Application Tips

Investment banks receive thousands of applications each year, both during recruiting season and throughout the rest of the year. Your CV serves as an important tool for recruiters in the selection/elimination process. Investment bank recruiters are known to look for the following aspects in CVs:

  • Evidence of academic strength and analytical skills
  • Demonstration of team player characteristics and soft skills
  • Propensity for leadership and confidence
    Investment banks want employees with senior management potential. They see all hires as either future partners or future clients.
  • Accomplishments
    Investment banks seek people who boast long lists of accomplishments that demonstrate reliability, tenacity, commitment, motivation, and high standards of excellence.
  • Distinctions
    You’ve got lots of competition. However, if you can differentiate yourself on your CV – highlighting technical skills, foreign languages, publications, awards, notable public appearances – it will be to your advantage.
  • Demonstration of work ethic
    No matter where you end up working within investment banking, notoriously long hours are part of the deal. Companies are eager to see experience of how you’ve previously handled extra-long workweeks.
  • Powerful words on your CV
    Analysed, managed, developed, projected, evaluated, researched etc. Words that make you sound like an investment banking analyst in the making.
  • Length and density
    No matter what anyone tells you about CV etiquette, please keep your CV to one page. There is absolutely no reason why your CV needs to run over one page. If it does, then you’ve included too much useless information or an inappropriate layout.
  • Perfect grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation
    Your grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation needs to be absolutely consistent and impeccable. If someone reviewing your CV catches an error, your CV could easily get tossed out.

Beware that your writing style and the structure of your CV says a lot about how you communicate with others. Make your CV as terse as possible, and make your layout easy on the eyes. No one involved in the recruiting process has enough patience to read through copious paragraphs, so learn to use bullet points and get to the bottom line.
A CV template can be found here and an example of a perfect CV can be found here.

Tips for your cover letter

A cover letter is only required if you have passed the first application round. You will be asked to write a short letter to elaborate on your motivation to join the FMT. You can use the following questions as a guideline for this cover letter:

  • Why do you want to become an investment banker?
  • Why do you think that you are a suitable candidate?
  • Why are you interested in the financial world?
  • In what specific area of investment banking are you interested and why?
  • How do your previous experiences prove that you have the qualities to become an investment banker?