Posted on May 22, 2024

Write an Investment Banking CV

Getting a job in an Investment Bank is not an easy feat, especially when it comes to graduates and you are in a pile of thousands of applicants, applying for a one of a few hundred roles available. We have recently written advice on how to secure a role in Investment Banking, but before you get to that step, it’s important to craft a great CV.

Below is some advice we have gathered but remember to reach out to our consultants who are available to offer individual advice to help you become one of the lucky few.

Grades

Your CV will most likely pass through an AI scan if you apply directly to a bank which will pick up and detect your grades. Therefore, it’s important these are structured and clear on your CV as the AI scan will not detect all your other great little escapades. Even when applying directly through Pearse Partners, clarity when presenting your grades is essential.   

What grades will you need?

If you are applying for the most competitive roles, you will need at least a 2.1 degree, although preferably a first and A grades across you’re A Levels. In the USA, this means you will need a grade point average of 3.5(+).

There is more flexibility on grades for back to middle office, but you will still need to be towards the top of your class.

Achievements

In a highly competitive field, it is in your best interest to clearly articulate the outcomes of your achievements, this is something to take pride in. Demonstrate your problem-solving skills, analytical abilities and demonstrate your proficiency in solving quantitative problems.

If you have experience working within finance, leverage this information to highlight your accomplishments. For example, emphasise achievements like: ‘Achieved top-ranking consultant for three consecutive quarters, boosting key account values by 80%.’

Format

In the UK, a CV typically spans 1-2 pages, while in the USA, 1 page is standard, and in Germany, CVs tend to be longer. The key priority lies in maintaining an easily readable and structured format. Maintain consistency by using the same fonts and font sizes throughout, and ensure that headings are appropriately positioned for clarity and coherence.

Keywords

When applying directly to a bank, after your grades pass the AI scan, the next step involves the bot searching for relevant keywords. These bots are highly intelligent and seek contextually relevant terms indicating a strong alignment between your qualifications and the role you are applying for.

Utilise tools like ChatGPT to identify optimal keywords. For instance, you can ask, "What are the best keywords for a Private Equity role in a top-tier fund?" Then, cross-reference these keywords with your CV, checking them off one by one.

Our Pearse Partners team reviews hundreds of CVs on a weekly basis. We also speak to banks regularly and understand what they want to see on a presented CV. Therefore, if you are unsure, always reach out to us for specific advice before submitting your final CV.

Personality

While intelligence is crucial, it's equally important to be engaging and captivating in your CV. It’s not new news that you spend a lot of hours throughout the week working within an investment bank, so, fostering good relationships with your colleagues is essential.

Banks value cohesive teams that foster strong connections as positive synergy leads to enhanced business growth and client acquisition. Consider the influence you can have on sales and tailor your personality to align with the values and culture of the specific bank you are applying to.

For example, if you are applying for a role at Goldman Sachs, you can gather information from the website to:

  • Align your experience with their core values and required skills
  • Highlight relevant aspects of your previous experience that resonates with GS ethos  

Apply via a Recruiter:

Hopefully this has given you guidance on how to write an Investment Banking CV. Pearse Partners are here to help you, we know the industry, the firm, the role and the full interview process, including any scenario-based situations that may occur. Ie, what modelling questions you may be asked or what personality will be best suited to the role.

Since 2018, we have helped thousands of applicants secure their dream role and we can happily say across a 24-month period, we have achieved 97% in candidate retention at the same firm.

If you have any questions about your job search, or if you decide a career change is your next move, contact us here.