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How Investment Banking Resumes Are Read

Feb 11, 2008
One constantly mysterious topic is how investment banks actually read your resume when you apply for jobs.

Who reads resumes? Do the Managing Directors ever get involved? How do they decide who to grant an interview to? How much time do they spend on your resume?

Even those who have done their homework very well often don't understand how the resume review process works.

Who Reads Your Resume

Generally, Analysts from your university will read through the resumes of everyone from that university who applied. There are so many resumes to go through (sometimes 500-1000) that only junior people have time to do this.

We might receive hundreds of resumes for only 20-30 interview spots. Even if only seconds are spent on each one, this requires a huge time commitment... and then add on 10-20 schools and it might take hours or days.

So if you know an Analyst at a bank, make every effort to get him or her to push for you - that can make a big difference!

How Much Time Is Spent Reading Your Resume

30 seconds. Due to excessive resume flow and hundreds, that's all the time we really have. So you have very little time to make a positive first impression and impress enough to invite you in for an interview.

What Bankers Look For In Resumes

You want to "bankify" your resume as much as possible by making what you did sound more business and finance-oriented.

Technically, finance experience isn't required, but it does give you a huge advantage: when we review resumes, we separate them into the "banking experience" and "non-banking experience" categories. Most interviews will go to the first group.

For summer internship positions, a previous finance internship is less important and is not necessarily expected. Just make sure your resume shows why you want the job, your attention to detail, ability to make an impact, and quantifies everything you've done.

I'm constantly amazed at how bad many resumes are. Even the most basic things like spelling, grammar and level of detail are sometimes completely wrong. Armed with the knowledge in this article, you should be able to make your resume shine.

Above all else, remember those Golden 30 Seconds. This doesn't mean a resume isn't important - it just means you need to focus on grabbing our attention rather than writing a book. Get our attention and you get an interview.
About the Author
Ian Spellfield, a former investment banker, advises students and young professionals on how to get investment banking jobs and how to write investment banking resumes .
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