Transform Your Resume into a Private Equity or Investment Ba

by Derek Loosvelt | March 10, 2009

Obtaining a highly lucrative and rewarding career in privateequity and investment banking is still possible in this competitive marketplace. However, if your employment history doesn'tpoint directly to a bulge bracket internship or top business school, yourresume could easily be overlooked by recruiters. We recommend three simple and proven techniquesto transform you resume into job success.


Step 1) Tell Your Story


Take a moment to think about your goals. Where would you like to be professionallyfive years from now? Success depends upon developing a story to explain howeach step represented in your resume has brought you closer to your investmentbanking or private equity goals.


John is about to graduate with a Math degree and iscurrently interning in the back office at J.P. Morgan. His resume follows:



Having not studied in a business school, and currently working in a positionthat is not really related to Investment Banking, could easily place him out ofcontention. John can adjust his resumeto better reflect how his experience relates to his goals.


Looking at John's experience, we read in the first bulletthat his role running pricing analyses was for a very large equity offering. John should reword that bullet to explainthat he worked on processes that helped build his understanding of equityofferings, thus building a concrete working knowledge of I-Bankoperations. In the second resume below,his skills can clearly be interpreted as an asset to any I-Banking team. What we have done was to extract the understandingof how his tiny role affects the process within the firm.


Let's look at John's education. By explaining how his math degree and priorexperience can apply to his investment banking pursuit, John will improve hiscandidacy. John can explain that hechose math over business school because he believed that a math degree wouldhelp him to understand logic, patterns, and to break down and identify problemsin complex situations. These are all skillsabsolutely necessary for any analyst. For John, he has proven that his Math degree can be a competitive asset.


Through "telling his story", John has successfully shiftedthe focus of his resume towards his investment banking pursuit.


Step 2) Lay Out anObjective

Some people say having a two line "objective" isworthless. Actually, it depends. If the experience and educational backgroundin your resume clearly states your goals, and objective may be redundant. For example, if you're involved in anI-Banking internship and looking to continue on full time, there's no need tostate an objective. However, if you'rein a transitional phase, as John is, an objective would clearly lay out yourgoals and clarify your candidacy to the recruiter. For example, as we see in the second resumethat follows, "My goal is to apply my analytical ability proven from mymathematics degree, with my working knowledge of an investment bank'soperations, into an investment banking position".

A recruiter routinely filtering out resumes that do not lista business school or an I-Banking internship may now see how John could qualifyfor the available position. Essentially,you have directed a potential recruiter to read your resume.

Step 3) Build Up YourSkill Sets

Demonstrating that you have a complete understanding offinancial statements, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, andvaluation, will not only strengthen your resume, but your interview performanceas well. Note the changes in John's objective that nowincludes, "M&A and LBO modeling skills" and an addition to the Educationsection, strengthening your proven interest in the field.

If your resume lacks financial modeling or valuationexperience, you may want to consider taking professional courses taught by WallStreet experts. Remember, your resume needs to clearly express that yourprofessional experience and background qualifies you for a position ininvestment banking. Speak the financiallanguage in both your resume and interview, and you strike a chord withinvestment banks.

Open the doors to a highly lucrative career by telling yourunique story, laying out a clear objective, and building up your skillsets. This will easily translate into ananalyst or associate role with the firm of your choice.

Filed Under: Finance


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