In order to land a job in the world of investment banking, candidates need to have a variety of technical and soft skills, not to mention the right connections. The ultra-competitive and lucrative field of finance requires an understanding of financial statements, analytics and personal dynamics. In tough times, candidates need to adapt their resumes to optimize their chances for success.
Exhibit a Mastery of the Basics
Technical skills, such as the ability to perform a cash flow analysis or capital budgeting calculations, are essential for investment banking. Corporate valuation skills are also very important. Investopedia reports that candidates need to exhibit an understanding of the basic financial statements and how the balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows are interrelated. This is achieved by citing specific, work-related experience and college coursework. Exhibiting solid technical skills sets candidates apart from other applicants.
Highlight Unique Skills and Experience
Industry specific experience and skills often set one candidate apart from the others. According to Investopedia, experience in public relations, government, accounting or mid-level to senior-level management positions gives candidates the edge. Corporate finance and accounting experience, including work in financial planning, portfolio analysis and securitizations, is somewhat unique for entry-level candidates. Highlighting this experience is an excellent way to distinguish oneself from less qualified applicants. Preparing journal entries, reconcilements and financial reports for publicly traded companies is also very attractive. Succinct bullet points outlining qualifications pertinent to the job opening are essential.
Showcase Personal Strengths
Goldman Sachs states that its investment banking branch handles a number of specialized transactions including mergers and acquisitions (M&A). M&A involves spin offs, raid-defenses, restructurings and cross-border transactions among other specific financial events. In order to be successful at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan , U.S Bank or other firms with investment banking operations, candidates have to be mentally tough and somewhat aggressive. Showcasing promotions, academic achievements and personal determination is essential. Tough times require even tougher personalities.
Landing an investment banking job is hard regardless of the economic conditions. In difficult times, candidates need to leverage every facet of their education, experience and personality to beat out the competition. Personal attributes such as fortitude, persistence and intelligence are sure to leverage the right candidates into investment banking positions.