The second edition of the Investment Banking Month is a wrap! For those of you who did not attend it, we brought together the best tips that the participants received from women in Investment Banking!
From preparing for your application to acing your interviews, we’ve got you covered!
Want to take it a step further? Book a 20-min call with us and get the Investment Banking Prep Guide, containing everything you need to know for your interview!
And if you’re ready to meet companies, join us for the FxF London Banking Experience, with renowned names such as Bank of America, Rothschild & Co., Accuracy, and Verdier & Co.!
Your network is your net worth
First things first, it’s important to get to know the industry before you decide where to apply! How will you do that? We always say, your network is your net worth.
Search for mentors to guide you and to help you orient yourself. They don’t have to be focused on companies only. They could also be a professor, or someone who inspires you and who you admire. LinkedIn is a great tool for this. Connect with Investment Banking professionals on LinkedIn, and ask them to be your mentor. This can take many different forms, perhaps you will have a (virtual) coffee every 3 months, or have a call every month. Be flexible and propose options that don’t take too much effort from your potential mentor.
⭐Tip: Mentors don’t need to be seniors. You can learn as many things from juniors and mediors, sometimes even more!
⭐Tip: Don’t stop reaching out to different people and keep in mind that it’s okay to not receive an answer right away!
Go to different events organised by companies, student associations, or other organisations. This is also a great opportunity for you to find a mentor – connect with them and follow up as soon as possible. It’s important to get to know the different cultures of companies out there. That’s because eventually, you will spend a lot of time with your colleagues, so you need an environment where you feel like you fit in, both personally and professionally.
⭐Tip: If you dont feel like going alone to an event, ask your finance friends to apply to the same events. After visiting different events, you can create a group to go to events with.
⭐Tip: Always keep an eye on your university platform to see if there are interesting events, look at LinkedIn events and of course, stay up-to-date with upcoming Female x Finance events!
How do you write your Investment Banking CV?
Hopefully, it’s more than clear to you that your CV and cover letter count. And they count a lot. For you to get a clear idea of what you need to include in this first impression you make to a recruiter, we invited Abisola Barber, an Investment Banking professional with over 10 years of experience, to share her top tips for writing a CV and cover letter for Investment Banking.
First and foremost, stick to the Investment Banking template. Most of the time, if you use a different format, you will already be out of the application process. Make it as simple and as consistent as possible, with standardised fonts and sizes, even spacing, and one type of bullet points.
Second of all, always check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes with at least one other person. And keep it one page maximum!
Name & contact information
- Include full name, professional email address, and phone number
- Make sure it’s always up-to-date
Summary (your ‘elevator pitch’)
- Helps set you out from the crowd and highlights why you are special
- No more than a few sentences mentioning key strengths, achievements, and attributes, especially those relevant to the role
- Back these up with concrete examples later in your CV
Professional History / Work Experience
- Each role should include: company name, job title, the duration you were employed for, responsibilities;
- For each relevant experience, use action-driven words (e.g. organised, owned, delivered, achieved);
- Use reverse chronological order;
- Use the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result.
- Please note: If you already have an incoming internship, mention it as well! It is always good to state your plans in line with your interest in Investment Banking.
- This can come before Professional History if you do not have much work experience
- Again, use reverse chronological order
- Include: institution name, years of study, courses and applicable grades
Skills, Awards, Achievements aka your time to shine!
- Show what you have done, over and above getting good grades
- Include things such as Specialist trainings, software skills, volunteering, board years, attending the Female x Finance London Banking Experience etc.
- You can also include personal interests – they serve as great ice-breakers during interviews
The Investment Banking interviews and assessments
The IB application process can be lengthy and tough. But we have insightful tips for you to make sure that you go through it as smoothly as possible!
First of all, if an online assessment or case study is included in the application process, make sure you practise, practise practise. Two ways to go about this are asking your fellow finance students to practise together, as well as googling the supplier of the assessment and check if they offer a monthly subscription allowing you to practise directly on their platform.
For the actual interview, you can expect a diversity of questions which fall under the following categories:
Problem-solving questions / brain teasers
- Accounting Questions
- Enterprise / Equity Value Questions
- Valuation Questions
- Merger model & synergies questions
In general, it’s important to thoroughly research the firm and industry, review financial concepts and modelling techniques, and practice answering these questions well in advance. Additionally, be ready to showcase your problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and ability to work well in a team.