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). Plenty of front office employees '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 'founded', 'gained', 'evaluated', and 'delivered' are less well-used and could act as differentiators should you judiciously insert them.
A word of caution, however: don't use these words too liberally. - CVs filled with power words can look clichéd. And CVs which repeat the same power words repetitively can look weak.
Adding ATS keywords to your banking resume
As we've noted before, when you're putting a banking resume together you also need to include words that will get you through an applicant tracking system.
For this, Victoria McLean, CEO of City CV, says you need to add keywords specific to the role.It helps to print out the job application, to highlight the keywords and then to manually cross them out after each one has been incorporated into your resume, says McLean. If the keywords aren't there, the ATS won't pass you.
Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for top jobs in technology and finance.
Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available (Telegram: @SarahButcher)
Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)
Photo by Mehdi MeSSrro on Unsplash