The most common question we are asked is: ‘How do I get a job in mortgages?’
If I was to summarise it in one word, I would describe it as competitive. You need to think of ways to stand out from other candidates – it is great that you want a career in mortgages, but companies will insist on knowing: why?
The first step should be backing up your career prospects with one of two things. Either some ground level experience in a relative industry, or evidenced through a qualification. Similar experience may include a job as an estate agent, a banking advisor, life insurance sales or conveyancing. These are all roles where you can begin to learn about elements of the property and/or mortgage market.
This also shows employers that this is not just a passing thought, as you have already taken the correct steps into the market. Alternatively, if you do not wish to take this route, and you are desperate to crack on, you can complete a CeMAP course to gain this qualification. With a CeMAP, you have the opportunity to take a fast track, and have this completed within several weeks. CeMAP is the qualification that you need to legally give mortgage advice. It is a great start, especially when self-funded, and is a sensible step to take, as it can be a challenging industry to get into without that.
So you do not want to do the above? It is important to acknowledge that it is not completely impossible to jump straight into a trainee mortgage advisor position- we do pick up the odd one occasionally. However, it is incredibly difficult without your CeMAP, or some similar experience.
It is no secret, we as recruiters, get paid from the client. A director of a mortgage broker can very easily post a ‘Trainee Mortgage Advisor’ role on Indeed, for free, and receive floods of applicants to choose from. Therefore, they would not have to use recruiters. If they are paying us for the candidate, they expect that candidate to have been screened – we unfortunately cannot screen 250+ applicants of mixed experiences to see which one’s personality is best suited for the trainee mortgage advisor post – it is just not practical. Therefore, just like many clients, we look on your CV for something to grab our attention. We are looking for a quality in you, to persuade us that you are serious about wanting to be a mortgage advisor. This is why we look for those first training steps to have been taken.
There are some companies that are more open to taking on trainees, these tend to be larger companies with systems and staff in place to be able to train you and put you through your CeMAP. Some examples are the large estate agencies, such as Just Mortgages, Countrywide and Connells/Sequence. You also have the high street banks, such as Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, RBS and so on. Here, you can come in as a mortgage qualifier for example, or a processor at the banks, working your way up to that mortgage advisory role.
You need to think outside the box to get into a brokerage, or even with some of the companies mentioned above. Email directors, contact the companies directly, sell yourself over the phone or over the email to the companies that you want to work in and get ahead of your competition. There are literally hundreds of people that are just waiting for trainee posts to come available and applying, you could be waiting a while to receive a response from a company. Honestly, the best advice I could give is to be proactive about it. I wish I could help everybody, find each person a job, not just from a business perspective, but also from an enthusiastic personal perspective. I hope this post at least helps you on your journey into the market.