You come from the world of banking, where big numbers and complex financial jargon are a daily occurrence. You’re adept at crunching numbers, unraveling fiscal mysteries, and explaining the difference between assets and liabilities. But when it comes to putting all that on paper for a banking resume, you feel stuck.
After all, how are you supposed to fit all of your banking prowess on a single page? The answer to that question lies in this article. We’re going to teach you how to create a banking resume as sharp as your investment portfolio.
At the end of the day, your resume is like your financial calling card. It needs to be professional, to the point, and attention-grabbing. That’s why we’re going to dive deep into all the dos and don’ts that’ll help you craft an outstanding document. Let’s get started!
To create a resume suited for a banking professional, you should use the chronological format with a clean, one-page layout.
An attention-grabbing summary or objective will increase the chances that recruiters will carefully examine your resume.
Your work history should be the focal point of your resume. If you’re an entry-level candidate, you can put more emphasis on your skills and education.
A well-written cover letter tailored to the job ad will help you stand out among the competition.
What Is the Right Format to Use for a Banking Resume?
To become an expert banking resume writer, you need to know how to structure your document. Instead of haphazardly adding information to your resume, you need a proven format that will show recruiters what they want in an optimal order.
The most commonly used format is the chronological resume format. It offers an orderly arrangement where you present your work history in reverse-chronological order. That way, you’re giving recruiters a clear insight into the progress of your professional career. Plus, ATS software is usually set up with this format in mind.
Apart from the chronological resume format, there are two other widely used formats suitable for candidates in specific situations, and these are:
Popular Resume Formats
Functional resume format, which is best used by entry-level candidates. Its purpose is to emphasize your skills and present you as a strong candidate, even when you lack professional history.
Combination (hybrid) resume format, which combines parts of chronological and functional formats. This one also puts your skills front and center, but it backs up each skill with impressive accomplishments. That makes this format great for seniors and candidates who are changing professions and want to show their transferable skills.
A good resume layout makes your banking resume visually appealing. Luckily, you don’t need to have graphic design skills to craft a great-looking document. You can simply follow these guidelines:
Resume Layout Guidelines
In most cases, your banking resume should be one page long.
To help make your document brief and concise, use bullet lists instead of blocks of text.
Pick a resume-friendly font that’s professional and easy to read. Avoid script and decorative typefaces and go with proven ones, like Times New Roman or Helvetica.
Set your resume’s font size to 10–12 pt and make section headings 2–4 pt bigger.
Use 1-inch margins on all sides with corresponding amounts of white space between sections.
What Sections Should a Banking Resume Contain?
The must-have sections of your banking resume are:
To add more valuable information and increase your chances with recruiters, you can include optional sections such as:
Hobbies and interests
By combining these lists with all the guidelines regarding format and layout, you'll write a strong banking resume from scratch. However, if you want to speed things up and make the whole process much easier, you can check out our resume builder.
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Banking Resume Contact Information
Your contact information should go at the top of your banking resume, in its header. The purpose of this section is purely functional, which is why you want to keep it brief, precise, and professional. Here are the details to include:
If you’re applying for a job abroad, you can include your mailing address (even then, your city and state are more than enough due to security reasons). Another bit of information you can add to this section is links to relevant social media profiles, with LinkedIn being commonly used in a professional environment.
Here’s what that looks like in practice:
Investment Banking Analyst
+ 940 864 1129
Pro tip: Double-check your phone number before submitting your resume. You don’t want a simple mistake to prevent you from receiving a call for an interview. Moreover, make sure that you’re using a proper email address with a professional format.
Banking Resume Objective or Summary
Recruiters are busy professionals, and they often have a limited amount of time to go through a bunch of resumes. As a result, you have around 7.4 seconds to grab their attention. That’s why you want to start off strong with an impactful and eye-catching paragraph, which comes in two forms:
A resume objective is perfect for entry-level candidates who want to emphasize their skills and motivation.
A resume summary is the go-to introduction for experienced applicants who have impressive workplace accomplishments to show off.
Banking Resume Objective
When writing an objective for your banking resume, you want to show potential to future employers. You can achieve that by talking about your motivation and skills relevant to the position that you’re applying for. You’ll get bonus points if you point out any accomplishments obtained during your internships, school projects, volunteer work, etc.
Here’s a good example of a resume objective:
“Industrious recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance looking for an entry-level position at [The Company’s Name]. Adept at financial analysis, collaboration, and presentation. Completed a 1-year internship, obtaining an Employee of the Month award in October 2021 for creating projection reports that increased the company's revenue by $250K.”
Compare that to the following poorly-written resume objective that lacks any concrete details about the candidate’s competence:
“I have recently graduated with a BBA. I am looking for my first job to put my knowledge to good use and learn on the spot.”
Banking Resume Summary
Writing a profile summary for your banking resume is all about putting your best foot forward. By pointing out some of your most impressive achievements, you’ll give recruiters enough to spark their interest and entice them to go through the rest of the document.
Let’s take a look at a well-written banking resume summary:
“Analytical investment banking associate with 13+ years of experience advising clients with their investments, looking for a senior position at [The Company’s Name]. Achieved a career ROI rate of 15% above the industry average. Awarded Employee of the Year in 2021 based on customer feedback and measurable results. Seeking to bring extensive knowledge and experience in negotiation and risk assessment to maximize the quality of service at [The Company’s Name].”
Now let’s see what happens when we strip a resume summary of all the candidate’s results and triumphs:
“Highly skilled and experienced banking analyst looking for a new job. Many years working with clients and helping them achieve their investment goals.”
Banking Resume Work Experience
The work experience section of your banking resume can single-handedly secure you an interview. So, let’s see how you can make it pop.
Here’s the general structure to follow when listing your past jobs in your work experience section:
The name and location of the company
Start and end dates of employment
Your notable achievements and results obtained
The key to this section is to be as brief as possible while providing as much detail as possible. These guidelines will help you accomplish that:
Banking Resume Work Experience Guidelines
Only list past jobs that are relevant to the one that you’re applying for.
If you have multiple previous jobs to include, you should list them in reverse-chronological order.
Put more emphasis on recent experiences, as they are usually more relevant.
Instead of using paragraphs of text to talk about your achievements, include 3–5 bullet points.
Focus on notable results and impressive successes over everyday tasks and responsibilities.
Use numbers, statistics, and percentages to add measurable value to your achievements.
Include memorable action verbs and power words to make the section stand out. Terms that you can use include:
Banking Resume With No Experience
You can write a compelling work experience section even if you don’t have a single day of professional history. The trick is to use substitute activities such as internships, college projects, volunteer experiences, and so on instead of actual jobs.
Here’s a work experience sample from a resume for bank jobs with no experience:
Bank Teller Intern
May 2022–August 2022
Processed an average of 150 customer transactions per day, maintaining high levels of speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
Utilized cross-selling techniques to present bank products and services to customers, achieving a 15% increase in product adoption.
Collaborated with team members to streamline processes and improve operational efficiency, resulting in a 19% reduction in customer wait times.
As someone who’s been in the industry for years, you may want to include as much detail in your work experience section as possible. However, keep in mind that you should go for quality over quantity. Don’t diminish the effect of your most impactful work by including every minor achievement you can think of.
Instead, include a select few bullet points that highlight a broad range of competencies to show why you’re the best person for the job. Let’s see that in an example:
Investment Banking Analyst
The One Bank
New York, NY
Prepared detailed financial models and performed valuation analyses, contributing to the successful execution of multiple transactions worth over $700 million.
Participated in client meetings and conference calls to negotiate and structure financial deals, obtaining a 17% increase in successful deal closures.
Onboarded, mentored, and trained 5 junior analysts, helping them polish their financial modeling and analytical skills and increasing the team’s overall productivity by 31%.
Banking Resume Education Section
The education section of your banking resume adds credibility to your skills. If you’re an experienced candidate, you should keep this part brief, as the focus should be on your work history. In that case, you should simply list these details:
The institution issuing it
Years of attendance
As an entry-level candidate who lacks professional experience, you can make this section more prominent by including additional information such as relevant courses, extracurricular activities, high GPA, school projects, etc.
Let’s see that in an example:
Bachelor of Science in Finance
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Relevant coursework: Advanced Financial Analysis, Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management, Asset Management, Financial Econometrics
Banking Resume Skills
In addition to carefully examining the work history, the hiring manager will likely pay close attention to the skills section. While short, this part of a banking resume can be critical to the candidate’s success. It gives potential employers a complete insight into their abilities and can help them separate adequate applicants from the rest.
Research the company and carefully read their job ad to figure out which abilities they want in candidates. Then, in addition to creating a list of skills on your resume, prove them with concrete results.
You can also mention relevant skills when talking about your achievements in your resume summary and work experience sections. That’s how you’ll provide proof of your competence, not just an unverifiable collection of skills.
Let’s check out some job-specific, hard skills you can add to your banking resume:
Debit and credit card management
Mortgages and loans
Soft skills that recruiters often look for in bankers are:
Banking Resume Optional Sections
Optional sections allow you to spruce up your banking resume and get ahead of the competition.
Certifications can be highly valuable for bankers for several important reasons, as they:
Provide tangible evidence of specific knowledge and expertise in certain areas
Show the candidate’s ability to undergo meticulous training
Display commitment to staying updated with industry best practices and maintaining high professional standards
All of that expands the candidate’s career opportunities, improves their chances of advancing within the organization, and increases their earning potential.
Proficiency in foreign languages is important in today’s globalized economy. Many banks operate on an international scale, which is why they must be able to communicate with clients and colleagues from different countries.
Keep in mind that some positions can make language skills mandatory. In that case, you might even be required to provide solid proof of your competence in the form of a certificate.
When adding this section to your resume, it’s important to pick a popular framework and list the languages in order of proficiency, starting with the one you know best.
Hobbies & Interests
The section about your hobbies and interests can be one sentence long or feature just a few bullet points. Nevertheless, it should portray you as a passionate and interesting individual and highlight some of your transferable skills or indicate your networking tendencies. Lastly, it can be an incredible icebreaker for interviews.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Banking Resume?
What better way to show that you’re someone who goes above and beyond than to do it right off the bat while applying for a job? By writing a position-tailored banking cover letter that matches your resume, you’ll show both diligence and a strong interest in the role.
Keep in mind that your cover letter should be an extension of your banking resume and not its duplicate. That’s why you should use it to talk about those skills and accomplishments that you didn’t manage to include in your resume. Lastly, just like with your resume, you want a brief, one-page cover letter; 3–5 paragraphs is a sweet spot.
Expert Tips for Creating a Banking Resume
The guide is almost finished, so here are a few final tips to help you polish your banking resume:
Certain parts of your banking resume, such as your skills and job title, act as keywords for the ATS. As a result, you want them to match the requirements in the job ad, as that’s likely what the software is looking for when scanning resumes.
Soft skills, while valuable, are much harder to prove than hard skills. That’s why you should only include a select few of the most important ones.
Avoid using personal pronouns in your resume summary and objective—you want to shift the focus from yourself to the potential employer and what you can bring to their company.
That’s all there is to know about the intricate world of banking resumes. Remember that professionalism is essential when talking about your skills and accomplishments. Still, don’t be afraid to include a touch of personality and strike a delicate harmony between competence and identity, as that can be the key to getting ahead of the competition.
With this unique blend of charm and expertise, your resume becomes a golden ticket into the wild landscape of banking. So, go forth, unleash your financial prowess, and may your career be filled with growth, fulfillment, and a healthy bank balance!