How to get a job in private equity?

Private equity is a sought-after field for finance graduates. With whopping salaries and good lifestyle on offer, it makes a good career option. Incentives on top of good salary allow private equity professionals to make a lot of money even at their entry-level role—the major reason most graduates want to work in private equity.   


Private equity firms are small and tend to have fewer employees than investment banks and stockbroking firms, which amass professionals in huge numbers. As the number of jobs in this space is few, it makes it extremely challenging to get a job. Plus, the few openings that are available, graduates compete with seasoned investment bankers and stockbrokers, making it even more competitive.  


So both supply and demand cause a terrible problem for young graduates looking to break into private equity. Thus, it is important for graduates to be diligent and creative in their approach to secure a job in this field.  


Connect with a head hunter  


PE firms are small. They do not even have their own in-house human resources teams to recruit and manage other HR operations. There are specialized recruiting agencies which manage recruitment for PE firms. These agencies shortlist resumes, conduct interviews, check background, conduct drug test among other things. 


Head hunters are always inundated with resumes, so typically they don’t have the need to go online and look for candidates. Send them an email and keep following up with them. However, don’t email them frequently, or you may end up being perceived as annoying.  


Build connections early  


Most PE firms don’t hire from universities and colleges, even from the top finance and economics colleges. With fewer job openings, as mentioned earlier, PE firms don’t see the need for having recruiters. So they simply go for hiring experienced professionals.  


PE firms demand a vast amount of experience for every role and yet attract enough applications from candidates to fill positions. In most cases, having an MBA also doesn’t help. Hence, getting experience is important to get into private equity.  


It is advisable to get an internship in private equity or areas closely related to it. You can go for asset management, investment banking, or venture capital. The aim should be to show recruiters that you come with experience, instead of being yet another kid out of college. 


 further, taking private equity certifications also help to get the skills required for the role. It will expose you to practical experience mandatorily required among companies.  


Stay patient 


 Private equity industry will test your patient thoroughly. Unlike other industry, it is not a place where you submit your resume on one day and get a job the next day. Candidate assessment takes longer time compared to other industries. PE firms begin hiring in the month of January for requirements in summer. So between your first round of interaction with the firm to your first day at work, it could take 6 months. 


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