Your resume and cover letter are the first impression that you make to a recruiter. In Finance especially, it’s important that your resume looks consistent and clean, and that your motivation for Finance and the company in particular stands out through your cover letter.
There are plenty of things to consider, but don’t despair! Here are our best resume and cover letter tips for when you apply for a job or internship in Finance!
Our Top Resume Tips
Keep it safe and boring: Use standardized fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
Keep it professional: the less color, the better.
Preferably no picture. If you do use a picture, make sure it’s professional and formal.
Always put your education first.
No relevant experience? You can add any projects, assignments or courses that you did and that involve the skills mentioned in the vacancy description.
FxF’s Tips to help you stand out from the crowd
Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself! What are you most proud of? Is it crossing the ocean with a sailboat, or that you raised thousands of euros for your high school musical by creating a new acquisition strategy? Personal accomplishments are what makes you unique and are also great conversation starters during interviews.
Listing your work experience in a non-chronological order.
Not highlighting your affinity to finance through relevant courses, extracurricular activities or work experience.
Unprofessional picture…Please don’t.
Too much design. Keep it clean!
Our Top Cover Letter Tips
Always start with which job you are applying for and how you got introduced to this opportunity. (An extra tip here: Mentioning names of employees you know always helps in getting noticed.)
Second paragraph: why this company? Know the company, mention the company’s culture, deals and/or focus areas; anything that stood out to you and that motivated you to apply!
Make sure you know exactly why you want to apply to a Corporate Finance position, for example, and not Private Equity or Venture Capital.
Last paragraph: Time to show your assets! Why are you the right person for the job? Use skills that they ask for in the job description, this already shows you are who they are looking for.
Last but not least, get a second opinion: always try to have someone else read your cover letter, to make sure you avoid any mistakes.
Generic motivation: a recruiter will be able to tell if you have a standardised cover letter that you use to apply to multiple positions.
Not showing your interest in the specific company: if you don’t research the company in advance and you seem to lack knowledge about it, your cover letter will not stand out.
Repeat what’s in your resume: The recruiter already saw your resume. So focus on what you have learned, both professionally and personally, in your previous experience, rather than just summing it up.