Many a time I receive resumes of 11 pages. I was wondering if Warren Buffett’s resume is that long.
Obviously, many candidates want to include as much information as possible, thinking that it will impress the hiring manager. Regretfully I have to tell this is not a good strategy, especially in the busy investment banking world. The art of resume writing is to consider what the reader wants to know, and NOT what you want to tell.
To determine what to include in your resume is the first step. Next is to determine the sequence of presentation. Last is to present in a simple and effective layout.
I am a headhunter, my way of reading a resume is very much similar to that of hiring managers. Let me tell you what information I immediately want to know when reading a resume.
Experienced hire – what is your current job, with whom and for how long. If that satisfies me, I’ll continue look at your work history and educational credentials.
Entry-level hire – what college do you graduate from, majoring in what subject and your GPA. If that satisfies me, I’ll continue to see if you have any intern experience that sounds interesting.
Determine what is wanted and what is not
Do a thorough appraisal of yourself, and see what is unique about yourself and that would catch the eyes of the hiring managers. Here are some life examples.
- Straight A’s in O-level and A-level exams, school topper throughout
- Work 40+ hours/week to finance education without family gifts or loans
- Obtain five professional qualifications in seven years time
I have extracted these from my candidates’ resumes. They are so impressive and made me remember them. I like especially the guy who had to work 40+ hours per week to finance his own education however graduated from Stanford with many other extra curricular activities.
Don’t waste time in writing unwanted information, such as:
- Married to Anna (my first and only wife) for 17 years
- Married to Anna, with two kids, Natalie (born on 11 August 02), Nicholas (born on 11 September 05)
- Do not write your employers' names, display their company logos instead
Don’t’ laugh, these are true examples extracted from the daily resumes that I read, and this is only a short list. I am sure nobody wants to know how many times you’ve been married. Even if you want to present your family status, you don’t need to tell your kids’ birthdays. Colour logos can only beautify your resume, however won’t gain you extra credit. Don’t waste time on them.
Exercise – to write your best investment banking resume:
- Review yourself and look for your personal USP (unique selling point)
- Content scan your resume and filter those unwanted and unnecessary information
Test of your knowledge on my blog:
What is my suggested length of an ideal investment banking resume?
A. One page
B. One and a half page
C. Two pages
Recommended career tools:
Amazing Resume Creator
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Amazing Cover Letter
A powerful cover letter is the perfect partner of your resume. Personalize and customize your amazing cover letter with Jimmy Sweeney’s help.
Investment Banking Resume Writing