What Investment Banks Look For In Resumes

A career in investment banking can be rewarding – both professionally and monetarily. Yet, it’s a high-stress, fast-paced, fiercely competitive environment. In addition to specialized knowledge and expertise, a career in investment banking requires incredible commitment, focus, physical and mental stamina. Understandably, employers want to ensure the person they’re hiring is not only exceptionally qualified, but up to the task. That’s why it’s critically important to have a killer resume when applying for an investment banking position.

Here are a few tips to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd and convinces a potential employer you’re worth a second look:

1)      Be Concise: While it may be tempting to wax poetically about every job you’ve ever held, the idea is not to bury the hiring manager in every single detail of your career. Instead, aim to be succinct. Summarize is the key here. Using bullet points, zero in on the top three or four accomplishments related to each past (or current) position.

2)      Highlight Academic Achievements: Most applicants will have fabulous grades. That’s a given. But if you can highlight additional honors and activities, such as scholarships, semesters spent abroad, internships, awards, or extracurricular activities, that will flesh out your academic achievements and present you as a highly accomplished individual.

3)      Be Well-Rounded: Obviously, you will want to focus heavily on your investment banking-related experience and education. However, employees are increasingly looking to hire people with interests and activities outside the workplace. Granted, you should steer clear of anything controversial – and it’s usually a good idea not to make reference to religious preferences – but community-related volunteer work is always a great way to demonstrate you are more than a pencil-pusher. And with more companies dedicating themselves to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, knowing that you are already committed to volunteering your time to help others just may be enough to tip the decision in your direction.

4)      Don’t Do This: In a desperate attempt to draw attention to their resume, applicants often make the mistake of using color paper, funky fonts, or distracting graphics. They may also include personal details, such as marital status, number of children, and what church they attend. While a couple of generations ago, such information was commonplace on a resume, these days, it should be nowhere to be found. And while we’re on the subject of what not to do, don’t make the mistake of rushing off a resume without proofreading it. Before you press “send” or “print,” take the time to spellcheck and carefully read through your finished product. You’d be surprised how many dumb mistakes go unnoticed when you rush.

Landing an investment banking position requires tenacity and ferocity, but it also requires a top-notch resume. Take the time to make sure yours is the best it can be. If possible, ask a colleague – or even better, a hiring manager or human resource professional – to take a look at yours. Ask for their honest opinion and any additional pointers they can offer to make your resume more impressive. Take their advice and revise your resume until it simply couldn’t be any better.

For assistance with your resume or any other aspects of your job search, contact Daley and Associates. We offer superior recruiting and placement results, specializing in auditing and financial placement.

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