You’re sending your CV/resume in application for a job in banking. Recruiters are ignoring it. You’re sending your CV/resume for a banking job. Recruiters are ignoring it. Rinse and repeat, hundreds of times, until you decide not to send in your CV for any more banking jobs and go off to work in accounting instead.
It need not be like this.
Banking CV experts say there are some simple things you can do which will ensure your resume doesn’t get dumped. They’re not hard. They’re not unheard of. But for some reason, most people don’t bother.
1. Don’t make your CV a list of your responsibilities, make it a list of your achievements
Victoria McLean, managing director of banking CV specialist City CV, says this is the number one resume mistake.
“A CV should always be about what you achieved rather than your responsibilities,” says McLean, who formerly worked as a recruiter at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. “The problem for most CVs – especially for people in the middle and back office is that they read like a job description. If you want to differentiate yourself, I need to know what you personally delivered and achieved in that role,” McLean adds.
2. Explain the context of your role
Don’t just list your job and your achievements, explain what you achieved in the context of the situation you found yourself in, says Janet Moran at CV specialists the CV House.
“Write about what you did in the context of where you worked at a particular time,” says Moran. “Things may have changed a lot due to market circumstances – don’t assume that a recruiter will instantly understand your achievements in light of what it was like when you worked for a firm.”
3. Avoid vague words, focus on precise deliverables
Sidestep words and phrases like ‘dynamic’ ‘results-focused’, ‘proven track record’, which are as tired as a first year M&A analyst. Use instead words such as, ‘enhanced, ‘reduced’, ‘improved the efficiency of’, and add metrics wherever possible. “I need to know precisely what you delivered and achieved,” says McLean.
4. Peruse a few of your desired job descriptions. Drop the words therein into your CV
“Think about the key words that are likely to appear in advertisements for the roles you’re looking for and make sure they’re reflected in your CV,” says Moran.
5. Cut the guff
“Take out the extraneous information that doesn’t reflect what you’ve actually done,” says Moran. “It’s just clutter.”