When you're applying for jobs in the finance industry, it's easy to feel like you're hitting a wall. You can send off applications for work all day – from sought-after hedge fund jobs to accounting jobs at small firms – and still hear nothing back.
Fear not: all that stands between you and your dream job could be a few small tweaks to your approach. Consider the tips offered by finance experts here – all provided exclusively to OneWire – and think about whether you could incorporate any of these tips or strategies into your current job hunt.
1. Business school alone may not be enough
"Getting into the financial industry is hard… there's a lot of people who want to do it and not a lot of jobs. If you go to marketing first, then work for a real estate company, you can check that box. Then you go to business school, and you learn the financial aspects of it. Check that box. Then you go learn the operating side… the sequence can be different today [than it was for previous generations.]" – Jeff Kelter, Founder & CEO, KTR Capital Partners
2. Love what you (want to apply to) do
"It's intangible. The easy part is a history of success: great grades in college, or being captain of a sports team, or a great musician. But whenever you're hiring for a job or firm, you have to make sure the fit is right. [The applicant] has to love what we do… Are you really going to love three o'clock in the morning looking at a spreadsheet on a flickering computer screen? The answer is yes—that's what's going to make your work extraordinary." – Jeffrey Leeds, President, Leeds Equity Partners
3. Raising money matters
"If coming to Wall Street to make money is an important part of what you want to do, then there are two ways to do it: first, you're going to have to be able to raise money. The people who can raise money in an environment like this are going to be rewarded… the people who can manage money, and make money, they're going to get paid to. Moneymakers are few and far between. If you can generate alpha, you can make money." – Alan Breed, President and CEO, Edgewood Management
4. Network whenever possible
"Finding a great job and getting on the right career path is part art, and part science. The science part of it is creating a network, making it a numbers game speaking to as many people as you can, and talking about yourself in front of people. The art is figuring out how to market yourself." – Steve Ketchum, CEO, Sound Point Capital
5. Have a varied skill set
"We hire people out of investment banking training programs. We're looking for someone with strong analytical skills, strong finance and accounting skills, modeling skills – at that junior level that's an important part of the job – as well as a real sense of initiative, an ability to work with others, and integrity." – Ian Snow, CEO and Partner, Snow Phipps Group
6. Be driven to succeed
"An innate combination of fire in their belly, command of the industry they're going to pursue… it's never one thing. It's always a combination [that earns applicants a job offer.]" – Peter Crisp, Founder, Managing Partner, Venrock Associates
7. Never discount luck – or diversity
"Luck is very important. Also, being able to try different things. You don't want to spend too much time doing something obvious, but you also don't want a resume full of 'one year here, two years there, one month here… your career [can't be] too scattered. You need to show an appropriate amount of commitment as well as creativity; I would [aim to] show a bit of both." – Phillippe Laffont, Founder and CEO, Coatue Management