Are you interested in a job in finance, but have limited work experience? In addition to the jobs you've held, you can include your academic achievements, internships, volunteering, college projects you've worked on, extracurricular activities, and the skills that help qualify you for the job for which you're applying.
Your relevant and related experiences and accomplishments will help you show the employer that you've got the skills they are looking for in qualified candidates.
Here are tips for what to include in an early-career finance resume, with examples, and a template to download to use as a starting point for your own resume.
What to Include in Your Resume
In addition to work experience, here's what you can highlight in your resume to show your qualifications to prospective employers.
- Highlight Academic Achievements: As a college student or graduate, your academic achievements are among your greatest assets. Highlight them by placing the “Education” section at the top of your resume. Include your GPA if it is strong, and list any achievements (such as academic awards). You might also include any finance-related coursework or projects you have completed.
Some employers may require you to include your GPA on your resume. Check the job posting to be sure you include all the information you need to get your application considered.
- Emphasize Internships: If you have limited work experience, highlight any work experience gained from relevant internships. Internships are a great way for college students and graduates to acquire work experience and skills in a particular field and should be included on a resume under "Work History" or a related resume section.
- Include Related Activities: You can, and should, include any extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, and other non-work experience related to the job. For a finance job, this might include serving as a treasurer for an organization or participating in a club related to your finance major. You can include these in either a “Related Experience” section or in a separate “Activities” section of your resume. In the resume example below, this section is called “Activities/Service.”
Tips for Writing Your Resume
- Use Numbers When Possible: When explaining your responsibilities or achievements, use numbers when possible to demonstrate how you added value to a company or organization. It is particularly important for finance positions, in which you will be working with money on a regular basis. If you were treasurer of a club, you might mention the amount of money you managed. If you helped an organization save a percentage of money through some cost-cutting strategies, mention the percentage.
Not sure how to effectively include numbers on your resume? Here's advice on how to quantify your achievements to get your resume noticed.
- Add a Skills List: Consider adding a “Skills” section to your resume, especially if the job requires a particular skill set. You can divide the “Skills” section into subsections, such as “Computer Skills,” “Language Skills,” etc.
- Proofread and Edit: Even though a finance job requires technical skills, you also need to be a clear writer and communicator who pays attention to details. Therefore, you want to make sure your resume is free of errors. Proofread your resume thoroughly for spelling and grammar errors. Consider asking a college career counselor to look at your resume as well.
Check with your college career services office if you need resume and cover writing assistance. Many offices help graduates as well as students.
College Graduate Finance Resume Example
This is an example of a resume for a finance position for a college graduate. Download the finance resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
College Graduate Finance Resume Example (Text Version)
999 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 00000
Honors student and college graduate seeks a position with a top financial firm.
- Chaired the Social Integrity Board at XYZ College arbitrating and sanctioning students in violation of Student Code of Conduct.
- Strong team-building and collaborative talents, partnering with teachers and students.
- Student Speakers Bureau member in charge of apportioning funds to XYZ organizations to bring speakers to campus. Managed over $10,000 annually.
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Lexis-Nexis and Adobe software.
PIERRE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, Hartford, CT
Intern, Summer 2021
Completed full-time internship working with institutional brokers analyzing U.S. markets and industries.
- Researched and evaluated derivatives, equities, and bonds with Pierre’s new analytics computer system.
ACME ASSOCIATES CONSULTING FIRM, Hartford, CT
Intern, October 2019-October 2020
Analyzed market trends, volumetric data, and consumer feedback to help over a dozen clients tailor products and services.
- Created custom solutions for sell-side financial institutions.
JOHNSON STUDIOS MARKETING CONSULTING FIRM, Stamford, CT
Consultant Intern, Summer 2019
Analyzed private education market. My research allowed firm expansion in three new metros.
- Researched media buying for two clients using databases, telephone surveys, and competitor data.
Bachelor of Arts in Education; (2020); GPA 3.8
Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
More Resume and Cover Letter Examples
Here are more resume and cover letter examples for college students and grads that you can use as a starting point for your own correspondence: