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29 power words that will invigorate your investment banking CV

If you're trying to put together a CV that will get you a front office job in an investment bank, there are some words you must not use. For example, anything along the lines of 'contributed,' 'supported', 'assisted' or 'helped' is bad news because it suggests you weren't entirely responsible for your accomplishments. But which words fall at the other end of the scale? Which words, when used on your CV, will actually secure you a job in an investment bank?

Listed below are approximately 80 'CV power words' which will enhance your resume. Most are verbs, some are adjectives. All exude activity and achievement and are part of the vernacular in the finance sector.

Accomplished, Accurate, Achieved, Advised, Agile, Analysed, Assessed, Attained

Briefed, Built

Calculated, Captained, Collaborated, Commercial, Completed, Convinced, Coordinated, 

Delivered, Designed, Developed, Devised, Detail-oriented, 

Earned, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Entrepreneurial,Established, Evaluated, Executed, Expanded, Explored, 

Financed, Forecasted, Formulated, Founded, 

Gained, Generated, Guided, 

Implemented, Innovative, Instituted, Integrated, 

Launched, Leveraged, 

Managed, Maximised, Mentored, Methodical, Modelled, Monitored

Negotiated

Optimized

Passionate, Persistent, Persuaded, Predicted, Prepared, Presented, Prioritized, Profit, Promoted, Projected

Qualified

Ranked, Researched, Resilient, Revised

Smart, Strengthened, Succeeded, Supervised, Surpassed, Strategic

Target, Tested, Tracked, Transaction,Transformed

Verified, Valued

Won

Using our own CV database, we looked at the frequency with which these 'power words' are used on CVs belonging to people seeking front office jobs in investment banks (sales, trading, research, capital markets, corporate finance).  Plenty of front office employees 'analyzed,' or its derivatives (analysis, analyst etc.). 'Managed' and 'developed' also occur on around 50% of resumes.  At the other end of the scale, words like 'founded', 'gained', 'evaluated', and 'delivered' are less well-used and could act as differentiators should you judiciously insert them.

A word of caution, however: don't use these words too liberally. - CVs filled with power words can look clichéd. And CVs which repeat the same power words repetitively can look weak.

Adding ATS keywords to your banking resume

As we've noted before, when you're putting a banking resume together you also need to include words that will get you through an applicant tracking system.

For this, Victoria McLean, CEO of City CV, says you need to add keywords specific to the role.It helps to print out the job application, to highlight the keywords and then to manually cross them out after each one has been incorporated into your resume, says McLean. If the keywords aren't there, the ATS won't pass you.

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Photo by Mehdi MeSSrro on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Jo
    Jonny
    10 February 2015

    To clarify, are these words used by the CV's of SUCCESSFUL candidates, or just words that all candidates have on their CV's?

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