Who out there isn't tired of applying to jobs that never result in an interview, nevertheless, a response?
You can go through hundreds (even thousands) of applications online for low and high level finance positions and never get a response.
Even jobs you're OVER qualified for don't respond to you.
What's the deal?
The deal is you're just a number. A number isn't glorious nor attractive. When it comes down to it, the person going through the applications is going to take those with qualified experience out of the stack and high GPAs/ivy league students. The rest will presumably go into the recycling drawer.
So this tip is especially for those of you who are non-targets who may not have done so hot in school.
When I was applying for jobs out of college (no finance experience, english major with a low), I decided to create a unique process in which I apply for jobs. When I told my buddies about it they all laughed until I actually started getting interviews.
1) Apply for the job
The Obvious. I'm not going to go into detail about how you 'set yourself apart' when applying thru an online application. To be brutally honest, the only thing that is going to set you apart at this point is your experience and your education. Not at the top of the stack in either one of those aspects? Proceed on..
2) Research the job
What is the job task?
Who will be your supervisor?
Who heads this part of the bank at this location?
What experience do most of the other employees have in this dept?
This can all be done through a combination of LinkedIn research & the next step..
3) Cold call either the supervisor for the position or one of the heads
This is the most important step to take to turn yourself from a number, into a story, and ultimately into a face.
Be candid with this person and tell them you're extremely interested in the opportunity and would like to learn more. You should prepare some questions about the position and the team that you've applied for. Be prepared to tell your story, but make sure to keep the conversation focused on direct questions in which you can gain information.
If this person does NOT want to talk and asks you to revert back to the site to find out more, simply ask them if you can shoot them over an email with a few questions that they can answer later if they have time. If they simply don't know much about the position, you may have the wrong person on the phone.
The ultimate goal of the phone call is to land a preliminary interview in which maybe you can meet with this individual outside (or inside) of the office for a cup of coffee. This is where you can add a face to the name and tell a little bit of your story. Remember, if you're hitting it off with the person you're calling, always ask for the face to face meeting at the end of the phone call.
4) 'Touch' this individual every week or so
In one way or another, 'touch' this person every week or so. Maybe something has happened in the industry and you wanted to ask this individual their thoughts. Maybe you want to update this person on how you've decided to undertake studying for the CFA.
Whatever. The whole point is to make sure that you're always in the front of this person's mind. A position frees up and you're the first person they think of. He hears of another opening thru the grape vine.
The whole point is you're showing interest. The worst he can do is ignore you.
And to be quite honest, I'd rather get ignored and move on than sit and wait for months after applying online. At least now you know.
If you make this your new process in applying for jobs, I guarantee that you'll start talking to more people & landing more interviews. Being proactive is underrated in this industry. A lot of college grads are 'intimidated' by bankers and refuse to be proactive. This is a fallacy and a crock of shit.
People who work in finance are regular people, contrary to popular belief. In fact, a lot of them may be tickled that you actually contacted them.
Congratulations. You're no longer just a number.