What hiring managers – and executives – are looking for in applicants

There's a number of factors you can trust will help you when you're applying for finance positions, especially competitive ones like wealth management jobs, or accounting jobs. You can rely on your education, your work background and your references, of course. Yet what are the intangibles that will get you past your first interview and settled into your dream career? Listed below are five key factors – explained exclusively to OneWire by a group of industry experts – that will help get your foot in the door. 

1. You've got to be honest
"I look back to my childhood [when determining what I look for in an employee]: candor, forthrightness, and honesty. Or rather, integrity. Great companies are run by great people and bad companies are run by bad people. I'm particularly sensitive to selfishness. I think the genius [that my team] had was recognizing that we would do a whole lot better, personally, if we made the opportunity to do well available to many more people. I reflect on the deals that I didn't do well on, and if there's a common strain it was a misjudgment on my part on the people I was working with." – Ken Langone, Co-Founder, The Home Depot

2. A diverse background always helps
"[It's important to] recognize the power of diversity – the positive things that happen when more diverse leadership teams are in place – and not because it's nice to do, but because it drives results. Also, I've spent some time advising startups and recognizing the power of networks [is important.] What it means for people to come together and accomplish something… networking is the number one unwritten rule of success in business." – Sally Krawcheck, CEO, 85 Broads

3. New ideas can be the key to success
"The last few years have been tough for much of the industry. The financial crises' of 2008 and 2009 was very impactful. It created a question for the business models that the big firms set for themselves… but at the end of the day clients still need Wall Street. In terms of raising capital, it has a classical function. Also, advice – a lot of clients do feel they're better off getting someone on their side whose done this before and can help them making some important decisions." – Eduardo Mestre, Senior MD, Evercore

4. Be willing to give back
"Anyone that's been fortunate enough to have a lot of success feel a duty to do their part to help those who have not been as fortunate. Indeed, most people living in poverty in New York City – it's no fault of their own. It's about what zip code they were born in, it has to do with how their parents behaved at certain points in their lifetime, and so most of my philanthropic efforts… are about trying to eradicate poverty in New York City." – Lee Ainslie, founder, Maverick Capital

5. Think positive
"First thing I think about is energy. We used to talk about this in recruiting a lot, when we would meet two different candidates. We would say, 'who had both elbows on the table? Who was leaning into this opportunity a bit more than the other person?' So, positive energy. They're not whining about an issue, or trying to blame someone, that goes a long way. The other thing I find inspiring is when I find someone whose willing to do the work on themselves. They're self-aware enough to say, 'I am going to make mistakes, I'm willing to admit that to my team, and I'm willing to tell them I'm working with a coach.' I think about vulnerability, a lot, as a very important trait if you're going to lead a team." – Ann Mehl, CEO, Ann Mehl Executive Coaching