Two words define the investment banking resume: results and details. Investment bankers are tough. They are looking for people who can deliver the goods and handle the stress. Period. Your resume must be as crisp and sharp as you are.
No Room for Fluffy
Accountants bill hours. Lawyers bill hours. Even interior decorators bill hours. Nobody cares how many hours an investment banker works (though believe me, it will be many!) Nobody pays an investment banker for the number of hours worked. Investment bankers are paid for results.
As you present your past experience, think about the impact of your work. Frame that experience to show the outcome of your labors. And for everything you present, be sure you include details. This is no time to be vague. They really want to know what you did. If you are handing them fluff, they will find you out quickly enough. You didn’t simply research retails for a potential LBO target. You researched over 150 hard-line retailers for a potential LBO target and narrowed the list down to the top 5 by the highest amount of levered ratio that could be supported by company cash flow, resulting in the third largest LBO transaction in the retail space in the consumer sector.
No Shrinking Violets Allowed
If you happen to be a combat veteran, you are in great shape here because investment bankers want people who are comfortable taking risks. It is a high-stress, fast-moving field, and those who can’t take the pressure wash out quickly. Highlight any positions or past experiences that suggest such a comfort level, even if it’s under a special interests section. Perhaps you enjoy skydiving or flying your own airplane.
And while we’re on the special interests section, you’d be surprised how something that seems so insignificant can sometimes help break you out of the pack. Sometimes an unusual random talent or interest can connect with a hiring manager, so add ‘em if you’ve got ‘em and keep your fingers crossed. Maybe he played in his university bagpipe ensemble too!
And Speaking of Details . . .
Bankers don’t miss a thing when it comes to details. This is one resume that should never be created at the last minute. Once you have finished and are sure it is perfect, put it in a drawer for a day or two and then take a fresh look. Then have two or three other people look it over as well. Of course, check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but also look carefully for formatting. Be sure that like headings are in the same type of font. If you bold print one date, bold print them all. Check for random indentations and auto-corrected errors, especially incorrect capital letters that have been auto-corrected after periods following abbreviations. It seems like such a little thing, but you want to prove you are someone who pays attention to detail. You won’t get a second chance if your resume has careless errors.
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