Your Financial Market Graduate CV

Any two people will give you slightly different advice on producing a powerful CV but of course there is commonality to any great CV. Your CV needs to be adjusted for every role you apply for and it is perfectly fine to have two or three versions if you are going after different types of roles.

Profile Statement:

My preference is to include such a statement after your personal contact details at the beginning of the CV. It helps you stand out from the competition although a Covering Letter, or its online equivalent, is also key here (a post to follow on this). The profile statement should contain an eye-catching achievement of some kind and something about why this career path is now your vocation. Something to make the recruiter read on. You can expand the detail in the Covering Letter.

Profile Example:

“I am currently in my third year at Bath University having been awarded the David Johnson Award for excellent academic achievement. I have pro-actively secured various financial market work experience which has fuelled my passion to now work on the Buy Side of the market”.

Academic Qualifications:

As well as listing your academic qualifications mention any scholarships, prizes, or high percentages or grades you scored if you have these. Don’t list any AS Levels or GSCEs.

Work Experience:

Two days work experience at say Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters is a ‘bona fide’ work experience item – it does not have to be 4 weeks somewhere!  

  • Thomson Reuters                                                June 2014

(Go out and get these 2 day work experiences; find the contacts. Most people have no problem taking someone for 2 days. Longer is great of course!)

Never lie on a CV but you have every right to make any experience as impressively sounding as possible.

Be Human:

London Financial market employers don’t just want to hire candidates solely with the highest academic achievements.They also want to hire well-rounded individuals who’ve have both ‘given something back’ or show personality and the ability to fit into a team. Any voluntary work here is very appropriate as is team sport or university society participation especially committee participation. An interesting hobby is also welcomed as long as it doesn’t suggest social isolation!.

Format:

Make use of bullet points since Human Resource recruiting personnel look at hundreds of CVs and need to pick out information quickly. The average time a recruiter spends looking at a CV is 15-20 seconds only. Four to six bullet points per sub heading is appropriate.Bullet points are great but on certain items you need to give additional detail making the point as impressive as possible all whilst keeping a great layout.

Spelling:

There is absolutely no room for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. You might be convinced a word is spelt a certain way. Read your CV several times, spell-check and if possible get another pair of eyes to look at it. One typing mistake and you are likely out. Don’t give recruiters the excuse to eliminate you. The early stages of job applications is all about elimination!

Language:

If you’re applying for a Graduate Programme that by definition will attract 1000s of applicants, you need to have the right words in your CV as the initial screening is likely to be done by a tracking system programmed to spot such content.The right words can be identified in most job descriptions. If you are applying to an employer outside such a scheme this is less critical but you still need to include some sector “buzz” words.

Length:

Make sure it all fits on one page. Two pages is fine only if you have a 20 year career.

 

About Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the founder of Opening City Doors and is a Financial Market Specialist having worked for several leading Investment Banks and financial technology institutions additionally.He therefore provides a unique insight, and unusually broad perspective, into the opportunities available in London Financial Markets and related sectors and how to launch your career in the ‘City’.