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3 simple steps to take NOW to pivot your career into finance.

“I come from a non-target background and wish to pivot my career into Investment Banking, Venture Capital or Private Equity. What steps can I take to make my resume more attractive for these firms?”

It’s not impossible to pivot into finance with no prior finance exposure. However, you will have to go the ‘extra’ mile to ensure that your resume gets noticed by internal hiring managers.

Here are our 3 steps to take to make your resume more marketable for a finance position.

#1 – Gain finance experience for your resume

You need to ensure that there is some financial experience listed on your resume. If your degree is non finance related and you have taken no financial internships, then the easiest way to ‘gain’ finance exposure to add on your resume is to take an online course. Great courses can be found easily via online platforms such as Coursera and Udemy.

The benefits of these courses are that you will finish with a legit certificate with your name alongside a reputable educational institution.

These programs don’t last long, perhaps between 3-6 weeks to complete and are a great way to show that you are taking your own initiative to develop your skillset in finance. In addition, it shows to the hiring manager that you are seriously committed to pivoting into the finance space.

Courses we would recommend are:

The University of Pennsylvania:Finance and Quantitative Modelling for Analysts Specialisation

Erasmus University Rotterdam:Advanced Valuation and Strategy – M&A, Private Equity, and Venture Capital

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:Finance of Mergers and Acquisitions - Designing an M&A Deal

Bocconi University:Private Equity and Venture Capital

#2 – Be proactive with your applications

Investment Banking and Private Equity are extremely competitive fields, so applying through a firm’s online portal may not be the best approach as your resume will not ‘stand out from the crowd’.

My best advice for non-target individuals would be to firstly, assess who do know from the firm that you wish to apply for. As experienced headhunters, we know that most internships/analyst roles are secured via referrals. For example, if you wish to apply for an IBD internship at Goldman Sachs, then is there anyone you already know who could refer you to their internal HR or line manager? Are there any alumni, family connections or friends of friends who work for the bank and can refer your application to them directly?

If there is no connection between you and the firm that you wish to apply for then I would advise to be proactively reach out to ‘points of contact’ on LinkedIn who can assist with facilitating an introduction.

An example ‘cold’ message to send over LinkedIn:

Hi [name], I hope all is well. My name is [insert name] and I am currently a student/analyst at [educational institution/firm name] currently on my [internship/entry-level job] search, and [company name] is at the top of my list. I saw your profile and wanted to reach out to you. I’m really interested in interning/working at [company name] this summer and was wondering if you could be some advice for securing an internship there. I’d welcome the chance to get to know you. Would you have time for a quick call this week or next to discuss further?

#3 – Prepare your pitch

So, you’ve successfully followed the steps above and secured an interview for a position in finance. What next?

You need to ensure that you can confidently pitch yourself during the interview. Remember, coming from a non-target background means that you will really need to emphasize all your transferrable skillsets and highlight WHY the firm should hire you as rather than other applicants.

Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • Why do you think you’re suitable for the post?

  • You majored in an area that is unrelated to this opportunity. How do you think that will prepare you for this role?

  • What attributes do you have that will support you in this role?

  • What challenges do you foresee and what support would you need?

Speak to your career coach or practice interviewing with your friends and external network! You need to nail your pitch to make the interviewer feel confident that you can do the job.

The APAC Recruiter are now offering FREE 20-minute consultation to answer any questions you have regarding competitive Investment Banking or Private Equity applications! We would love to hear from you. Secure your FREE consultation now at

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