Investment Banker Resume Tutorial for Students (with FREE downloadable Template)


bjbj In this video I’m going to be going through
this resume that you see right now on the screen in front of you, and give you a quick
overview of everything that’s included in here. How you might use this in your own recruiting
efforts and why I think you should be using the formats here and use some of the structures
here and try to incorporate it as much as possible into your own resume. Now the first
thing to point out is that this is for a university student, so that explains certain things on
here, such as the education section right here being at the top. We have work and leadership
experience next right here, and then we have the skills, activities and interests here
at the bottom. Now if you’re not a student then this would be structured differently.
But where just going to focus on what university students have to take into account. The first
thing to take to note here is that there’s not that much information on this resume.
It’s probably less then some of the samples you’ve seen before and that is done intentionally
because with investment resumes you only have about 30 seconds or so for the person to read
it and for you to catch their attention. So, they’re not going to be spending too much
time reading it. You really need to focus on the key points and draw their attention
to those, rather then giving them a laundry list of everything you have done over the
past 10 years, especially if you’re still a student and you don’t have any full-time
work experience. So the margins here are set to three quarters of an inch which is reasonable.
I would not go too much below half an inch on the margins. The font size is 12. We’re
just using Times New Roman. It doesn’t really matter what font you’re using as long as it’s
reasonable. You could use Arial, could use a number of other fonts. The main important
point to keep in mind here is that it has to be readable above all else. So, I like
Times New Roman and Arial, but feel free to using anything that is readable. Now, if these
margins and 12 point font size are too big for your resume and you can’t fit everything
on for some reason, you can decrease the font size. It’s probably better to decrease the
font size rather than decreasing the margins. Because decreasing the margins tends to make
the resume very, very difficult to read, whereas if we change the fonts size here to ten or
eight or something like that then it would be more difficult to read, but it’s better
than making non-existent margins for example. Now, in terms of the actually sections here,
you’ll see that we start off with a header right here and we go right into education
and then to work and leadership experience and then into skills, activities and interests.
The header should be very, very simple. Just have your name, your physical address and
your phone number and your email address, laid out like this. Now, for your name, you
should try to include this in larger font then the rest of your items on your resume
just so it stands out so whoever is looking at it will actually remember who you are.
It sounds minor but it’s actually a pretty good idea to do this and it’s not going to
give you a huge advantage, but just something you should try to do on yours, assuming you
have enough space to do so. The rest of it should be kept really simple and there’s not
too much to add here. Of course, make sure that your email address actually works. Make
sure your phone number actually works. I’ve seen cases where people listed out of date
information or phone numbers that don’t work anymore. For your email addresses try to list
an .edu address if you’re still in school. You could list Gmail or yahoo or something
like that but it’s generally better to list .edu just so they can look at it in a glance
and tell OK this person’s definitely still in school. They have this legitimate .edu
address. If you’re a recent graduate or you’re about to graduate then listing Gmail or some
other kind of web based account is fine here. Now moving down into education, a couple points
to make here. So, first of, notice how I’ve laid this out where the university name and
then the name of your major are left aligned right here and then the location. So, the
city, followed by the state if you’re in the U.S, or other country if you’re abroad are
right aligned and then the expected graduation date is also right aligned. So, I’m going
to show you how I did that because I get a lot of questions about this. So the way to
do that is to highlight everything. I’m pressing the shift key and pressing the down arrow,
after I press the right arrow right here, and then I’m going to go to styles. This is
in Word 2007 so it looks a bit different in Word 2003. But you basically just go to styles
regardless of which version you’re using. The interface is a bit different, but you
basically just go to styles regardless of which version you’re using. We’ll click there
and here we already have our style resume aligned right set up but if we did not have
that set up I would go to new style here at the bottom. Then we can name it, just call
this test format and you see that we’re basically starting with these times of Times New Roman
size 12 font, and we’ll go to format here at the bottom, and go to tabs. Then what we
want to do here is press clear all then set our tab stop position to seven inches because
that’s where the end of the page is in this case. That’s where our last margin in. We’ll
select right for the alignment, and then press OK. So now what we’ve done is made it so that
the style that we’ve entered, this new style. You’ll see the formatting is a bit messed
up but the new style that we create in here basically makes it so whenever you press the
tab key, you automatically go to the end right here. So, that’s how you set that up, and
I’m bringing this up just because I get a lot of questions about how to do this and
on some of the sample resumes I’ve given before people have asked me how to create this. It’s
pretty simple but the word documentation doesn’t exactly make it easy to find it. Now, for
the education section also, so after you list all this information, you definitely need
to include your GPA or some kind of grading system, if you’re outside the U.S. If you’re
in the UK, for example, you would be listing it using their scale. So you might list 2.1
here or say that you earned accumulative 2.1 averages through all your courses. SAT is
more optional. I would only list this if it’s above 1400 or 2100 in the new system. And
on GPA, even if you perceive that your GPA is low or bad, as in below 3.5, you still
list it here, because if you don’t include it then they’ll assume it’s really bad, as
in 2.0 or below. So, you want to include this unless it’s absolutely terrible, and even
if it is you probably still want to include it in some form. Now, if it is low you can
sort of disguise it by including your major GPA as well. So, right here you could say
major GPA, and hopefully that’s higher than your overall accumulative GPA. You could also
list something like second year GPA or junior GPA and that’s if you’ve shown a strong trend
of improvement. That’s a bit more of a stretch, so I would probably not do that unless you
have a really unusual situation. Usually the safer bet is just to show your major GPA right
here. Now, honors, I would probably not list something as common as Dean’s list herem but
you can if you want to and you have the space. This is probably better used for actually
university-wide recognition that’s uncommon, than for relative coursework. If you have
anything business related and especially if your major is not in business or finance.
So, if you’re an art history major, an English major, then it’s good to list that kind of
coursework here, so that way someone looking at it can quickly tell that you’ve done something
business or finance related, and that you at least know the basics of that. Couple of
other points here. You could also list study abroad experience. So, right here I would
probably include this as a separate entry. So, study abroad experience and we could have
city, country and just write a very simple description here. You could say completed
intensive language study and internship or something like that. And then you could just
list start date and end date right here. So that would be one way you could list your
study abroad experience. High school should not be included in this section, with a few
exceptions. There are some regions where it’s more acceptable to include that type of information.
So you kind of have to play it by ear and see what your friends are doing, see what
other people are doing. But in general, if you’re in the U.S. and you’re already a second
year, third year, and fourth year student at university. then you really should not
be including that. Maybe if you just arrived at college and you don’t really have any experience
yet then high school might be worth including, but I would not keep it on here for very long.
Also make sure that you don’t include clubs, activities or interests or certifications
or anything like that here. I’ve seen some cases where people list training programs
in the education section right here. Sometimes they list student activities or groups right
here, but in general you shouldn’t do that. Those should really be saved for the work
and leadership experience section right here, and then for skills activities and interests
here at the end. So now to move into this work and leadership experience section. So,
you’ll notice here that I have three entries. One for this one presumably internship or
some kind of school year part-time internship at a company, and this is for another one,
and then this last one here at the end is for a student group or activity. In general,
for this section, I think it’s a good idea to aim for in between 2-4 different work experience
entries. So, maybe you had 2 internship at an asset management firm or you worked at
a boutique bank and at a consulting firm, those should both be written about here and
maybe you were involved heavily with a student group or you founded a business fraternity
or some kind of investment club. Then those would be all good candidates to write about
here. Don’t try to do a laundry list of 17 different activates or work experiences that
you’ve had here because it’s just going to backfire. You really want to focus on the
key ones and everyone understands that you’ve been involved with a lot of different things
but from the perspective of someone reviewing your resume they only have 15, 20, 30 seconds,
so you really have to hit on the key points. Now, one mistake I’ve seen people make in
this section a lot, is they’ve had a internship at Goldman Sachs, for example, and they’ve
also been involved with five student clubs. And they’ll go in and spend the same amount
of space on those five student clubs as they will on Goldman Sachs. Well, if you have that
kind of name on your resume that needs to be the focus. That needs to be taking up at
least half of your section right here, and that applies, by the way, even if you’ve done
some kind of back or middle office internship. Because the name alone is going to carry a
lot of weight when whoever reads your name sees it. So, use common sense and think about
a recruiter or an investment bank or an investment banker reviewing your resume is going to be
most concerned with. In general, they don’t care too much about student activities and
clubs unless you’ve done something truly extraordinary. Maybe if it’s something you’ve been heavily
involved with or something you’ve founded, it’s good to include. But for the most part
they are very, very focused on your internships and your work experience. Whether that’s full-time,
if you’re a recent graduate or maybe a school year part-time internship or something of
that nature. Another point here, is that I’ve grouped together work and leadership experience.
So these first two entries are for work experience and this last one is for a student club. Now,
I recommend that you do this, unless you’re in a situation where, say you have two work
experiences that you were heavily involved with, two solid internships working in consulting
and private equity or something along those lines, hedge funds, prop trading firms, something
like that. And then you’ve also had two student groups that you’ve been very, very actively
involved in. In that case, it may be worth it to split this off into two separate sections
but do keep in mind that it’s going to take up more space. So think about how much space
you have in your resume. How much you really have to say there and make decision based
on that. But in general, I think it’s a better idea to actually leave these grouped together.
Now if you really haven’t had any formal internships or formal work experience, it’s still a good
idea to title this section work and leadership experience. Then you can just put all your
activities here or your research experience or something like that right here. And what
you’re doing then is by labeling it work and leadership experience you make it seem like
it was closer to work experience, so you’re not lying. Because in a sense it was work
especially if it was something outside student club. Something like a research internship
that was unpaid is sort of work experience. So you’re not really lying about it, but you’re
making it seem like it was closer to work then it actually was. Now if we look at the
specific types of entries here we see that there are basically two formats. And this
first one is what I call the project centric format. Where we have a summery sense at the
beginning, then we have client project transaction experience right here. And this format where
you go into the specific projects that you worked on is most appropriate for a professional
services field. So, just make a note of it right here. Investment banking, consulting,
private equity, asset management, equity research, accounting, law, anything like that in those
professional services fields is ideal for this. Because you work with specific clients
on specific projects transactions, investments. So, that’s what you should be using for this.
Now, if you don’t have something in those fields, you can still use this format. But
you have to be careful about what you do and how you apply it and make sure you can actually
speak to those specific projects that you’ve worked on. In general, you should try to pick,
again, I’d say between 2-4 different projects or clients to speak to right here. Listing
more than that gets into laundry list territory, where you’re just giving them to much information.
If you only list one here it looks a little odd if we were only to have, for example,
this project one right here, because you’re saying selected and your only listing one.
So it looks better to list at least two or three right here. Now, if you’re writing about
this and your worked at an investment bank, then you might title this something like technology
companies, $500 million acquisition of software company let’s say. If you’re working in private
equity then maybe you’ll title this potential investment in $1 billion manufacturing company
and so on and so forth. Similarly in consulting, let’s say, you might title this something
like Fortune 500 companies internal restructuring adviser or something like that. That’s actually,
you probably wouldn’t see this in consulting but this is just to give you a couple different
ideas and examples for how you might title these sections. You should avoid naming specific
company or client names unless it’s for a transaction that has already been announced
and it publicly known. It’s just a bad idea, just avoid doing it and just describe it by
industry. So, Technology Company, pharmaceutical company, is manufacturing company instead.
And then this one here at the bottom is in a slightly different format, which is what
I call the task or responsibility centric format. and it’s actually not that much different.
The only difference really is that you’re not listing out specific projects, you’re
organizing what you did by task instead. So this works well for research type positions.
It works well for engineering or something that’s not in professional services. This
works well for student clubs, because I’m using it right here as well. So these are
the two basic formats. If you can you should try to use this format especially when applying
to investment banks. but it’s not absolutely essential and if it’s a stretch then don’t
do it. Also feel free to mix and match these two formats. So you might have, for example
right here, instead of just this one summery sentence, you might have bullets two, three
and four right here, and you might just go into more detail on some of what you did in
your internship. So, feel free to mix and match these. You don’t need to stick rigidly
to what I’m suggesting here. This is just to generate ideas and give you some idea of
how to structure your own experience. Now, the next thing here is to go into the specific
structure of the bullets. So, you’ll see here, and you probably already have an idea of how
to do it based on what I’ve written here but I have has a sample in language led team to
do XX which resulted in more efficiency, time or money saved or higher sales. And basically
what you want to do with each bullet is list the specifics first. So here we might say
led team to create online marketing campaign for new product targeted at small businesses,
which resulted in 35% higher monthly sales. You can make this better by saying led a team
of 12 right there to create marketing online campaign and we can be more specific and say
maybe this was some kind of software or online software company, call this new accounting
product, for example. So, what we really want to do here are name as many numbers as we
can. So a team of 12, 35% higher monthly sales to be as specific as we can be with the results
as well. And this isn’t always possible to do. I know in a lot of cases you just won’t’
know the results of your internship or whatever kind of experience you had. If you don’t that’s
fine. It’s not critical, but if you can list anything there, anything at all, then it’s
much better than nothing. And by results, you don’t need to have anything that’s too
fancy. So, if we were writing about investment bank internship, for example, we might say
company is $200 million acquisition of company B. We could say something like research potential
buyers of client based on financial profiles, geographies and management teams. Analysis
led to client proceeding with further diligence. Now that’s not really a quantifiable result.
You’re just saying your work led the client in the direction of going ahead with a transaction.
But it’s still better than nothing because you’re showing that the diligence that you
did, the research you did, led somewhere in that case. But those are the basics of how
you should be writing about that kind of experience and structuring bullets and the same, by the
way, applies even for student clubs, activities, anything else for using the task based structure
instead. You want to focus really on the specifics of what you did and then the results. It doesn’t
matter what order it’s in. So, for example, you might be able to say raised over $200,000
for student run investment club by managing campaign to reach out to over 1,000 alumni
in financial services industry. So in this case we have our result first followed by
this bi-structure, by mentioning campaign to reach out to over 1,000 alumni. So, the
specific order doesn’t matter too much. Just make sure you try to include both of those,
the specifics and the results if at all possible. Now moving on to skills, activities and interests
at the bottom. There are couple things to point out. This section should be kept very
simple. I would say no more than five or six lines maybe at most for this, unless you have
some really unusual experience. Languages should always be listed here, especially if
you’re a native speaker in anything. Do not list fluent in English here, especially if
your resume’s in English. Because they kind of assume that if your resume’s in English
then you probably know the language, so don’t include that here. Only include fluency in
non-English languages. Technical skills are good to include especially any programming
languages. Even something like VBA could be included here. PhotoShop, web design, things
like that, you could still list, they’re not particularly helpful for banking. But if you
want to and you feel you spent a lot of time on those, you have really good skills, go
ahead and list them. Certification and training, so here’s where you put any classes, programs
or additional training that you’ve done outside of work and outside of school. Then activities,
anything that was more minor where you didn’t really have a leadership role. Anything that
didn’t take up to much of your time would go down here. Then interests, try to be as
specific as you can here without going overboard. So, for example, don’t just say running. If
you competed in marathons and a couple of different countries you should be writing
about that. Say competing in marathons in 12 different countries rather than just saying
you’re interested in running or long distance running. If you have interests that are more
unusual they definitely should be highlighted in here because they’ll remember you. So let’s
say that you’ve gone hang-gliding in Brazil or something like that. Well you definitely
want to note that here because that’s extremely uncommon, and not that many people are going
to have that here. So, try to list more uncommon interests, just so the interviewer or whoever
is looking at your resume can look at this and quickly get an idea of who you are then
remember you later on when their picking who they want to give interviews to. So that’s
pretty much it for this over view of how to structure your investment banking resume if
you’re still a university student. Of course you don’t have to stick exactly to this format.
Feel free to modify the font, the formatting or whatever you want but I do think the overall
framework of focusing on two to four major work experiences as I do here and then sort
of going in and giving a summery for each one and then going into maybe the two, three
or four major responsibilities you had, the results, if you had something in banking or
consulting, or even accounting or law or something like that. Going into the specific projects
or clients you work with if at all possible would be good strategies to follow in your
own resume. So, that’s it for our overview of the university student. Coming up in future
videos in this series, we’ll be going into resume templates that older, more experienced
people at the MBA level or even beyond might be using. Then we’ll go into some specific
examples of actual sample resumes and how we might revise them and make them better
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17 Replies to “Investment Banker Resume Tutorial for Students (with FREE downloadable Template)

  1. It's accessible on Brian's page, Mergers & Inquisitions. That site is pure gold, you should check it out if you haven't already

  2. Please see the first line of the description, right under the video, and you'll be able to download the Word and PDF templates from that link.

  3. In the Work & Leadership experience section, would you still put all entries with the most recent first and the work and leadership experience mixed together, or the work entries first even if some are older than some leadership entries?

  4. I'm a 3rd year Junior student at finance. I'm looking to intern in small boutique/ WM firms. I work/study full time but sadly, only at call centers for FI for now. How do you think I should spin that to reflect well for recruiters?

  5. Gio: I would just focus on the general knowledge of financial institutions you've gained from working at call centers, including how you've resolved client issues and how you've learned about all areas at the bank. It's still a tough challenge coming from that background, but if you're still a university student it's definitely do-able.

  6. your videos are great but l i want a video which classifies functions of an analyst…..i have been looking for this kind of video but could not find any video which provides detailed specified information……like what kind of different roles analyst have…..what are basis of a financial model….types of financial model ….most importantly on what logic do we prepare a financial model…are there any fundamental theories which broadly covers different investment instruments?

  7. Hey I have a 3.4 cumulative but 3.8 in my latest semester, is it okay to just put my latest semester GPA on there. Eg. GPA (Fall 2017): 3.8/4.0 ?

  8. In the "Education" section, how should I address the fact that I transferred after my sophomore year? Would I need to include relevant coursework for both schools?

  9. I have worked at one company in two different positions (apprentice, later customer advisor). Should I write the company`s name two times or just enter each position/date under the same headline?

  10. A lot of financial job postings (including for investment banking analysts) are asking for people who are skilled in some sort of statistical programming (SPSS, R, et cetera) and the more skilled areas of Excel (macros, pivot tables, VLOOKUP). How can I convey that I know these advanced Excel skills because that's not usually assumed, and does it look untrue if I list my abilities in multiple statistical programs (I did my masters and know Stata inside out, when I've worked with R and SPSS it's been pretty simple)

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