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Investment Banking Resumes

Tips, Tools, and Templates for Creating Your Perfect Investment Banking Resume or CV

Why is Your Resume Important?

Your resume or CV is what sits between you and the interviews and job offers you want.

If you put your best foot forward with a resume that highlights your most impressive education and work experience and also makes you look like a human rather than a robot, you’ll have a significantly higher chance of winning interviews.

And if you don’t, you’ll blend in with everyone else – which means you won’t be receiving interviews.

The Ideal Resume Template for University Students

The #1 rule of investment banking resumes is that busy, sleep-deprived bankers will spend about 30 seconds, max, reviewing your resume before they make an “interview / no interview” decision.

So, your resume should fit on one page with a normal font size and margins, and it should have your name at the top in a bigger font size.

We recommend the following sections:

  • Header – Center the header, make sure your name is in bigger font than the rest, and write your address, phone number, and email address right below that. Avoid graphics, emojis, modeling photos, etc.
  • Education – Where you go to school, what your major is, your graduation date, and your grades and standardized test scores (GPA and SAT in the U.S.; Degree classification and A-levels in the U.K.).
  • Work & Leadership Experience – Aim for 2-4 major work/leadership experience entries, with a mix of internships and activities. For each one, use a project-centric or task-centric structure and describe the specifics and the results of your work.
  • Skills, Activities & Interests – You can list language proficiencies, programming languages, certifications, and hobbies/interests such as sports, art/music, and anything unrelated to finance.

For more details and the template and tutorial, refer to our full article on the ideal Investment Banking Resume For University Students.

If you need a cover letter, check out our Investment Banking Cover Letter Template – which is also very short and straightforward.

Finally, we have a Sales & Trading Resume Template and tutorial for “public markets” roles as well.

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Resume Tips for Experienced Professionals

Many of the principles above also apply to your resume/CV if you’ve had full-time work experience.

For example, you still list your name and contact information at the top, skip the “Summary” section, stick to one page in most cases, aim for 2-4 major work experience entries, and focus on specifics and results in each one.

However, there are a few differences:

  1. Order – If you’re already working full-time, Work Experience goes on top, Education is below that, and Skills/Activities/Interests is below that.
  2. Focus – You should focus much more heavily on your full-time investment banking (or other) experience and cut back on the rest. No one cares about your student groups or Year 1 university internship if you’ve already been working full-time for 3-5 years.
  3. Possible “Transaction” Page – If you have worked on many, many deals (say, 10-20+) and you can’t fit all the important bits on one page, it might be acceptable to include a second page for key transactions. This is reasonable for VPs, Senior VPs, and MDs; it’s questionable-to-borderline-ridiculous for Analysts and Associates.
  4. Leadership and Client Experience – At this level, you need to emphasize your client work and the ability to lead teams and execute projects more than sheer technical prowess.

For more tips and template resumes, see our articles on Experienced Investment Banker Resumes and Private Equity Resumes.

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Common Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Despite all the tips, tutorials, and templates offered on this site, we tend to see the same resume/CV mistakes over and over.

Here are the top offenders:

  1. More Than One (1) Page – You can do this if you’re in Australia, where resume/CV standards are different, or if you’re a VP-level banker (or up) and you have a separate “Transaction Page.” Otherwise, avoid multiple pages or risk immediate rejection.
  2. Tiny Margins and Micro Fonts – Your resume should not be an “eye chart” at the optometrist’s office. If someone needs to Zoom to 200% or use a magnifying glass to read your resume, you lose.
  3. Photos, Emojis, Colors, Videos, and Other “Creative” Additions – The finance industry is very conservative and tends to laugh at these things, especially in the U.S. Sometimes in other regions, it is acceptable to include a standard professional photo of yourself.
  4. Omitting Vital Information – You can’t just “forget” your GPA and hope they won’t notice – they will. The same applies to gaps in your work experience, transfers to other universities, and so on.
  5. Laundry List of Meaningless Clubs/Activities – Many students feel they need to “pad” their resumes to make up for lack of real work experience. Don’t do this! No one reading your resume will be able to remember more than 3-4 key points, so it’s counterproductive to list every last club or activity on it.

Finally, remember the role of your resume: it’s designed to present your experience effectively and get your foot in the door.

You cannot rely on your resume to do everything for you, so networking and interview preparation are also critical.

You can spend 100 hours on your resume trying to make each bullet point perfect…

…or you can take the 80/20 approach by spending 1-2 days on it and then using the rest of your time for networking and interview preparation.

Hint: You’ll get much better results with the second approach.

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Professional Resume and Cover Letter Editing Services

The free templates on this page work at firms ranging from regional boutiques to middle-market banks, elite boutiques, and bulge-bracket banks.

But what if you want additional, personalized help?

Well, we’ve got your back.

We will take your existing resume and transform it into a document that grabs the attention of finance industry professionals and presents you and your experience in the best possible 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 when you request our Premium Resume Services:

  • 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 structure – 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.”
  • One caveat: we can work with only 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.

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