Here’s what your resume should look like as an investment banking aspirant
A career at a top investment bank is demanding, fast-moving, and competitive. It requires industry specific knowledge, dedication, and a willingness to learn along the way. When it comes to landing your dream career, your resume is the first stage of the job application. Senior bankers spend 30 seconds, on average, on an individual resume to make a decision. Therefore, it’s important for you not to miss out on any vital information that the recruiter is looking for, and at the same time, find a way to stand out from the crowd.
In this article, we present an investment banking resume structure that will help you construct an effective resume. This resume structure is standard and therefore, widely used.
Top investment banks look for certain aspects in a candidate’s resume, thus it’s important to start with the correct composition. Since you are a fresh graduate, you most likely lack work experience and hence, should centre your resume around your educational background.
This, however, does not mean that you should shy away from presenting any relevant work experiences, such as internships. That would be an added advantage. Following is the list of sections that should be in your investment banking resume:
- Key Skills
- Work experience (if any)
- Certifications (if any)
- Awards & Recognition (optional)
- Additional Information (optional)
Following your personal information and contact details, you must write a summary or resume objective. This section of an investment banking resume introduces your skill, achievements, and qualifications. It showcases why you are a perfect fit for the industry, the bank, its culture and gives a peek into your career goals. It is essential to alter this section according to different banks and to match specific job roles.
Moreover, since most investment banks and financial institutions use the ATS system to filter resumes, it is recommended that you use relevant keywords in the summary section to make it past the initial sorting. You can find relevant keywords for your resume, here.
A relevant educational background helps you establish yourself as a worthy candidate for the role. Along with mentioning the university and degree(s) you earned during your college years, it is also important to mention any special designations or noteworthy academic achievements you earned. Moreover, you can also mention the graduation date (expected, if you are still in Uni) and the GPA score, or any other equivalent grade.
You can include any specialised courses that you completed relevant to investments, finance or banking. Bridge courses such as algorithmic trading, statistical analysis, business law, and valuation of distressed assets are highly useful certifications to mention in your resume.
When going through an investment banking resume, recruiters look for skills pertaining to investment banking, or a trait that differentiates you. You can also use this section to add relevant keywords, which will help your resume to get past the ATS systems.
If you lack technical skills (hard skills – career-specific), you can list soft skills (personal/non-career specific) that are considered important in investment banking. Many of these skills are interconnected and are part of the investment banking skill set. To avoid any possible overlap, you must think carefully about each skill mentioned in your resume. One such example is presentation and communication skills. Being good with presentations generally suggests that you are good with communication as well.
Job selection is heavily influenced by internships, so it’s important to demonstrate how your internship has given you a deeper understanding of the job role and the working of the industry. You must use this opportunity to showcase your willingness to dedicate time and effort to the chosen job role. It is further beneficial to have done an internship in the bank you wish to work for. You can also mention your work experience in fields such as business, equity investing and private equity.
In case you don’t have any relevant work experience in the industry, you can make up for that by enrolling in relevant and renowned investment banking courses. You can add these in the certifications section of your IB resume to show your passion and commitment towards the industry.
Apart from the above-mentioned sections, you can add sections such as certifications, awards and recognitions. Specific interests in IB coupled with a financial background can also help you get a job in a sector-specific department. Investment banking jobs cannot be obtained by these sections alone and require immense preparation but they can certainly help you stand out.