Securing buy-side interviews: CV advice


Small changes that can have a big impact

Stand out

Hiring Circle

The Hiring Circle team have seen the CVs of thousands of investment bankers and investment professionals over the years.

Candidates within this arena tend to have similar backgrounds and experiences, with comparable academics and having worked at the same organisations, particularly at the junior end of the market.

So beyond immaculate formatting and a full grammar and spell check, what is it that helps some candidates secure an interview while others struggle to get the call?

The team at Hiring Circle are all former headhunters and based on our years of experience, here are some tips to help you improve your chances in a competitive process:

1. Make it relevant

Although it may be obvious to you that your experience fits the job description, make it easy for recruiters and potential employers to see this. Consider what the employer is looking for, what they value the most highly and prioritise this on your CV.

For example, applying for a role at a Tech focussed VC fund without being able to demonstrate an interest in technology isn't going to get your far in the process/you might not get through the door. Even when applying for seemingly similar roles, subtle tweaks can help you get noticed and show that you’ve put thought into your application.

2. Achievements

There can be a fine line between keeping a CV concise and including unnecessary detail but it’s important to show what you’ve achieved in your role if you want to stand out from other candidates with similar career paths.

Investment banking analysts can have widely different levels of exposure so don’t just list the deals you were staffed on, include what you actually did on those transactions.

3. Personal interests/hobbies

This is a great opportunity to give some insight into your personality and can act as a great ice-breaker in interviews. It’s also a useful way to help improve your relevancy for a position that may not be obvious from your work experience.

For example, you may manage your own investment portfolio or be involved in charity work.  

If you're on the shortlist for a PE fund, it's a given that your CV is impressive, but remember so are all the others. These small changes can have a big impact and help secure that interview request.