Perfect profiles for careers at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and others

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If you want to work in banking but are uncertain as to what the biggest banks look for when they hire, we may have some answers for you.

We’ve combed through the eFinancialCareers database to look for the commonest features of people who work or have worked in nine of the biggest banks in the world (Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, UBS, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, and Barclays). Our database has over 1m résumés in total, but we focused our attention on the 90,000 CVs that have been uploaded in the last three months.

We screened these CVs on the basis of educational establishment, industry qualifications, languages spoken and sportiness. The results were fairly predictable – Goldman Sachs employs the most highly educated bankers from the biggest name universities. But there were some surprises. These included the fact that the most sporty bankers seem to work at UBS and that a very high proportion of the CVs in our database are from speakers of Mandarin or Cantonese or Hindi. At Citigroup, for example, a massive 37% of our CVs are from people who speak one of these three languages.

Based on our analysis, we’ve suggested what makes employees at each bank distinct.Our findings are not scientific. The results may be skewed by the prevalence of a large number of Europeans (and Mandarin speakers) on our database. Nor have they been validated by each of the banks concerned, and sometimes the variations between banks are small. Nevertheless, this is what we think our figures suggest.

The perfect profile for a career at Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs: Big name universities, big time qualifications, multi-linguists 

Surprise, surprise: Goldman Sachs employs the most highly educated bankers from the biggest name universities, with the greatest ability to converse in different languages.

Of 1,762 resumes loaded into our system over the past three months with the words ‘Goldman Sachs’ written on them…

  • 9% were from Oxford or Cambridge or the London School of Economics
  • 9% were from the Ivy League (here defined as Harvard, Yale, Wharton, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Duke)
  • 25% were from Mandarin or Cantonese speakers
  • 29% had a Masters or MSc qualification
  • 16% had passed a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam
  • 13% had an MBA

The perfect profile for a career at J.P. Morgan 

J.P. Morgan: Meritocratic mavericks hired from off the beaten-track

If Goldman Sachs is comparatively keen on elite universities, the same can’t be said for J.P. Morgan.

Of 1,996 resumes loaded into our system in the past three months with ‘J.P. Morgan’ written on them…

  • 5% were from Oxford or Cambridge or the London School of Economics
  • 4% were from the Ivy League

We infer that J.P. Morgan is less educationally elitist than Goldman Sachs.

The perfect profile for a career at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley:  Ivy League sports fiends 

Like Goldman, Morgan Stanley likes big name universities. According to our database, it also has one of the highest proportions of sports enthusiasts.

Of 2,392 ‘Morgan Stanley’ resumes loaded into our system in the past three months…

  • 8% were from the Ivy League universities 
  • 7% were from Oxford or Cambridge or the London School of Economics
  • 7.3% were from people who specified an interest in sport on their CV (as compared to 6.3% at JPMorgan and 5.2% at Barclays, for example).

The perfect profile for a career at Citigroup

Citigroup: Hindi, Cantonese and Mandarin speakers with top qualifications from top universities 

Unsurprisingly for a highly global bank with operations in more than 140 countries,  CVs from ‘Citigroupers’ stand out for their internationalism.

Of the 2,114 recently uploaded CVs in our database with ‘Citigroup’ on them…

  • 37% were from people who said they spoke either Mandarin, Cantonese, or Hindi
  • 29% had completed a Masters or MSc course
  • 7% were from Oxford or Cambridge, or the London School of Economics
  • 8% were from the Ivy League
  • 5% mentioned ‘sport’, suggesting people at Citigroup aren’t too sporty.

The perfect profile for a career at UBS

UBS: Sporty German and French language speakers with PhDs

There are no big surprises for UBS either: the Swiss bank likes well-educated French and German language speakers. More startlingly, people at UBS are disproportionately into sport.

Of the 3,432 ‘UBS CVs’ recently uploaded into our database…

  • 21% were from French speakers
  • 12% were from German speakers (versus, for example, 9% at Goldman and 1% at Citigroup)
  • 7.4% included the word ‘sport’
  • 29% had a Masters or MSc 

The perfect profile for a career at Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse:  German and French language speakers with PhDs

Credit Suisse CVs are remarkably similar to UBS CVs, with one distinction: Credit Suisse bankers seem less partial to sporting activities.

Of 2,977 CVs with the words ‘Credit Suisse’ uploaded to our database…

  • 6.2% mentioned ‘sport’
  • 20% were from French speakers
  • 11% were from German speakers
  • 28% had a Masters or MSc

The perfect profile for a career at Bank of America

Bank of America: Hindi speakers and some Ivy Leaguers

Our CV database suggests Bank of America is particularly keen on hiring Indians or people who speak Hindi. Compared to J.P. Morgan, it also seems to hire a high proportion of people from the Ivy League – albeit fewer than Goldman Sachs.

Of 2,015 recently uploaded CVs in our database…

  • 13% were from Hindi speakers (versus, for example, 8% at Morgan Stanley and 10% at Goldman Sachs)
  • 6% were from the Ivy League

The perfect profile for a career at Barclays 

Barclays: Educationally ambivalent – seems to hire from a broad range of universities. Not big on the CFA

As a major UK bank, you might think that Barclays would hire a lot of people from elite UK universities like Oxford and Cambridge and the London School of Economics. Actually, this doesn’t seem the case – or at least not to the extent you might expect. Similarly, comparatively few Barclays CVs mention U.S. Ivy League Universities.

Of 4,056 ‘Barclays’ CVs loaded into our database…

  • Only 11% mentioned the CFA qualifications (versus 16% at Goldman Sachs)
  • Only 6% were from Oxford or Cambridge or the London School of Economics (versus 9% at Goldman Sachs)
  • Only 3% were from U.S. Ivy League Universities (versus 9% at Goldman Sachs) 

The perfect profile for a career at Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank: Highly educated Germans and Hindi speakers with a thing for sport

Entirely predictably, our database suggests that Deutsche Bank likes to employ Germans. Less predictably – although Indian CEO Anshu Jain may be a leading indicator – it also likes to employ Hindi speakers.  And bankers at Deutsche seem a little more sporty than others.

Of 3,367 CVs loaded into our database citing ‘Deutsche Bank’…

  • 14% were from German speakers
  • 12% were from Hindi speakers
  • 7% were from sports enthusiasts
  • 29% were from people with a Masters or MSc.

Related articles:

Amazing graduate careers advice from Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs 

Get a job at Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan with these interview answers 

How much can you earn in banking with a degree, a Masters, an MBA and a PhD?



Comments (8)

  1. Would be interesting to see the division specific breakdown for these results for each bank, pretty sure that there will be a higher number of hindi/mandarin/cantonese speakers in the tech division than the IBD division, etc

  2. @ illuminati666

    You will see more in trading – and some of these guys will work on cross-continental deals.

  3. JP don’t employ more ‘meritocratic mavericks’, in addition to Ivy Leaguers and Oxbride graduates. It simply employs thousands of ops staff and highly educated continental Europeans.

    This article disregards the different profiles of each bank. J.P. Morgan employs double the amount of employees than GS does, many of which operational support staff based in Dorset (Bournemouth) where J.P. Morgan is the county’s largest private employer. After merging with Chase Manhattan in 2001, a bank specialising in Treasury and Custody it’s simply a larger and less niche-Investment Bank style financial organisation when compared to GS.
    If Goldman were to acquire State Street for instance the profile of its employees would change overnight. Also, why does the above story not include top-Universities from Europe’s mainland? JP and GS depend on a vast number of talented and continental Europeans who attended the top Universities in their countries of birth yet top European schools are completely disregarded and with an Anglo-American arrogance reminiscent of a bygone era are dubbed ‘meritocratic mavericks”. I guess, for foreigners they’ve done pretty well in the eyes of the author of this piece.

  4. Pingback: How To Perfectly Tailor Your Resume For Each Wall Street Bank

  5. So 87% of GS employees do not have an MBA, 84% do not have CFA, and 91% were not Oxbridge or LSE then!

  6. I would recommend on occasion doing at least a minute of research on some simple facts so as to avoid embarrassing yourselves. The Ivy League does not include Duke, but it does include Brown and Cornell, in addition to the schools you have listed.

  7. This research is focused on CV’s posted at Efinancial careers and hence focuses on people that actually want to leave the place at which they work.
    Any consideration given to the fact that this might be because these people do not feel at home at the place they work?

  8. @ JV.

    They may not actually want to leave – no harm in testing the water for better offers, particularly in areas where there is some hiring.


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