Experts Weigh in on Hedge Fund Job Hunting Advice

New York Magazine sent three candidates to recruitment experts for advice on landing a new job. One of them, Piyush Bhargava, was recently let go from Bear Stearns where he was on the firm’s credit-trading desk. He has a four-year engineering degree from India and a master’s degree in computational finance from Carnegie Mellon. His work background includes working as a techie with Reuters, three years as a risk consultant at Deloitte and Touche, and most recently monitoring trades at Bear Stearns. Having been laid off in August, he’s looking for a risk management position at an investment bank, private-equity firm, or hedge fund, in a salary range around $115,000, competitive with what he received in 2007.

Among the suggestions from three top placement experts was to use his cover letter to stress how his experience in both entrepreneurial and client-focused positions could directly benefit the companies he’s applying to. This dual experience could be particularly appealing to boutique financial firms.

Another suggestion was to list his employer’s name first, and the positions he worked second. This approach emphasizes how many years in total you have worked for a particular firm, and avoids the impression that you are a chronic job-hopper. In Bhargava’s case, he could consolidate the three technical positions he held at Reuters to show that he was with the firm for six years.

Another tip: having worked for marquee companies such as Bear Stearns, some prospective employers may not call you for a job interview because they assume they can’t afford your salary. If you’re in a similar position, it’s worth emphasizing on your cover letter that you would be willing to accept a more modest compensation package.

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