5 August , 2009
In our first post on hedge fund resumes, we covered the “Previous Work Experience” portion of the hedge fund resume (or any front office resume for that matter). This entry will cover the balance of the resume which should generally include education and interests. Some hedge fund recruiters believe that you should include an objective / mission statement / introductory blurb about yourself. Generally this blurb is filled with MBA buzzwords. I believe this exercise is futile and would skipped over by a hedge fund manager for the real meat.
I know a lot of you have asked for a sample hedge fund resume, specifically a hedge fund analyst resume. While I would love to post my own resume as a hedge fund resume example, that would blasphemy my anonymity. What I will do, is for the next few weeks, offer to look over any resume sent to me and give candid resume advice. Please allow a few days to respond. Eventually I will put together a few hedge fund analyst resume
examples – whenever I get a free moment.
A real issue with asset management, especially today, is the sheer number of applicants for specific jobs. Cover letters, which is something we will eventually address (I for one have never used a cover letter), can help distinguish you from the crowd when trying to get a private equity job or a hedge fund job (I point these two out specifically as they are the most in demand – hedge fund employment is really the focus of this blog). A hedge fund manager only will give you a few seconds in glancing over your resume. While resume services promise to offer the best resume advice – I have yet to find one that addresses the fundamental question: Given 10 seconds of “glance time” how will you distinguish yourself as someone that can add value and generate an excess return on capital. Resume format aside, which maybe these services can help you with, the objective is to stand apart from the crowd and get placed in the “Call Back” pile.
A quick aside on hedge fund recruiting. At the fund level specifically. Smaller funds will either do it themselves or hire a hedge fund recruiter. Unfortunately many hedge fund recruiters will charge a hefty fee (I believe the industry average is approximately 1 year of salary) to place you. Hence, they will only show their best and brightest prospects to their clients to ensure placement and filter out the noise. Sometimes the hedge fund manager will review the resumes himself. This is an ideal situation. The larger funds do a combination of in-house, possibly outsourced to an HR department, or through hedge fund recruiting services. The best hedge funds have an extensive screening process (I just read a case study on Maverick Capital which alluded to the fact that new applicants meet everyone in the firm before being hired). Tough, tough, tough.
Now on to the resume building. First off, education.
Education matters. Pedigree is important, think Ivy League undergrad or strong MBA program. But it is not the be-all end all. I think any hedge fund manager viewing a resume of someone working at a very strong fund or prop desk would disregard a lackluster post-secondary school name.
Remembering our points for the first hedge fund resume post, you want to compare yourself and your accomplishments to other people. If your class was ranked, then add the rank (assuming you did ok). While you shouldn’t lie, if you were ranked 100th out of 500 in your class but 2nd out of 10th in your major, what do you think looks better? Always include your GPA, and especially include your major GPA if it is particularly strong.
As for placing your SAT scores on a resume…I am mixed on this one. I think after say 5 years of post graduate work it can be dropped unless you had a ridiculous score. Before that 5 year mark, I would include if you posted a 1400 or above. Otherwise, I think it is fine to leave it out.
So you got your school name, rank, GPAs
and possibly your SAT score. The next thing you want to include is interesting extracurricular activities. Anything to do with an investment group in your college is especially helpful.
And be specific.
Do not say: Analyst for student run investment portfolio.
Say: Research analyst for 1 million dollar student investment portfolio. Presented 3 investment opportunities which cumulatively returned 55% over a three year period.
Other extracurricular activities that show 1) You are a team player (athletics) 2) You are a good communicator (writer for school paper) and 3) You give back to your community (any kind of interesting community service) are good additions to the resume. As always: Be specific. Compare yourself and your accomplishments to others. You are, in one perspective or the other, better than most at certain things…you just have to frame it correctly. If this sounds deceitful, then you do not understand selling.
One other factor you may want to put into education are very catchy class titles related to your profession. For example, if you went to Columbia’s business school, stating that you took the Blue Ridge Capital class or Joel Greenblatt’s class would win you points undoubtedly. If you took a valuations course in undergrad I think that would also be a good addition.
At this point, you should have a pretty full resume. You have prior experience, detailed with previous investments. You have education, touting aspects of your past which frame you as the best. Now you need something that will help you be remembered: Interests.
Before moving on to that, what about skills? Again a toss-up. Anyone applying to a front office hedge fund job knows how to use Excel and Bloomberg. I think the few lines that you use for skills could be used for another investment example which could state how you used excel and Bloomberg in the investment. A few ways to skin a cat there.
Back to interests. You tell me which resume you were more likely to remember:
Resume #1: Interests include: Fishing, Golf, Skiing.
Resume #2: Interests include: Pacific Deep-Water Fishing; Competitive Golf; Artic Heli-Skiiing.
Obviously, that example is a little goosed. You should get the point. I have a friend that knows more about wine that most sommeliers. One of his interests on his resume: Chilean Red Wines. Do the fund managers think he is a drunk? Possibly. But how many of those hedge fund managers have been to Chile and had drank the fantastic red wines down there? I would say at least 25%. 25% of the people reading the resume will have a favorable sensory experience l
inking my friend and they will remember him undoubtedly.
But what if you don’t have any interest? Please. Stop selling yourself short. Be creative. If all you do is sit at home and watch Wheel of Fortune and play Suduku: Interests: Competitive word challenges and expert timed-Sudoku. Am I lying in either of those phrases?
Category Archives: Resumes and tagged hedge fund careers, hedge fund jobs, hedge fund resumes.
The point this exercise
, including the hedge fund resume tips
from part 1…Distinguish yourself. Present yourself as a driven, interesting, competitive person who will win when pressure is on. Even if you do not have investing experience, these characteristics are pretty much universal throughout this community. Prove that you belong and more often you will be getting the interview. After that, its a whole new ball game – but at least you have a fighting chance. Stay tuned for more tips on how to get a hedge fund job in the coming weeks.