I have around 11 years of experience as an IT business analyst and have worked in well known organizations and large projects.
I have exposure to Telecom, and Auto sectors primarily in customer relationship management applications. At present I am working as a Lead BA on a large project in the UK.
I am looking for openings in the financial services sector either in customer relationship management or front office applications.
What would be the best way to make this switch (I am already making applications highlighting my transferable skills).
Are there any trainings which will help manage the change.
How to switch careers into Financial services in London, UK
Getting a job offer requires:
1) learning about what is expected of the position,
2) getting the experience required,
3) updating your resume’,
4) applying for a job,
5) performing well at the interview.
With solid experience, Financial Services and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), is a good place to focus. It’s time to study as much as you can about this area of expertise, update your resume’ and then apply for as many related jobs as you can.
1) Learn About The Job:
After several years working as a business analyst, you are probably already familiar with what a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) does. But, you may not know what a specific company is looking for.
The main goals of a CRM is to retain clients the company already has while finding, attracting and winning new ones. It also involves enticing former clients to come back.
All this is done within a framework of reducing client services and marketing costs. To find out what, specifically, this means to a company, you can read through their job description and focus on the skills you still need to acquire.
These requirements will vary from company to company, so read through several job postings to get a feel for what you still need to learn.
2) Get Experience:
You can gain experience through volunteering to take on projects related to CRM work.
You can do this right where you are, with no need to put your current job at risk.
Look around and begin to find opportunities.
You can also gain a great deal of hands-on experience through online training, which can be done on your own time, at your own pace, in the privacy of your home.
3) Update Your Resume’/Cover Letter:
Updating your resume’ with related skills alone is just the beginning. Your resume’ is your key to success.
If it doesn’t fit what the hiring manager is looking for, the door to a new opportunity will be closed.
Make sure your resume’ highlights how you would be beneficial to the company.
Step back and read the resume’ as if you are in the hiring manager’s shoes. Would you hire yourself based upon your resume? If not, why not? Usually, the answer is because you are indicating what you want from the company, instead of what you can give to the company.
Nobody has the time or money to hire a beggar. Write your resume’ as if it is your life story, summarizing how your experience can help the organization meet a need.
Cover Letter When updating your resume’, don’t forget about the importance of a good cover letter.
Each cover letter should be custom-written directed toward each, individual, job you are applying for.
Write it from the perspective of how you are the best one for the job based upon specific experiences, which you should briefly point out in the body of the letter. Express confidence, but not arrogance.
4) Apply for Jobs:
Talk with recruiting agencies, and visit online job search sites that list professional jobs, such as Dice.com. Search specifically for CRM jobs.
Type in a variety of key search words to make sure you are not missing any opportunity.
You will also want to social network through sites such as Linkedin, Twitter, and any site that allows you to set up a profile which concentrates on professional achievements.
Take action and apply for as many jobs that match your interest. The more jobs you apply for, the better your chances of landing one. With the right qualifications, it’s just a matter of getting one company to recognize your value.
5) Interview Well:
With all the work put into just getting an interview, you won’t want to drop the ball now.
You’ve almost scored a job. Prepare for your interview by studying questions they may ask.
Typical interview questions usually include a question about why you left (or want to leave) your most recent position, what your goals are (where do you see yourself in 5 years), what are your major weaknesses, etc.
Always answer in a positive tone, and never complain or put anyone down during an interview. Of course, dress professionally.
The rule of thumb is to dress one notch better than how the interviewers are dressed.
You won’t want to overdress, making them feel uncomfortable or leaving the impression that you already have all the money and success you need.
But, you certainly don’t want to under dress. This requires doing some homework about the company to find out about their overall style and expectations.
Come prepared with examples of your business analyst work, by including in your portfolio print outs to show you have experience in every aspect of the business analyst’s job.
Make sure you edit the documents so they don’t reveal any confidential information about people you have previously worked for.
Before the interview, practice answering questions that might be asked, making sure you take time to stress your strengths and prior experience and knowledge of business analyst terminology as well.
And, always end the interview with a confident hand shake, followed up with a thank you note after you return home.
A Bonus Tip – Use Feedback as Training:
Pay attention to the feedback you are getting from recruiters and hiring managers.
Don’t take a rejection as a personal insult, but instead, use it to highlight any areas where you come out lacking.
Then, fill the gaps. When you take action, your next dilemma may be deciding which of the multiple job offers to choose from.