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Applying to work for a Wall Street bank can be nerve-wracking.
You know you’re up against thousands of other people, and you want to highlight your accomplishments to look as qualified as possible.
But what if you don’t have enough experience in the industry?
JPMorgan’s head firmwide campus recruiting, Michelle Bucaria, told Business Insider that having previous finance experience is not necessarily the most important thing on your résumé – it’s all about how you frame the experiences you have had.
So maybe you haven’t interned in finance before, but you have a part-time job. That shows you have the ability to multitask.
“When I look at a résumé and I say, ‘Gosh, they were working, frankly, in the dining hall while they were getting a 3.5 GPA’ – that’s pretty impressive,” Bucaria said.
She also likes to see involvement in campus clubs and activities.
“The ones that are in officer type roles are going to stand out versus someone who’s a member of a club,” Bucaria said.
“But if you can come across and say, ‘I wasn’t the president, I wasn’t the secretary, however, here was the project that I led, ran, and created this amazing community service activity that had 100 students involved’ – that’s pretty darn impressive.”
They key is not what job you’ve held but what you took away from your work, and the impact you had.
“Try to think about how what you’re doing is transferable to what we would look for,” Bucaria said. “So let’s assume you’re working in a store somewhere: what is the involvement in the profit/loss, buy/sell – that kind of thing?”
In interviews, Bucaria often asks what impact students had on their work, whatever it may be. She also likes to ask students to walk her through how they did the things they’ve highlighted on the résumé, and how they would think about doing them differently the next time.
“I don’t think there is a set, core résumé that every student should aspire to,” Bucaria said. “It’s just: be involved, be active, demonstrate leadership, demonstrate teamwork.”
That, and focus on your schoolwork. There’s no substitute for good grades!