If you love finance, have an analytical mindset and are a bit of a go-getter, the world of investment banking may seem like a perfect place for you. Indeed, the earning potential here is immense. Senior professionals can command well above six-figures per year as a base salary, plus receive lavish performance bonuses.
However, breaking into this industry may require persistence and stellar credentials. Investment banking is a competitive niche where just a few of the many applicants get accepted. A compelling resume will be essential to get your foot in the door. Here we offer several actionable writing tips, followed by a strong investment banking resume example that you can use to model your application.
Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Software
Most top firms receive plenty of job applications for newly announced positions and even so much so for internships. The first barrier you’ll need to break through will likely be an applicant tracking system (ATS).
The bad news is that this software isn’t perfect. In fact, 62% of employers using it admit that a percentage of qualified candidates can be automatically rejected during the pre-screening process by mistake.
The better news is that you can game this software by strategically optimizing your resume. This includes doing the following:
- Use a sans serif resume font as such are considered more “readable” by machines.
- For the same reason, also use round bullet points.
- Avoid acronyms.
- Add plenty of relevant keywords (taken from the job description).
Follow The Company’s Resume Formatting Instructions
Most established employers will provide detailed instructions on the preferred resume format and style. Goldman Sachs, for instance, specifically asks entry-level candidates to “place educational information at the top (i.e., the school you are attending, your majors and minors, your expected degree and graduation date)” and list professional experience and internship afterward, followed by any additional information on other activities and interests,
Other banks, on the contrary, may prefer the standard chronological resume, emphasizing the work experience section above everything else. So be sure to carefully review all the application instructions and follow them to the dot.
Provide Facts and Figures
Hard facts and exact numbers matter a lot in the finance world. Every employer will expect to see tangible proof of your skills and accomplishments. Thus, have the numbers at hand and be ready to share how you’ve contributed to different types of projects.
Here’s a quick formula for parlaying your work history. First, explain what your responsibility was. Then tell what skill you’ve applied and afterward quantify the result. For example:
“Provided market analysis for a $35M retail acquisition deal. Created statistical models in LateX and data visualizations. Received praise for the client’s board for top-notch reporting”.
Stay Brief and On-Point
As a rule of thumb, your resume shouldn’t be longer than one page. It has to convey all the information efficiently and naturally draw attention to the most important areas – skills, education, accomplishments. Use bold to highlight the key elements and leave plenty of white space in between sections for easier skimming.
Also, use standard web-safe fonts and re-check your resume for any weird formatting. Rough design and mismatched colors can easily diminish the otherwise positive impression of your work history and education could make.
Resume Sample For Investment Banking (Word Version)
Investment Banking Resume Example (Text Version)
Tel: 088 000 0000
3514 Oakwood Avenue
New York, NY
A detail-oriented, result-driven analyst with data science skills (LBO, IPO, and DCF models) and day trading experience. Lead $250M+ deal models in healthcare, oil and gas industries.
Investment Banking Analyst, Healthcare Management Consulting
New York, NY (September 2017 – ongoing)
- Provided analysis and support for HealthCorp $120M equity raise and HealthApp IPO.
- Created deal models for a $250M acquisition of healthtech startup for an enterprise client.
- Conducted 20+ due diligence for healthcare, oil and gas companies. Created presentations and reports for board members.
- Recognized as a top 10% analyst among the company’s team of 120 analysts and was offered a performance bonus.
- Endorsed by HealthApp as one of the most thorough and experienced analysts they’ve worked with.
- Appointed as a recurrent buy-side advisor to HealthCorp. Provided support for 4 deals, totaling over $500M in value.
Day Trader, Part-Time, Wall Street Company
New York, NY (Jan.2016-June.2017)
Worked part-time during my senior years to learn all aspects of the stock market. Managed a $250,000 leveraged portfolio on behalf of the company.
- Conducted daily research and modeling to optimize profits and reduce risks.
- Developed and tested different short term trading strategies based on the Relative Strength Index and the Stochastic Oscillator.
- Performed trades on Dow Jones, AMEX, NYSE, and S&P 500 trading boards.
Software: Tableau, Python, C++, Stata, FactSet, PowerPoint, Excel, LatEx.
Languages: English – Native. Chinese – Native.
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics, July 2017. GPA: 3.6.
Minor: Data Science
Columbia University, New York.
Final Tip: Include References
Positive letters of reference from previous employers or professors can be a major plus to your job application packet. More experienced professionals can also include client endorsements that will showcase what they have achieved. The key here is to secure the permission in advance and choose to include letters that speak best to the qualifications you’ve highlighted in your resume.