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After graduating in Statistics I had 3 different jobs for about 3.5 years as a Data Analyst at smaller tech companies. 3 years ago I decided to move to Amsterdam and I applied for lots of Data Analyst/Scientist positions from abroad and had interest/interviews from companies as Booking, eBay, Bol, big, and small local tech companies.

I ended up accepting a job offer from a Dutch bank as they offered a substantially higher salary compared to the other offers, which I valued quite a lot as Amsterdam is expensive.

When I started the job I realized quickly the job description was over-exaggerated, it was advertised as a technical Data Analyst, which it was not. I have discovered that banks are very far behind when it comes to technology. I did, however, stay because I was afraid of having 4 jobs in less than 4 years would look bad, then the colleagues turned out to be nice and the company promoted me quickly.

Currently, I'm only working at the bank because of the money and now I want to go back to tech companies as that is my interest. Earlier this year I started applying for jobs at essentially the same companies I applied for 3-4 years ago. The response I get is way less and when it's not an "automated reply" I try to get back to the recruiter and got the reply from 2 saying they are looking for more technical people.

This surprises me a bit as the only thing that changed on my resume is that I've added that I work for a bank. Can it really be that recruiters quickly filter away people coming from the finance industry because they also know it's not as "techny" or has the market changed over these 4 years and made my background less attractive?

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  • I know quite a few developers who have worked in banking and finance (in the UK), and they have not had this problem when moving into other sectors.
    – HorusKol
    Jun 8 '20 at 7:45
  • You are also four years older. Did you add four years worth of technical skills gained? Jun 8 '20 at 8:15
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    You said the salary is nice and you got promoted. So one thing that changed is that you are no longer a junior looking for an entry level job, you are looking for a well-paid, experienced position. And it appears they want more for that kind of job than they expect from a junior on low pay.
    – nvoigt
    Jun 8 '20 at 9:17
  • @PatriciaShanahan No I did not gain four years of technical experience as I have not been working at a tech company. nvoigt Might be so, but I just feel that my resume is currently put on the side. I dont mind getting the salary I would have gotten 4 years ago at a tech company, even though I have gained 4 years more experience.
    – MLEN
    Jun 8 '20 at 10:51
  • There is a lot of technical and modern work in banking and finance. There might not have been in your specific role, but it is there - in fact, banks have driven a fair bit of technical and advancement over the years
    – HorusKol
    Jun 8 '20 at 12:24
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Except that working at a bank isn't the only thing to have changed on your resume - your experience and the work you did at the bank is probably different, too, from your previous roles. And you were promoted - did these promotions mean more managerial/administrative responsibility.

got the reply from 2 saying they are looking for more technical people.

Unfortunately, this kind of reply is a common cop-out by recruiters.

However, you might do well to review your resume and look to highlight more technical work and reduce references to administrative work, if you're looking at more technical roles. You should be raising your resume to the job requirements listed in the advert, anyway.

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  • Thanks for your answer. Indeed I got more managerial role/more non-technical role with the promotion. Do you think this should be avoided in a resume for a technical job?
    – MLEN
    Jun 11 '20 at 7:38
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It seems unlikely that the problem is that you worked at a bank: it's that you're trying to move into a more technical position than your current role.

I know that for Data Science positions, "Data Analyst" is often a red flag that someone won't have the required technical skills in programming, machine-learning etc. If you're getting feedback from recruiters that you're not "technical" enough for the roles you want, try to emphasise the technical aspects of your current role in your CV: do you write code? what are the more technical tools/techniques that you use? Are there other ways that you can show that you are the technical hire that they're looking for?

A friend of mine went from a Data Scientist role to a more project-management role, but now she is having a hard time applying for more technical roles, because she isn't writing code in her current position.

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