How do I create an effective finance resume?

To even get to the first round of interviews, it is imperative to have a solid resume. As with any job, bankers look for certain qualities that a candidate embodies in their resume. They will probably only spend about 30 seconds (maximum, they've got many to look at and not much time) looking at them, so make sure what you think is important is easily seen. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Attention to detail is one of the most important traits for an Analyst in any industry. It should be professional and completely free of any typos or inconsistent formatting.
  • An easily identifiable interest in finance is also very important. It's always nice to have
    finance-related internships, but if you haven't had any internships or you don't have a finance/econ/business-related major, you need to somehow show that you are truly interested in this field. Leadership positions in a student organization focused on business is one way to overcome this obstacle, but just being a member of a club won't cut it.
  • Nobody wants to work with someone who is one-dimensional, it makes for a terrible workplace environment. Thus, you need to include experiences outside of work/study. Many applicants have similar resumes (3.5+ GPA, past finance internships, finance club). Having some unique experiences, whether in the arts or sports, gives the person reading your resume a better idea of who you actually are. This is (usually) a good thing and allows you to connect with those reading your resume on a deeper level.
  • Your resume should always tell a story. You may not have the right major or right internships, but being able to show your interest in finance and that you are capable of doing the work is a key part of successfully navigating the hiring process.

If you start from scratch, it would be helpful to use a template. Your career services office can also be a great resource. Having another pair of eyes looking for typos and inconsistencies never hurts. If you would like a more professional critique and format, you can use WSO's Finance Resume Review service, which has garnered much praise from past customers. Another option is to use the free Public Resume Review Service, which allows for critiques from other WSO members.

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