How do Banks look at your resume?

I was just wondering if any of you previous analysts/associates had any insight into how I-Banks look at resumes. I had always thought that HR would look at resumes, but after doing some research online, it looks as if analysts are the ones that do the first round screening. This came as a big surprise to me.

Is it true that only alumni from your school at whatever bank you're applying for will look at your resume for the first round? How true is this?

Also, Is it the same process amongst different divisions, such as I-Banks, AM, Ops, Trading, Risk? I read a article on mergers and inquisitions, and when they said that analysts rather than HR look at your resumes, they were specifically referring only to IBD.

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Comments (23)

Jul 21, 2012

Yeah, I'm kind of interested as well

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Jul 21, 2012

Bump

Jul 21, 2012

I'm not sure how BBs in NY/London do it, but in the MENA region its handled by HR first. They screen the applicants and then the concerned department gets to work with the applicant.

Greed is Good.

Best Response
Jul 21, 2012

We used to break it up by school and by division. Students would drop their resumes for our division (or multiple divisions, which happened a lot). Back in 2005, I was a VP and the team lead for a target school. We would get something like 150-200 resumes from that school. Here's how we did it, I can't vouch that every place did it the same way.

HR would give us every resume from that school. I asked everybody on the team to review the resumes and rank everyone as a 1, 2, or 3. 1 was someone who you definitely thought should get a first round, 2 was a maybe, and 3 was a no. We would have a meeting with the team and the recruiters (HR). We would whittle the list down to about 15-20 that would get first round interviews.

Usually, you could eliminate a lot of people who were 3's right off the bat. There were probably about 10 that were absolute must interviews. Then you spent the bulk of the time screening about 40 people for 10 slots.

Our recruiting team included me, a couple of Associates, and a couple of Analysts. About half of which were alumni of the school. The team was required to attend all events we held at the school. Sometimes, students who made a good impression at these events were put in the "1" pile. Especially if they asked good follow-up questions or started a dialogue with someone on the team after the event. Also, there were some students that made terrible impressions and were put into the "3" pile.

By the way, the senior recruiters or HR people were all former front office people with MBAs from top schools. Their opinions were valued heavily by us.

The person who did the first rounds pretty much had control over who made it to the second round, since they were the only person there. The thing that sucks for students is that every interviewer looks for somewhat different things in candidates and that person may or may not like you, when if it was a different interviewer at the same firm, you may have had different results.

We took recruiting very seriously. When it came to deciding what groups the analysts went into, I had better insight as to who were the absolute best, could persuade the analyst to join our group, and had some sway with HR to get the people we wanted.

That's the bulk of how it happened at our firm.

    • 3
Jul 22, 2012

In the second rounds, every student had 5 interviews, with one or two people. The second rounds were conducted by the team leaders from the various schools and maybe one associate from each team. People ranked the students on multiple categories, something like this: analytical ability, leadership, interpersonal skills, integrity, maturity, etc. the idea was that someone should be at least pretty good in everything and particularly good in at least one thing.

Once again, you would have people you fought for, made sure were excluded, while the rest were on the fence and required the most discussion. If the interviewer you had in the first or second round was obnoxiously opinionated, that would help you a lot, if they liked you.

Jul 30, 2012
SirPoopsaLot:

We used to break it up by school and by division. Students would drop their resumes for our division (or multiple divisions, which happened a lot). Back in 2005, I was a VP and the team lead for a target school. We would get something like 150-200 resumes from that school. Here's how we did it, I can't vouch that every place did it the same way.

HR would give us every resume from that school. I asked everybody on the team to review the resumes and rank everyone as a 1, 2, or 3. 1 was someone who you definitely thought should get a first round, 2 was a maybe, and 3 was a no. We would have a meeting with the team and the recruiters (HR). We would whittle the list down to about 15-20 that would get first round interviews.

Usually, you could eliminate a lot of people who were 3's right off the bat. There were probably about 10 that were absolute must interviews. Then you spent the bulk of the time screening about 40 people for 10 slots.

Our recruiting team included me, a couple of Associates, and a couple of Analysts. About half of which were alumni of the school. The team was required to attend all events we held at the school. Sometimes, students who made a good impression at these events were put in the "1" pile. Especially if they asked good follow-up questions or started a dialogue with someone on the team after the event. Also, there were some students that made terrible impressions and were put into the "3" pile.

By the way, the senior recruiters or HR people were all former front office people with MBAs from top schools. Their opinions were valued heavily by us.

The person who did the first rounds pretty much had control over who made it to the second round, since they were the only person there. The thing that sucks for students is that every interviewer looks for somewhat different things in candidates and that person may or may not like you, when if it was a different interviewer at the same firm, you may have had different results.

We took recruiting very seriously. When it came to deciding what groups the analysts went into, I had better insight as to who were the absolute best, could persuade the analyst to join our group, and had some sway with HR to get the people we wanted.

That's the bulk of how it happened at our firm.

This was very informative, thank you. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

Let's say I am the applicant applying for a particular division. I have a friend (school alumnus), let's say a VP at another division, but of course at the same firm. This VP from another division asks you to specifically look at my resume; other words, he put in good words for me. Could this VP pull in any weight in final decision or the better question would be.. how much weight in decision can this VP connection pull in for me? Would this only work for a guaranteed first round interview?

If you could answer these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Jul 30, 2012
seville:

This was very informative, thank you. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

Let's say I am the applicant applying for a particular division. I have a friend (school alumnus), let's say a VP at another division, but of course at the same firm. This VP from another division asks you to specifically look at my resume; other words, he put in good words for me. Could this VP pull in any weight in final decision or the better question would be.. how much weight in decision can this VP connection pull in for me? Would this only work for a guaranteed first round interview?

If you could answer these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.

I don't think it would make a huge difference, at least if it is a large firm. Most likely, the people in the division to which you are applying wouldn't even know the VP in the other division.

Jul 30, 2012
SirPoopsaLot:
seville:

This was very informative, thank you. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

Let's say I am the applicant applying for a particular division. I have a friend (school alumnus), let's say a VP at another division, but of course at the same firm. This VP from another division asks you to specifically look at my resume; other words, he put in good words for me. Could this VP pull in any weight in final decision or the better question would be.. how much weight in decision can this VP connection pull in for me? Would this only work for a guaranteed first round interview?

If you could answer these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.

I don't think it would make a huge difference, at least if it is a large firm. Most likely, the people in the division to which you are applying wouldn't even know the VP in the other division.

If they knew each other, that would certainly be a huge boost. But considering they don't know each other, would that still make not much of a difference? But it'll definitely be better than not knowing anyone, correct?

Jul 30, 2012
seville:
SirPoopsaLot:
seville:

This was very informative, thank you. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

Let's say I am the applicant applying for a particular division. I have a friend (school alumnus), let's say a VP at another division, but of course at the same firm. This VP from another division asks you to specifically look at my resume; other words, he put in good words for me. Could this VP pull in any weight in final decision or the better question would be.. how much weight in decision can this VP connection pull in for me? Would this only work for a guaranteed first round interview?

If you could answer these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.

I don't think it would make a huge difference, at least if it is a large firm. Most likely, the people in the division to which you are applying wouldn't even know the VP in the other division.

If they knew each other, that would certainly be a huge boost. But considering they don't know each other, would that still make not much of a difference? But it'll definitely be better than not knowing anyone, correct?

It's probably better than nothing, but it's nothing that I would bank on.

Jul 31, 2012
SirPoopsaLot:

It's probably better than nothing, but it's nothing that I would bank on.

Along similar lines, in your experience: An MD accepts and pushes your resume. What is the approximate relative value, between a) recruiting for his group, and b) recruiting across IBD?

Thanks for your insight.

Jul 31, 2012
Bracknell:
SirPoopsaLot:

It's probably better than nothing, but it's nothing that I would bank on.

Along similar lines, in your experience: An MD accepts and pushes your resume. What is the approximate relative value, between a) recruiting for his group, and b) recruiting across IBD?

Thanks for your insight.

First, I was in Asset Management at an investment bank, not in IBD. If a managing director really pushed for someone at the analyst level, it would probably make a difference. However, I never saw that happen.

Jul 31, 2012
SirPoopsaLot:

We used to break it up by school and by division. Students would drop their resumes for our division (or multiple divisions, which happened a lot). Back in 2005, I was a VP and the team lead for a target school. We would get something like 150-200 resumes from that school. Here's how we did it, I can't vouch that every place did it the same way.

HR would give us every resume from that school. I asked everybody on the team to review the resumes and rank everyone as a 1, 2, or 3. 1 was someone who you definitely thought should get a first round, 2 was a maybe, and 3 was a no. We would have a meeting with the team and the recruiters (HR). We would whittle the list down to about 15-20 that would get first round interviews.

Usually, you could eliminate a lot of people who were 3's right off the bat. There were probably about 10 that were absolute must interviews. Then you spent the bulk of the time screening about 40 people for 10 slots.

Our recruiting team included me, a couple of Associates, and a couple of Analysts. About half of which were alumni of the school. The team was required to attend all events we held at the school. Sometimes, students who made a good impression at these events were put in the "1" pile. Especially if they asked good follow-up questions or started a dialogue with someone on the team after the event. Also, there were some students that made terrible impressions and were put into the "3" pile.

By the way, the senior recruiters or HR people were all former front office people with MBAs from top schools. Their opinions were valued heavily by us.

The person who did the first rounds pretty much had control over who made it to the second round, since they were the only person there. The thing that sucks for students is that every interviewer looks for somewhat different things in candidates and that person may or may not like you, when if it was a different interviewer at the same firm, you may have had different results.

We took recruiting very seriously. When it came to deciding what groups the analysts went into, I had better insight as to who were the absolute best, could persuade the analyst to join our group, and had some sway with HR to get the people we wanted.

That's the bulk of how it happened at our firm.

right....

Jul 31, 2012
SirPoopsaLot:

By the way, the senior recruiters or HR people were all former front office people with MBAs from top schools. Their opinions were valued heavily by us.

This is not the case in my personal experience, although I agree with most everything else you said. I found the HR recruiting team to be completely useless at both BBs I worked for. The senior recruiters were usually current bankers/traders.

Jul 31, 2012
TechBanking:
SirPoopsaLot:

By the way, the senior recruiters or HR people were all former front office people with MBAs from top schools. Their opinions were valued heavily by us.

This is not the case in my personal experience, although I agree with most everything else you said. I found the HR recruiting team to be completely useless at both BBs I worked for. The senior recruiters were usually current bankers/traders.

Let me clarify, there were something like 8 women (yes, all women) in recruiting/training. Two director level were very solid. Worked in banking and equity research previously and went to top schools in both undergrad and MBA. We respected their opinions. The other 6 never really had opinions and rightfully so, based on their backgrounds, which were significantly different than the two more senior ones.

Aug 18, 2012
SirTradesaLot:

We used to break it up by school and by division. Students would drop their resumes for our division (or multiple divisions, which happened a lot). Back in 2005, I was a VP and the team lead for a target school. We would get something like 150-200 resumes from that school. Here's how we did it, I can't vouch that every place did it the same way.

HR would give us every resume from that school. I asked everybody on the team to review the resumes and rank everyone as a 1, 2, or 3. 1 was someone who you definitely thought should get a first round, 2 was a maybe, and 3 was a no. We would have a meeting with the team and the recruiters (HR). We would whittle the list down to about 15-20 that would get first round interviews.

Usually, you could eliminate a lot of people who were 3's right off the bat. There were probably about 10 that were absolute must interviews. Then you spent the bulk of the time screening about 40 people for 10 slots.

Our recruiting team included me, a couple of Associates, and a couple of Analysts. About half of which were alumni of the school. The team was required to attend all events we held at the school. Sometimes, students who made a good impression at these events were put in the "1" pile. Especially if they asked good follow-up questions or started a dialogue with someone on the team after the event. Also, there were some students that made terrible impressions and were put into the "3" pile.

By the way, the senior recruiters or HR people were all former front office people with MBAs from top schools. Their opinions were valued heavily by us.

The person who did the first rounds pretty much had control over who made it to the second round, since they were the only person there. The thing that sucks for students is that every interviewer looks for somewhat different things in candidates and that person may or may not like you, when if it was a different interviewer at the same firm, you may have had different results.

We took recruiting very seriously. When it came to deciding what groups the analysts went into, I had better insight as to who were the absolute best, could persuade the analyst to join our group, and had some sway with HR to get the people we wanted.

That's the bulk of how it happened at our firm.

Very helpful! Hey, this can be added to your blog, if you still consider it.

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Jul 22, 2012

Thanks a lot Sir. Very helpful information. How are you guys getting these resumes though? Are they coming from the schools career services, or are they coming from online applications and later on sorted out by school.

Jul 22, 2012
Valuestrats920:

Thanks a lot Sir. Very helpful information. How are you guys getting these resumes though? Are they coming from the schools career services, or are they coming from online applications and later on sorted out by school.

I don't work there anymore, this was a while ago. All I know is that HR got a huge PDF file from the school. I assume they got it from career services or equivalent.

Aug 18, 2012

In the modern age they've started to use computers.

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

Aug 18, 2012
Aug 18, 2012

When a really bad resume comes across my desk, I usually call over my MD and anyone else around and we all have a good laugh at it. If you want to not have that happen to you, all you have to do is format properly, proofread 1,000x, not obviously overexaggerate your work experience and put have any weird interests on there.

Jul 31, 2012

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Jul 31, 2012