How to stand out?


I have given up on applying to any graduate position at the moment but will start again next year. I am specifically looking to apply for accounting and invesement banking positions. So how could I actually enahnce my CV during this time to stand out? What are the firms actually looking for? Besides the obvious inteernships at financial institutions.


The most important factors companies look for on your CV are:

  • Academic history/grades
  • Internships/work experience
  • IT skills
  • Foreign Languages
  • Sports teams, involvement in activities such as voluntary work, bands, other types of team, etc.
    That kind of thing.

What kind of work experience would you recommend ppl that didnt get any graduate job this intake? Anything in a small financial institution?


I think that they like people who are independent and ambitious, people who can make things happen. so if you have a new idea for something, for example starting a new society or club at university. Something that shows you have leadership potential. I think that these graduate schemes and training graduates to be the future leaders of their companies, that’s why they’re so difficult to get on and the training is so intense.

Voluntary work is also very important, even if you have paid work experience it can still make you stand out over others. Many employers would choose an application with voluntary experience over those without. It shows that you care enough to do something without monetary rewards. It shows something about your character.

If you didn’t get into this year’s intake it is not the end of the world. You will be more prepared for the next one. I often think that it might have been better if i had gotten into the last intake, but actually most the of things i have on my application now didn’t even exist then. Make good use of your time, if you don’t have any work then make sure you don’t have any gaps, fill it up with anything else be it taking on a new course, travelling, building on some talent (playing the piano or drums) or gaining some other experience. I think the worse thing to do is to just sit around and WAIT for something.


Yeha you are definetly right and thats what I am gonna do something with my CV. I expect to graduate with a First this should make me stand out when it comes to my academic history then as back up plan I am gonna study hard for GMAT so i always can do masters if I dont get in any where. If you dont mind me asking ZaZa did you take a year of kind of and worked on your CV? In that case what kind of stuff did you do?


Hi khaddi,

Yes I am currently on a bit of a gap year before i start work in september. I did quite a bit of work experience and volunteering whilst at uni, a lot in the final year actually, but didn’t get to be abroad as much as i’d have liked so this year i moved to France. I teach English, learn French, and also work for a market research company translating things. Later on in the year i plan to go to Spain to learn Spanish.

I wanted to ask you about the GMAT? What is it exactly and how do you take it? I’ve heard of it but never known anyone to take it. Is it only relevant for people wanting to do postgrad in america?



Sounds very interesting I think I will be looking to do something like that as well and then apply for the big fours and if not sucessfull I will pursue a master in finance. GMAT is a general management test that you need to score at least over 600 in order to apply for the top universities in UK and around the world regarding their master intake. Examples are a score of 650 is needed for LSE. Wikijob actually has some good stuff written about the GMAT check them out they explain very well what it GMAT is and consists of. If you dont mind me asking did are you gonna start for any of the big 4 or any other large financial institution?


I am not going for one of the big4. I did for the last intake but didn’t past the final round but I have an offer from a top20 for this september so i’m going to take that. I used to think that the big ones were the ones to aim for but i think the smaller firms have just as much to offer as they do. They have the same training schemes, good support, good working environment. I wouldn’t limit my options just to those few big companies.