Having a well-written resume is key to landing a position in M&A, Venture Capital and/or Private Equity. Writing a resume for one of these positions is distinctive from other types of resumes because it generally requires experience in finance as a requirement for being considered for a position. Specifically, the ideal candidate will have the ability to add value to one or more areas in the traditional M&A process, which generally speaking includes
- Sourcing potential targets,
- Sue diligence,
- Supporting newly acquired companies.
For this reason, to the extent you have valuation, modeling, management and/or industry specific capabilities, these should be highlighted. Lastly, the M&A, Venture Capital and Private Equity job markets are very competitive and while most firms do not specifically require applicants to have an MBA, it will improve one’s chances of getting selected. As a result, your education should also be prominently displayed in your resume.
While other industries may focus on your academic performance, personality and other things unrelated to your professional experience, M&A, Venture Capital and Private Equity job are somewhat different. Recruiters in these areas want to know every detail about your prior professional experience. For example, Private Equity and Venture Capital firms target professionals that have worked in investment banking or a similar financial area for a minimum of two years because they want a professional who is experienced enough to immediately make an impact at the firm. For this reason, disclosing significant work experience by accentuating the transactions you have participated on and how you added value is very important. Some key elements to highlight when explaining your past work experience include:
- Number of transactions you have participated on;
- Type of transactions and
- Skills you acquired (i.e., valuation, modeling, due diligence, project management).
When writing about your past transactions that you have participated in, the objective is to be exceptional and demonstrate how you specifically influenced and contributed to the transaction process. Rather than just highlighting your responsibilities that you had in connection with the transaction, you should specifically mention how you helped in the transaction.
In the event that you do not have significant transaction experience, one alternative is to highlight other areas that M&A, Venture Capital and Private Equity value: (i) management and consulting experience and (ii) industry experience. Private Equity and Venture Capital firms value these forms of experience because it is critical after a transaction to had value to its acquisition. As a result, these firms need professionals, who can support and advise the management team of the newly acquired company and/or provide expertise on what is required to be successful in a specific industry. Essentially, when writing a resume in connection with one of these areas, a professional must analyze their own resources and capabilities and highlight the key ways he or she can add value to the M&A process.