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How to build the perfect graduate resume for Goldman Sachs

Resume

As part of its new recruiting push for graduate and intern hires, Goldman Sachs recently hosted a webinar to spell out some do’s and don’ts for banking resumes. Here are some key points that Goldman made, minus a few of the really obvious pieces of advice that – if you needed – you probably wouldn’t be getting a job there anyway.

Target skills

Goldman laid out several key skills that they are looking for. While you likely won’t want to pepper your resume with all these keywords, it’d be helpful to showcase experiences that illuminate these attributes for you.

Skills: teamwork, passion, client service, intellectual curiosity, judgment, people skills, work ethic, attention to detail, multi-tasking ability, diversity of academic and professional experience, integrity, commitment to a career.

Show your well-roundedness

Of those skills, the one that was accentuated most is having a diverse skillset. In fact, one of the hosts suggested that if you have a particular strength – perhaps, say, engineering and a strong GPA within your major – you may want to gain experiences that would counter that, like public speaking and people skills, she said. They made a point to emphasize that one-trick ponies aren’t likely to be winners.

Identify your strength and build upon what may be perceived as a correlated weakness.

One page rule

This rule is ubiquitous across the industry, but it’s worth pointing out. They don’t want to see a resume that’s more than one page when it comes to students.

High school experience depends

The panel moderators suggested that graduate resumes can be structured differently depending on whether you are an upper or lower classmen. For juniors and seniors in college, you shouldn’t be populating your CV with experiences from high school.

“We will be thinking, ‘what else could they have filled their resume out with?’” said one of the panelists.

However, first- and second-year college students should feel free to highlight some of the accomplishments they made in high school, considering they have only been in college or university for a year or two.

Beware of jargon

Goldman has said on many occasions that they are looking for a more diverse set of students. Unlike in the old days, they want more than just finance and economic majors. The firm is making a big push to attract more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors, for example.

But people with internship or professional experience and training outside of financial services tend to have a different vocabulary. When applying to Goldman with an atypical background, avoid buzzwords and jargon that are commonplace in other industries that recruiters at the bank may not know.

One panelist suggested having someone with no experience in your industry read your resume to see if it is digestible for an outside audience.

Quantify your achievements

This is the same piece of advice that every human resources manager and internal recruiter in banking reiterates for anyone, no matter how senior they are.

Don’t speak in vagaries. Identify your job description with your title but then use your bullet points to specify details and achievements. How many people were you responsible for? What did you do that separates you from others with a similar role?

Too often people just list what they did, not how well they did it.

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