Have you collected a lot of resume writing tips before reading my blog? And did you collect them from your fellow job seekers or resume service providers?
Why not checking out expectations from resume readers? Hiring managers are readers, so as headhunters. As a professional IB headhunter, I am here to express my thoughts regarding resume writing.
Resume writing is an art. A resume is a sales tool. It tells your past story to prove that you are able for your future.
Investment bankers are busy. Therefore your resume should help them quickly figure out who you are and how you can contribute to their business. Omit career objective, summary or profile, as they are considered superfluous.
Below are some winning resume writing strategies.
These strategies are based on my experience being an IB headhunter reviewing numerous resumes/CVs daily. I have also merged some resume writing guidelines from leading investment bank Goldman Sachs as well as thoughts that I collected from hiring managers.
Key Characteristics Sought by Investment Bankers
- Quantitative / analytical skills
- Drive for results
- Negotiations skills
- Power of persuasion
- Relationship building skills
Tailor your resume in a way to demonstrate these characteristics. For entry level applicants, it can be from any context other than investment banking.
Look and Feel
Look and feel (L&F) is one the most important resume writing skills. Though good L&F won’t guarantee success, bad L&F loses readers quickly. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression! Good resumes have one thing in common, simplicity. Make it your mantra.
- Sans serif fonts work best on paper as well as on computer screen. Arial 11 is the most desired font and size.
- A good balance between text and space.
- Limit to one page.
- Block capitals, bold or underline type can help to direct the reviewer's focus. However over-using of these effects will spoil your L&F. Be consistent in your formatting.
- Avoid lengthy paragraphs; use bullet points to condense a list of details.
- Your family name should be underlined or bold. For example, Ngo Tan Chen.
- A current mailing address, a phone number that can reach you and an email address.
- Your email address should project a professional image of yourself.
- Employers from Asia might expect more personal details like age, status, nationality. Employers from the Americas and Europe generally not. Best is to check their websites and find out.
Education and Qualifications
For young bankers and undergraduates, education and qualifications should be listed first, followed by work experiences. After a few years, experience will weight higher and should appear in the most eye-catching position on the resume.
Tip: Emphasis achievements and awards such as school topper through out, scholarships or having been a young ambassador.
Tips: Do not use a functional resume, as it won’t work in the investment banking world.
Use numbers to back you up, such as your ranking in an analysts’ poll or percentage of business growth during your service.
- Write about any courses, societies, voluntary work or responsibilities you consider relevant.
- On top of appropriate skill sets, investment bankers need strong ability to tolerate various personalities, ambiguity, and so on. List activities that reflect your personality.
- Indicate your technical skills such as Bloomberg or Reuters. This is important for undergraduates to stand out. It is less important for experience bankers, as you are assumed to have these skills.
- List the languages you speak.
Other Key Elements
- Is my resume easy to read?
- Is the content concise and effective?
- Is my resume a good reflection of me and my experiences?
Ask a friend to proof read for you and ask them the same set of questions.
These career tools are seriously short-listed by Anna Maria D'Souza for those who serious want to start an investment banking career.
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