How to Write a Resume for a Banking Job

Three Parts:Writing a Basic ResumeApplying for a Job as a TellerApplying for a Job in Investment Banking

Just as a good suit should be tailored to fit each person individually, a good resume should be tailored to fit the job you want. Many elements of format, style, and strategy will vary little if at all from one job to another. However, you will want to emphasize different skill sets depending upon the job you are applying for. In banking you will generally want to emphasize your mathematical abilities, attention to detail, and interpersonal skills.

Part 1
Writing a Basic Resume

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    Begin with name and contact information. Your full name should be centered, at the top of the resume, in large, bold print. Below it, probably in much smaller type, you should include any pertinent contact information, including phone number, email address, and home address.
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    Next include an executive summary. An executive summary is a four to six sentence statement at the top of your resume. It summarizes your relevant experience and the skills that you can bring to the job. Avoid generic phrases like “detail oriented.” Instead be specific: “Experience with recording transactions and managing the accounts of over a hundred subscribing customers.”
    • It used to be customary to begin with a two sentence “objective statement” that explained your career goals. This is no longer advisable, unless you have no workplace experience in the field in which you are seeking employment. Even then, you should consider whether you can write an executive summary that highlights general, transferable skills, like management experience and interpersonal skills. [1]
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    Follow with education. The section labeled education should list the institutions you attended, the degrees you received, your GPA, and any awards you won.
    • It is not typically necessary to include high school education, unless you are just beginning your career or it was the only degree you received.[2]
    • If your college GPA is not as high as you would like, you can include with it your major specific GPA or junior and senior year GPA. If these are much higher, it will indicate either that you improved considerably over time or that your general GPA does not adequately convey how adept you are at your specific career.
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    Move on to work and leadership experience. Here you should list relevant jobs that you have held along with internships or other unpaid work. You do not need to include every job you have ever performed. Focus on the most relevant experience.
    • Include the name of your employer, when you worked for them and the location of the job.[3]
    • After providing this information about the job, describe your experience in bullet points. When doing so, focus on particular accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to meet the qualifications of the job you are applying for.
    • Use active verbs that convey specific tasks you performed. Words like “Wrote, organized, managed, supervised, and designed” are better than others like “obtained,” “achieved,” or “accomplished” that don’t indicate what skills you employed to reach your goals.[4]
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    List skills. This can include a combination of “hard” skills like specific quantitative techniques and computer programming abilities and “soft” skills, which typically refer to your ability to deal with people. Include explanations that demonstrate that you have been able to exercise these skills in the past.
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    Stick to standard formatting. Although it might be tempting to decrease the font size or page margins to fit more onto your resume, you should avoid the temptation. Never reduce the margins below .5 inches and stick to the standard 1 inch margins, if possible. Try to use size 11 font, but it is better to reduce the font size than the margins.[5]
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    Proofread. Because banking is a detail oriented occupation, analysts will quickly recognize formatting or typing errors and judge you harshly for them. After completing your resume, you should take a day or two before returning to edit it with fresh eyes. Print it out and find a trusted third party to review it and look for errors.[6]

Part 2
Applying for a Job as a Teller

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    Emphasize social abilities and salesmanship. Much of the job of a bank teller consists in interacting with customers in a way that makes them comfortable. You will also need to sell services, like loans and mortgages. For the latter, you will need to be able to recognize which customers might require specific services and interact with them so as to encourage them to secure their business.[7]
    • To accomplish this you should focus on describing service sector jobs that required extensive customer interaction, sales jobs, or leadership roles in clubs and organizations.
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    Emphasize attention to detail and mathematical ability. One of the principal jobs of a teller is to count money. You will need to demonstrate your capacity to perform basic mathematical processes. Also you should make it clear that you are attentive enough not to make small errors of calculation.
    • Tellers are only expected to have a high school degree. However, you should highlight any academic awards that are suggestive of mathematical ability. If any of your prior jobs required the counting of money or other mathematical skills, describe these in detail.[8]
    • Telling your employer that you pay attention to detail will probably not be enough to convince them that it is true. Instead, list instances in which you followed stringent workplace rules precisely, proofread text, managed large databases, or in any other way reviewed the work of a coworker to verify accuracy.
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    Emphasize computer literacy. As a teller you will need to make extensive use of a computer to record transactions. Your employer should teach you how to use these programs, but it is important to prove that you have been able to master other programs in the past. [9]
    • To demonstrate computer literacy, list any formal credentials you might have earned for specific software programs. Discuss any programs that you have had to use for other jobs, even if they might not seem particularly relevant, including word processors and database programs. Be precise: name the specific programs you used and how you used them.[10]

Part 3
Applying for a Job in Investment Banking

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    Recognize basic qualifications. To break into investment banking you will usually need to demonstrate advanced abilities in some sort of quantitative field of study. There are, however, some exceptions. If you have a strong background in public policy or law, then an investment bank might find you a useful asset for establishing compliance with government regulation.
    • It is preferable that you have a degree in one of the following fields: accounting, banking, business administration, business law, computer science, economics, finance, human resources, information technology, or tax law.
    • Alternatively, you might be able to capitalize on past experience in public policy or international relations.[11]
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    Prove commitment. Investment bankers spend most of their time and energy working. You will need to demonstrate that you have been able to submit yourself to such a rigorous work schedule in the past.
    • Academics are one of the most important ways to demonstrate commitment. Most recruits will have at least a 3.5 GPA from a top tier university. Emphasize major academic achievements and awards. Having held a leadership role in a campus finance society can also be an important selling point.[12]
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    Emphasize quantitative results. Your prospective employer will want to know not only that you have experience in the sector, but also that you have accomplished something. Be specific and list precise numbers as frequently as possible.
    • Investment banking is detail oriented and mathematical. Giving exact figures will demonstrate that you are both of those things and prove that you have produced results. How many accounts did you manage and what was the volume of the exchanges you made? What sort of revenue did you produce? [13]
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    Stay true to format. Don’t be too creative. You should demonstrate that you pay attention to detail and can follow routine format. Keep your resume to a manageable length with precise and succinct writing.
    • Your resume should be no more than two pages long. To keep it short and attract the reader’s eye, use bullet points to highlight relevant experience.[14]
    • Use white paper and conventional fonts.[15]
    • Be particularly attentive to errors. Two typos will likely you eliminate your application.[16]

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Categories: Finance Careers | Resume Preparation