Wall Street internships are insanely competitive.
In 2015, Goldman Sachs had 59,000 applicants for roughly 2,900 summer intern positions.
So if you’re going to drop your resume in a stack with thousands of others, you want it to look good.
We spoke with a former analyst at a bulge-bracket bank who’s been through the process both as an applicant and, on the other side, as an analyst screening candidates.
He said there were only a few things the banks really look at on your résumé — and it’s important to get them right.
Here’s what you need to know.
See more on Wall Street recruiting, junior bankers, and breaking into finance here.
The most important thing on your résumé is your GPA.
Your grade point average is “the first thing you look at on the résumé,” the former analyst said. And it should be 3.6, preferable 3.7 or higher.
If it isn’t quite as impressive as you’d like, there is a workaround: “Show it to 2 decimals if the decimal is under 5,” the person said. “But if the second decimal of the GPA is over 5, round to the nearest 10th.”
So if your GPA is 3.83, don’t round down. But if it’s 3.65 or 3.66, then round up and show it as 3.7.
Also, if you have a good GPA in your major, you can include that too — but there is no substitute for the overall GPA, the analyst said.
The next most important thing? Experience.
If you’re a college junior applying for a summer internship, it’s really important that you have some relevant experience from your previous summer.
The analyst said that even though sophomore-year internships were usually “soft” internships, the point is that you have something finance- or business-related on there.
Learn how to write about experience.
Don’t just write what you did at your past gig. Point to the impact your work had.
The analyst gave an example of a weak experience line: “Used DCF, comparable companies, and precedent transactions to value Coca Cola.”
Versus a strong one: “Used DCF, comparable companies, and precedent transactions to value Coca Cola; analysis showed that the company was undervalued by 15%.”
But don’t exaggerate! “It’s so obvious to tell if someone is exaggerating,” the former analyst said.