The phrase that will make recruiters avoid you

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It's never easy to find a banking job. If you're going to succeed, you need make sure you have finance recruiters on your side.

If this is to be the case, you absolutely must not say the words, "At this stage, I am ready to...."

Nothing spells desperation more clearly.

"The people who say this are usually the unemployed," says Oliver Rolfe, founder of London recruitment firm the Spartan Partnership. "It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's pretty clear they just want a job for the sake of it. The implication is that they don't have any deep relationships or particular product knowledge - they're just clutching at anything they can get and that doesn't play well in a market where banks are increasingly precise about what they're looking for."

This isn't the only recruiter turn-off. They'll usually also run a mile if they think you're 'used goods' and have already been touted for jobs by their rivals, so it's equally inadvisable to say, "I've been working with a few other recruitment firms you might know."

And then, in the event that you make it past the initial recruiter and are being interviewed by a line manager, on no account must you say, "In five years' time, I'd like your job."

"You might think this signals ambition, but in fact it simply signals arrogance," says Rolfe. It's particularly unwise in the age of 'juniorization:' who's going to hire you when your main aspiration is to make them unemployed?

Another London finance recruiter says banks also don't want people who say they're "able to do anything," they do often want people who are multi-skilled and can work across disciplines: "There are fewer people just doing one thing. In the past, you had separate teams of salespeople and structurers. Now, banks might look for people who can work across origination, sales, structuring and financing when necessary." 

Think before you speak.

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