If you’re trying to put together a CV that will get you a front office job in an investment bank, there are some words you must not use. For example, anything along the lines of ‘contributed,’ ‘supported’, ‘assisted’ or ‘helped’ is bad news because it suggests you weren’t entirely responsible for your accomplishments. But which words fall at the other end of the scale? Which words, when used on your CV, will actually secure you a job in an investment bank?
Listed below are approximately 80 ‘CV power words’ which will enhance your resume. Most are verbs, some are adjectives. All exude activity and achievement and are part of the vernacular in the finance sector.
Accomplished, Accurate, Achieved, Advised, Agile, Analysed, Assessed, Attained
Calculated, Captained, Collaborated, Commercial, Completed, Convinced, Coordinated,
Delivered, Designed, Developed, Devised, Detail-oriented,
Earned, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Entrepreneurial,Established, Evaluated, Executed, Expanded, Explored,
Financed, Forecasted, Formulated, Founded,
Gained, Generated, Guided,
Implemented, Innovative, Instituted, Integrated,
Managed, Maximised, Mentored, Methodical, Modelled, Monitored
Passionate, Persistent, Persuaded, Predicted, Prepared, Presented, Prioritized, Profit, Promoted, Projected
Ranked, Researched, Resilient, Revised
Smart, Strengthened, Succeeded, Supervised, Surpassed, Strategic
Target, Tested, Tracked, Transaction,Transformed
Using our own CV database, we looked at the frequency with which these ‘power words’ are used on CVs belonging to people seeking front office jobs in investment banks (sales, trading, research, capital markets, corporate finance). This gave us the words below, each of which occurs on 10% of resumes, or more. If you want to spruce up your CV, we suggest you insert these as appropriate.
Notably, 70% of CVs belonging to front office investment bankers include the word ‘analyzed,’ or its derivatives (analysis, analyst etc.). ‘Managed’ and ‘developed’ also occur on around 50% of resumes. At the other end of the scale, words like ‘leveraged’, ‘founded’, ‘gained’, ‘evaluated’, and ‘delivered’ are less well-used and should act as differentiators should you insert them.
A word of caution, however: don’t use these words too liberally. – CVs filled with power words can look cliched. And CVs which repeat the same power words repetitively can look weak. You’re best choosing five favourites and employing them judiciously for best effect.
The top 29 words for front office investment banking CVs: