A hedge fund manager is one of the most coveted job in finance and one of the most well-paid jobs in the world. The world’s top earning managers make billions of dollars for their hedge funds and take home hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. Such a lucrative occupation naturally attracts top talents. It also creates a very competitive job market.
Become a Student of the Hedge Fund Industry
If you’re certain you can see yourself as a hedge fund manager, you must commit to being a part of the industry now. This means subscribing to newsletters and online groups for hedge fund managers, attending networking events, reading industry news and more. Take care to note who the major players are in the industry and the current trends and strategies commonly employed by hedge fund managers. This could take years as you build up your network, get yourself known and up to speed with the industry. It also requires plenty of stamina as you network and stay abreast with the industry for a much coveted job.
Complete One or More Internships
If you are a student or a new graduate, looking for an internship at a hedge fund is the next critical step. If you are able to land an entry-level full-time position, you will be exposed to how hedge funds work. You can treat this as a learning opportunity, as this allows you to put yourself in the hedge fund employer’s shoes. This will allow you to think like hedge fund managers.
An MBA or a CFA can’t guarantee you the job but will definitely boost your chances of getting it. These qualifications show that you have the basic financial knowledge to take on the role. If you don’t have them, you should ideally have an education in quantitative courses which would illustrate your natural aptitude in this area. Once you start working, try carving a career as a portfolio manager to illustrate your ability to manage trades across various industries. This job is an excellent precursor to the job as a hedge fund manager.
Identify Hedge Fund Career Mentors
You may consider looking for potential mentors whom you would like to develop a relationship with. This requires time to develop a sincere relationship, however most successful people are only willing to help others if they have the spare time, and most finance people are time-starved! In order to get a mentor, you have to prove yourself as a committed, pro-active and , patient person and who is hungry for knowledge.
Land the Unadvertised Hedge Fund Job
If you do not have an internship but you feel sufficiently updated with the industry, try landing unadvertised job openings by cold-calling companies. Informational interviews is a way to land positions offering great training, experience and pay. If you approach a small firm and show confidence in working for them, you could be given a chance at an entry-level job.
Apply to Hedge Fund Jobs
Finally, if you feel you are suitably qualified, go ahead and start applying for jobs. Use recruitment companies to help polish your resume and connect you to jobs that are not well publicised. Hone your interview and presentation skills. The higher up the food chain you go, the more you will be exposed to clients and therefore an ability to communicate and inspire confidence goes a long way.
If you are genuine about becoming a hedge fund manager, you must have the tenacity to work hard at improving your skillset and an aggressive ability to network. With these traits, you will surely succeed at landing your dream job.