If you ask me what the most important element of a good resume is, I would say ‘content’ – of which, work history is the priority.
When I receive outstanding resumes, I will proactively do canvass for the candidate, ie. Send out ‘speculative’ resumes, in a headhunter’s term. Here I have generated a bio from one of my most admired resumes. This candidate has been off core investment banking roles for some time, but I am happy to sell him as a CFO candidate.
Please note that all names are dummies.
2006 - present
Non-profit Business, US$7 billion AUM, Hong Kong
Deputy Group Treasurer
2002 - 2006
Blue Chip Publicly Listed Real Estate Company, Hong Kong
Head of Treasury & Investments
1994 - 2002
Blue Chip Publicly Listed Company, Hong Kong
1988 - 1994
Canadian Dominion Bank, Canada
International Banking Division
1993 - 1994 Manager
1991 - 1993 Senior Assistant Manager
1988 - 1991 Assistant Manager
1987 - 1988
RBS, Hong Kong
Associate, Debt Capital Markets
1982 - 1987
HSBC, Hong Kong
1986 - 1987 Assistant Manager
1983 - 1986 Executive
1982 - 1983 Management Trainee
Why is this resume outstanding?
Frankly, this candidate does not possess a long list of degrees and professional qualifications, and does not speak seven languages. He actually has only one bachelor’s degree and is bilingual with English and Chinese. You will notice that he stay with each of his employers for a considerable period of time – meaning he is stable. Most of his movements, either internal or external, are upward movements – meaning he is doing well in all the jobs he does.
A Good Work History is the Backbone of a Good Resume
As I said in my previous post, any bachelor’s degree will enable you to start an investment banking career. However in the long run, you need to build a good work history in order to contribute to a good resume. Just like a top chef would still need good ingredients to cook with.
Remember, the way you move, indicates how successful you are in your career path. Start building a good job history the first day you start your first investment banking job. Be selective and look for a good investment bank to start with. Think before you accept any lateral move. Bear in mind one is fine, two is not preferred, three is not acceptable.
More resume writing tips from Jimmy Sweeney's Amazing Resume Creator