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How to prepare a CV for the banking sector

Published: Friday, 14 August 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Investment banking is among the most challenging of sectors to break into as competition for places at the best firms is intense.

It means that a student wanting a career as an analyst or a position in a related field will need to stand out from the crowd – and that starts with their CV.

To add some context to the situation: If you applied for the Morgan Stanley summer program in 2014 you would have been joined by around 90,000 others.

Alternatively, had one of the 350 analyst internships at Goldman Sachs caught your eye, then you’d have been up against 17,000 like-minded individuals.

It’s easy to see therefore, why CV’s are so important for anyone wanting those roles. They represent the only chance to really stand out from the crowd in the first instance.

Qualifications really matter

For a role at a top investment back, impeccable academic qualifications are an absolute must – the vast majority of financial analysts, sales people, traders and merger and acquisitions staff will have high grades in everything, or very nearly everything.

Be concise

J.P Morgan expects a CV to be no longer than one page in length, forcing candidates to strip out unnecessary information and really highlight their key skills and abilities.

More to life than work

For a role at Goldman Sachs, it’s important to show ambition and a number of passions beyond simply academic qualifications. Well-rounded candidates are often those who can demonstrate interests in a number of areas and who have involvement with sports teams, societies, or even those who have started their own business ventures. 

Money-making minds

While it is expected that people with an interest in finance will understand money, many banks are looking for individuals with clear ability to think commercially – they want to make money so it’s important a candidate demonstrates how they could achieve this. Qualifying non-academic achievements by terms of the amount of money they generated or saved for example, is recommended.

Showcase the right skills

While a candidate may have no initial links with the financial sector, many roles can still be linked in by demonstrating a money-making mind as mentioned above. The key then, when constructing a financial CV, is in the detail.

Good written English

Spelling and grammar complete the list – while this might seem like an obvious inclusion, many banks are sticklers for detail and even the smallest error could count against you in the long run given the sheer number of applications that are dealt with.

Grad Plus has numerous graduate jobs in finance and banking for anyone considering the sector

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