efinancial careers, November 21st 2022: ‘What NOT to include in your banking CV’
Do you know what NOT to include in your banking CV? efinancial careers spoke to Victoria McLean, founder & CEO of award-winning career consultancy City CV, to find out more…
Below is a short excerpt.
You’re not making your CV financial enough.
“As a rule, broadly speaking, content unrelated to markets, finance, and economics are not very useful or relevant,” Victoria says. Don’t include “models” that aren’t relevant to your target role – or to financial services in general.
Your opinions about anything outside of finance are irrelevant, too. Your religious and political views have no business being on a finance CV, “nor extreme positions on anything that would make you appear intolerant or not open to difference. All banks are inclusive and multicultural, tolerance to other views is essential,” Victoria says.
It’s too long – or too short.
Brevity is worth mentioning. “When it comes to a CV, I always tell people, it’s got to be simple, it’s got to be short for Wall Street,” Roy says. “People who read resumes typically have short attention spans.”
Lists, Victoria says, won’t be read. “Bankers are busy.” Recruiters don’t have all the time in the world – you have to write tight. Something that could be seen as a waste of time will be skipped.
There’s an ideal middle ground, Roy says, no matter how junior or senior you are. “The idea is to hit the sweet spot – we’re merging towards the middle. If you’ve had less, we want to build it out. If you’ve had more, we want to shrink it.”
You’re not making your CV focused enough.
“Stick to the facts and keep it lean,” Victoria says. “Avoid all hyperbole, self-aggrandisement… Be simple and to the point. The banks can see through superlatives and adjectives.”
Your school achievements also aren’t as important as you think. Unless you’re a junior in college (third year of university), or they’re directly relevant to your target competency area, you’re better off taking them off. “Only include achievements that clearly highlight [relevant] skills.”
You’re stretching the truth about something.
Banks know what interns do. They know what interns don’t do. “You didn’t originate or execute the deal, so don’t feel that you need to claim that you did,” Victoria says. “It’s okay to write about what you learnt and the skills you developed without feeling the need to claim that you were integral to the success of the transaction.”
Languages are another part of banking that are often exaggerated. Languages are useful – and banks are full of international employees who speak those languages fluently or natively. You will be tested on that language, perhaps at random. “If it’s not good enough for you to hold a client meeting in, it’s not good enough to go on the CV.”