Most people believe they have a good private equity resume and many do. However, PE firms in general are looking for very particular content, format, and style. In the following pages, the Street of Walls team will provide tips on how to build the perfect resume for applying to positions with buy-side firms.
In general, PE employers are looking for people who can deliver a superior final product, handle the stress associated with the job, maintain complete attention to detail, and be able to formulate a cogent investment thesis all at the same time. In order to convey this, you must be sure that your resume is as crisp and as sharp as you are. Recruiters and employers will spend about 30 seconds or less reviewing your resume, so first impressions is crucial and the correct format is critical.
For starters, a good PE resume is similar to an investment banking resume. Thus anyone who has applied to and obtained an investment banking position can use his or her resume from that interview process as a solid starting point. The resume should look professional and clean without typos. It needs to be formatted well and include strong credentials and, where possible, a glimpse into your personality. Making the slightest grammatical error or missing any aspect of the correct format is a fairly likely way to get your resume rejected at the outset. In the discussion that follows, we will provide guidance on what to include in terms of the behavioral and technical aspects of your resume.
Step n°1 |
BEHAVIORAL ASPECTS OF YOUR RESUME
In order to build the perfect private equity resume, you must first understand what characteristics private equity firms are looking for. Below we list a few traits that must stand out from your resume in order for you to be well positioned to receive PE interviews. Ideal PE candidates will have the following characteristics:
Strong quantitative/analytical skills: This is a critical component of a PE resume and fundamental to success. Expect to get tested for analytics in your interview. Have you:
> Filtered through data and assumptions, and identified reasonable responses to complex problems?
> Synthesized large amounts of information and identified issues?
> Identified an important problem and taken a proactive approach to solving it?
> Done well in academic courses and previous experience, demonstrating skill with heavy analytical and quantitative content?
> Performed experiments that required the formulation of a hypothesis and collection of evidence to prove or disprove it?
Drive for exceptional results: Firms want to know whether you have the initiative, motivation, attention to detail, and energy to deliver strong results. Start tracking and measuring your achievements. When you interview, you’ll need to discuss your accomplishments in detail. Have you:
> Brought new customers and revenue into your company?
> Proven yourself as a self-starter who goes above and beyond requirements?
> Shown the ability to switch priorities and move quickly among different tasks?
> Set a challenging goal and achieved it?
> Attended to the important details across multiple tasks while juggling them (that is, you prioritized effectively and didn’t let important things fall through the cracks)?
> Taken an innovative and efficient approach to get something done?
Strong communication skills: The ability to write and speak well suggests that you’ll be successful working with clients and colleagues. Have you:
> Interacted with clients and/or senior investment bankers during a live deal?
> Written successful papers, memos, and/or speeches?
> Worked effectively with clients to understand their needs?
> Articulated ideas in a clear and coherent manner?
> Presented in front of classes, teams, and/or organizations?
Seasoned teamwork skills: Teaming up with clients and peers is a crucial task. PE professionals work in teams and it will be critical that you can work effectively among teams of all types of professionals, both internally and externally. Have you:
> Been a member of a sports team, study group, or committee?
> Worked effectively with people/teams in past work experience?
> Inspired others to take action in an unstructured situation?
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