Copy This Experienced Investment Banker Resume Template to Break In As an Associate

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experienced_investment_banking_resumeI kept getting questions about this one, and I figured we should finish up that series of investment banking resume templates and video tutorials – so here it is.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to craft your resume if you’re at the MBA level, if you’ve been working full-time, or if you’ve had extensive transaction experience.

Actually, it’s even easier than that: you don’t need to “craft” anything. You just need to copy these templates and modify them slightly.

Don’t you wish you found this site earlier?

Refresher – University Student Template

In case you missed it, here were the major points with the university student investment banking resume template:

  • 3 sections: Education; Work & Leadership Experience; and Skills, Activities & Interests
  • Focus on 2-4 key work/leadership experiences rather than taking a laundry list approach.
  • Use either a project-centric or task-centric format for each work experience entry.
  • Include a summary sentence for each entry, and make sure your other bullets include the specifics followed by the results.

These points apply to any investment banking resume, no matter what level you’re applying for – you just need to make a few tweaks.

The Templates, the Video, and the Tutorial

Here’s the overview video, which covers all 3 of the templates we’re looking at here:

(For more free training and financial modeling videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.)

And if you just want to read instead, here’s the same tutorial in textual form. We’ll go through each of these 3 templates and point out how they differ from the ones we looked at before.

MBA-Level Investment Banking Resume Template [Download]

Just like the university student template, Education is at the top.

This time, however, it’s greatly condensed – just list your business school and undergraduate name, degree titles, and graduation dates. You don’t need GPA/SAT scores unless the bank specifically asks for them.

Similarly, forget about activities / honors and other trivia and just give them the names and dates.

Work Experience

The Work Experience section should be very similar to the university student template.

The differences:

  • Avoid student activities / volunteer work unless that was your “full-time work experience” – e.g. you did Teach for America for 2 years.
  • Still pick 2-3 work experiences to focus on, but these should be full-time jobs rather than internships.
  • Focus on the most recent 5 years of work experience. If you have more than this maybe extend it to 10 but only do that if it’s relevant – e.g. you were a trader in a former life.

You still need to use a project-centric or task-centric format for each entry and focus on business results as much as possible.

But you should think about 2 additional points if you’re at the MBA-level:

When you enter at the Associate level, banks start grooming you to win clients and bring in revenue one day – so you need to convince them you’re more of a “leader” than an Analyst might.

Exceptions & Special Cases

If you’ve done some type of pre-MBA program related to finance – interning at a boutique, a PE firm, etc. – and the rest of your work experience is in a different field, you should definitely make this prominent, even if it only lasted a few months.

It’s not lying – it’s changing the focus. Spin 101.

If you’ve only had 1 full-time job before business school, just list your last major internship briefly, below the full-time entry, and write 1-2 bullets about it. A work experience section with only 1 large entry looks odd.

What Skills, Activities & Interests?

This section becomes increasingly irrelevant the more experienced you are. You can still include it at the MBA-level, but keep it short and feel free to drop it.

Full-Time Investment Banking Resume Template [Download]

This is almost exactly the same template as the MBA-level one – the only difference is that your Education section can be even shorter and it should be below Work Experience if you’re not currently a student.

Consider removing the last section as well.

Always pick 2-3 key work experience entries over past 5-10 years unless you’re a C-level executive with a 20+ year-long track record, or you have a lot of transaction experience – which leads us into the next section.

Experienced Investment Banker / Private Equity / Hedge Fund Financier

Experienced Investment Banker Resume Template [Download]

The Disclaimer – Read This First

Only use this template if you’re an experienced Associate, VP, or beyond that, and you have dozens of transactions to write about.

If you use this as a sophomore in college, it’s your fault. You will look stupid and not get any interviews.

What’s Different This Time?

This one is still similar to both the university student resume template and the investment banker resume template – with one key difference:

Rather than going into detail on all your clients and deals on the first page, you make a separate page or set of pages for your “Transaction Experience” and follow the same format there.

As with the templates above, Skills, Activities & Interests can be dropped and the Education section should be greatly condensed.

Each entry should consist of a summary sentence and 2-3 others that capture the main highlights from each experience – working with clients, management teams, bringing in business if you’re more senior, or doing analytical work for junior-level entries.

This person is showing more “leadership” at each level by writing about how he/she managed Analysts and Associates, and also highlighting more sourcing and business development at higher levels.

As you move up, investment banking becomes a pure Sales job, so your resume should reflect this.

It’s good to list “Notable Transactions” so that anyone can tell what he’s done at a glance without going to the second page.

Transaction Page

This should follow the chronological order and format of the first page.

The language here is not much different from the Analyst/Associate investment banker resume template – the person still discusses valuation/modeling work and his/her impact on the deal process.

But the focus is different at each level:

What About for Private Equity and Hedge Funds?

Not much is different – if you have an extensive transaction / investment list, you should still list it on a separate page.

Just flip around the language and write about “investments” and “potential investments” as opposed to “deals.”

For the first page, write about your efforts sourcing investment ideas rather than potential clients.

It can be near-impossible to come up with concrete “results” on the buy-side because of the time frame – it might take years for a firm to exit a particular investment.

So don’t feel pressured to always have tangible “results.”

What Next?

Use these templates – just make sure you’ve read the disclaimers first.

You don’t need to follow the exact format and language here – these are intended to give you ideas and guide you in the right direction.

As always, if you’re paranoid about having the same-looking resume as everyone else, just change the font, font size, or other formatting to make it look different.

Up Next

You should now know 95% of what you need to craft your resume copy these templates and use them for your own purposes, from the Analyst-level to VP-level and up.

I may cover examples of specific bullets / language you would use for different industries (marketing, accounting, wealth management, etc.) and do a few “resume makeovers” in coming months.

Any questions?

Still Need More Help?

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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 resume/CV – Everything that needs to be changed will be changed. No detail is ignored.
  • Your experience will be “bankified” regardless of whether you’ve been a student, a researcher, a marketer, a financier, a lawyer, an 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’ve been investing your own portfolio since age 12.
  • How to make business-related experience, such as consulting, law, and accounting, sounds like “deal work.”
  • How to avoid the fatal resume mistake that gets you automatically rejected. Nothing hurts more than making a simple oversight that gets you an immediate “ding”.
  • We only work with a limited number of clients each month. In fact, we purposely turn down potential clients in cases where we cannot add much value. We prefer quality over quantity, and we always want to ensure that we can work well together first.

FIND OUT MORE

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

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138 Comments to “Copy This Experienced Investment Banker Resume Template to Break In As an Associate”

Comments

  1. BanditPandit says

    Hi Brian,

    I’m working at a bulge bracket through a temp agency and want to update my resume. On my resume, I would rather list the BB as my employer even though technically I’m employed by the temp agency. Do you think this is something I could get away with?

    Thx

  2. C says

    Thanks for this – very useful! Quick question: at what point is it OK for your CV to spill over 1 page?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      When you have > 8 years of experience. It will still be good to have an abbreviated version of your version then too.

  3. Aiswarya says

    Hi,

    I am an Engineering Graduate currently working in IT industry. Am very much interested in a career in Invest Banking but i don’t have any relevent experience. How can i work for this? or is it mandatory to have MBA for such a career?

  4. Yeoh says

    Hi, have been in trading for 3 years and im a degree holder from e&e engineering.would you please advise on how to break into ib? Currently have cleared cfa level 1 as well. Thanks

  5. felix says

    I have probably read over 20 articles on this site and honestly, I really appreciate the efforts but sometimes get confused with conflicting opinions I read. My questions:

    1. Can someone get into IB/PF/HF without any, ZERO, financial modeling experience? I am more than willing to learn the skill but need some guidance on what to read or maybe look into a good book. Till then I am curious to know if I can break into this space.

    BACKGROUND: An IT Business Systems Analyst who has done a lot of management and technology consulting for Banks and Software firms. I currently make $90k base + benefits.

  6. Thomas says

    Hi I am a recently graduated (September 2012) in mechanical engineering and I have started working immediately after graduating in an engineering consulting firm. I work as a technical advisor on Project Finance transactions. Although many of my clients are investment banks, I don’t have the actual experience they look for (financial modelling, etc.). I have been applying to tier 1 IB for a year now, and never got an interview! On the other hand, when I apply to engineering companies (blue chip) I often get an interview. Therefore my skill set must not be that bad. Do you have any advice for me? I am trying very hard to get a position in IB (M&A, ECM or Project/Acquisition Finance), sending applications practically every day.
    I am considering doing an MSc in Finance or an MBA (the latter will have to be at least next year due to the 3+ yrs experience requirement), but would these qualifications secure me a position in IB? Will I be too old? Have I missed the boat? I regret not have applied to internships when at Uni.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Perhaps your experience is more “palatable” to engineering roles. You may have to gain relevant finance experience to rebrand yourself. An MBA or MSc in Finance can help you retool yourself and open you more doors, though I wouldn’t say it can secure you a position in IB. Since you’re a recent graduate, no you aren’t too old

  7. Delighful says

    Hi, With a BSc in computer science and a masters degree in IT with innovation and Management Studies, coupled with 3 years work experience in retail, IT and charity industry. How do u suggest i break into the technology section of an investment bank.

    Also which particular CV type and Cover letter format do you advise I use because i noticed none of the ones you posted has an executive summary.

    thank u.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      I’d apply online and email hiring managers of technology divisions at banks.

      You can still use our template format for technology roles. We don’t recommend clients using executive summaries on their resumes to preserve space (unless you have 10 years+ of experience); your work experience should give people a snapshot of your past, without needing to insert a summary section. In most cases you can use your cover letter to give them a snapshot of your skills.

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