Investment Banking Resume Writing Tips - Content and Layout
collected a lot of resume writing tips before reading my blog? And did you
collect them from your fellow job seekers or resume service
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
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
Quantitative / analytical skills
Drive for results
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.
balance between text and space.
Limit to one page.
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
Avoid lengthy paragraphs; use bullet points to condense a
list of details.
name should be underlined or bold. For example, Ngo Tan
A current mailing address, a phone number that can reach you and an
Your email address should project a professional image of
yourself. For example, kittysmith at anyemail dotcom (avoid hellokitty at anyemail dotcom).
Employers from Asia might expect more personal details like
age, status, nationality. Employers from the Americas and Europe generally not.
Education and Qualifications
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
Tip: Emphasis achievements
and awards such as school topper through out, scholarships or having been a
with your current job and work backwards.
Indicate who you have worked
for, in what capacity and for how long.
Indicate location of work, such
as New York, London or Tokyo. As your experience cumulates, this reflects you
have an international vision. Relocation and travelling involves a lot as you
move ahead on your career path as an investment banker.
Use numbers to back you up, such as your ranking in an analysts’
poll or percentage of business growth during your
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
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.
languages you speak.
Other Key Elements
Avoid general benefit statements such as a good team player, highly
analytical or a good communicator etc. You are assumed to have all these
qualities for almost any job.
Jargons are allowed. Feel free to write
AUM, M&A, IPO etc., as bankers all know these terms and it demonstrates that
you are speaking their language.
Support your statements by facts.
Instead of saying that you are good at multi-tasking, it would be more
convincing by naming the various activities and roles you’ve taken up while
studying full time.
Everything should add value. Don’t waste valuable
space in writing statements like ‘references available upon request’ or a
reference list or your previous employers’ company descriptions and full
check! Many people overlook its importance during resume writing. Though perfect
spelling won’t gain you extra credit, typos certainly work against
Print out a copy and ask yourself the following
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