Struggling to land interviews

I am in my second semester of Sr year at the lowest non-target possible. I have 2 solid internships in corp fin and in the fraud department at the largest credit union in the world. I've got a lot of extracurricular activity in clubs, sports, etc. 3.6 GPA with 3.9 Major GPA. I've networked out my ass like no other, with high-level connections at BB, MM, regional, etc, but I can't land an interview. I've had several eyes on both my resume and cover letter that can't find anything wrong. Any one of my connections COULD have led to a job, and every one of them SHOULD have at least landed an interview, right? They all tell me I have solid experience and excellent communication skills, but none lead to anything. I've applied to over 150 jobs and haven't got a call back. Is this only because of my school? Is there something I'm missing? I'm also aware how late it is, so I've considered adding Accounting as a double major to extend my current Finance major. This will push graduation back one semester, and hopefully give me time to retry for next year. Thoughts?

Find Your Mentor

  • Increase your chance of landing a job by matching with one of our 200+ mentors.
  • Our mentors are top employees at the most selective firms.
  • Proven process with over 1,100 clients over 10 years.

Comments (21)

Jan 4, 2019

///

Jan 4, 2019

In the same situation as you.

Jan 4, 2019

///

Jan 4, 2019

It's either "lowest non-target possible" issue or your resume is not as good as you think it is...

Coming from a non-target is a huge disadvantage for many jobs but if you've applied to 150+ jobs and networked like you say you have, my guess is something is off on the resume.

Best $199 you may ever spend: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/best-resume-review...
We used to do resume scores and I can tell you that a lot of people scored much lower than they thought they would... 3.6 GPA, meh... I think you also may be doing something wrong on the networking side if you haven't even gotten an interview.

If your connections are so high up, why can't they get you a first round interview?

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019

I've networked with various positions ranging from Associate/Recruiters to SVP (only 1 MD, but somewhat weak connection) at banks like BofA, investment firms like Invesco, and regional banks like Regions. I'm definitely open to resume criticism, the problem is the SVPs that are reviewing it say its a solid resume with minor recommendations, which I make changes to satisfy. To give an idea of how my resume stands in terms of applicant tracking systems (granted, not always applicable, just a general idea), I ranked in the 71st percentile of OSU master's graduates in business. But, there are always improvements to be made. PM if you'd like a copy. I appreciate your input, and I will consider the professional resume review.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jan 5, 2019

It's a solid resume for a decent job out of college, not IB imo. Your college is definitely your biggest downfall, as much as that sucks. Your best bet is to network with small local boutiques because I don't see any lower MM bank and up taking a kid from Pensacola Christian College.

    • 1
Jan 5, 2019

Trying to look at my situation objectively, I believe that another handicap to my application process is my lack of applicable experience, which is a symptom caused by the college I chose. That said, its not impossible to land positions at larger companies, even from my college. A close friend of mine just landed a position in the FMAP program at BofA (through a strong network and better internship experience than I have), and I've seen alumni go to FDIC or other organizations like that. I've also seen alumni (after a few years of experience) go to TD Bank or UBS. Although I do consider the college I chose to be a major hindrance to a job, I refuse to stop trying. In your opinion, what is the best option I have to go to IB from my current position?

Jan 5, 2019

Consider an MSF at a target. I dont normally recommend the degree, but it's a perfect fit for someone in your situation (I was in the same boat but stood underemployed for almost 3 years).

Depending on the school, you'll have a decent shot at IB/AM. Worst case scenario, you end up in Big 4 TAS/Valuation.

    • 1
Jan 5, 2019

Eventually, I want to pursue an MBA from a target. Would it be nonsensical and repetitive to pursue MSF and MBA? Both seems very odd to me, but I don't want to give up an MBA... Is there a good career option that I could pursue (realistically) right now that I can bide my time for 3-5 years while pursuing CFA before MBA? I've been focusing on commercial banking, since this is much less competitive than IB. Any company suggestions?

Jan 6, 2019

Very normal for pre-experience MSF grads to also do MBAs if they so wish. Nothing odd about that combo because they serve different purposes

Jan 6, 2019

That's definitely something to consider. Something I haven't considered yet. Looking specifically to this summer, what opportunities (specific companies) could I land this late in recruiting? I'd like to have an analyst internship prior to MSF should I decide to pursue one, but I'm guessing to have any shot at that I need to start applying ASAP, and any BB or MM opportunity is gone. Do I have a shot at a boutique or something similar? I've applied to a few positions at Suntrust, but I haven't been able to find any meaningful connections there yet.

Jan 6, 2019

I wouldn't recommend MSF + MBA. I mean, it happens but that's a lot of $$$ and a lot of time. Also, how much education do you need?

Jan 6, 2019

That was my first thought. It seems as though MSF is my best/only option right now since no career paths are opening, but an MBA is a passion of mine. As I expressed earlier, I am trying to look at my situation objectively, and if that means I have to give up MBA aspirations and trade those for MSF to help dig myself out of this hole, then its better that I realize that now and adapt my goals. Ideally, I'd like for a position to open professionally that will be a good transition to a target MBA program, which will help me transition to IB. Am I unrealistic in this thinking?

Jan 5, 2019

It happens to me that when I see that CV I imagine a boring person whose only interest is finance. Think about it:
- Education: FINANCE
- Experience: FINANCE, FINANCE and FINANCE
- Interests: FINANCE

In my honest opinion I would try to rewrite your CV highlighting your major achievements and, even if they are all finance related, try to tell something more about you and focus the bottom part of your CV on interests and sports other than finance:
- For example, I wouldn't mention DCF Valuation in your technical skills because, even if you are proficient running DCFs, the rest of the CV is too focused on finance. Try to think about any other technical skills outside the finance world
- Also. The first time I read your CV I stopped reading after Trading Competitions in your Interests section. Again, I looked at your CV and I see all you have done is finance, that's good and its okey but in your case I expect to see more non-finance hobbies and interests in this section. Other example, the last 3 interests you have are Reading the WSJ, Following Ray Dalio and Bridgewater Capital... That is too weird imho, you don't need to say this given your experience and achievements

I think you have a strong profile in terms of hard skills but you should work on telling more about your soft skills since your education and experience are strong. I don't see why you would not get into IB if you improve your CV and keep networking

    • 1
Jan 5, 2019

Point taken. Is this an improvement?

Technical Skills: Visual Basic for Applications, Python, SQL
Activities: Student Blogger, Miracle League (Assisting Mentally-handicapped), Tutor (Accounting)
Interests: Frisbee Golf, Running, Reading, Video Games, Trading Competitions (Placed 23/950 in TD's 4th annual thinkorswim Challenge), Options Trading, Public Speaking, Watching Ted

I know I still have finance interests there, but it does make up a significant portion of my life (at risk of sounding narrow minded). I've added a few non-finance hobbies there, but I'm not sure if these things are worth listing on a resume.

Jan 5, 2019

From my point of view, just the fact that you are listing some interesting hobbies in the first place adds up to your resume as a whole. I think it is better. The trading competition thing is great to have it after your non finance hobbies but I am not sure whether you should put options trading as an interest, after reading that you placed well on trading competitions anyone can infer that you like options trading, just remove it

Finally, I wouldn't write watching ted and public speaking as hobbies unless you have participated in public speaking-related activities (like an actual Ted talk or any student society). You don't have to write many interests, I got only 3 on my CV but I can talk extensively about them if you ask ?see my point?

    • 1
Jan 5, 2019

I do see your point. I appreciate the suggestions.

Jan 6, 2019

Your resume definitely needs some rework. Remove the selected projects or whatever that is stupid, those are only used for IB transactions. For your two experiences you need 5 bullets with dynamic sounding verbs of things and tasks you've done in each role. Frankly I read this and still had no idea what you did and if you did a good job.

Jan 6, 2019

After speaking extensively with many professionals in the field, the general consensus seems to be that because my overall job was project-by-project focused, as opposed to daily operations focused, the selected project experience is a coherent way to illustrate the impact that I was able to make. As for the extent of dynamic verbiage, I'm definitely willing to make improvements. Do you have any questions I can answer about my projects that will help you understand what I did? Once you have a better understanding of my accomplishments, do you have any suggestions on how to reword my presentation of these accomplishments? I appreciate the input.

Jan 6, 2019
    • 3
Jan 6, 2019