Facts about Banking Cover Letters

There are tons of banking cover letter tips out there, along with templates that guarantee to earn interviews for you. If you analyse these tips and templates, they are all in and around a few points. Let’s take a fast track going through them.

Your cover letter won’t gain any attention. HR people may read it, but they don’t make hiring decisions. Analysts may read but for a very different reason: They simply want to look for mistakes.

Short is better than long.  Bear in mind your objective is ZERO MISTAKE. The less you write, the fewer chances you’ll make mistakes.

Get a Second Pair of Eyes to do Proof-Reading. Attention to detail is one of the earliest differentiators between an underperformer and a rockstar. If you misspell “investment” as “investmetn” without caring to do a spell-check, then you may probably also forget to convert Canadian dollars into US dollars. As a matter of fact, analysts & associates are harsh gatekeepers, and cover letters are an excellent way to sort applicants into “In” and “Out” piles.  You may not find any mistakes on your cover letter after reading it a hundred times. However a fresh pair of eyes may spot something immediately.

What Exactly to Write on Your Banking Cover Letter?

It’s a matter of [3 Why’s].

  1. Why this company?
  2. Why this particular role and business area?
  3. Why you?

According to Citi, these are what they expect from student cover letters.

  1. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the program you are applying to;
  2. Mention the networking events you might or have attended with Citi. However, ensure they are referenced professionally and have relevance to your application;
  3. Remember to highlight the achievements that have made you exceptional;
  4. Demonstrate your commercial awareness by showing your understanding of the financial news and current affairs. However, avoid copying and pasting the information from the internet;
  5. Make sure to double check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Attention to detail is vital;
  6. Formal writing style is best, not exceeding 1 page in length.

Try to weave these 6 points into the 3 [Why’s] and make it half page or 300 words.

Bottom line:  Spend time in improving your GPA, rather than spend time in improving your cover letter. Your GPA is guaranteed to be the first thing people look at on your resume.



7 Tips for Investment Banking Cover Letters

Want to write a good investment banking cover letter in no time? Here are 7 tips for you.

First of all, consider the readers – bankers. They are short of time, short on attention and not in the mood to find out details of your life, as what they want to see are supposed to be listed on your resume…your school, your GPA, your internship. So what should be written on a cover letter and how?

1. Short Strategy. Short cover letters immediately command attention, because bankers can read them in seconds. If you want your investment banking cover letter read, make it readable…make it short.

2. Be Personal. Start with the recruiter’s name (if you have it). Absent that just write “[Bank Name] Recruiting”. Never write “to whom it may concern”.

3. 2-P Strategy (2 paragraphs only). Sounds crazy, but true! Paragraph 1 – “role you are applying” + “Why that bank”. Paragraph 2 is all “About you”. “Short Strategy” again, no lengthy paragraphs and no non-sense please. Finally a “Warm Regards” sign off with your name. And these are all you need.

4. A killer first paragraph. You want to cover who you are, what you’re studying (including school, year, and possibly major), any relevant experience (e.g. IB internship) and what you’re applying for specifically. Wrap up with a mention of a person you know from the bank and why they’ve convinced you this is the bank for you.

5. “Why You” Second (and final!) paragraph. Mention education achievements and any leadership position at college (e.g. IB club leader). Follow up with your major work achievement/experience. Relate both achievements to how they’ve readied you and increased your passion for banking.

6. Make No Mistakes. Bankers love mistakes on your investment banking cover letter, because it means they don’t need to bother scheduling you in for an interview…you’re out. They’ll simply move on to another cover letter, as they have too many letters to read. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you. A fresh set of eyes will always find new problems. You can get your friends, and ideally an actual banker to review your cover letter.

7. No-nonsense Strategy. Avoid “I can start…”, “I want to do IB to learn…” and “I’ll ring you on Thursday to discuss further” …

If you’ve been sending cover letters to investment banks without many responses, imply these 7 strategies and see the results.

Best Paid Young Bankers

While there are a huge number of traders and financial professionals, only a few rise to stratospheric heights early in their careers.

this website is created for young people who want to do investment banking, I would like to share with you the profiles some outstanding banking youth. I’ve chosen those who did exceptionally well at bulge brackets.

Source: Forbes

(1) Moran Baldar, 27

Vice President, Goldman Sachs 

Baldar is a vice president at Goldman Sachs, after having been a trader at JPMorgan Chase.

Only 27, she runs the bank’s equity index derivatives desk for the developed markets, acting as a market maker in S&P 500 and similar options.

Baldar is a graduate of Columbia University, and grew up in New Jersey after moving to the US from Israel at a young age.

(2) Simon Drake, 29

Vice President, JPMorgan Chase 

Drake is yet another young vice president at JPMorgan Chase.

He’s a top market maker in the corporate bond market, which means that he’s responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of trades every day in investment grade corporate bonds.

He’s been with the bank ever since he graduated with an economics degree from Harvard.

(3) Harry Greene, 29

Vice President, Goldman Sachs

Greene is also a vice president at Goldman Sachs, and at 29 is two years older than Baldar.

He is responsible for overseeing a major portfolio at the bank’s investment strategies unit, which acts as a hedge fund.

He specializes in investments that involve arbitrage of merger risks, as well as distressed debt.

(4) Joan Payson, 27

Vice President, Equity Research, Barclays

Interned at Bloomberg and Macquarie, Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment and Technology Investment & Merchant Banking. Joined Macquarie as full time analyst directly from graduation.

(5) Scott Travers, 29

Vice President, JPMorgan Chase

At the ripe old age of 29, Travers is a vice president at JPMorgan Chase.

He manages a $9 billion portfolio, providing private wealth management for other hedge managers and investment bankers. When financial professionals trust you with their money, then you know that you are a star.

(6) Xing Yuan, 28

Vice President, Morgan Stanley 

Vice President, Morgan Stanley, Heads investment bank’s commodities index trading. Born in Beijing, moved to the U.S. at age 10. Black belt in Taekwondo and member of U.S. junior national team for bridge. Graduated from the Massachusets Institute of Technology with a math & finance degree.

New Analysts and Associates at Goldman Sachs

Many students want to get an entry-level job at Goldman Sachs. Are you one of them? If yes, then you may want to know the profiles of those being hired and compare with yours. 

In Q3, 2014 Goldman Sachs seems to have hired an unusually large number of analysts and associates. So, who were in Goldman’s swollen 2014 analyst and associate pool? As ever, it’s possible to track the firm’s recent hires as they’re registered on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register. Registration usually occur couple of months after individuals arrive on the job. According to Goldman Sachs’ registrations, many of the people they hired have excellent academics, but some did have other facets that made them appealing.  Let’s quickly meet 11 of them.

Source:  efinancialcareers.com

What makes them special?

1. Anne-Lorraine Imbert
Analyst – M&A

Anne came straight to Goldman Sachs from a five-month M&A internship at JPMorgan in Paris. She graduated from Sciences Po, one of France’s top universities, in June 2014. She also spent a year studying abroad at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. As we’ve noted before, Goldman seems to favour students who’ve spent some time studying overseas.

2. Markus Pops 
Analyst – division not clear

Although Pops’ precise role at Goldman is unclear, he’s worth highlighting due to his sporting prowess. Estonian-born Pops is a top international junior tennis player who has been competing on the international circuit since at least 2006.

3. Milana Shapira
Analyst – division unclear

Shapira speaks English, French, German and Bulgarian fluently. She has a first class degree in biology from Imperial College London and spent eight years of her schooling overseas, in Karlsruhe, South-Western Germany.

4. Thomas Sukno
Analyst – IBD

Sukno gained cosmopolitan credentials while he was still a student. He spent one year studying at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a year at the University of Wisconsin and two years at HEC in Paris. Before arriving full time at Goldman, he completed a five-month off-cycle internship at Lazard.

5. Jeroen Van Dorp 
Associate – IBD

Van Dorp completed his MBA at Columbia Business School, which is one of banks’ favourites. A former professional basket player in the Netherlands, he started out as a corporate lawyer, before becoming a private equity ‘consultant’, before completing his MBA and moving into banking.

6. Vitalii Likhanskyi
Analyst – M&A, specializing in TMT and Industrials

Likhanskyi is that thing that all banks want to hire now – an experienced junior M&A analyst. He joined Goldman after just fifteen months on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s M&A team. He interned at BAML in 2012 and has also completed M&A-related internships at KPMG and Rothschild,

7. Gurneet Chohan
Analyst – fixed income currencies and commodities

Chohan was as a summer analyst in Goldman’s FICC business before she joined full time. She was also a spring intern at Goldman Sachs and a ‘winning spring intern’ at JPMorgan. She spent a gap year working for KPMG (where she won an award for ‘consistently outstanding performance’) and she was president of the women’s football club whilst at Warwick University.

8. Alexander Doell 
Associate – IBD

Doell completed his MBA at the London Business School (another of banks’ favourites). Before he embarked upon the MBA, he spent 27 months as an associate at Boston Consulting (another blue chip name). He studied his Bachelor’s degree at the European Business School in Germany, but also spent a year at the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada (thereby satisfying Goldman’s partiality for a cosmopolitan study-profile).

9. Bart Van Schuppen
Analyst – IBD

Van Schuppen also studied internationally. He completed a Bachelor’s at Tilburg University in the Netherlands (Econometrics & Operations Research) before spending a term at the University of South Carolina and then returning to Tilburg to study a Masters Degree. He was a summer analyst at Goldman before he joined full time and spent three months before that on a trainer-wheels internship with a small Dutch corporate finance boutique.

10. Albert Martienssen 
Associate – IBD

Albert completed his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management, which is also among banks’ favourite MBA schools when it comes to hiring. He was a summer associate at Goldman Sachs before joining full time and like Alexander Doell (number 8), his pre-MBA career involved being an associate at the Boston Consulting Group where he specialised (among other things) in financial services. Interestingly, Martienssen seems once to have toyed with the idea of proprietary trading (he spent three months as a prop trader at DZ Bank) before giving it all up for consulting and advisory banking.

11. Aurelien Benoit
Associate – IBD

Benoit completed his MBA at INSEAD. This ranks 12th on our list of top MBA schools for banking, but has a good reputation internationally. Interestingly, Benoit seems to have moved against the tide (which usually flows from banking to private equity) by spending six months working for private equity fund Ardian after his MBA before moving to Goldman.



About Inside Investment Banking (IIB)

Inside Investment Banking (IIB) – I refer to this website very often. Why?  Because I know them, I mean I know some of the bankers there, who are very enthusiastic in helping students to break into investment banking.  One of the reasons being they’ve walked through the way and know what and where the challenges are.  And they’ve created a comprehensive course from networking to resume writing to interviewing skills needed to start an investment banking career.

If you’ve invested in other courses or ebooks already, you’re probably wondering;

“Why the heck should I buy another course? Do I really need this?  What makes it different to everything else out there?”

There are 4 big things that make it different. And I do want you to know.

Unlike other courses, the IIB course…

(1) Teaches ALL 6 skills you need to break into banking, so you don’t slip up at a crucial stage, e.g. during networking or your summer internship.

If you’re missing just 1 skill, bankers will notice.

(2) Takes you behind the scenes of recruiting and inside the minds of bankers, so you know how to stand out in a sea of 100s of students.

This is the INSIDER info you need to know in order to compete with all those 4.0 GPA students from Harvard.

(3) Shows you how to break in even if you’re from a non-target school OR you’re an international student trying to break into Wall Street or The City.

And IIB also shows you how to land interviews if you lack finance work experience or a business degree (engineering & arts students love this).

This is the #1 thing students love most about the course.

(4) Teaches you how to make bankers like you, so they pass on your resume, invite you to interview early and put in a good word for you during superdays.

(Believe it or not, but likability matters more than smarts when bankers start deciding who to hire)

If this course sounds like it can teach you something you haven’t already learned, then click here to study it risk-free for the next 30 days.

How to compete with all the Ivy League students

If you think that you are less competitive to the Ivy League students, then you need to think again.  By  learning all 6 recruiting skills and knowing exactly what goes on inside bankers minds, plus how to impress them and make them like you, you’ll finally be able to compete with all the Ivy League students with perfect GPAs and insider connections.

So now you know how the course is different, let’s take a look at exactly what you’ll get when you sign up today…

…click here to see exactly what you’ll learn about breaking into banking.

6 Critical Banking Resume Mistakes

If you’ve decided to apply for an investment banking job, you should know that a standard resume just won’t cut it. After all, top banks receive thousands of CVs every year. They have too many candidates, so they only want the best out of the best.

Another brutal fact that you need to know is that bankers spend very little time in each CV. It could be as little as 6 seconds scanning your CV.  Read these again – 6 seconds – scanning (not reading)! However if you made any vital mistakes, your CV will be tossed away in a bin in even less than 6 seconds.

You spend a lot of time in writing your investment banking resume, don’t you? And you have perfect academics and impressive work experience – you will certainly be hired if you are interviewed. Correct? But if you have any of these 6 mistakes on your resume, you won’t even get a chance to enter the interview room!

Let see what these 6 mistakes are.

Investment Banking Resume: Top-6 Mistakes

Mistake #1: Calling your resume “Resume”.

Why waste your space? The recruiter knows it’s a resume. Replace it with your name on top. And make it twice the size of body text font. There are resumes that don’t even have the candidate’s name on it. Don’t laugh. It happens, and happens a lot. As a professional IB headhunter, I do come across many candidates making this mistake. I’m not a banker, and reading CV is my job, so I would care to find out who the resume belongs to. But bankers won’t. They simply ‘trash’ it. The resume that you spend hours to prepare will end up in the bin in less than a second!

Mistake #2: Summary sentence, career objective – to top of your resume.

Needless to say, the reader (the banker) who read your resume is very sure that you’re looking for a job in banking. Why say something useless at top of your resume?

Unfortunately, old library books, career counselors or almost 99% of the resume tips out there on the internet insist students to do this. And I’m really sad to see most students are doing it. According to IIB, there is a ‘15-second to bin’ rule for any an investment banking resume. If you want your resume to go to the bin in less than 15 seconds, do it.

Mistake #3: Including your smiling picture at the top.

Never do this, unless you are applying to become a photogenic model. At the initial screening stage, bankers want to know your achievements and experiences, not your face.

Mistake #4: Sharing confidential information.

Tough one. I know how much you might want to brag about your work on Facebook IPO or merger of Coca-Cola bottlers. But be very careful not to disclose any confidential information. Bankers are extremely sensitive about this – and sharing more than you should will immediately disqualify your application.

Mistake #5: Oversharing.

For all those people who can’t wait to tell their gender, age, marital status and whatever more. There is NO POINT. In some countries, employers are not allowed to ask these by law.   You don’t have to tell either.

Mistake #6: Using your favourite email address mydarling@gmail.com.

Non-professional email indicates that you’re not grown up yet. You are applying for a job, so get a proper email address, one that carries your personal brand or identity, such as john.smith@gmail.com. If this is already taken by another John Smith, try to add something unique, such as john.smith.ucla@gmail.com (in case you’re a graduate of UCLA).

Good luck. Still need help to write your investment banking resume?  Check out the IIB website.



Investment Banking Internship Resume

Investment banking internship resume vs. the rest

Why will any investment banking internship resume always get priority over a normal resume?

Well, in a word ‘differentiation’.  Bankers look for school names like Oxbridge, and 3.8 GPA, but these are not all.

Intern experiences with bulge brackets or even boutique banks are high quality work experiences that attract bankers’ attention. So if you’ve managed to complete one, then speak loud – because an investment banking internship resume will take you to the top of the pile every single time.

Apart from a banking internship, any experience in a relevant field will gain you on extra credit. For example, if you are applying to FIG and you have worked at a commercial bank, or if you are applying to TMT and you worked in a tech start up or did an internship at Microsoft, you will find yourself on the experienced pile. In other words, absent a banking internship, quality experience in an industry player relevant to the group you are applying to will work equally well.

How to write your intern resume from top down?
Your intern resume usually consists of three parts.

Top – education

Middle – Work/leadership experiences

Bottom – Hobbies/interests and any others

I’ll walk you through top to bottom of how to write your resume from good to great.

What is the #1 mistake most students make?

It is sad that most students make mistakes at the top by writing a boring, useless summary sentence. It occupies precious space at the most dominant position on your resume and yet no one will read.

Old library books, career counselors or almost 99% of the resume tips out there on the interest insist students to do this, which is totally useless on banking resumes. According to IIB, there is a ‘15-seconds to bin’rule for any an investment banking resume. Whether it’s 15, 20 or even 30 seconds, the life span of your resume is too short and should not include any useless things, especially when you want to pack everything on one page.

How to go from 4/10 to 10/10 when writing your work experience section
This is the most important part of your resume, and yet most students got messed up here.

The single most important strategy here is don’t write so much about what you did, but rather what you achieved.

Yeah, bankers are paid against results, not hours. Bankers want to hear about your achievements, rather than how many phone calls you have to answer everyday.

When listing your achievements make sure they are…

  • Real results – although bankers won’t expect million dollar achievements from a student or fresh graduate, they do want to see sizeable results so don’t be afraid to stretch the truth a little here.  I’ll illustrate this later on.

  • Extremely specific – write numbers, dates, project names etc. will make your achievements look 10 times more believable than every other student who writes words like “a lot” or “plenty” or “many”….

  • Client or employer focused – banks are in the ‘people as resources’ / ‘enrichment of stockholders’ business and want to see what return they would get on you; what value you would add.  So when you’re writing about results you achieved in past jobs be sure to hammer on about how you increased profits, turnover, morale, insight, strategy, ideas, or how you saved time, money, made things easier, more convenient, innovated, increased efficiency, brought in more business, new customers, or otherwise rocked the joint.

  • Use banker-friendly terms – fill your resume with terms like ‘the space’, ‘competitive landscape’, ‘return on investment’ and other financial terms. This will subtly showcase insider knowledge, and probably above all that you are a student who actually cares about business.

  • Supplemented with metrics – whether it’s $, %, fold, units or amount, you have to use numbers to quantify your achievement, because they are the language of bankers and also add further authenticity to your achievements. 

Here is a quick investment banking resume example to illustrate
It’s time to illustrate what I’ve said. Let’s refer to the A-grade sample resume that I published in my last post.

“Analyzed the monthly financial statements of a $2 million dollar (rev) boutique food retailer and found a way to reduce their accounts receivable by 22 days, which resulted in improved liquidity (17% increase) and an additional $25,000 cash surplus for the client”.

In this answer you’ve managed to mention;

    • A specific example of a task you did
    • The tangible real world result achieved
    • Real and ‘touchable’ results
    • Business/finance terms like “rev”, “analyzed”, “financial statements” and “accounts receivable”

Bankers are guaranteed to understand exactly what you did and what the impact of it all was.  Perfect.

20 of the most powerful words to describe past jobs
We are taught to be humble either at school or at home. However when it comes to writing investment banking resume, you need to tell that you’re able, and that you’re the right person. Stay away from ‘humble’ for a while.

Try describing your work experiences with words in these 3 groups.

      • Managed, implemented, initiated, oversaw, organized, developed, led…
      • Analyzed, researched, investigated, reviewed…
      • Advised, projected, evaluated, and anything that make you speak like a banker…

Avoid these words: assisted, prepared, helped…

What if you have no investment banking internship? And What if your work section is by itself average?
If you have no investment banking internship or equally quality experience, then see if you have any other leadership experience. This may include leadership experience in an impressive position within a relevant and prestigious organization – A board level position at your college’s finance club is a good example.

What if you don’t have an impressive leadership experience?
Well it seems you have nothing competitive but a strong desire to go for investment banking. Don’t give up. You may not realize that the poorest work track record can be turned into something that looks freaking impressive.  Contact IIB. Get the advice from those who were in your same situation but broke into investment banking successfully.

A-Grade Sample Investment Banking Resume

So you want to write an A-grade investment banking resume? Let’s first of all take a look at an A-grade resume sample.

There are many resume samples, templates out there, but you ought to know which are the ones which worth your time to look at. Now here’s one I like to share with you.  It is in fact the one that I presented in the last post which has a perfect layout.  And now I’m going to analyze its content.

Here’s how an A-grade banking resume looks like…
Investment Banking Resume Template - 1
Let me check first of all check this resume against the 10 basic rules of an investment banking resume.

    1. Layout1 page with a clear layout. Has only 3 sections – education, work and skills. These are all that is needed.
    2. Reviewed by insiders. This is from the Inside Investment Banking (IIB) website, of course, it has been reviewed by insiders. In real life, if your insider friends or acquaintances are too busy to help, may consider a paid service. IIB provides all-round Inside Investment Banking career assistance to students.
    3. Flawless I can’t find any mistakes, errors. Can you? To find bones in eggs, I may add couple of hyphens like 30-slide PowerPoint and 50-page report.
    4. School brand, GPA score, work experienceInterest and hobby. You can find all these. Simple, concise and easy to read.
    5. Work section focusing on achievements. The achievements are phenomenal, the presentation is beautiful and the writing is articulate (and succinct!!). But what if you don’t have similarly prestigious investment banking work experience or achievements? No problem.  To win bankers hearts and minds, get an insider investment banking resume writer to help.  After all, they’ll be able to help students turn a mediocre track record into something that looks amazing on their resume.
    6. Be conservative.  This is a classic example of how banking conservation is in presentation. Clean layout with good balance of white space. This is exactly what bankers like to see, and read, of course.
    7. List your SAT scores. GPA and SAT scores could be found at the top of the resume. Great strategy for a student’s resume.
    8. No lies or exaggerations I can’t tell at this stage. But if there is any, you’re simply wasting your time, effort and even money in writing it.
    9. Powerful words Can be found all over the place, evaluated, compiled, created, analyzed, improved liquidity…
    10. Banker friendly terms M&A, DCF, IPO…

Further Evaluation

Notice the white space, line spacing and lack of clutter in this sample banking resume? But at the same time you’ll find enough information packed into this resume.

This is what investment bankers love.

In the first glance (~5 seconds) readers can find school, scores, work experience and something about your personality – simple!  Your banking resume will stand out from the crowd because of this.

Other notes on readability…
Notice that only a handful of items are bold.  That’s it.

It is very easy for a banker to scan the document to find the experiences they want to read about.

How to fit everything on one page
You’ll find some tiny little things here, but they all work together to contribute to your one-page investment banking resume.

  1. Name and contact details go on two lines only.  Multiple interests or activities on one line, separated only by commas.
  2. Crunch the 2 summary lines into 1, so for example you would then have “Trump University, Bachelor of Arts in Economics – New York, NY” all on one line.
  3. Take line spacing from 1.1 to 1.0.
  4. Reduce page margins. But don’t go below 0.75 inches on each side.
  5. Take the body font down by about 0.5.
  6. Reduce the paragraph spacing between dot points.
  7. And if you still need help consider switching fonts. Compare Verdana 10 with Calibri 11. Calibri is a simple and easy to read font, elegant and at the same time occupies far less space than many other fonts.
  8. Eliminating mediocre achievements and superfluous words in your descriptions.
  9. If you’ve tried everything but still need a little more space. Then consider this – Omit “Proficient in Excel, knowledgeable about valuation concepts, expert in PowerPoint”. These are job requirements. And the recruiters assume you possess those – otherwise you shouldn’t apply. True, as a professional IB recruiter, I never put this on candidates’ CVs.

Choice of fonts between Serif and Sans Serif ?
IIB suggests serif fonts. I personally prefer sans serif.  Either way, investment banking resumes should go for easy-to-read fonts.  Remember the banking conservativeness?  For serif fonts, Times New Roman and Garamond both look classy and clear.  For sans serif, Arial and Calibri both look good and space effective.

Some rule of thumb about font sizes.

16 – Your name (Bold)

11 – Headings (Bold and CAPITALS allowed)

10 – Body text – depending on the type of font you use, keep ceiling 11, floor 9.5

In the sample resume above, there are only 3 Headings applying both bold and capitals to draw attention. School and company name using upper/lower case and bold.  Degrees and positions in regular italic.  Simple.  Banking conservativeness applied.

For a junior banker’s resume, Education should appear at the top. See how simple this section is in the sample resume.  There’s no need to go on and on here. Bankers after all only care about your school name, GPA score and studies.  Why clutter this space with other things?

To save words and align with the one-page strategy, there’s no freaking need to put “/4.0” next to your GPA.  Bankers know it’s out of 4.0!  This is a small example, but this indicates how you consider the reader when constructing your IB resume.


Combined work and leadership
This is because leadership roles are work.  And often for students, their leadership experience will be as impressive, if not more, than their actual work experience.  This will help keeping your resume at as simple as 3 sections.  Bankers won’t expect a student to lead a big team to do big projects.  But at lease write something that shows your ability to influence others.

Only 3 experiences have been included
And they are naturally the 3 most impressive work experiences!

Results are all we talk about
Bankers know what an intern has to do, so they are not interested in “Responsible for organizing meetings with staff, answering client query calls and taking minutes at meetings”. Instead they like to see e.g. “Analyzed the inventory wastage rates for 30 days and found a way to reduce wastage by 35% via implementing an automated ordering system, which resulted in $2,000 food savings every month and increased front/back-of-house harmony”.

See how and why the above A-grade resume stand out? There are results that make the bankers’ eyes blink.

Simplicity wins
Notice there isn’t 10 dot points per job covering fairly average results/achievements or mere tasks? Instead, there are only 2-4 MEGA achievements/results for each job.

Knowing which dot points to put down is easy to achieve when you focus on the results you achieved from your 2-3 biggest projects at that job.


How to make this section pop?
This section is to bring out your personality, something that will make you more than just another piece of paper, something that will make you memorable!

Personality helps you stand out from the crowd. And the interest/hobby section does this job.

There are 3 sub-headings – languages, activities and interests. In fact you can add ‘others’ to the end. People start by reading from top down.  Before they finish, what’s written at the very bottom may also get a glance.  That’s why back cover advertising is always as expensive as those at the front page of a magazine.  Let’s talk about what to include in this ‘other’ part later on.

Language – English is not listed, because it’s obvious, so as Excel, Bloomberg etc. Imagine if you don’t speak or write English, cannot use Excel or don’t know what Bloomberg is, then investment banking is not a place for you.

Activities – Include only your most important/passionate skills, activities and interests.  Go ahead beat the competition by displaying your personality in this section. After all investment banking is a people business, bankers are stressful at work, so they would like to meet and work with interesting people who does interesting things at their spare times.

In the sample resume above, the “Death Valley” was a good pick; that’s going to pop out, and get bankers excited. When it comes to interview time, this section is literally going to drive 20% of the interview questions you get!  You see bankers will be desperate to talk to you about your investments in Chongqing, your Death Valley running and more.


List anything else that will make your personality shine. Scholarship is one of the most attractive factors on intern/student resumes. When I did banking resume critiques for students, there was one who made me remember him all the time.  He wrote about an MNC SCHOLARSHIP that he won over a four-year period totaling $500,000. My market resources indicate that MNC scholarship does exist but the amount the candidate received was rarely given, except to really outstanding students.

You may not have received such scholarship. Do you have anything that really distinguishes yourself from others? Write it in an ‘other’ section at the end and the sleeping banker will be wakened by you and may call you up for an interview immediately.


If you want to see more investment banking resume samples (and even A grade cover letter samples), plus learn how to turn a track record of mediocre achievements into a rocking banking resume, then check out the Inside Investment Banking website.   They have a lot of freebies to help you find your way to investment banking.  They also have paid services but you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to.

Investment Banking Resume Template Comparison

So you want to write an investment banking resume that generates interviews. But your first objective is to go pass the ‘eye ball scanning test’ of the resume reviewer.

Listen, it is ‘scanning’, not reading. If your resume overall layout does not please the bankers’ eyes, then no matter how great your content is, it won’t get read.  And many bankers’ initial objective of scanning CV is not to look for qualified candidates, but to disqualify candidates for whatever error or even the tiniest typo they spot.  Only if you could survive through this short and cruel step, then you may be able to gain the golden 20 or 30 seconds to impress the banker with your resume content.

I read senior banker’s resumes everyday, so when I need a junior banker’s resume template, I go check the internet. You’re doing the same before landing on this page, right?  OK, you’ve come to the right place.  When you want an investment banking resume template, make sure it is provided by a banker, or someone who knows the banking business.  General resume templates are not going to help.

During my internet search, I found two templates which are ideal for junior bankers.   Lloyd’s is from Inside Investment Banking and Chris’ is from eduers.com.  At the moment, let’s don’t look at the contents yet.  Instead, let’s compare their layout and overall appearance.

Can you tell which template is better?

IB Resume Template Comparison

They are both good.  But Lloyd’s is far better.

Assume both candidates are having similar qualifications and experiences that bankers love, Lloyd is more likely to win an interview.  Why?

There are two major vital mistakes that Chris has made.  One, the margins on all sides are too slim.  Two, there are large patches of white spaces being wasted.  If Chris can improve these two weaknesses, then his resume will look perfect, just like Lloyd’s.  By the way, target the margins on all sides to be 1 inch, or no less than 3/4 of an inch.  As for font size, target for 11, and no smaller than 10, depending on the type of font you’re using.

So now you have an idea of how an ideal investment banking resume layout is. Write yours similar to Lloyd’s and we’ll go into details of how to write the resume content in the coming posts.

Investment Banking Resumes – Top 10 Tips

Would you want bankers like your resume over others? What makes them like yours?

These are important questions. If you know the answers, you’re one step closer to interviews and job offers even in today’s market.

There are students who are able to craft hypnotic resumes to get results. Is that you? Are there secrets in writing an investment banking resume?

In fact there are no secrets if you find the right people to help. Get someone from inside investment banking to tell you how they read resumes and how they choose candidate to interview, then you’re on the fast track to write a resume that bankers love.

Write Investment Banking Resumes that impress in the first 30 seconds

You may know that bankers spend as little as 30 seconds to read a resume. If you’re unable to impress them in 30 seconds, then your resume will go to the ‘no’ pile.

Before going specific, let’s go through the top 10 basic rules to make your investment banking resume stands out.

  1. Write for junior bankers.  To impress a tired, stressed out junior banker who is only going to take no more than 30 seconds to read a resume, the best strategy is to keep it short and easy to read – 1 page resume with a clear layout – this is the single way that makes it easy for the poor investment banking analyst to run through their checklist (school, GPA, internship experience, interests).
  2. Reviewed by insidersBefore submitting your resume, email it to a couple of your friends in banking – and perhaps one or two college friends who did an internship last year – and await their insiders’ opinion.  If you don’t have such resources from your own network, you may spend a little some money to get an investment banking resume review.
  3. Flawless Bankers are trained to pick mistakes. Same applies when they read resumes. One single punctuation, grammar or spelling mistake will get your resume end up in the bin.  So as nonsensical sentences, incorrect word usage …etc.
  4. Investment banking resume is all about 3 things. School brand, GPA score, work experienceInterest and hobby could be the 4th, if space allowed. Allocate the majority of your resume to pushing these 3 or 4 points.  That means eliminating the irrelevant or the less important, e.g. jobs worked outside of the corporate world.
  5. Write work section focusing on achievements racked up during client work / live deals.  Talk about how you built tables, designed decks and other deal related work.  This after all, is what bankers want to hear about.
  6. Be conservative. Yes, I mean it. Never apply creativity with your investment banking resume.  No borders, no artistic typefaces, no excessive divider bars, no multiple fonts, no weird font size, no colors.  Have a good understanding in banking conservativeness in presentation.
  7. List your SAT scores Bankers love objective measures of intelligence, and this hits their sweet spot.  But do not go as far as to list your GMAT scores on your investment banking resume, unless you were going for associate positions.
  8. No lies or exaggerations If you write wreck diving in the hobby section, be prepared to speak to someone with that same hobby at the end of the interview. Likewise, if you write fluent in a certain language, be prepared to speak with someone in that language.
  9. Use powerful words Analyzed, managed, developed, projected, evaluated, researched etc.  Words that make you sound like an investment banking analyst.
  10. Banker friendly terms  Dollars, percentages, amounts, folds, dates, and other metrics would appear.  Jargons allowed. Jargons are generally not recommended in business writing, but resumes and recruitment ads are exceptions. This is a way to tell bankers that you know the business and the terms… AUM / M&A / ECM / DCM / TMT / FIG / ABS / OTC 

Bonus Tip – Spend a couple bucks to hire an investment banker to write your resume or at least get a resume review service Remember resumes for investment banking jobs are not for a normal professional resume writer to write. You need people who know the business and know how bankers choose candidates.  Your ROI will be great once you land an investment banking job of $100,000. Inside Investment Banking is a website of such kind, providing insiders’ assistance to guide you through resume writing to interviewing.