6 Critical Banking Resume Mistakes

If you’ve decided to apply for an investment banking job, you should know that a standard resume just won’t cut it. After all, top banks receive thousands of CVs every year. They have too many candidates, so they only want the best out of the best.

Another brutal fact that you need to know is that bankers spend very little time in each CV. It could be as little as 6 seconds scanning your CV.  Read these again – 6 seconds – scanning (not reading)! However if you made any vital mistakes, your CV will be tossed away in a bin in even less than 6 seconds.

You spend a lot of time in writing your investment banking resume, don’t you? And you have perfect academics and impressive work experience – you will certainly be hired if you are interviewed. Correct? But if you have any of these 6 mistakes on your resume, you won’t even get a chance to enter the interview room!

Let see what these 6 mistakes are.

Investment Banking Resume: Top-6 Mistakes

Mistake #1: Calling your resume “Resume”.

Why waste your space? The recruiter knows it’s a resume. Replace it with your name on top. And make it twice the size of body text font. There are resumes that don’t even have the candidate’s name on it. Don’t laugh. It happens, and happens a lot. As a professional IB headhunter, I do come across many candidates making this mistake. I’m not a banker, and reading CV is my job, so I would care to find out who the resume belongs to. But bankers won’t. They simply ‘trash’ it. The resume that you spend hours to prepare will end up in the bin in less than a second!

Mistake #2: Summary sentence, career objective – to top of your resume.

Needless to say, the reader (the banker) who read your resume is very sure that you’re looking for a job in banking. Why say something useless at top of your resume?

Unfortunately, old library books, career counselors or almost 99% of the resume tips out there on the internet insist students to do this. And I’m really sad to see most students are doing it. According to IIB, there is a ‘15-second to bin’ rule for any an investment banking resume. If you want your resume to go to the bin in less than 15 seconds, do it.

Mistake #3: Including your smiling picture at the top.

Never do this, unless you are applying to become a photogenic model. At the initial screening stage, bankers want to know your achievements and experiences, not your face.

Mistake #4: Sharing confidential information.

Tough one. I know how much you might want to brag about your work on Facebook IPO or merger of Coca-Cola bottlers. But be very careful not to disclose any confidential information. Bankers are extremely sensitive about this – and sharing more than you should will immediately disqualify your application.

Mistake #5: Oversharing.

For all those people who can’t wait to tell their gender, age, marital status and whatever more. There is NO POINT. In some countries, employers are not allowed to ask these by law.   You don’t have to tell either.

Mistake #6: Using your favourite email address mydarling@gmail.com.

Non-professional email indicates that you’re not grown up yet. You are applying for a job, so get a proper email address, one that carries your personal brand or identity, such as john.smith@gmail.com. If this is already taken by another John Smith, try to add something unique, such as john.smith.ucla@gmail.com (in case you’re a graduate of UCLA).

Good luck. Still need help to write your investment banking resume?  Check out the IIB website.