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Investment banking is one of the most competitive fields in the world; according to CNBC, Goldman Sachs received more than 250,000 student job applications in 2016 alone. If you want to impress a recruiter and land a job in investment banking, then you will need a strong CV and cover letter to make your case. These tips will help improve your own CV.
It’s important that you think about CV format before you even consider your content. For example, while a functional CV format is a good choice for job seekers with necessary skills but patchy or short work history, a chronological CV places more focus on work history, which is a better fit for most investment banking jobs, which usually require more experience.
You should also give some consideration to your CV design. Make use of a professional, easy-to-scan CV template from CVHelp to ensure that you get the right margin sizes, font type, font size, and the right balance of text areas and white space in your CV. This will give you the best chance of passing through applicant tracking systems that employers use to scan your CV, and depend on being able to parse a readable layout.
When it comes to actually writing your investment banking CV, you should focus on your technical skills, qualifications and achievements. However, hiring managers in this sector also favour highly motivated and goal-driven individuals, so any relevant personal projects, unpaid work or voluntary positions that led to success will look very good on your CV.
The CV format provided below adheres to a standard reverse chronological structure as this is the most likely to provide good results for an investment banking CV. You can add extra sections for internships, professional certifications, volunteer work, and awards that you have won, but your work history should remain at the top of the CV.
Your CV head is very simple; just include your full name, phone number, professional email address, and LinkedIn profile link. This necessary information makes it easy for recruiters to contact you if they want to invite you in for a job interview.
A professional summary is a sum-up of the skills and qualifications that make you best suited for the role. A career objective statement includes similar information, as well as a statement of your career goals. Either is fine for investment banking, but if you have a lot of experience and skills, a professional summary will be best for you. This section always sits directly below your header.
Your work history section should be listed in reverse chronological order, including up to the last 10 years of experience. List all previous job titles, even if they don’t offer banking experience. All you need to do is focus on what you’ve acquired and achieved. Present this information in light of the needs of the job posting you are applying for.
If you have relevant experience or qualifications, then writing a robust skills section should be straightforward. Review the job advert for the position in question to see which skills are most sought after for the role, and feature skills that you have that meet those requirements here. These are some of the most common skills on financial analyst and investment banking associate CVs:
Remember to only list the most relevant skills in your skill set – shoot for between six to eight.
Your CV education section will be important if you are a recent graduate seeking an internship or entry-level role. As you gain professional experience, this importance will lessen. However, if you have a bachelor’s degree in banking or finance, you should list it.
Whether you are starting small or you want to work for a bulge bracket bank like J.P. Morgan, these CV writing tips will help you stand out from the crowd:
There are hundreds of CV samples and examples available online. Consider CV samples that match the job title you are applying for to get inspiration.
A CV builder offers a quick and reliable way to create an effective base CV using a CV template. Once you’ve created a CV with the builder, it becomes much easier to create a unique version for each job application.
Potential employers tell you what they want in the job ads they post. Read the job description thoroughly to identify keywords that spell our crucial skills and requirements. Mirror these keywords in your CV where appropriate.
Typos are the easiest issue to fix and the quickest way to lose a recruiter’s interest. Proofread your CV at least twice before sending it out.
Hiring managers in investment banking are looking for goal-oriented go-getters; passive language will make them drop your CV. Use active phrases like “created”, “achieved”, and “implemented” to grab their attention.
Investment banking is so competitive that even the smallest thing can give you an edge. Research the bank you apply to and showcase any non-professional experiences that emphasise important skills or values. For example, if the bank you want to work for regularly supports charities that care for disabled veterans and you arranged a fundraiser for a similar cause, speak about that.
Unless your grades were exceptionally high, it probably won’t give you an edge in this field. In fact, it could hurt your chances if it falls below the average GPA listed by other candidates.
Humility won’t get you a job in a field this fierce. Speak about all of your achievements with confidence, but be honest, as exaggeration can get you in trouble.
These simple tips will give your CV the best chance to pass through ATS and impress a recruiter. Remember, however, that this is a competitive field and that you have to be prepared to create many applications.
Unless a potential employer specifically asks applicants not to send one, a cover letter is necessary, as it gives you an opportunity to make a more direct connection with an employer, and expand on your top strengths. Use these cover letter writing resources to help you get ahead.
If you have minimal professional experience, then focus on important skills you already have and your non-professional experience. Internships and volunteer work can give you an edge in the hiring process, especially in entry-level roles.
Read the job description twice; once to get a general idea of what the employer wants, the second time to highlight keywords. Keywords will be found in the required qualifications, skills, and work history listed. If you have skills, certifications, and job titles that match these requirements, then include them in your CV.
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