Top tips to secure a bank apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with a bank can offer a valuable entry into the world of finance but, before you set about chasing down bank managers and investing in tailored suits from Savile Row, first you need to figure out what apprenticeship is suitable for you.

Young or old, untrained or experienced, there are different opportunities to suit a range of candidates and it’s important you apply for the correct position. Here’s some tips to help you secure a junior apprenticeship and work your way to further success:

1. Education

Whilst you may not need a college qualification, secondary school education is vital to secure an apprenticeship and ultimately the more relevant qualifications you have the better. If you’ve not quite got the grades you need, it may be worth considering re-takes or completing other recognised courses in core subjects.

2. Experience

This may seem a little contrary considering experience is what you’re applying to be an apprenticeship for but, in such a fierce job market, you need to stand out from the competition. Volunteer with a local business or charity and offer to help out with their accounting, financial planning and even straightforward money handling. This will not only prove you are self-motivated but give you an insight into the nature of work you are hoping to enter into.

3. Read the application

It sounds simple but you’d be surprised at how often people apply for positions without first checking that they match the employer’s requirements. The earlier you work out what companies are looking for the more time you will have to develop the desired skills and adapt yourself into ‘ideal candidate’ material.

4. Ask around

Don’t be afraid to talk to professionals and ask their advice. How did they get into their field? What education or experience does their firm look for? Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are valuable ways to engage with people in finance and build up your professional network. Most people will enjoy being recognised as an expert in their area and will be keen to impart their knowledge.

5. Build on connections

We all know the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and, unfortunately, this is often more true than we’d like to believe. Once you’ve established connections with professionals, try and set up job shadowing sessions or meetings to discuss possible job openings and opportunities. Getting a foot in the door is a hard process but, once you’re in, there’ll be no stopping you.