In a highly competitive graduate market, where lots of bright graduates are fighting for a small number of top jobs, we often get asked, “how do I stand out and get noticed?” Whether it’s throughout an application process, on an internship or even when starting your graduate scheme, it’s important to know what employers are looking for.
After graduating from the University of Bath, Bright Network member Hugh has five years’ experience in the banking sector. We caught up with him to talk about what he thinks makes a graduate or an intern stand out. Here are his top tips.
Always be thinking about potential solutions to problems the business or department face on a day-to-day basis. Even if it’s a small thing, demonstrating you are engaged with the processes and can think logically to find a solution will immediately help you stand out.
‘Don’t just go through the motions’
Find what you’re passionate about and really get involved. You can really tell when someone is enjoying what they are doing, as their tenacity increases. On a graduate scheme you may not enjoy everything, but it’s important to stay positive and find a good balance between doing a good job on your set tasks and pursuing opportunities which arise. To some extent you can take control of your career during this time, which can guide your future career.
Many graduates choose a career in banking for the money, but you need to be motivated by more than that to be really successful.
Be a digital expert
The big thing for banks at the moment is re-inventing themselves for the digital age. The top graduates come into the business with great ideas – everything is changing so quickly in technology and trends nowadays. Young grads have a real advantage in this area. If you have good ideas and can show expertise in an area, people at the top will listen. It’s a great way to start building a good reputation amongst colleagues you may not get a chance to meet otherwise.
It’s said a lot, but you’ll be surprised how many graduates don’t get this right. No one expects new grads or interns to have all the answers, so a lot of the time it matters more how you say something, rather than what you say. Being energetic and asking well thought out questions, shows you’re engaged – helping you get noticed for all the right reasons.
Thanks so much to Hugh for all his insight and advice. If you have any questions about getting into Banking or the sector itself, Hugh is happy to help. You can connect with him on LinkedIn just here.