How to Write a Good Resume for the Financial Services Industry

Estimated reading time ~ 2 min
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Financial services internships are popular and competitive. Capturing the attention of recruiters (usually the first people to screen your resume) is crucial! Beyond spending the time to make sure your resume is well formatted and easy to read, you must also market your skills and abilities in a way that is both relevant to the role and that showcases you as an individual candidate. We’re sharing three tips on how to get your resume to stand out when applying to roles in financial services.

Prove your passion

You definitely do not need to be a business major to secure a job on Wall Street. However, it’s important to show off your knowledge for the markets or investing, to demonstrate how you’ve stretched yourself to learn more about the industry.

Showcase your interest by:

  • Listing relevant extracurricular experience — investment clubs, mock stock portfolios, or serving as a treasurer
  • Highlighting pertinent coursework you’ve taken, such as accounting, finance, or economics
  • Including any professional development sessions or experiences, such as virtual bootcamps, online Excel classes, or exploratory programs at different companies
  • Add in your interests/hobbies as they pertain to the industry. Read the Wall Street Journal every day? Your resume is a great place to highlight that! (Just remember that it’s then fair game for interview questions.)

Swap buzzwords for specific accomplishments

Don’t go crazy trying to pack industry-specific jargon into your resume! This makes your resume much more challenging to read and it fails to paint a picture of you as an individual candidate. Drop the fancy vocab and focus on highlighting your achievements in academics, extracurriculars, and employment.

Achievements could include:

  • Teamwork: When did you work as a group to achieve a goal?
  • Leadership: Are you an officer of a club? Have you taken on a leadership role in a group setting, or taken ownership for a project in your work-study job?
  • Achievement orientation: How have you made a positive impact in the jobs, volunteer opportunities, or extracurricular activities that you’ve held? Do you work a part-time job while also maintaining a solid GPA?

Highlight all of your experiences

Retail and hospitality roles, like waitressing and being a camp counselor, are often downplayed or removed from resumes out of fear that they aren’t relevant enough. In fact, these are valuable experiences that set you up extremely well for roles in financial services. These jobs provide great training in customer support, problem solving, patience, and resilience. To help get you started, make a list of all transferable skills from these jobs to later plug into your resume. If you are stuck, look at some entry level descriptions and see which skills are mentioned.

Embrace your experience working retail or service jobs and celebrate the achievements you've had with them, such as:

  • Awards for most volume of sales
  • Positive customer feedback received
  • Process improvements to more efficiently turn tables
  • Rapid growth in responsibility or management

By following these steps, you can work to turn a one-page resume into a great reflection of why you are an awesome candidate for any role!

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