How to Write a Resume Targeted to Hedge Funds
As you prepare to write or rework your resume, keep in mind that hedge funds and private equity firms do not hire like other businesses. In fact they don’t even hire like other financial firms. More than 90% of hedge funds and private equity firms do not have a single dedicated human resource officer. Your communications will likely go to the managing director or CEO of the firm directly (our detailed contact lists provide four methods of contacting them).
The person making the initial decision on whether your resume deserves further review, or a quick trip to the recycle bin, is a highly compensated entrepreneur who considers his/her time very valuable. Do not waste their time with financial mumbo-jumbo, vaguely worded accomplishments, or other unnecessary hyperbole.
An effective hedge fund resume stays on target and is easy to read and decipher.
Here are a few other basic tips:
Be Concise: Your resume for a hedge fund position will most likely be reviewed by a partner or director who considers their time very valuable. Waste it and your resume will end up in the waste basket, regardless of your qualifications.
Be Specific: Your resume must be specific in two senses: specific information on your achievements and specific information on how you can help the firm.
Your hedge fund or private equity resume should be no longer than one page and note only your most relevant and important accomplishments. Highlight a couple of these and describe what exactly you did, how you were able to succeed, and the implications of your work. These accomplishments should emphasize skills that are relevant to the prospective employer and specific position for which you are aiming. Do not expect the person reviewing your resume to be so immediately impressed with your qualifications that they spend the time to figure out what role you would be best in. Tell them directly.
If you have less than five years of financial experience, you are likely to be considered for a job as a junior analyst or associate. Research what these roles entail and emphasize the skills that are most relevant to these specific positions. Analytical and strategic thinking skills are a typically a requirement for these positions, not a bonus. Don’t mention the overused terms, “strategic” and “analytic”. It is far better to show them you have these skills by citing past experience.
If you are an entry-level candidate for a hedge fund job, your resume should note your ability to be supportive in a team environment. The fund manager will not be hiring you because they think you will be successful at managing large sums of money. They will be hiring you because they think you can help them be more successful by providing them relevant research, handling routine administrative tasks, and working well with your teammates. Your accomplishments should illustrate your ability to be proactive and accomplish more than was asked of you.
Finally, don’t rely on your cover letter to convey why you’re the fund needs to hire you. It’s possible the manager will go directly to scanning your resume. For more detailed tips on writing a standout hedge fund resume, as well as sample hedge fund interview questions and hedge fund cover letter writing tips, download our free e-book, Guide to Getting a Hedge Fund Job.