Getting a Job in Investment BankingeBook

Getting a Job in Investment Banking




It is important to see yourself as a portfolio of skills and qualities conducting an internet job search as well as any other. There are a number of skills and qualities that banks look for, and a successful candidate needs to put together several, but certainly not all of them. Additionally, it is probably a good idea to have some balance in your portfolio.

Some qualities that banks look for on a resume or in the interview and some suggested ways to demonstrate them (these are just a few, and some banks will emphasize some more than others):

Show a strong interest in Finance:

  • Be able to convey to an interviewer/contact that you understand what investment banking is, what an associate does, and why you would be a strong candidate for that particular bank.
  • Read the Wall Street Journal and other financial publications and show that you can speak intelligently about the issues discussed.
  • Specifically, gear you course work toward finance and accounting - show that you learned something in these classes.

  • Show that you are "Smart" (particularly quantitatively):

  • GMAT (also SAT) scores. Definitely include on your resume if 700+.
  • Undergrad GPA (as in high - 3.6+), college (as in more prestigious), and scholarships/honors and/or major (e.g., engineering, math, and science) are all ways to signal this.
  • Graduate degrees including applicable coursework, interesting thesis work, and GPA.
  • Fluency in multiple languages.
  • If you are looking for a summer job, you must get at least Proficients in accounting and finance. If you are looking for a full-time job, you want to have taken a bunch of finance classes.

  • A record of success and/or achievement

  • Academic GPA and awards.
  • Leadership of student organizations or teams.
  • A demonstrably high level of athletic accomplishment (college sports, national teams, etc. - captain or other leadership of such a team is very good).
  • A job at a "prestige" firm - another bank or consulting firm.
  • Rapid advancement/promotion and unusual levels of responsibility for your age and/or experience level in previous employment.

  • Team player

  • Participation in team sports, the higher the level the better.
  • Team-driven job accomplishment bullets on resume.
  • Other obvious team experiences and team successes.

  • Energy and stamina

  • Athlete, especially of the endurance variety (i.e., distance running, triathlons, etc.).
  • Demanding academic programs - joint degree (if relevant), medical school, graduate degree.
  • Former investment banking analyst and/or consultant.
  • Worked two jobs and/or triple majored in college (stuff like that).
  • All kinds of extracurricular activities with a good GPA.
  • All kinds of community service with a record of achievement.

  • Specific, applicable skills

  • Job experience where you used Excel, and if possible, built models.
  • Independent or work/study where you did this (small business consulting or prior job).
  • Work experience where you learned to read a financial statement - banking, accounting, etc.
  • Work experience or education that shows that you are comfortable with numbers.
  • Work experience (or leadership positions) that show that your are comfortable in front of clients, or, at least in front of people generally - sales, teaching, etc.

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