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This is a guest article from Aljosha Novakovic
In fact, don’t consider anything. Apply yourself completely to whatever job you may be applying for. Completely applying oneself includes research, mental preparation, and customization of your resume and overall strategy for the job.
Let’s take applying to an Investment Firm as an example. These firms accept on average 15-.2 percent of all applicants. Yes, that is a period in front of the two. What’s worse, these applicants are all smart and experienced; there are no “no-bodys” that apply. No one applies to an investment bank for fun. The good news is that these applicants aren’t all completely prepared for the actual application process. There are steps that must be taken. Here they are:
1. Carefully look over the qualifications section. If you don’t qualify, move on, it’s not worth your time. Filter through the Venture Capital Firms or Investment Banks out and find one that your qualifications fit, there are options. When using a comparison engine such as this one make sure it’s unbiased. A reliable comparison engine will filter out jobs and companies without financial incentives. Job search engines such as Monster.com are great resources but keep in mind that many companies, especially those heavily sought after such as investment banks, will not even bother posting their offer on a third party website. Look around.
2. Network and find an “in.” Obviously this is easier said than done, but in today’s world a connection can be made without ever even meeting the person. Utilize social media to get in contact with someone in that company who can help you out. Look for someone who shares certain qualities with you- this can be the same school, hobby, whatever it may be. People with the same interests as you are more likely to like you and initially help you. Compare financial advisors and find someone who you can connect with. It’s always better to have someone hand your resume to the application screeners. Again, even if this person cannot vouch for you because they don’t know you, at least their personal touch will save your resume from being thrown into the pile of other resumes that get looked over in two seconds each, if even that. Your chances of getting help from a stranger are higher if you utilize the psychological principal of reciprocity. For example, find investment bankers on Quora.com. See what sorts of questions they are asking, perhaps some of them don’t even relate to banking, but from there you can give a thorough answer if you can provide one. Follow up with a “…by the way I noticed you work in investment banking.”
3. Do your research and customize your resume. Every company considers themselves and the jobs they offer as unique, they are expecting a unique job application. It is well known that the sufficient amount of company research must be done prior to an interview. But likewise, the initial application must have a personal touch. In your CV don’t write on how you will personally benefit from working at Vanguard, don’t write on how a brokerage will benefit from you, write on why Vanguard will benefit from your presence. Check out the companies ‘philosophy’ and/or mission statements. These can reveal what the company is really looking for in an applicant; find these on their web pages.
4. Don’t overlook online companies. Online Brokers should not be overlooked in the business world for example. Oftentimes these brokers get shunned down simply because they operate online. Yet this is a rising market and many of the brightest investment advisors work for companies such as Vanguard, TD Ameritrade, and E-Trade. Same goes for online consulting, counseling, and graphic/web page development websites. More and more companies are relying on remote operations; I repeat- do not overlook this sector.
5. Dress Accordingly. When in doubt, over dress. Try to get a glimpse of the employer, if he’s dressed casually, simply leave the coat at the reception. Again, do some research because every job requires a customization of the outfit. Wear black lace up shoes; not dark brown or navy, black. Other jobs aren’t as stringent, perhaps khakis and a button down shirt is enough. Always wear dress shoes, more often than not, with laces. Clothing combinations can be altered and shirts are frequently replaced and infrequently worn; yet a shoe persists, a shoe reveals a lot about a job applicant.
6. Last but not least, do not be afraid to follow up. Again, this adds to becoming more personable, and hopefully more memorable. This means that if you can find the email of the hiring manager, or even secretary, let them know you sent in your resume. Ask to see if they got it, but use the opportunity to comment on how great of an opportunity this is for you. Maybe even tacitly throw out your greatest strength. Ex Ever since finishing my summer internship at BlackStone I’ve been exited to re-apply my skills… Just be sure to not get too touchy; be personable but keep it short and sweet.
These are some must follow guidelines to getting the first interview. This may come in the form of a phone interview, later you may even be invited to a walk-in. This in person interview is when you get to shine and really make a name for yourself. This is the time to distinguish yourself as not only the person that fits the job position but as someone that is different from the rest. But that’s a whole different story. For now the key is getting to that point…don’t get lost in the pile of tossed resumes.