Write applications that make a big impression

Recruiters at Deutsche Bank see a lot of applications – so they’ve got some pretty firm ideas about what good looks like. We asked Jim Norris, Head of Executive Recruitment for Corporate and Investment Bank, what he thinks anyone looking to get into banking should know about how to make the most of the opportunity that an application offers.

Jim believes that quality is a far better use of time than quantity. ‘If you’re looking for a new job, particularly early on in your career, it’s tempting to cast the net far and wide, and let the quality and relevance of your applications slide accordingly,’ he warns. ‘But don’t lose sight of your long-term aspirations, and think carefully about how the roles you apply for are going to move you in the right direction.’

Keep on the right track by following these simple rules:

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Be realistic.

It’s good to be ambitious, but applying for a role that’s clearly beyond you could sabotage your chances of getting a job you are right for. “Having a go” rarely ends well – particularly if you end up somewhere you’re not really qualified to be.

Keep it relevant.

Don’t just talk about what you’ve done – explain how what you’ve done has helped you develop the skills that are directly relevant to the role in question. This is particularly important if you’re trying to make a move outside your current field.

Keep your skills sharp.

Look over the skills and abilities you’ve outlined on your CV. To make your application successful, it’s important that you stay up to date, identifying any areas where you might be lacking. When you read job postings, what have employers recently started asking for? Is there a gap in the market you might be able to fill?

One size doesn’t fit all.

As much time as you may have spent putting together your CV, don’t assume that it’s right for every role you might want to apply for. Just as you would with a cover letter, think about the role you’re going after and how the information you’ve offered answers the big questions that are being asked. It might be that changing the focus to emphasise some projects more and others less makes you a better fit.