Attached to the bottom of this post, you will find the Wall Street Oasis private equity resume template for experienced professionals, used by the WSO paid service and thousands of candidates to successfully land a job in private equity.
For those of you with deal or project experience coming from Investment Banking or Management Consulting and looking to make sure your private equity CV is polished for those competitive buyside jobs in private equity and hedge funds, we have a great sample resume you can now use free of charge (attached to this post below).
We hope this clean format gives you an even bigger edge in recruiting (besides being members of WSO :-). Also, don't forget that our private equity interview prep guide is now available after years in the making (here)!
As I mentioned earlier in the week when we released the investment banking resume template for undergraduates, we think the WSO templates give you a lot more flexibility on spacing. It's tough to condense all of your deal experience into a coherent summary, so we hope this is helpful. (Check out the Private Equity Interview Prep Pack for a guide that will teach you all you need to know for your private equity interviews.)
This is the PE resume sample we use in all of our the WSO resume reviews with experienced buyside professionals.
This particular banking resume sample is for experienced hires, not undergraduates. You should also not take these bullets since they just being used as placeholders / examples and aren't that strong.
Resume Questions in Private Equity Interviews
There's one very important aspect of your resume that pertains to private equity: deal experience. Plenty of people make it into private equity without much deal experience. (Keep in mind that much of private equity recruiting occurs within a few months of one's investment banking analyst stint.) If you do have deal experience, it should be a highlight of your resume. Here's some great insight from @Candor, a private equity associate.
The single most important part of your interviewing experience with PE firms will be your deal experience. I would say a solid 30% of every single interview I had was spent talking about my deal in depth. If you don't have an announced M&A deal on your resume, or you don't have an unannounced deal you feel comfortable talking about on a very granular level, I don't see what you would talk about in your interviews.
I was incredibly fortunate to have a $1-2bn sell-side on my resume that got announced two months before everything started (conveniently, right when I met with the headhunters). I think it was the single most important factor in me landing the interviews (and ultimately the jobs) that I received. If I hadn't had an announced M&A deal on my resume, I likely would have waited until next year to go through the process.
Private Equity CV - Experience Order
Work experience - with the most recent at the top and oldest at the bottom - is at the top portion of the resume. Under that, include your education. Work experience is above education because, at this point in your career, the private equity firms recruiting you care more about your relevant experience and how that qualifies you than your GPA and college extracurriculars. Below education, other information can include languages, financial modeling experience, computer skills, and certifications.
PE Resume Format, Spacing, and Font
Spacing and font size go hand in hand. While it's recommended that you keep the bullet font at 10 and replace the bullets with content of roughly similar size, you can change it to font 11 if you need to fill more space with less. Don't drop the font to 9. At that point, the resume will become too cluttered and won't have enough white space. Moving it up to 11 is tolerable, but if you're applying for private equity positions, filling the resume shouldn't be an issue in the first space. The ratio between content and white space is optimal as it stands.
Typically, format is a question of major relevance to people during private equity. Lucky for you, you've found yourself on this page. Format is already set; just fill in the blanks.
What should I put on my Private Equity Interview Resume?
Arguably the most important aspect of your resume, since you're already set as far as formatting goes, is the bullet points, which make up the content of the resume. Here's what you need to know for the bullets on your private equity resume, courtesy of @upod01, an investment banking analyst.
Try to quantify some of your experience. In the case that you do not have a quantifiable metric, focus on how you outperformed and any results you achieved.
When it comes to your resume, you have to take a step back and put yourself in the recruiter's or manager's shoes. You may very well have the experience for it but how does it apply to [the] position? If your bullets points are irrelevant to the position you are seeking, I would recommend removing them.
Example of something great to put on a resume: "Helped create first-time access to life-changing technologies, products, and services for isolated villagers through locally-owned, managed, and sustainable (profitable) entrepreneurial solutions." Not so great: "Assisted with move-ins and move-out of tenants." You see my point.
Bullet Format for Resume Template
Believe it or not, it's easy to mess up the bullet points on your investment banking resume. First, we recommend you don't put periods at the end of your bullet points. If you absolutely must, you can use periods. Feel free. The most important thing is to be consistent - but it's preferred that you leave your bullets without periods. As for length of the bullet points, here are two tips from @FailedPrayer.
My general rules are:
- Keep bullet points at a max of 2 lines; ideal would be 1.5 lines
- Make sure spacing is solid and that your bullet points hit the how/why/what/result
Internships on an Investment Banker's Resume
If you're applying several years out of college, leave off the internships unless if it's more relevant to the position you're applying for than your work experience. Here's an explanation of this from @CompBanker, a private equity vice president.
Definitely drop the internship after you're five years out of school. People will judge you on full time experience and the internship will be largely meaningless unless it has a very specific reason to be there.
Example: Internship is in IBD, but full time job was at Google, and you want to get back into banking.
For those of you applying just a few months to a couple years into your investment banking stint, it's of course necessary to include internships.
Number of Resume Pages for Buyside Interview
This one should be a no-brainer, it's more so a universal rule than a question specific to PE resumes. Don't ever go over a single page! It doesn't matter how much relevant experience you have or how many skills you have, keep it to one page. If you want justification, here it is from @upod01, an investment banking analyst.
Never, ever, ever have a resume more than one page. HR and recruiters hate that. If you need more space, adjust your alignment. Resumes that are more than two pages usually get thrown out. If a CEO can have a one page resume, so can you. Narrow it down to the essentials. [Consider how] the skills that you have listed on there can be inferred from the way you word your job responsibilities.
How to Break Into Private Equity? Use the WSO Interview Course
Private equity recruiting is ten times more cut-throat than anything you've ever experienced before. If you want to break into private equity, you need to be well-practiced in the technical aspects of the interview. The package is worth well more than the $299 price; the job prospects you set yourself up for are worth far more than $299.
A couple of quick notes:
- Please feel free to share this post and pass it along to friends.
- If you're looking for our resume for undergraduate investment banking, click here.
- Remember, if you are looking for real finance professionals to help you structure and word your resume bullets and experiences, please consider our industry leading resume editing service, specifically targeted towards investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, trading, management consulting, and other finance resumes. Our testimonials speak for themselves: www.wallstreetoasis.com/wso-finance-resume-review :-)