Is Your Resume Letting You Down?

In a previous column, we talked about what to do once you’ve gotten an interview. For this entry, we’re going to go back and talk about the step that gets you into an interview in the first place: writing the perfect resume. Red Unida can connect you with as many job listings as you are qualified for, but without the right resume you won’t even get a foot in the door. Which is why we’re going to give you some helpful advice on how to make your resume stand out and get the results you want from our service.

Prompt 4

If you’re looking for a senior level position in the financial industry, you’ve been through the resume-writing game before. Even so, you can’t just brush off updating your resume as a formality, especially if you’re taking the initiative and not waiting to be recruited into your next position. Your next employer and their headhunters are already out looking for and wooing potential candidates, and if you’re approaching them you need to make sure that your resume catches their eye and gets them interested enough in you to move with the recruitment process.

30 seconds on a resume

We’ll forgo going into detail on the most basic and obvious resume mistakes, like making sure your resume is clear of typos and not filling it with information that isn’t true (ESPECIALLY if that information is easily verifiable). Suffice it to say, all the basic steps you took on your first resume should be taken on your new one.

Aside from making sure that you didn’t misspell anything and that all the information is correct, what else can you do to make sure that your resume gets chosen out of all the other applicants? The key is to make it stand out. Remember, you are not going to be the only qualified candidate applying for a position. Your resume has to pop out of the crowd.


There’s a rule of thumb that gets told to new job seekers in the financial industry: the person reading your resume will spend 30 seconds or less reviewing it. The time spent considering senior level applicants may be longer than that, but the principle is the same. Your resume needs to stand out immediately. A person who has to review multiple applications and fill a senior position ASAP isn’t going to scour every one to find diamonds in the rough. They’re going to be looking for candidates who make an impression at first glance. Investment bankers are busy people. Hunting down personnel isn’t their first priority, and they’re used to making quick, last minute decisions.

All this is to say that what your resume should emphasize is why you are different from all the other candidates. You have a list of transactions you’ve worked on and deals you’ve made, but so does every other qualified applicant to the position. A history in the financial industry alone isn’t going to make you stand out; it’s just the base requirement.

Graduate Applications Per Vacancy London 2013 When listing your work history, the first thing a recruiter should see is the transactions that were special in some way, like those that were particularly complicated or for a prestigious client.

More than that, your resume should make clear exactly what you contributed. Why did you working on an account get a better result because you worked on it? What did you do to get the trigger pulled on a deal that you believed in that then succeeded beyond expectations? How does your work experience not just show a history in the industry, but a history of success?   When you have only a few words to work with, this isn’t always an easy thing to do. It’s a good thing then that you already have all the experience you need to know exactly what will stand out. All that experience you’re counting on to get you your next job will give you an eye for what other investment bankers will be looking for.

Consider the following: if your resume belonged to someone you’d never met and you had only thirty seconds to decide to put it aside or not, would you schedule an interview? Using the same eye you’ve developed that’s let you pick the right deals and make the right calls on transactions, does your resume look like a winner to you? When you’re searching for a new position, you are the product on the market that gets invested in or left behind.


Think your resume is ready to sell you to new employers? Red Unida has thousands of jobs waiting to be discovered all across the world. Your next job is out there – search smarter.


Prompt 2

Why It Still Pays To Be In Finance

It’s no secret that average pay in the investment banking sector is lower than it was ten years ago. Those were the heady days of the bubble market after all, and after the collapse of 2008 financial industry salaries took a hit. Pay has risen steadily since then, but not enough that most senior money managers aren’t still noticing the difference between what they take home now and what they were earning in the good old days.

Prompt 1

The financial world attracts aggressive people, and for aggressive people a situation like this can be incredibly frustrating. You’re here to make money, after all, and anyone smart enough to be a big earner is sure to look at the decline in their returns over the last near-decade and feel unsatisfied. You’re a go-getter, after all. You want to go where the money is, and that feeling of frustration is making you think that there’s another industry where you can find it. While that’s understandable, the truth is that sticking with the financial sector is the move that will pay off the best.

Top 15 FS Salaries Red Unida April 2014

The first thing to consider is that every industry’s pay rates took a beating in the last ten years. That feeling of discontent you have over not being paid what you used to be is one you’ll find everywhere. You’ll also notice that none other industry has gained a reputation rivaling the financial sector’s as the place where people go to earn lots and lots of money.

The other thing to keep in mind is that average pay is just that: average. It’s not the upper limit on how much more money you can make.  For a number to be the average, there have to be people earning more than that. For an ambitious senior money manager, that average isn’t a barrier that’s keeping them down; it’s a challenge to be overcome.

There’s still plenty more money to be made in the financial industry. That’s why so many people are still struggling to work their way up in it. That time you spend thinking that maybe there’s another line of work for you is time that someone else is spending chasing down the opportunities that could be making you the money you want. Make no mistake, those opportunities are out there, and they’re being taken by people who aren’t content to coast along earning average pay when they could be making more.

Red Unida is your source for finding those opportunities. We collect job listings from all over the industry and cross-reference their earning potentials so that you can find your next step up. The money you want to be making is out there, and you can find it through us.

Financial sector pay is rising, and your opportunity to earn is rising with it. As the average pay continues to go up, so are the rewards being given to those who stand out and prove themselves to be more valuable than the rest of the crowd. You have the skills and the initiative, and we have the opportunities. There’s even more money to be made in the industry. Let’s find it together.

Latest Jobs over $200k:

Algorithmic Trade Specialist NYC

– Front Office Demise & Reporting Business Analyst London

– Financial Planning Manager, Wealth Management London


Prompt 3

Three Steps To Acing Your Analyst Interview

In a previous column, we talked about how to decide if moving from one sector of the financial industry to another is the right choice for you. Here at Red Unida, our mission isn’t just to connect you with the best job opportunities in the industry. We also want to provide you with the resources and advice you’ll need to go from applicant to employee. Which is why this time, we’re going to talk about an essential step once you’ve found the job opening that’s right for you: acing the interview.

Financial Services Small Industry Quote

For an experienced financial analyst looking to make his next move, job interviews can seem like an inconvenience at worst and a mere formality at best. You know you’ve got the skills, you know you’re a valuable asset to any institution smart enough to hire you, and you have a work history full of success stories to prove it. What could an interview possibly prove that your resume doesn’t already show?


It can demonstrate quite a lot, of course. Every open position is going to have multiple applicants, and at higher-level positions the competition is going to be even fiercer. Employers looking for senior level staff will have a lot of promising applicants to choose from, and many of them may be just as attractive and accomplished on paper as you are. It’s important to be more than just an impressive resume, and the interview is your opportunity to demonstrate to employers that you’re more than just what is shown on the work history – the CV is only there to get you through the door. It is your marketing, but you are the sale.


The first step to a successful interview is to show that there’s more to your work experience than just a series of deals and transactions. Employers want to know that you can do more than just recite figures and facts about past accounts you worked on. They want to know that you have an opinion on those accounts. Don’t just show you understand the processes and all the details, tell them your opinion on the health and performance of those accounts, and how you being involved with them impacted them for the better. Be careful, however, not to criticize or judge your team, even if the deal was a dud. No matter where you’re interviewing, this is a small industry.

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This brings us to step two. More than just having an opinion on the accounts you’ve managed, you need to be prepared to describe, clearly and concisely, how you impacted those accounts for the better. Employers aren’t looking for robots that mechanically process each investment or deal in the same mechanical manner, they’re looking for intelligent, intuitive human beings whose initiative and insight will improve their returns.


By successfully taking these first two steps in an interview, you’ll show interviewers that you have skills and insight into the industry, and that you have been a valuable manager that was doing more than just warming a seat.  But to seal the deal, you have to do more than that: you have to demonstrate how those skills will be of benefit if you are given the position.


A job interview isn’t just an opportunity for you to talk about your successes and brag to others why you’ve attained the level of success you’ve had so far. It’s the chance to explain why everything you’ve accomplished so far will have a positive impact for a new employer. An interview is a sales pitch, and you are the product you’re selling. Buyers don’t just want to know that the product they’re inspecting is well put together and looks good on the shelf, they want to know how investing money and resources in that product is going to benefit them.


Next time you’re looking through our listings, don’t just look at is as a chance to find your ideal next career move. If you know your knowledge and experience will let you thrive in the job you’re after, start working on the perfect way to say it out loud in a convincing manner. From the moment you find a potential buyer, you should be working on your sales pitch. That way, when the interview comes around, you’ll be able to deliver it with confidence and have the words that interviewers want to hear.


Red Unida has 1,000s of jobs waiting to be discovered. Take the first step to finding your next career move today.

Prompt 2

Investment Bank Or Hedge Fund?

You’ve worked your way up the ladder in the financial industry, and you’re looking to your future. There are many doors that have opened up for you, and they all lead in different directions: some to hedge funds, and some to investment banking. Which do you choose?

Prompt 1

While both career choices are paths to a rewarding career and the potential to make a very hefty amount of money, the two choices are quite different. Choosing investment banking means a steadier, more consistent job and salary. The pay starts out well and will grow even better with time served, and the chances of failure and ruin are much less present than in the more dramatic, volatile world of hedge funds. But it also means longer hours and working your way up the corporate ladder at a slower, more deliberate pace.  For the expert money manager who is comfortable riding out the market and letting long hours pay off in time, investment banking is the smarter choice.

Hedge funds, on the other hand, are for those with much more of a taste for the dramatic. The pay starts lower and the chance for failure is higher, but success means bigger sums of money in your bank account than even the hefty salary pulled in by senior investment bankers. If investment banking is poker, designed for the crafty strategist who plots hand by hand to slowly collect the most chips, then hedge funds are for craps players who don’t blink when it comes time to predict how the next dice roll will fall.

It may be slightly inaccurate to say that hedge fund management is all a guessing game, but working at one does require much more of the gambling spirit than investment banking. Like the world of gambling, hedge funds operate on a very simple principle: win and rake in the winnings, or guess wrong and get shown the door. If the pressure of potentially losing it all on one bad decision sounds like even more stress and sleepless nights than you already have, hedge funds are not the place for you.

There are other factors to consider as well, namely that once you pick one trying to change course later can be incredibly difficult. Many hedge funds obviously look for investment banking experience in their top personnel, but success in hedge funds is much harder to leverage into a career back into investment banking. Indeed, experience in investment banking can lead to opportunities all over the financial industry, whilst the specialized nature of working at a hedge fund gives you experience that only competitive funds are likely to be looking for. As is the nature of the career itself, moving in to hedge funds is a gamble that limits your options, but will pay off the most handsomely if you are successful.

Coming to a decision as big as what the future of your career at the top of the financial industry will look like is one that you need to be well informed on to make. Red Unida is an incredibly valuable resource designed to provide you with as much knowledge as possible on job openings throughout the financial industry. Whether you are still pondering the choice or already know which door you will take, the hundreds of top job listings on Red Unida will help you get to where you’re going.

Top 15 FS Salaries Red Unida April 2014

Current Investment Banking roles available – click here

Joining Red Unida is free, and gives you access to carefully collected data from across the industry and brought together to help you make the right financial industry career decisions. Sign up today

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Is Job Stability Hurting Your Career?

The Seven-Year Curse

Are you stalling your career by staying with the same employer? If you work in the investment banking industry and have been with the same employer for seven years or more, you may find yourself un-hirable in the eyes of other top-tier firms and recruiters.

This may seem counter-intuitive. A long career history shows you a proven track record of reliability, and all those years working in the industry will save an employer a lot of valuable time and resources on training. How could all that experience be a liability?

Investment banks avoid hiring people who have worked for the same employer for so long because the cost of hiring them outweighs the short term benefit. Since promotions and bonuses are often earned from time spent in a job as much as from performance, those who have held positions the longest tend to be the ones who make the most money, and are therefore the most expensive to hire. The savings your employer makes by not having to train you can easily be eaten up by having to offer an inflated salary and guaranteed bonus to tempt you out of your current position.

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Being too expensive for the job isn’t the only negative perception about long termers. One that’s almost as damaging is that staying in the same place for so long can make you seem too settled into your role. Investment banks want employees with ambition and drive, and the recruiters who are out headhunting want to know that the prospects they’re spending their valuable time pitching have the initiative to take the leap from one position to another. Appearing sedentary is a sure way to be ignored when what is being looked for is energy and ambition.

If your plan is to climb as far up the investment banking career ladder as possible, this can be an especially problematic situation. If you’re successful at your current workplace, it may seem that the smart thing to do is to keep letting that work and dedication carry you up the chain where you’ve already proven yourself and invested all those hours of your life. But the higher up the food chain you get the fewer spots there are. You could find your career path stalled, with no opportunities to advance where you are but considered too senior and expensive to be hired into the same position anywhere else.

If you’ve already shown that you have what it takes to make it in the industry and you want to keep your career prospects open, you can’t be afraid to keep your options open. A recent survey from the Red Unida team about alumni mobility found that almost 50% MBA grads moved roles within 24 months of the survey, and 80% moved within 36 months. Rather than demonstrating a fickle sense of commitment to their careers, most were working in IB or at an executive level in industry and they were on an upward trajectory. The most settled professionals with the longest tenures were those working for carry, which had a longer horizon to pay-off.


Therefore, i-banking in the middle tiers seems to reflect pharma and C-level career paths, which requires leveraging 24 to 36 month stints. Obviously appearing too mercenary and quick to abandon a job isn’t good for anyone’s reputation, you’re only hurting yourself by not considering other opportunities or being afraid to bite when one appears in front of you.

Red Unida has been designed specifically to help you discover the best next step for you – balancing the worth of internal equity against your value in the market place. We have built the site to not only show you the opportunities that are out there for you to take, but to compare the cost of living between different cities to better inform you of the benefits and downsides of choosing one job over the other.

While the security of a reliable job with an employer that you have grown to trust is never something to scoff at, it can also blind you and lead you into a false sense of security that can damage your future prospects for the sake of short term comfort. Even by just being aware of the other opportunities that are out there and staying as informed as possible about other possibilities in the job market, you are defending yourself against the time when all of your hard work and dedication could turn into a liability.

Red Unida has job and salary listings from thousands of employers. Signing up is free. Join here:

Prompt 4

The Hidden Factor In Your Salary – The Influence Of The Right Head Hunter

Of the basic influences on your salary, there are five that have the greatest impact. Most people can rattle off employer, location, sector and seniority with ease but what about the value of your head hunter? Based upon our analysis of tens of thousands of roles, the salary variance in just the top 5 agencies advertising during 2014 can be as great as 20%, and that’s before they even start negotiating on your behalf.

When your mobile shows “Blocked Number” it generally means one of two things – a head hunter is calling or the estate agent wants to find out if you’re still looking. Any call from a head hunter is an exciting event. Their interest in you confirms the choices you’ve made and your value in the market place, and the fact that they have chosen you amongst thousands of candidates appeals to your sense of exceptionalism.

Prompt 2

It is a tempting route just to follow passively in to a recruitment process, either to boost your ego or to see whether the grass is truly greener on the other side of the fence. But before you spend time and risk your application coming to the attention of your current employer, let’s consider where the recruiter sits in the value chain.

There are a few common misconceptions about recruiters: they always get paid a share of your salary as a reward for closing the hire; this share comes from the same budget as your salary; they care about your ongoing development after an unsuccessful first interview. Remember that if the first employer doesn’t want to invest time in you, it’s highly unlikely that the recruiter will prioritise you as a candidate for the next opportunity unless you are an expert in your field.

But let’s dig one step deeper. Head hunters are deal-based sales organisations. LinkedIn and other CRM systems have put incredible pressure on their previously lucrative walled garden. Agencies like Heidricks have over a million candidates on their database – a brilliant sales pitch a decade ago, but miniscule in comparison to today’s professional social networks. The pressures recruitment agencies are under is unprecedented, and new business models such as Bounty Jobs which are dissolving the rigid Approved Supplier List process and empowering the corporate recruiters.

These pressures are driving agents to accept lower commissions, or to take more demanding roles. The ROI of an internal recruiter sourcing candidates for an employer has shot up compared to external routes, although as with any sector, great agencies will always retain their key clients.

This is reflected in how the margins in the sector changing. Head hunters might accept salary recommendations for vacancies that they know are not competitive; but still it is their job to sell this to you. Those agents that recruit good candidates at a lower cost are obviously going to be given more business.

We set up Red Unida to help candidates make straightforward comparisons between opportunities. In the first instance, this means seeing simple data on the big choices – employer, sector, location. As we grow, the data behind the logic will offer more depth on decisions such as speed of promotion in certain firms, ease of switching between industries and gap analysis between you and your seniors.

Financial Services Salaries in London (Investment Banking)The data comes from tens of thousands of advertised roles in the sector; these data are extracted and presented in graph format. So what does it show about Investment Banking?

These calculations include middle and junior roles in some cases, which in turn will bring down the averages but when it comes to advertising vacancies all but one of the top ten are recruitment agents.

Does this mean that only head hunters advertise their roles? Not at all – we have hundreds of roles from the top banks such as Deutsche, BOAML, BarCap and others in our listings. Does it mean that salaries are presented as more favourable when published by recruitment agents? Possibly.

The most likely situation however is that when an employer wants to recruit at the £100,000+ range, the ROI is better when using a third party specialist and therefore the higher paid roles go out to the agents.

Whatever investment you are due to make – education, career, property, spouse – you need to remove as much noise as possible from your calculations. Not all head hunters are born equal, so make sure you choose well.

Red Unida provides real-time averages from advertised salaries across a spectrum of sectors and thousands of employers. Join for free at

Prompt 3