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Roast my banking CV: "I made 35 applications and got no offers"

I am a recent graduate and am passionate about joining the investment management industry. However, I applied for over 35 graduate schemes in my final year of university and did not get a single interview. I applied for roles I found advertised on this site and I was able to secure three interviews. I went to the final stage for all three but did not get an offer. 

I feel I have a good degree, good grades, summer analyst experience, strong passion and a good work ethic, but I am just not crossing the line. Perhaps my CV could be the issue. Can anyone offer me advice? Please comment in the box at the bottom of this page.

This is my CV. Some names have been obscured. 

Best comment picked by the author
I feel for you, because you've probably been the victim of a mediocre uni overhyping the career path for one of its degree programmes.

Freddie Bailey

Results driven Investment and Financial Risk Management Graduate with ambition to play a key role in the asset management industry. Varied background and work experiences leading to a wide base of skills and abilities including focused leadership, ESG investment strategy, quantitative analysis, and project management. Wider interests in coffee, fitness, and mixology.

Professional Experience:

XXX Capital Partners | Summer Investment Analyst – London, UK July 2021

• Buy-side Equity Analyst for Emerging Markets Hedge Fund with over £80m Assets under Management. • Compiled quantitative and qualitative analyst reports for Nasdaq and HKEX listed Chinese Equities using Bloomberg.

• Attended strategy meetings with senior management and provided input to long term investment decisions. FSREG | Internship – London, UK July 2017

• Project managed capital raising for angel investor project valued at £5m including pitch-book preparation, market analysis, and investor communications.

• Reported and managed three active London residential properties including tenancy agreements and leases. • Managed and administered recruitment process for new employee programme and induction. Bank of England | Work Experience – London, UK July 2017

• Completed shadow day within the monetary analysis team and regulatory agencies observing procedures and processes.

• Gained understanding of financial monitoring required for monetary policy decisions and action controls.

Other Experience

Tish Bar and Restaurant | Supervisor and Expeditor – London, UK June 2019 - September 2020

• Coordinated and prioritised orders whilst ensuring smooth communication between kitchen and front of house.

• Managed supervision of implementation procedures and training to ensure smooth service and customer satisfaction.

• Operated in high time pressure environments whilst maintaining standards and attention to detail.

Education:

XXX University. BSc Investment and Financial Risk Management 2019 - 2022

• Achieved grade of Upper Class, First Division (2:1)

• Modules included Advanced Econometrics, Portfolio Theory, Asset Management, Real Estate Investment, Risk Analysis and Modelling, Asset-Liability Management, Fixed Income Portfolio Management, Emerging Markets, and M&A.

• Final Year Dissertation – “Does Environmental Social Governance (ESG) drive performance for Exchange Traded Funds? A performance analysis of ETFs with higher ESG metrics versus those with lower metrics for their use to the retail investor.”

A Levels 2016 - 2018 

• A Levels in Economics (A), Politics (B), and Mathematics (B).

Achievements:

• President and founder of the Asset Management Society 

• Student Representative for over 300 Finance Cluster students

Certificates:

• Quantitative Risk Management in R - Datacamp, 2021

• Finance Fundamentals in R – Datacamp, 2021

• Bloomberg Market Concepts – Bloomberg, 2021

• Introduction to ESG – CFI, 2021 • Advanced Microsoft Excel – Cengage, 2019

Freddie Bailey is a pseudonym

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  • di
    disqus_DooIjaL7E0
    23 September 2022

    Your covering statement says you want to break into Investment Management but the article headline says Banking CV. Two different industries, misleading. You seem to have a directly relevant degree for Investment Management, so ignore all the comments about IB.

    Graduate schemes going into a global recession will be tougher than usual. I would suggest targeting smaller investment managers and take any job that is on offer to gain experience. Your career will likely be long and some investment management experience is better than none.

    Frankly degree subjects/institutions matter less when approaching non formal graduate opportunities as on graduate milkrounds they are used as a filter for hundreds of candidates.

    Be persistent, watch youtube videos, network on LinkedIn, ask people how they got their job and what do they enjoy about it.

    Good luck

  • Av
    Ava Rice
    20 September 2022

    It also appears that you did not get an "Upper Class, First Division" degree.
    A 2:1 is an upper second class...

    Do be careful of the HR screening processes that may reject you for overstating this classification.

  • Av
    Ava Rice
    20 September 2022

    Honestly, some of the previous comments are enough to put anyone off of the industry.

    Understand that your name is a pseudonym, but this is the first thing that is obvious to me, HR departments are really pushing for more diverse hires on grad schemes. If your name sounds "white male", you may be in close competition with many others... try roles outside of the milkround. Entry level analyst roles exist so do apply for these and tailor your CV for specific roles.

    Previous advice to "go and get an MSc", just hilarious. Shows how out of touch with reality many are/become in finance. A UK post graduate loan will barely cover 1/3 of the course fees and that's before living costs. For a PG degree in investment/finance you need a diversity quirk (for those niche scholarships) or the bank of mum and dad... The previous suggestion of attending a European uni was once a good solution, however Brexit likely killed that option.

    Suggest you remove coffee as your primary interest, coffee snobs in the workplace are just annoying.

  • Ha
    Haroon
    20 September 2022

    Hey mate - I'm going to tell you now, that a lot of the comments under this post are utter crap. Your grades are great, and even if you didn't go to a 'target uni' (a concept that doesn't really exist in Europe - HR just has a limited budget so likes to market to specific universities and courses, that's all) - you got a 2:1 which is all you need. Most initial HR screenings are automated - 2:1 passes through the gate (below that will get flagged to a HR person to review if you have mitigating circumstances). A cursory Google of your course title suggests you went to CASS/Bayes, which is a great university, so nothing to worry about there if that is the case. So now you've passed HR screening, you now need to pass the actual Teams' wants and needs. Your CV ultimately doesn't show what you'd be like in a team, nor how you would add value. Take your initial blurb about you - it's just buzz words, and doesn't quite make sense - how can you truly be results driven when you've not really had any experience? A better first sentence might be: "Ambitious and dynamic investment management graduate with a passion for financial markets and risk management, that will work hard to help teams better meet their clients' needs." Look at the banks you're applying for - write down their key competencies and then average them to find exactly what these banks look for (standard things usually - attention to detail, team player etc.) and then make sure every point in relates back to it..."Compiled qualitative and quantitative blah blah..." - make this a sentence about detail and accuracy, about stakeholder management, or convincing someone what you did was valuable. Don't just list what happened. Explain why it is meaningful. Think - does 'President and Founder of the AM Society" sound like an achievement compared to "Founded the led the AM Society at XXX University, bringing together students from across courses, managing events and bringing in key speakers"... Find a mentor - don't look to websites like this full of nobodies with their own agendas and prejudices. Good luck.

  • Un
    Unazaki
    17 September 2022

    The main issue I can see is that you have quite the lack of experience. What you have listed in your experience during your summer analyst time is impressive, there’s no doubt about that, but it is the only finance related work experience I see.

    This is going to put you at a major disadvantage for graduate programs because where I live there’s no shortage of people applying with 3+ finance related internships. Coming in with just 1 makes it pretty difficult simply to get an interview in my opinion.

    Given your unfortunate situation, I would suggest that perhaps you can try applying for mid or back office jobs instead and work your way to the front office over the coming years. Alternatively, you can also consider applying to smaller and less well known places where you might not face as much competition.

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