Tired of submitting your resume into the black hole of online job listings, or blindly emailing all your contacts, and waiting, waiting, waiting… and never hearing back?
“Here’s How to Make Your Resume Shine,
Spin Your Experience Into Sounding Relevant
Even If You Have No Finance Background, And
Land All the Finance Interviews and Job Offers
You Desire and Deserve”
Read on to discover how to truly set your resume / CV apart from everyone else’s, rise to the top of the “interview list,” and start landing interviews and offers…
From: Nicole Lee
Senior Investment Banking Coach
Want to break into investment banking?
A lot of people do. But the majority of “candidates” never even land an interview.
Each year, over 100,000 hopefuls apply for investment banking jobs – and fewer than 1,000 get in. Your odds are less than 1%!
And with the way the market has been ever since “the crisis,” it’s not getting any easier…
Spend some time browsing around online and reading message boards and comments, and you’ll see people complaining that it’s “impossible” or that “no one is hiring anymore.”
Just one small problem: plenty of investment banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds are, in fact, hiring each year.
After all, junior employees always leave and move elsewhere and senior bankers may “retire” or move to other firms.
And if you can bring in revenue or save time/money for a firm, there will always be a spot for you.
So the demand is there… it’s just that finance firms have been getting more selective about who they interview and hire.
Do These Common Job-Hunting Problems Sound Familiar to You?
- You’ve applied for finance roles, but you’re not getting call-backs, or you’re getting filtered out early in the process – before you even get the chance to prove yourself.
- Interviewers might be on-the-surface helpful, but they’re really just telling you “put offs” like: “It’s a tough market” or “Banks aren’t hiring.” They are hiring – they’re just not hiring you. And you need to change that.
- You’ve written a resume or curriculum vitae, but it doesn’t quite capture your skills, background, and abilities, and it doesn’t “sell” you effectively. Maybe others with inferior work experience, skills, or grades are getting offers and you’re not.
- Or perhaps you have a few “gaps” in your education or career that are costing your interviews or offers, and you’re not sure how to spin these gaps to your advantage.
- Or it could be that you are making some headway, but it’s a slow, grinding process. And you’re just “over it” and you’re looking to fast-track your rise into an investment banking or finance job.
I know this sequence of events all too well because I, too, once struggled to break into investment banking.
How I Got Got Rejected from Morgan Stanley – and How You Can Avoid It
I knew I wanted an internship with Morgan Stanley ever since the first semester of my sophomore year.
Everyone else around me was talking about internships on Wall Street and the glamour and prestige of working for banks like Morgan Stanley – I would have given anything just to have been the Excel monkey in a tiny cubicle there!
I didn’t have the contacts, and I had no idea how to write a winning resume or cover letter that compelled interviewers to want to meet me.
Sure, I was a good student… plugging away all day in the library working on my assignments and always boosting my GPA. I was very involved with the student investment club, and had already completed an internship at a bulge bracket bank.
That was great experience for my age – but without a great resume I could use to market myself, it meant nothing.
I was desperately searching for any way to land an offer at Morgan Stanley – and I wanted it more than kids on Christmas want to open their presents early.
Have you seen kids rush out in the wee hours of the morning to open all their presents early? That was me trying to break into investment banking… only I couldn’t open my presents.
So I applied to my dream internship at Morgan – and got rejected.
How could they reject a star student like myself?
I had stellar grades, solid work experience, a top university on my resume, and I was a leader in the student investment club.
Heartbroken and dejected, I got really desperate and asked friends in the finance industry to review my resume… and the first thing they did was laugh, because it was just that bad!
I discovered why I hadn’t been getting investment banking interviews: my resume was awful.
- Instead of being a leader, I looked like a follower.
- Instead of getting results, I was getting nothing.
- Instead of being attentive to detail, I was attentive to minutiae.
- And instead of being a banker, I looked like a nerd.
This was the wake-up call I needed to adopt a new approach and get much better results.
I ended up winning an even better offer, so this story has a “happy ending.”
But before I get to that, first let me tell you what I tried that DIDN’T work.
The Search For Finance-Specific Resume Editing Services Begins
When I was first breaking into investment banking, it amazed me that there were no high-quality resume editing services.
Oh, sure, there were tons of “resume critique” services out there… but they were completely useless.
They used reviewers who knew nothing about finance and who kept making irrelevant comments on my resume.
Let’s face it: in most fields outside finance, resumes are a joke. The recruiter might spend more time looking at your photo on LinkedIn than he/she spends reviewing your experience.
But there’s nothing as competitive as investment banking – and to compete, you need an experienced professional. Someone who knows what EBITDA stands for.
Sadly, these services have not improved since I was breaking into the industry.
Here are just a few of the problems I still see with the “generic” offerings out there:
- The resume reviewers have no experience in finance. They don’t know the lingo, they don’t know how to impress, and no, they definitely don’t know what EBITDA stands for.
- They give such vague comments that any feedback they do provide is useless… “Be more detailed.” Great, thanks for reminding me!
- Even if they claim to provide a “line-by-line critique,” they only give comments every few lines… if at all.
- They charge you for additional revisions and feedback, even if their “revision” consists of changing a single word.
- They charge you extra if you have follow-up questions. Unlimited Q&A for two-weeks? Forget about it.
At best, generic services leave you with a resume that sounds like it’s written in a “thick foreign accent” to bankers.
And that can ONLY create a bad impression.
Your resume needs to be written in fluent “Investment Banker” lingo.
I remain shocked to this day at how low-quality these services are.
I had to turn to friends and my own research, and waste months of time and effort to make my own resume stand out.
How I Fixed My Resume Mistakes And Landed an Internship at Goldman Sachs, And How You Can Do the Same
I knew my resume and cover letter were keeping doors closed for me…
And so I actually put months of time and energy into making both of them better and better.
I read books; I looked into research; and I interviewed IB professionals about what they were looking to see, and how they wanted to see it presented.
I also reviewed the resumes of people who had already broken in, and looked for common success factors.
Eventually, after more than a few iterations, I fixed my resume and ended up landing an interview and then an offer at Goldman Sachs.
My resume had improved so dramatically that I actually got an “upgrade” over the bank I had originally wanted to work at!
It sure wasn’t easy… and I did pour months of time into the process, but it all paid off in the end.
Don’t Make The Same Mistakes I Did
If you’ve been trying to break into investment banking, you’ve already invested a lot of time into the recruiting process…. but you don’t need to make the same mistakes I did.
You can stop wasting your time right now and get more interviews , starting TODAY.
One of the benefits of finally getting into the industry is that I finally got to review resumes myself and decide who received interviews and offers and who did not.
So I got to see firsthand exactly what works and what doesn’t work on a resume – how you get noticed, and how you get ignored.
The difference between landing an interview and never getting the call-back can be as tiny as 3 words!
Introducing Premium Investment-Banking Specific Resume And Cover Letter Editing Services
What I’m offering is simple but profound:
I will take your resume and transform it into a resume that grabs the attention of finance industry professionals and presents you and your experience in the absolute best light.
When we’re done, your resume will grab bankers by the lapels and not let them go until they’ve given you an interview.
Specifically, here’s what you’ll get:
- Detailed, line-by-line editing of your banking resume – everything that needs to be changed is changed. No detail is ignored.
- Your experience will be “bankified” regardless of whether you’ve been a student, a researcher, a marketer, financier, lawyer, accountant, or anything else.
- Optimal structuring – you’ll learn where everything from education to work experience to activities should go. Regional badminton champion? Stamp collector? You’ll find out where those should go too.
- The 3-point structure to use for all your work experience entries: simple but highly effective at getting the attention of bankers.
- How to spin non-finance experience into sounding like you were Gordon Gekko’s offspring.
- How to make business-related experience, such as consulting, law, and accounting, sound like you worked on “deals” – just like a banker would.
- How to avoid the fatal resume mistakes that get you automatically rejected – nothing hurts more than making a simple oversight that gets you an immediate “ding.”
- Feedback, polishing and revisions. If you’re not satisfied with any part of your new resume, you get access to continued feedback and revisions – the number of revisions depends on the package you sign up for (see below).
- 5 business day turnaround time. We like to spend a lot of time on each resume and make sure it’s the best it can be before we send back our first round of edits… and we need “quality time” with your resume to make it perfect.
OK, But There Has to Be a Catch…
Make no mistake: a top-notch resume is your key to getting noticed and landing interviews.
But your resume alone cannot guarantee you a job. You still have to develop contacts in the industry and ace your interviews if you want to break in.
So I can’t do all the work for you – but I can do a lot of the heavy lifting.
“Do You Have Any Examples?”
I know what you’re thinking by now: “Sounds great, but do you have any examples of resumes you’ve edited?”
To show you exactly the level of service you’ll get after you sign up, I’ve linked to 2 example “Before” and “After” resumes below.
One of these resumes is from an experienced professional, and one is from a university student with significant internship experience.
Names, dates, company and client names, and other information have all been modified to protect clients’ privacy, but the substance of the edits is all there.
In addition to giving you these examples, I will also explain exactly what was wrong with each resume and what we did to fix it – after speaking with each client on the phone and getting more details on his/her experiences.
Experienced Professional’s Resume:
Overview of Problems in Initial Version – and How We Fixed Them:
- The formatting was not ideal and it made his resume too difficult to read – we changed this around to streamline the experience and make it easier to scan through.
- Much of his listed experience did not have strong results associated with it, so we deleted some of the work experience and swapped in new entries based on other deals and clients that showcased better results.
- We cut back on the number of listed deals and focused more on describing each one in greater depth. For someone with 20+ transactions, it’s better to focus on the “top few” and then leave the rest for a separate “Deal Listing” page, if required.
- Within his transaction experience, we asked him specifically about results for each entry and emphasized that aspect (e.g. the $3 million price reduction) more.
- We changed the focus of his older consulting experience and highlighted the leveraged buyout transaction he was working on – he was focused on PE-related roles, so it was important to emphasize his exposure to LBOs.
- Ordinarily, the part-time experience at “PowerSoft Analytics” (some type of consulting role in a side business) would have been fine to list – but we were space-constrained and this was less relevant, so we deleted it.
University Student’s Resume:
Overview of Problems in Initial Version – and How We Fixed Them:
- Summary sections in the beginning are generally useless for recent graduates and current university students, so we removed that.
- The formatting suffered from issues with spacing, bold text, and so on, so we made the resume more in-line with our own templates.
- She listed too many different work experience entries and did not go into much detail on any of them; we changed this by only listing 4 entries and focusing on the top 3 most useful ones.
- For each work experience entry, we changed the focus to the skill set that was most useful in the finance industry – valuation, financial analysis, and so on.
- We shifted the focus to results and recommendations, including added emphasis on deal and investment recommendations and the potential $2 million expense reduction in one of the entries.
It’s very, very unlikely you’ll have a question we haven’t heard and successfully answered before, or that you have a work experience or educational background that we haven’t seen on a resume in the past.
You’re tapping into a vast reservoir of finance resume knowledge when you use our service.
Hear What Some of Our Previous and Current Clients
Have To Say About Their Experiences…
Note that our clients typically sign up for package deals, so these comments refer to both our coaching and resume / cover letter editing services.
“By the Third Week, I Was Spoiled by Choice; I Had About Half a Dozen Callbacks and Even Received an Interview Request from a Firm I Hadn’t Even Applied to!”
“For the Latter Part, I Can Confidently Say That Had I Not Undergone Your Coaching, I Would Have Made Some Serious Networking No No’s and Awkward Conversations.”
“I Recently Just Landed Two Offers, One at a Boutique, One at a Canadian Bank-Owned Dealer. A Big Shout Out to Nicole for Her Help Over Resume, Cover Letter, and Interview Tips!!”
“I Would Definitely Recommend This Service, Particularly to People Looking to Break Into the Industry from Non-Finance Backgrounds.”
“This Was the Best Career Investment I’ve Ever Made. I Had No Idea What Investment Banking Was in October, Submitted My Resume Online (!) in December, and Got an Interview with a Major Bank in February.”
“M&I Helped Me Think About the Specific Impact I Had On All My Deals and Projects, Which Resonated with Employers. Now I Have a Dream Job at a Leading Cleantech Private Equity Firm.”
“The Improved CV Indeed Landed Me More Interviews and I Have Recently Landed a Job at a Private Equity House Which Specializes in Real Estate Investment.”
“I Would Like to Express My Special Thanks to Ms. Nicole Lee. With Her Profession, Efficiency and Intelligence, She Really Changed My Messy Resume and Cover Letter Into Interview-Winning Ones.”
“The Overall Effect is That My Resume Now Looks Far More ‘Banker Appropriate’ Than Before, Despite the Fact That I Have No Previous Experience in Investment Banking.”
“The Coaching Service Was Fantastic! Try the Service, It’s a Small Investment for the Huge Payoff Potential – I Highly Recommend [It]!”
“The Resume You Helped Edit Was So Great, and I Got Several Interviews with Several Big Banks.”
“In a Matter of Days, She Helped Me Break Through Weeks of Second Guessing Previous [Resume] Versions and Focus on the Areas of My Background That Really Matter, Very Impressive!”
“I Found the Resume Editing Service Helpful, and Am Currently in the Process of Two Interviews, One for a M&A Analyst Position at a Boutique Investment Bank, and the Other at a Real Estate Private Equity Fund.”
“My Initial Expectation Was Just to Craft a Pitch Story, But I Got Much More Help – Networking to Exploring Other Functions. She Provides Detailed Insights, Step-by-Step Guidance, and Even Support!!”
“She Will Upgrade Your Pitch Story to the Next Level Where You Will Have a Real Chance at Landing That Position. By Far the Best Return on Your Investment.”
“I Decided to Take a Chance and Get M&I to Edit My Resume and the Results Were OUTSTANDING.”
“The Service of Mergers and Inquisitions is Simply Awesome. People Are So Helpful Here and the Coaching Really Works No Matter [If] You Are Applying for [the] EMEA or APAC Region.”
“Now I’ve Landed 3 Offers Including One from a Bulge Bracket.”
“The M&I Team Were Complete Professionals and the Coaching I Got from Them Along with the Cover Letter / Resume Editing Helped Me Secure a Private Equity Internship.”
As you can see from the examples above, when there’s a fit between us and our clients, the results can be extraordinary.
But in case you still have questions, here are a few of the most common ones we’ve received…
What If I’m an International Student, or I’m Applying for Jobs Outside the US?
The resume editing process is similar regardless of the country, and firms standardize their recruiting methods – so my critique and editing will apply equally regardless of whether you’re applying to New York, Hong Kong, London, or anywhere in between.
NOTE: Australian resumes are quite different.
If you’re from Australia but you’re applying to other countries using a standard 1-page resume, we can certainly help. But if you’re using a multi-page resume as is typical for domestic positions in Australia, this service is not for you.
What If I’m in Business School or Have an Advanced Degree?
We find that business school or advanced degree graduates often need the most help – whether that’s in recognizing what banks today are looking for in resumes, or knowing what to highlight on your 1-page document.
If I’m a Sophomore or Junior in University, Can I Still Use This?
If you’re a Sophomore or Junior in university, this service is NOT right for you. Our focus is on clients who have at least several internships and/or several years of full-time work experience.
If you do have significant internship experience anyway, then yes, we may be able to help – but please contact us first.
What About for Senior-Level Positions?
This service is appropriate for professionals up to the VP level. It’s not appropriate if you’re a Managing Director or C-level executive, as those types of resumes have very different requirements and accepted styles.
Do You Edit Cover Letters?
Yes. In fact, we normally review your cover letter at the same time as we review your resume. We also offer more comprehensive coaching packages (please see options below).
My Resume is Already “Pretty Good” – How Much Can You Really Help?
Many clients we work with DO start out with a “good” resume – but they’re looking to make it “great.”
Whenever you work on your own resume, it’s all to easy to over-analyze until you “can’t see the forest for the trees”.
We add a professional, third party perspective that can often add substantial value.
Almost every resume we’ve seen could use some improvement – whether in content, formatting, structure, or all of those.
Formatting, in particular, tends to kill otherwise good resumes – we’ve seen plenty of qualified candidates get rejected simply because their resumes were difficult to read.
You wouldn’t want to spend days working on your resume and then get rejected because you misspelled a word, or because your hyphens were different lengths… right?
That’s the level of detail you need to ensure your resume is favorably received.
Do You Edit Both Content and Formatting?
Yes, both formatting and content are covered. After all, it’s hard to get interviews if your resume looks like a 5-year old scribbled it together with crayons.
With all that said, this coaching service is NOT a fit for everyone.
We’re not going to sugar-coat this and spin some BS about how “everyone from high school students to seasoned industry professionals can benefit from our services!”
The truth is only a relatively small and exclusive group of candidates is a fit for our services.
Client fit is very important to us, and we only want to work with people we know we can help.
Eight Important Things You Need To
Know Before You Apply
- While we promise to give you our full expertise and attention, we cannot guarantee your success, because there are so many factors beyond our control. However, we CAN help you to put your very best foot forward and achieve your goals much faster than you otherwise would.
If you have a 2.0 GPA from an unknown school with 0 internships and expect us to magically get you an offer at Goldman Sachs Investment Banking in New York or London, then keep dreaming. In this situation, we would actually recommend NOT signing up at all because our services would not be terribly helpful for you.
- Do NOT apply if you’re a university student with no previous work experience.
We focus on helping 3 main categories of candidates only:
- University or Master’s students with previous internships who are now seeking full-time employment (sometimes we can help with internships, if you’ve had solid previous work experience)
- Current investment bankers who are now looking to move to the buy-side at a private equity firm, hedge fund, or venture capital firm
- Career changers who want to break into finance at the MBA level or post-MBA level
If you are NOT in one of those categories above, please do NOT sign up for these services.
Yes, there is a chance that our strategies might still help you… so if you fit slightly outside the categories above, you could contact us first to get our thoughts before you commit to anything.
But in most cases, these services will be FAR more helpful if you’re in one of those 3 categories above.
And please, whatever you do, do NOT sign up if you’re currently a 1st or 2nd year university student with no previous internships or work experience, because these services will not help you at all.
- You have to do the work. We will deliver value in a number of ways, including editing your resume, helping you to perfect your pitch, explaining exactly how to network, practicing interview questions with you, and so on. But you still have to do the work. You have to be 100% committed to landing your dream job and be 100% responsible for your results. This isn’t a “pay the money, automatically get a job in investment banking” deal. This may seem like a ridiculous statement to make, but we’ve gotten some odd requests over the years…
- There are NO REFUNDS and NO DISCOUNTS for this service. Here’s where we’re coming from: we are investing a significant amount of our own personal time into working with you – often days or weeks. Our time can never be replaced. We’ll play full on, and we expect you to as well, working “without a net”, just like in the real world.
But please be assured that if we don’t feel there is a fit, we will immediately refund what you’ve paid. However, once we do accept your payment and we both decide to proceed, there will be no refunds granted.
- Only apply for this program if investing in it would NOT be a financial burden for you and your family. We do not want you taking on credit card debt or any other type of debt to pay for this – and if we find out that you’ve done that, you will be refunded immediately and we’ll cancel the services.
- This program is ONLY applicable if you’re interested in investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, sales & trading, private banking, or asset management. Please do NOT sign up if you’re interested in working at a normal company, going into law, applying to medical school, becoming a circus performer, and so on. Yes, this may seem silly to state here but you’d be surprised at the questions we’ve gotten over the years…
- We edit resumes and cover letters based on our official templates (Example Resume Templates and Cover Letter Template) and the advice given on the site, and we only provide one-page resumes and cover letters. Please review the templates before you sign up to see if these templates suit your needs or not. If they do not suit your needs, do NOT sign up for these services. Yes, of course we’ll work extensively with you to customize these documents to reflect your own experiences – but these templates represent the starting point for everything else we do.
- We ask that you be respectful and give us 10 hours of notice when cancelling any coaching session with us. Please note that the coaching session will still be counted if there is a no show or less than 10 hours of notice was given before the session commences. Again, we invest a lot of time into working with you, and the relationship has to work both ways for it to be mutually beneficial.
So you’ve read through everything here now…
Including this list of 8 important points to keep in mind before signing up.
If you thoroughly understand everything and you’re convinced that these services are right for you, then here are the 4 sign-up options we offer:
The BRONZE option is our standard “Resume and Cover Letter Editing” service. I’ve also provided details of our SILVER and GOLD coaching services, which offer a more holistic solution than resume editing alone.
For personalized, industry-specific coaching and support, you will not find better value anywhere else.
Yes, there are some standalone services for JUST resume editing or JUST coaching that may save you a few bucks.
But you get what you pay for.
If you want help from professionals with a track record – who are now doing this as their full-time jobs as opposed to “side projects whenever there’s some downtime in their 80 hour per week job” – then this is the best service around.
What we offer is certainly not for everyone…
But if what you’ve tried so far has not gotten you the results you want at the speed you want them, then we can help you gain traction and get a better outcome for yourself right away.
Choose your preferred option above, and we’ll be in touch to find out more about your situation and advise you on the next steps.
And if you decide that it’s not for you before we begin, or we decide that we can’t edit your resume effectively, we’ll refund every cent you paid.
We look forward to potentially working with you!
To YOUR success,
Senior Investment Banking Coach
Mergers & Inquisitions
P.S. To recap: we believe this is the most comprehensive, IB and finance-specific resume editing service available anywhere, online or offline. We have hundreds of testimonials on file from finance professionals whom we’ve helped.
And while this isn’t right for everyone, we DO pledge to only take you on as a client if we firmly believe we can add value. We look forward to hearing from you.
P.P.S. Still have questions? Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to respond to any specific concerns, questions, or comments you have.