How to land your first job in a famous bank : Part 1

Church Door with Knocker
JOBS: Looking for a door to open?

I hope you’ve read part one of the story right here: Part 1.

When school would get over, it would be like a full tension-released situation.. free for the next two or three months till the next year or college was to start. When you graduate though in India, you’re not looking forward to freedom; you’re looking forward to the job that’s going to imprison you for the next most valuable part of your life. As morbid as this may sound, you actually look forward to it with zeal! I so wanted it too.

With all the tips and the advice in and around, it was overwhelming indeed. As you may have guessed there is no custom made job finding pattern. Sometimes even studying well doesn’t seem to cut it. Well, here’s some more advice.

I tried doing everything by the book you know.. to get my dream job or something close to it. But my story is a bit different.  I did everything and nothing to get my first interview. Did you read this line? Everything and nothing..

What you need to do get an interview in a bank or a Financial Institution

For getting an interview:

  1. Pray: if I didn’t pray, it was surely my parents who kept praying. Praying has a calming effect. It’s kind of like throwing the weight of the job search on the almighty. You know he’s going to work behind the scenes somehow. It’s great to do that, but expecting him to email you with a mail saying “Neil, God has the right job for you, APPLY NOW” is foolish.  For a while that’s what I expected God to do (A bit of exaggeration).
  2. Apply on all the job sites of the Banks: it’s pretty cool that companies these days have job sites themselves. I tried applying in Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, RBS, JP Morgan etc. The most irritating aspect is that you don’t get a reply.. not even an auto generated email saying your application has been sent. Please note that applying on these sites is different from putting up your resume on Monster and Naukri.com. None of the job sites proved useful because they had openings only for top positions and MBA+ candidates. I can say I got one good job offer from a contact through Monster.. but then again qualifications were required.
  3. Network Like Crazy: If you’re spending time using Facebook and twitter, try and chat up with people who’ve got into companies before you. Doing that, I even was told to be ready for an interview with a certain established company. But the call never came. And still hasn’t. Update LinkedIn.
  4. Polish your resume and make a cover letter: now this is a no brainer but I did this in readiness and anticipation of the interviews to attend. One day I got a call to send over my resume. I quickly from my phone found the draft of my resume in PDF and the cover letter.. and emailed it to the person. The next day.. I got a mail saying it hadn’t reached yet. The next day again it didn’t go. My resume didn’t reach that person ‘cause his company had firewalled his email address. Preparing the resume kind of went down the drain in that case.
  5. Read Times Ascent and Classifieds 3x: When we were in college I remember always wanting to read the Times Education section. You know you’ve entered a new phase of life when you start reading Times Ascent (the job fortnightly in TOI). So many job offers to choose from, but you know the bigger the ad.. the more the work in the job.. or the lesser they’ll be paying.. and the longer you’ll have to stand in a line.
  6. Do some more studying: During the ‘unemployed’ tenure that I served, I gave a lot of exams in Finance from the NSE.. the NCFM modules. It helps you understand the money market more than anything. Studying actually buys you time in a way to get the right job. And it looks better on your resume too.
  7. If someone asks, tell them the truth: Tell people that you’re jobless because you’re focused on a particular career and don’t want to pick up all the marketing jobs that are available out there. Explain that your plan to study further and how you wanted your job to give you relevant experience. Don’t cook up anything here. Make sure you have a plan in the first place.

All this is what you SHOULD do.. now here’s what you COULD do

OR

Alternatively to all of the above, you could also accidentally bump into a guy (with whom you have never interacted with during your 3 years at college) while collecting your report cards from college. Then compliment him on his stylish new phone and have the following conversation:

You: Hey nice phone!
Stranger: Oh thank you!
You: You must be working in a nice company.. the phone looks expensive J
Stranger: Umm yes.. I work at BIG BANK Inc.
You: Really ? That’s where I’ve always wanted to work.
Stranger: Great give me your number then, I’ll let you know when there’s an opening.

Needless to say, in spite of doing everything possible in my strength, what landed my job interview was something totally unexpected. It took a long time like three to four months but the interview actually came. This guy, managed to set me up for an opening in Big Bank Inc.. And how did the interview go? That’s another post, really.

So what actually landed me my interview?

1)      Prayer

2)      Networking OR

3)      Destiny 🙂

Disclaimer: This weblog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. Further
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