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.