he investment banking industry is regarded as one of the most notoriously challenging fields where only the best of the best fresh grads have the potential to succeed. According to Careers-in-Finance, recent stats show that less than 200,000 entry level job opportunities are open for fresh graduates worldwide every year.
This no longer seems impressive as soon as you realize that the applicant pool is 10 times larger than the number of jobs available. Don’t get disappointed just yet; it may be tough to break into the investment banking field, but not impossible. With the right set of skills, academic background and determination, you can start off your career in investment banking as an analyst.
Read on to know what it takes to get multiple job offers from top investment banks like JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, etc.
Figure Out What You Want To Do Before Searching
Nail down the target job and audience before anything else. By this, we mean, search for the kind of job you want and determine if it has the most career capital. Before applying, do an in-depth search on the industry focus, size, personality, core values and management style of the organization.
This will not only help you determine if you are a good fit for the job but it will also provide you will deep insights that may come in handy during the interview. Some other points that you must also consider when applying for an entry level job at any top investment banks are – the salary, the people and the perks.
If possible, also try to find out more about the work environment and the organizational culture as it will help you create a resume that is tailor made for the job.
Know What to Expect When You Venture Into Investment Banking
Here are some hard facts that you must consider before applying for an entry level job at top investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, etc.
- The field of investment banking is very demanding; 12-hour working days are not uncommon.
- However, as far as entry level jobs are concerned, an analyst can earn as much as £50,000 on starting with bonuses.
- You can choose to work in one of the many different areas of work an investment bank including private wealth management, operations, corporate banking, technology, risk management, specialist markets, structured finance, investment management, investment banking, specialist markets, markets, etc. Research each of these work areas carefully prior to filling in the application form and developing a resume.
The 4 Key Skills You Need To Develop
If you’re aiming to develop the competencies that investment banks want to see when you apply for an entry level job, these are the 4 key skills you need to develop instead of just having good teamwork and communication skills. According to Barclays Capital head of campus recruitment Jane Clark, investment banking recruiters want to see what more you can bring to the table other than your excellent academic grades alone.
Top investment banks are always in search of candidates who are quick learners; ones who can grasp and learn new concepts easily. Recruiters working for top investment banks feel that these individuals are highly sought-after because they are quick thinkers. They thrive in challenging and difficult situations rather than folding under pressure.
Keen learners with an insatiable hunger for dealing with challenging situations are the perfect fit for working in the investment banking industry because new opportunities, deals, markets and products continually emerge in this field.
Meanwhile, Baillie Gifford stresses upon the importance of intellectual curiosity – the ability to think rationally without jumping straight to conclusions, asking the right questions and picking the right leads during research.
During the interview, come up with a short anecdote on how you used your intellectual skills to handle a difficult situation to impress the interviewer.
The ability to indentify or create new profitable opportunities for developing a business is another highly prized skill. For instance, Morgan Stanley values entrepreneurial skills the most. Recruiters at Morgan Stanley look for individuals who can come up with innovative ideas and spot new areas for development.
Also, one of the key competencies that Mitsubishi UFJ Securities seeks in a candidate is the ability to ‘think of creative ideas and approaches’. Prepare a short anecdote to support your answer if the interviewer asks you to give an example of a time when you were innovative. Focus on the new idea or approach you came up with and how it helped.
Investment banking recruiters want a resilient individual who can easily adapt to the highly pressured working environment instead of breaking under strain. For instance, management and leadership competency of Barclays Capital includes the ‘ability to work under pressure’; meaning you must be able to meet short deadlines and deal with highly demanding prominent clients.
M&G Investments’ key competencies include ‘resilience under intense pressure’ referring to the capability to manage working with changing deadlines and deal with new information effectively.
Remember, a resilient person is one who sees a setback as a challenge. So woo the interviewer by coming up with an example in which you dealt with criticism positively by working towards improvement despite your disappointment.
Top investment banks seek candidates who are capable of operating in an international context effectively. Merrill Lynch is known for recruiting individuals with a global outlook while Goldman Sachs requires job candidates to have strong linguistic skills for more than 50% of graduate job roles. Recently for Goldman Sachs, Turkish seems to be the new language of interest.
In order to impress the interviewer, focus on researching new growing markets in the world or a socio economic trend or key event that will affect markets in other countries of the world.
Other Highly Sought-After Competencies
Credit Suisse lists ‘loyalty’ among other key competencies while Rothschild includes ‘authority’ as one of its key competencies. On the other hand, HSBC plc – Global Businesses seeks individuals who have an outgoing nature and possess the ability to maintain a good level of diplomacy. Meanwhile, Citigroup recruiters feel that having a solid academic background and understanding of the industry is useless is you lack enthusiasm.
Develop the above key competencies to get a job offer from top notch investment banks like JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Mitsubishi, etc. Log on to www.graduatemonkey.com for SHL aptitude test tutorial packs today!