Thursday, October 27, 2011

Not Your Average Hedge Fund Resume

The unfortunate truth is there are more people looking for hedge fund jobs than there are jobs available, so hedge funds have their pick of the litter. This article is intended to show you how the search process works, and what the average hedge fund resume looks like. If you want to stand out from the crowd, take notes and do something different, or risk getting lost in the crowd.

It is very rare for a hedge fund to hire someone right out of school, so the typical hedge fund applicant will have at least 2 years of experience, usually in investment banking. Hedge fund managers just want to know how much money you can make them, so they don’t want to spend time teaching the basics like accounting, modeling, or basic corporate finance. Hedge funds will also consider consultants, ex- military, and accountants.

A hedge fund manager is willing to train a person that can bring a unique skill to the table. Consultants often have deep industry contacts; military personnel are very disciplined and will work many hours without questioning the chain of command; and accountants, especially forensic accountants, can identify questionable accounting practices that public companies may use.

A typical applicant will likely have education from a top tier school. That doesn’t mean you have to have a degree in business or economics. In fact, many famous hedge fund managers are students of philosophy. Certain hedge funds require an MBA or CFA. Many people get both, but getting both is really a waste of time. If you already have an MBA, it is a much better use of time to spend the same countless hours researching good investment ideas than trying to pass a memorization test like the CFA.

So if you didn’t go to a top tier school, you didn’t work for an investment bank, and you aren’t an accountant, consultant or ex -soldier, you need to think of something really creative to beef up your hedge fund resume because the sad truth is there are plenty of unemployed people who have the right background and still can’t get in. You might be surprised to learn what hidden skills you have acquired over the years are just the ticket.

How to Write Your Average Hedge Fund Resume
Ever wonder what large hedge funds and recruiters are looking for in a resume? Looking for hedge fund jobs with no luck? The hedge fund advisors from Street of Walls can help.

New York based was founded by a team of former industry veterans who can tell you exactly what is needed to stand out on a hedge fund resume.

Street of Walls experts will take your old resume and completely rebuild it. They will beef up your education and work experience to make it more appealing to recruiters. You’ll be working one-on-one with real life Wall Street analyst until you are 100% satisfied. The ultimate goal is to get your resume in perfect shape to get you the interviews you’re working so hard to get.

To help you land your dream job, they also offer interview preparation and training materials through behavioral and technical interview guides, excel case study situations and free library of articles.
10% Discount for My Blog Readers
I have a little good news for you as I’ve teamed up with Street of Walls to help write your hedge fund resume. For a limited time, you can enjoy 10% off any resume writing services. Click this link and use promo code AnnaMaria to enjoy the discount.
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How To Get A Hedge Fund Job

Investment Banking Resumes - Hedge Fund Resume

Monday, October 10, 2011

Current Recruiting Trends and Tips

I had a chance recently to speak with the hiring experts at Street of Walls to get a feel for current market conditions and tips on how to improve your Investment Banking Resume.

Can you discuss current hiring trends?

Hiring has been slowing at most of the large banks over the last 6 months. In fact, firings have become more of the norm. Typically during an economic expansion, investment banks increase the number of analysts as the number of deals increase. Conversely, as the economy slows, those teams shrink, which is what we are seeing today. Due to the current economic conditions such as lower trading volume and slower deal flow, large investment banks have been cutting the size of their investment banking divisions.

Recently we have been seeing massive layoffs at almost every investment bank including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and others.  Banks are experiencing large operating pressures from poor market conditions weighing on M&A, lower trading volumes (analysts estimating volumes down 20% this quarter), and big write-downs in investing and lending. Our sources within the banks are telling us hiring is expected to be down between 10%-20% this year, which isn’t as bad as we feared.

Will an MBA help you get a job in this environment?

We have recently seen a shift in hiring trends where investment banks are hiring equivalent talent at lower compensation levels. This has put excess pressure on recent MBA graduates. So in a sense, yes, an MBA may help you get a job but at a more junior level. Think about all of the talent that is now out there on the street. If you can hire a 3rd year associate for the same price as a newly minted MBA, why wouldn’t you? That’s the problem. Now, MBA grads are being forced to take jobs equivalent to a 2nd year analyst.

Along those lines, we are seeing mid-tier investment banks hire 1st year associates that were recently laid off from bulge bracket banks rather than an MBA candidate. These laid off banker are just glad to have a job, worrying less about overall pay as they survive the current recessionary times.

What would attract the hiring managers' attention most when reading a resume?

We break this down into 3 parts:

  1. Pedigree: School/GPA, top tier work experience
  2. Wow factor: Have you done something incredibly impressive
  3. Diversification and Differentiation: Women, international, ethnicity

The number one thing that will attract a hiring manager to a resume is pedigree. Think about how a hiring manager gets judged by their boss - you don't get fired for hiring a person who interned at Goldman Sachs, but you could get fired if the guy from the state school turns out to be a dud. If the person was good enough for Goldman, they are probably good enough for you. Of course if you have gone to a top-tier school, you should highlight that on your resume, but it probably won't help as much as solid work experience.

Wow Factor:

Do something to really impress the recruiters and this can supersede a less than top-notch pedigree. A “wow factor” can be something like starting and growing a company with multiple employees selling products or services in multiple states. This example shows a person who can manage personalities by dealing with employees, and a person who is an extreme multitasker.

Diversification and Differentiation:

Be different, don't be a boiler plate. Highlight anything that will make someone remember you.  For example, not many people take the time to give back to the community. If you started/ran a charity or are a frequent volunteer make it known that you are significant contributor. I have interviewed over 1,000 people in the past 3 years and I still remember one candidate who put on his resume that he played golf in Antarctica. In reality he was on a submarine in the navy and they only briefly surfaced in Antarctica, but I still remember the example today.