can’t just say you're good; you need to give concrete examples.