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The dos and don’ts of finance CVs in Japan

With competition for finance jobs intense, a good CV can make the difference between getting a chance to impress at an interview and getting left on the banking scrap heap. What can you do, or not do, to set your CV apart? Tokyo’s recruiters have the answers.

The don’ts

Kyoungjin Lim, manager of finance technology at Pinnacle Consulting Group, says she has a list of ‘don’ts’ for candidates when it comes to CVs. Her advice includes not using generic summaries such as “excellent team player” or “good knowledge in the XXX industry,” as well as avoiding subjective adjectives. “‘Fantastic’, ‘enthusiastic’, ‘passionate’, and ‘well’ are the top four on my should-be-deleted list,” she adds.

Warwick Pearmund, senior consultant for finance sector recruitment at Boyd and Moore, tells candidates not to write in the third person, not to mention hobbies, not to include high-school qualifications and part-time jobs, and to avoid sharing irrelevant personal information.

The dos

Ravshan Kayumov, a consultant at Legal Futures, says your resume should be tailored to each position you apply for. “It needs to show you understand the company and understand the position; and show your product knowledge and skills,” Kayumov adds.

Lim agrees, and says you should opt for bullet-pointed achievements and job responsibilities, supplementing them with pertinent facts and figures.

Pearmund stresses that “presentation is everything”, and says it is crucial you not only use a formalized template, but that you also spell-check and proof-read thoroughly. “One thing that constantly amazes me is CVs from people who can’t spell or CVs that are handwritten,” he adds.

Language skills on your CV

Kayumov suggests listing your language abilities in a prominent position only if they are strong (such as the JLPT level 1 qualification for non-Japanese nationals). And Pearmund cautions that you should be honest about just how good your language skills are. “If someone says they want business-level Japanese, don’t apply for the position if you only have conversational skills. It will only be harmful in the long run.”

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