10 steps to a hedge fund career

Hedge funds employ some of the highest paid business professionals everywhere, but finding the first job in this industry is not easy. Building a career in a hedge fund requires determination, personal stamina, and fierce competition. Here are some steps to help you attend the interview and then find that job.

Whether you are looking for an entry-level position or switching to a hedge fund manager job mid-career, this 10-step plan will help you get off to a good start.

Key points

  • It may be profitable to find a job in a hedge fund, but it is also very competitive.
  • Read newsletters and books, join local industry associations, learn more about the world of hedge funds, understand the land and speak freely.
  • Build your network and find mentors for references and informal opportunities.
  • Improve your qualifications through unpaid internships or work in related financial industries and make your resume stand out.

1. Make sure this is what you want

The more sure you are that you really want to work in a hedge fund and not a mutual fund, ETF or private equity, the easier it will be to complete these steps and find a job.

If you really want to work for a hedge fund, it will be reflected in your self-discipline, connections, industry knowledge, enthusiasm and actions.

You can change your mind later, but if you want to try to work in this industry, go all out and learn as much as possible. Decide to change the focus, stick to it for three to five years, and see what will happen.

2. Research the hedge fund industry

If working for a hedge fund is your goal, then develop a daily habit of working towards that goal. Subscribe to some free hedge fund newsletters, read books or articles about hedge funds every day, and join a local hedge fund association or club.

You will learn the basics-all the main terms and definitions, who the main players are, the differences in the company, and the strategies used by managers.

3. Use a three-lap strategy

Jim Collins (Jim Collins) published a best-selling book in 2001 called Good to good. In his research, he found that companies that have risen from excellent to truly great have adopted what he called the “hedgehog concept.”

When faced with a difficult decision or a turning point in the business, the leaders of these companies draw three circles. One includes the choices they are passionate about, one that shows how to use their experience or that they can become the “best in the world” option, and one that only includes ideas that can drive the company’s economic engine. Then they will only consider options that fall within the intersection of these three circles.

To succeed in the hedge fund industry and make wise decisions along the way, consider only positions where you can be passionate about your work, use your education and natural advantages, and have the potential to obtain high profits.

4. Determine hedge fund career mentor

In the early stages of your exploration of the world of hedge funds, try to identify a few potential mentors who can start a relationship with you. It takes time to build a master-student relationship, but many successful people are willing to help others.

In order to impress your tutor, you need to show commitment, patience, humility and a desire to learn.

5. Get internship opportunities

Once you have a better understanding of hedge funds and identified potential mentors, start looking for internship opportunities.

Even if you work full-time in other positions and conduct 5-10 hours of research for hedge funds each week, you can also understand some of the ways hedge funds create trading ideas and operate as a business.

Few recruiters will work with novices. Rely on your network.

If possible, please work on site, but if the only way to get an internship is to work remotely, please don’t give up a good learning opportunity.

Even better, get several internship opportunities. The more extensive your experience, the more qualified you are.

6. Develop your unique value proposition

Now that you have read articles, books, and newsletters about hedge funds, completed some internships, and established a mentorship relationship, it’s time to figure out where you fit in the industry. Define a niche and hone it in the field.

For example, if you want to become an emerging market analyst, write some white papers on emerging markets and focus your work on companies that specialize in related funds.

7. Complete your certificate

Every hedge fund is different, but across the industry, many hedge fund employers are looking for a set of typical characteristics and skills. Here are some of them:

  • Quantify the experience. How much money did you personally bring to the company you used to work for?
  • educate. Ivy League degree, MBA or doctorate with a focus on quantification. All are highly praised.
  • Something extra. Media proficiency, asset collection capabilities, or information superiority are all plus points.
  • The title of CFA, CAIA, or Chartered Hedge Fund Partner (CHA) looks good on your resume.
  • High-quality recommendation letters from your past jobs, especially if they work in finance, will be helpful.
  • An appetite for high commissions and bonus pay structures is a prerequisite for this job.

8. Look for undisclosed opportunities

One way to find undisclosed job vacancies is to call companies and companies in the chamber of commerce, industry directory, or association.

In the hedge fund industry, this can be achieved through a network of Hedge Fund Group (HFG), Hedge Fund Association (HFA) or your local CFA Association.

Informational interviews are a great way to find job opportunities and even get positions.

The same methods that apply to any job search also apply to hedge funds. Try to hold an information meeting with four major brokerage companies, two managers, and 20 hedge fund analysts and portfolio managers.

Explain who you are and ask if you can buy them coffee to learn more about their business. Use meetings as a way to understand the work they do and the challenges of the industry.

After the meeting, ask for the names of two or three other people who may meet with you. Then observe your network growth.

9. Consider a hedge fund service provider

The service provider’s job does not seem to be as glamorous as working directly for a hedge fund, but there are good career opportunities there.

These positions will also expose you to a large number of individual hedge fund managers who may decide to hire you at some point because of your expertise or relationship.

In particular, the prime brokerage work can become a training base for fund marketing work and third-party marketing careers.

10. Apply for a hedge fund job

If you have completed the previous nine steps, you now have a general understanding of what type of hedge fund strategy or service provider group you might want to work for.

Few recruiters will work with someone who has worked directly in the hedge fund industry for less than three years. Many professionals use their experience in other industries to enter the world of hedge funds, but they usually don’t get there through recruiters. Your best choice is:

  • The above information interview method
  • Connect with hedge fund professionals who graduated from your school
  • Member of Hedge Fund Group (HFG)
  • Get the CFA, CAIA or CHA title
  • Connect with professionals at hedge fund meetings

Bottom line: stay hungry

Most hedge funds need hungry, humble, and smart people. If you keep this in mind when implementing the above 10-step plan, you will most likely get your first hedge fund job.


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