Soft skills that help elite men get jobs in finance


If you are trying to get a banking and finance jobs, but you’ve never skied, don’t know anything about the Hamptons, and think Gstaad is some kind of cheese, you might be at a disadvantage. While banks are now doing their best to open up recruiting to the widest range of candidates possible, historically at least there has been a well-documented tendency to hire professionals. upper middle class, in particular for roles in direct contact with the client. In London. 90% of people holding positions of responsibility in finance still come from higher socio-economic backgrounds. – The hangover is real.

If you don’t have an upper-middle-class education, a new study from the University of Bergen in Norway identifies soft skills that serve as selection criteria for being hired and promoted to elite positions. These are the skills you need both to cultivate and to signal on Your CV.

Soft skills play a “substantial role” in hiring a “top-class” job, says Lisa MB Sølvberg, professor of sociology at the Norwegian University of Bergen. “Technical skills are not enough to reach a top-class position,” she adds, noting that as university attendance has increased, soft skills have become an increasingly important differentiator – and that good many of the soft skills required overlap with the behavioral traits of the upper middle class.

Sølvberg analyzed the language used in 150 job postings in three key industries and extracted the skills that tacitly determine whether you get the job. She looked at the cultural sector (e.g. publishers, directors of cultural institutions, cinema, higher education), she looked at the professional sector (e.g. doctors, dentists, lawyers), and she focused on the “economic” sector (eg CFOs, Vice-Presidents, Compliance Officers, COOs).

In the economic sector, a few key skills stood out.

Soft skills for economics and finance:

Companies in the economic sector favor traits of authority, explains Sølvberg. Yes, applicants need the right etraining and professional experience, but they also need the following, more nebulous faculties. –

  • ggoal oriented and results oriented. – Unlike other sectors, jobs in the Economic Area are all tangible jobs, and you will have to show that on your resume, Sølvberg explains. You will also need to show that you can ‘improve and develop’ both a team and yourself.
  • High energy. – The recruiters of economic jobs want “go-getters”. You must show that you are “ambitious, efficient, motivated, offensive and innovative. “
  • Social cooperation. Being bossy doesn’t mean being aggressive. To be successful in an elite economic role, you will also need to demonstrate good networking skills, be “enthusiastic and energetic, social and sociable, and have cooperative and communication skills. “
  • Structured hard work. Sølvberg found that elite economic jobs also require applicants to demonstrate an appetite for structured hard work. You must demonstrate a great capacity for work, excellent time management and strong analytical skills.

Soft skills in other sectors

Sølvberg highlights the contrast between the soft skills required for economic jobs and the soft skills required elsewhere.

In the professional sector, for example, the emphasis is more on being dedicated, autonomous, responsible and having a high level of personal aptitude. In the cultural sector, the emphasis is more on coaching employees to achieve a common goal (in addition to being hardworking, analytical, vigorous, independent and again having a high level of personal skills).

Sølvberg notes that gender disparities tend to be reinforced by different job descriptions. – “Personal aptitude “is valued much more in female-dominated industries, while male-dominated industries like finance are more likely to value business understanding, strategic thinking, analysis, innovation, vigor, ambition and confidence.

Sølvberg’s mission is to make observations rather than recommendations, but if you are applying for a job in finance, it may be worth considering how your application reflects its findings. – Do you demonstrate the skills indicated in the points above? Even if they are not explicitly required in the job description, it may be worth incorporating them into your CV.

You might also want to talk about exercise. In a previous study, Sølvberg found that male members of elite classes were very physically active and displayed “negative attitudes” towards people who did not exercise. They didn’t display these negative attitudes initially, but they did show up within 15 minutes of their conversation.

photo by Roland samuel to Unsplash

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