How To: Tailor Your Resume For A Career In Investment Banking

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By the time you finish college or university, you will have a host of new skills and valuable experience under your belt. Therefore, the first thing you should do when you graduate is update your resume and tailor it for your desired profession.

For the field of investment banking, skills in finance or business are beneficial. However, having a background in other applicable areas can also be an asset. Check out these top tips on what you should include in a resume for a career in this egg-citing industry!

Relevant Experience

As mentioned above, every industry requires a unique skillset. Recruiters use resumes to screen potential candidates for required skills and evaluate their fit for the role.

Many students looking to pursue a career in investment banking make the mistake of listing all their career experience, both relevant and irrelevant, in hopes of impressing the recruiter. In fact, most employers would rather read about one specific experience you had that is relevant to the role than skim through five unrelated roles.

If you don’t have any major industry experience, don’t worry. Focus on a role where you were able to develop skills that are transferrable to investment banking. For example, you can include workshops or volunteer work you participated in. Most recruiters in this industry are looking for individuals with a great work ethic that they can train, so be sure to highlight any experience you have that will demonstrate this.

Examples of direct skills: knowledge of business (accounting, finance, management, etc.), analytical abilities, and task completion
Examples of transferrable skills: leadership, communication, and organization

Skills, activities, and interests

Many new grads underestimate how important this part of their resume is. While your GPA is important, employers also consider your skills, activities, and interests to determine whether your personality is a good match for their organization.

The best way to organize this part is to break it up into these five sections:

Technical skills – aside from the Microsoft Office Suite, do you know how to use any other software that’s relevant to the investment banking industry? If you do, list them here!
Key experiences – the first thing you should include in this section is one experience that makes you different from everyone else. This doesn’t have to be industry-related experience – maybe you were involved with a start-up, or worked overseas. Whatever the experience, make sure you connect what you learned to your future career.
Extracurricular Activities – investment banking practically screams “teamwork.” Whether you were involved in sports or case competitions, highlighting your team experience in this section is a good idea.
Hobbies – aside from academics, employers want to learn more about your interests. Listing a hobby, such as blogging or playing a sport, will help make you a more diverse and interesting candidate to employers.

Business-related – this is probably the most important part of this section and it should relate directly to investment banking. For example, if you were involved in a finance club or helped host an investment banking conference, you can include the skills you learned and highlight the industry-relevant experience you gained.

Formatting

Once you’ve figured out the contents of your resume, you’ll need to decide on the presentation of your document. One of the most important things to remember is to keep it short and sweet. It’s likely that the person who reads your resume will spend under a minute looking at it, so make sure it’s no longer than one page.

Keep your formatting and structure on the conservative side. Since banks are typically large and long-standing institutions, traditional resume formats are usually better received than experimental styles. Don’t use artsy fonts or fancy borders – that would work better for a more creative field or casual start-up. If you want to stand out with your formatting, consider adding elements that would appeal to people in this industry, such as graphs, numbers, or a pop of colour to your header.

Finally, get a second set of eyes to proofread your resume before you submit it. In a demanding field like investment banking, grammar or spelling mistakes will leave a bad first impression. Resumes with mistakes are almost always put in the “no” pile, as employers typically view errors as an indication of poor attention to detail.

It’s #BankingWeek on TalentEgg! Discover this egg-citing industry with top resources from our Banking Career Guide.

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