HAPPY NEW YEAR! I do hope that 2009 will bring peace to the world and investment banking will be doing far better than the previous year. Let’s start the new year by quickly refreshing some investment banking resume writing skills with a Q & A checklist.
What are the most basic elements of an investment banking resume?
In this exact order if you have less than three years experience.
1. Name and contact info.
You might not believe that some of the resumes I receive had no names on them. Some others had no contact info. Please make sure you won’t let this happen. A telephone number and a sensible email address (never use email@example.com) are necessary. Include country and city code in your telephone number, unless you are only sending your resume to your neighborhood companies.
In what order should I list my work experience?
Reverse chronological order. All hiring managers want to find out at the first sight of what are you doing, with whom and for how long. Second they would want to find out what you have done so far. If you fail to provide answers in the first 30 seconds, the hiring managers are likely to loss their patience. List your current (or last) job first and work backwards. Likewise, list your MBA prior to your BA degree. Secondary, ‘O’ or ‘A’ levels can be omitted, unless they are your highest achieved education.
What is the ideal length of an investment banking resume?
One page. Experienced bankers can be longer, but no more than two pages. If you are young and don’t have much transaction experience, you can include your transaction list within your one-page resume. Otherwise, make it a separate list.
Is a career objective needed?
No. Hiring managers don’t really care about this, especially for entry level roles. Even if you are getting experience and want to make clear what you want to do, keep your objective short – one sentence or one line. You can also write this on your cover letter and not your resume.
Do I have to list my skills?
Yes, but only those which will contribute value to the role you are applying. If you are an investment banker, don’t list Word, Excel, Powerpoint, but Bloomberg, Reuters. You don’t really have to say that you speak fluent English, as this is a default requirement in the investment banking world. List other languages that you speak, but make it a simple and precise list, just to avoid occupying too much of your valuable space on a one page resume.
Should I list my hobbies?
It is not completely necessary. Yes, if you have space and no, if you don’t. Again make it short and include hobbies that will add value to your resume and the role you are applying. I would avoid cooking or bird viewing. But football team member or club financial secretary or any other activities that will grant you credit on leadership, team building and achievements.
Should I list my GPA on my resume?
I have come across some hiring managers who are not interested in candidates with GPA lower than 3.5. Though it could be a matter of the individual hiring manager’s preference, but if you don’t list yours, you will be assumed as doing very bad. So unless you are really bad, I would say yes, to include it on your resume. On the contrary, you don’t have to include your GPA if you have already a few years of experience, unless your score is exceptionally high.
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