Getting a personal banker job.

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How did you get your start doing personal banker work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

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Tim in Cambridge, Massachusetts

92 months ago

For Personal Bankers a college degree is usually PREFERRED. However, having 1-3 years in sales and customer service may also be considered relevant work experience. I started as a Bank Teller (for 6 months), moved to a sales position within a financial services company, and then applied for a PBR position (and was hired.) If your attempting to get a job as a PBR without a college degree you need to have PROVEN sales experience. So, be prepared to SELL YOURSELF. You can typically expect to be paid less than $40,000 a year if you do not have a college degree or extensive experience.

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beantownbanker in Boston, Massachusetts

73 months ago

Tim's right. It's tough to get in to/move up in banking with no degree. I did it but it wasn't easy. Fortunately for me I had prior sales experience in financial services which translated well into the PBR role. If you have retail experience and a great personality you can get in as a teller and prove yourself with great customer service and consistent referrals.

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Donna Hooker in Fort Worth, Texas

73 months ago

My career started in 1978 when my husband was in the Air Force. One Saturday we were at the base credit union, standing in line for a teller. To our surprise, astonishment actually, the branch manager walked up to us and asked if I'd ever applied for a job there. (Talk about being caught off- guard.)

I told her no, I hadn't. And she said, "Would you like to?" What could I say but, "Yes!" I was working in fast food at the time and knew that a credit union job had to be better (and cleaner) than serving up burgers and fries for minimum wage. Long story short, she didn't hire me. Six months later, however, I received a call from her asking me when I could start.

So, my banking career began in their bookkeeping department. I suppose that starting in bookkeeping runs parallel to starting in the mail room of a large business, but you have to start somewhere.

Like a lot of people, I didn't go to college. My husband is two years older than I, and we married four months after my high school graduation. I might add that I'm still married to the same guy--33 years on Sept. 13th.

Since then, I've worked in four banks and now in my present credit union. My career has gone from bookkeeping to teller to teller manager to personal banker, with one three-year stint as a branch manager. I didn't care for management and have since returned to sales, which is much more to my liking. Believe it or not, I actually make more money as a PB with incentive pay than I did as a branch manager, and I don't have the responsibility that accompanies a manager's position.

Even so, my daughter graduated from college three years ago with her BS in nursing and started out at 22 years old making more money than old Mom made with 27 years of experience (at that time).

I've worked with many personal bankers over the years who didn't have college degrees. So, no, a degree isn't required, but it won't hurt, either.

Donna

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Minga Thompson in Calgary, Alberta

56 months ago

Tim in Cambridge, Massachusetts said: For Personal Bankers a college degree is usually PREFERRED. However, having 1-3 years in sales and customer service may also be considered relevant work experience. I started as a Bank Teller (for 6 months), moved to a sales position within a financial services company, and then applied for a PBR position (and was hired.) If your attempting to get a job as a PBR without a college degree you need to have PROVEN sales experience. So, be prepared to SELL YOURSELF. You can typically expect to be paid less than $40,000 a year if you do not have a college degree or extensive experience.

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WOW! This is a true statement. I am interested in the position. You have to SELL YOURSELF and PROVE that you have selling skills. I am working on it. I hope that I will get it when the opportunities comes. Besides the customer skills and sellings skills, what qualification such as eduction do you need?

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williamdefalco in Austin, Texas

56 months ago

Minga Thompson in Calgary, Alberta said: ----------
WOW! This is a true statement. I am interested in the position. You have to SELL YOURSELF and PROVE that you have selling skills. I am working on it. I hope that I will get it when the opportunities comes. Besides the customer skills and sellings skills, what qualification such as eduction do you need?

Tim is spot on with his input. Banks prefer someone with a college degree, but it's not necessary if they have the relevant work experience, preferably one in sales. It doesn't even have to be finance-related sales, but just sales in general where you had a monthly goal/quota to meet.

In my case I started my career as a Licensed Banker right after I graduated with my first business degree, this one in Finance. I didn't have any previous banking experience, but I did have 3+ solid years of sales experience at a major retail store. I was able to prove to them my monthly quotas, and how I met and surpassed them each time. Bring physical copies if you can, that's what I did. Like Tim stated, sell yourself. I had applied on a Thursday and by the next week the offer was made, so if you have the right combination like this you too can get easily hired.

As far as your question Minga to educational qualifications, as long as it's a business related degree you're fine. Finance, Management, even Marketing work. If you have a degree like Philosophy or Sociology or English, it might be a little harder to prove how that applies to the Banking branch. Most banks state they prefer a Bachelors, but I've seen how sometimes people with an Associates and a Bachelors in progress can still get in. Good luck.

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Minga Thompson in Calgary, Alberta

56 months ago

Dear William defalco:
Thank you for the tibits and information about education qualification.
This is really ironic.
After I post my comments, there was an internal job posting for entry level today at work. I am going to apply for it. I will bring prove to sell myself as a profolio. This is an excellent idea.
My next question is how do you sell yourself and prove that you are the best canidate? Any examples?
I have doubts in myself and I want to avoid. I did try for interview once, and I didn't get the positon because they mention that I did say anything about sale. I did. I thought that it may seem like business politics.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks,
Minga!

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williamdefalco in Austin, Texas

56 months ago

Sorry for the late response Minga, hopefully I can help out with some good tips.

The best way (I found) to help prove oneself in an interview is to come prepared with research. The aforementioned proof of past accomplishments that I had mentioned before works great. I would also recommended researching the company's info, so that during the interview you can say things like "I know that in 2008 the company had reported X profit in sales, and what I would bring with my position here, in order to help it grow even further, is....", you know what I mean. This also involves research into the position you're applying for, so that way you can say "I had previously talked with current employees about this role, and based on what they said I look to add upon it by...". Interviewers love it when someone does extra homework before they come to an interview. They take note that you've taken the initiative to find out about the position ahead of time without anyone telling you to.

I would not recommend bringing up doubts about yourself. Is it honest to talk about someone's imperfections? Yes, but as with anything the "bad" has a bigger impression than the "good". Always come off positive and determined, because most interviewers like someone who comes across as confident in their own shoes.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Minga Thompson in Calgary, Alberta

56 months ago

Dear williamdefalco:

I like your suggestion. I will see what I can do with that advise. I recently submitted to that position and I haven't heard from them. I wait for another week. If I don't hear from them, that means they already may have select their canidate. I am not giving up because I know that one day I will get the position.

I did ask someone who is in that field right now and give me tips as well.

I will see what happen next.

Thank you for your wisdom.

Minga

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