☰ Menu eFinancialCareers

An important trick for getting your CV seen

How do you get your CV seen in a market where hardly any banks are hiring and every job is attracting innumerable applications?

The answer, according to banks’ in-house recruiters is simple: look for the keywords pertaining to skills and experience in the job description and repeat those words in your CV.

Although heads of recruitment at leading banks insist the CVs submitted through their websites really are read by human beings, one mid-ranking recruiter who’s worked both in-house and for RPOs (recruitment process outsourcers) says this isn’t necessarily the case.

“Most banks have matching engines,” he insists. “These are clever algorithms which will rank your CV against the job spec. The more you repeat the words in the job spec, the higher your match.”

Matching engines are apparently necessary because banks’ internal recruitment teams are thinly staffed. “Each person in the internal recruitment team deals with tens of jobs and each job has anything from 40 to 150 applicants,” the recruiter explains.

Needless to say, tailoring a CV for a particular job may make it less likely that you’ll be picked out in a database search for any other jobs you might be suitable for in future. This is particularly the case now that banks’ own ‘candidate pools’ have become so large. According to this presentation by Alexander Mann Solutions, Credit Suisse’s ‘talent pool’ comprised 350,000 people a year afer its launch in March 2010.

Fortunately, there’s a way around this too. “You need to submit both general and specific CVs,” suggests the recruiter we spoke to. “Most banks will put a limit on the number of CVs you can submit, but you can sometimes get around this by using different emails addresses,” he advises.

Comments (10)

  1. “These are clever algorithms which will rank your CV against the job spec” says a “mid ranking recruiter”
    what a load of pony.

    sarahbutcherforPM Reply
  2. Whatever.

    SBforpubcleaner Reply
  3. This is primariyly because Banks internal recruitment teams are staffed by failed recruiters who do not understand what the people in the banks actually do…

  4. The agorithms are not good. They cannot translate skills and experience but only matching words.

    If you have a document with just terms, and include a lot of them, your document will be picked and it is very unlikely that there will be a human check on the skills being suitable so you will be called.

  5. and most of all because the recruiters don’t know even what a products is! like the one they interviewed.

  6. There is one tactic that I have seen work recently, though suitable only for human profilers; it might not be entirely ‘correct’ but I’ll share it if it can help someone out there get a job. I had a housemate who was battling to find a job after arriving in the UK from Eastern Europe a few months back. One of her friends tipped her to put her photo on her CV (which most CV writing books indicate not to do) since she was quite good looking. It must have been about a week or so later that she started to get calls for interviews and 2 weeks after that secured a job. This suggestion may sound chauvinistic, but hopefully it helps someone land a job in a very superficial City hiring environment.

  7. @2cents was your friend applying for a position as a waitress in a bar or as assistant to some hotshot in a bank?

  8. there is no room for ugly pppl i guess….though i would be very wary of what the “actual” job profile would be if u get calls on the basis of ur looks and even recruited sometimes…..

  9. @2cents – I’m a fugly guy. Should I attach a photo of Cary Grant?

  10. @2cents: love it! At last … an honest guy!

The comment is under moderation. It will appear shortly.


Screen Name


Consult our community guidelines here