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Asked by JASMINE on September 8, 2014

I recently graduated with a degree in Banking and Finance, but I have no relevant experience in the banking nor finance industry. While trying to look for jobs, I realized the majority require a minimum of 1 year of experience. Is it fair to assume that if I want to enter the banking industry, the only option is to start as a Bank Teller or Sales position? And if so, what are my chances for advancement??

Answered by Desiree, Hiring Expert at Hewlett-Packard, on September 16, 2014

Fair question and I understand the anxiety. This industry is extremely competitive and most companies requires a certain level of expertise however, there are always ways to find what we are looking for. We just need to focus on the appropriate path for your career. Have you tried CareerRookie from CareerBuilder? They have a large network of Companies posting positions intended to Entry Level Banking & Finance for College Students and Graduates. Another suggestions is to activate your LinkedIn network page. Search for financial groups in your area, different Bank institutions or your college Alumni group and join them. You’ll be amazed at the amount of jobs for entry level positions that recruiters are currently posting the daily bases.

How fast you can grow in a company is something that you can help determine. Be proactive, strategic, and analytic. Learn from your seniors all you can. Is the best way to advance in any position you land.

Best of Luck!

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Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on September 16, 2014

I think your frustration is shared by many others. There are many entry level jobs open for you apply to.  You just have to keep looking on a daily basis at different job finding websites to find a job you are interested in.  Indeed.com is a great website to find entry level jobs in the Banking and Finance industry.  Another recommendation for you is to go on LinkedIn and look for the jobs that are posted there.  If you keep your LinkedIn page up to date you might even have recruiters looking at your page to seek you out for a job at their company.  My biggest piece of advice would be to continue to look for new job postings whenever you can because you never know what will become available. 

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Answered by Emily, Hiring Expert at Fifth Third Bank, on September 22, 2014

That is a great question. The answer is that there are many opportunities to enter the banking/finance industry including teller, sales and other positions. The teller/customer service role can be a good option, but note that in some companies you are required to begin in a part time capacity. Advancement can happen rather quickly in the retail sales or teller positions, so I would say they are viable options if you can find an opportunity that will be full time. The other jobs you mentioned that require a minimum of 1 year of experience could probably still be a fit as you may have other experience in a relevant industry that can be applied. Many banks hire for management training programs which would be good to explore. The best thing to consider is expand your network with professionals in the targeted companies you would like to work for. Depending on where you live, look at the top companies in the area that you see as being attractive future employers and start getting to know people who work there via Linkedin and your own network. Alumni from a school you have attended can be a great resource. Ask them questions, send them your resume and you will learn more. You can also drop by your local branch in a suit with your resume in hand and ask the manager what they recommend.

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Answered by Sandy, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on September 23, 2014

I can’t speak directly to the banking industry, but I can tell you that many organizations require a minimal amount of experience to be considered qualified for a particular position. That being said, I always encourage candidates, specifically a recent college graduate, to consider entry level positions that are in the field they are interested in. Sometimes the best way to grow and develop with a company is to have the opportunity to understand the company from the bottom up.  After you have your foot in the door, work hard and prove that you are an asset to the organization. By doing this, you will be better situated to be considered for higher level positions that become available in the future.

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