Now that you have your hedge fund resume in hand and prepared your hedge fund case study, it is time to work on getting a hedge fund interview (or buyside interview for that matter). Unfortunately, this is where a lot of the guessing games come in to play. As noted before, if your resume and case study get in front of a certain portfolio manager, and that portfolio manager is having a bad day your shot for getting an interview has just got down. It has nothing to do with you and importantly, throughout this process, you should not take things personally or get yourself down if you do not get a call back or you feel like your resume has been launched into the nether void.

In the following paragraphs, I am going to list out some ways that I have garnered hedge fund interviews, along with methods friends have as well. I believe these techniques work for most buyside organizations as well as sell-side in certain circumstances. Most people though want to get to the buyside and therefore I will tailor my remarks to that.

In my mind getting the hedge fund interview first requires finding where the jobs are. Compounding this problem is that fact that some funds are constantly interviewing people waiting to find the perfect gem. And if they do not find that one person that fits them perfectly, they will have gained a lot of diverse investment opinions. Why? Most of the first questions I get on hedge fund interviews (or buyside interviews): “What do you like in the market?”

If I were to narrow the techniques / methods for getting a hedge fund interview, here is what it would boil down to:

  • Utilizing the Bloomberg JOBS function. If you have access to a Bloomberg (or if you do not, ask a friend), type in JOBS . This is a fantastic tool that in my opinion is underutilized because many people wanting the jobs do not have access to Bloomberg. I promise you: One of your friends will let you come into their office after hours and use his/her Bloomberg. You realistically only have to check it once a week for the type of job you are actively seeking. If you are looking for a distressed job make sure you are searching for the right things: high yield analyst, credit analyst, bankruptcy experience etc.
  • After searching through the JOBS function, you write down the contact name / information for each possible job. Somethings these jobs are actually written up by the particular organization hiring and sometimes they are written up by headhunters. If they are written up by the fund / company hiring, what you want to do is survey ALL your contacts to see if they know someone at that fund. This is why Linked In is such a powerful tool (if you search hunter [at], you can find a Linked In profile I just start in order to help link readers). So let’s say your find a job posting that was put up by someone at Glenview Capital. From there you would search far and wide until you had a reasonable “in” at Glenview Capital. Maybe your best friend is a lawyer and he has done some work for the fund and knows a few people there. Maybe your neighbor’s nephew is in the IT department there. It doesn’t matter. The key is connecting with this contact and bringing up that you heard Glenview was hiring and asking, quite frankly really, how you can get your resume and case study in the door.
  • If the JOBS posting was written up by a headhunter, your goal is to befriend / impress that headhunter like it is no tomorrow. Headhunter’s generally only send their best resumes / job seeker to the best funds. You have to convince these guys you are the smartest man/woman on earth. Further, you have to provide something of value to the headhunter: Other clients, i.e other funds / organizations that are looking to hire. Most people will have a contact here or there that is of value to these guys. Give a little / take a little. As you move up the short list on the headhunters radar, you will hopefully see a nice flow of jobs.
  • So now lets say you have extinguished the Bloomberg JOBS function, and gotten no where with possible contact at funds or through a headhunter…what do you do? The easiest method is to go to one of your friends that has used a headhunter in the past, ask for an introduction, and see what he/she has cooking. Again, you need to give these people some sort of value and you need to impress them. If you have laid out your resume like I suggested, and worked and tightened up your case study, you should not have a problem. Build a rapport with this person so that when a particular job comes up (make sure you define exactly what you want), you will be the first name to come into their head.
  • Let’s now go a little bit more extreme and say: You have no Bloomberg Access and know no one that has used a headhunter: Now you use your network by asking everyone you know who is hiring. And then you do as suggested above. You get a mutual contact to make an introduction to get your foot in the door. Just finding out Glenview is hiring and sending your resume to hr [at] or whatever the email address may be will not work. It just won’t. I know it is easy but it will not work. Make sure when you have your resume forwarded, you also have your case study forwarded – this is essential.
  • Finally, let’s say you have no access to Bloomberg, or no social network at all that might clue you in on who is hiring. This is where the bold “Cold Emailing” comes into play. A week or so ago I posted a number of hedge funds / buy side shops that would be particularly interesting places to work. Using the power of the Interweb, you should be able to back into 1) Who is in charge of said hedge fund / buy side shop and 2) How their email address are structured….i.e. First Name.Last Name @ XYZ fund or FirstLetterofFirstName + LastName @ ABC Fund etc. You then write mini-cover letters, attaching your resume and case study and send these babies out. If you are particularly interested in impressing, you could instead send handwritten letters to each of these people (with resume / idea printed out inside). These mini cover letters need to essentially say that you heard that the fund was possibly hiring (even if you had no clue if they were hiring), introduce yourself and the skills / competitive aspects your bring to the table, introduce your case study and close with saying you can contact me in the case they are indeed hiring. I know this is bold and possibly boisterous – but three of my friends work at some of the best hedge funds in the world via this technique.
So your job – right now – is to figure out 1) What specific job you want in the hedge fund world and at what kind of shop 2) Go out and seek those jobs via Bloomberg or your network of contacts 3) And pound the pavement. Even if you do not get an interview, if your case study is good, people will remember you. Write down a goal to reach out to 10 different funds via the method described above. Got to start somewhere.

Now, why not use something like Career Builder? Generally speaking, so many people are on those sites that your odds are much better in the techniques described above. I have always found that the easy way out with limited upside and generally little success. Getting a hedge fund job or breaking into the hedge fund industry is not easy – but with a little tenacity, a solid network of contacts, a great resume and case study, you can at least get the hedge fund interview. From there it is smooth sailing.

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