How to Enhance Your Resume During College for Investment Banking

by Beth Winston

If you are aiming for a career in investment banking, it's wise to begin prepping your resume well in advance. During your college years, work not only on the presentation of your resume, but also on getting the experience and the skills under your belt that will make it stand out.

1. Apply for internships at investment banks. If you begin early enough in your university career, you may be able to complete several internships of increasing complexity.

2. Question your mentors during your internship about key skills they look for in entry-level employees, and ask to be given exposure to tasks that will help you develop them. For instance, you should be able to develop familiarity with different methods of creating company valuations.

3. Focus on your GPA. It really counts when you're going into a competitive field like investment banking. If you've had a poor start on your grades, make sure you show strong improvement in your junior and senior years. If your grades are good already, prioritize them and keep up the good work.

4. Take any language courses available to you at university. Investment banking is an international business by nature, and employees with language skills are sought after. Look for opportunities to use your languages in real-life situations too -- if possible through travel.

5. Make your extracurricular activities count. Look for opportunities to take leadership roles in clubs or groups you belong to. If your school has an investment club, be sure you take an active role. Set yourself on a path to making a substantial achievement in a field you enjoy. If you have an opportunity to demonstrate that you perform well under pressure, take it.

6. Ensure your resume is 100 percent error-free and neatly presented. Make sure your relevant experience stands out with easy-to-read bullet points.

7. Prioritize your school name if you attend an Ivy League school or other institution from which the bank regularly recruits. Make sure that relevant work experience is prominent, and be specific about the skills you mastered and the projects you worked on.

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