Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Who's hiring CFA charterholders...and other job search tips

Who's hiring?

Evergreen Investments and Leerink Swann are among those hiring, according to their representatives on a panel called "Talent Search Professionals Uncensored" at "Investing in Your Career," a CFA Institute program held in Boston on September 23.

Some firms will always hire in down- as well as up-markets, said Bob Gorog, a partner with CT Partners, an executive search firm. Certain areas are stronger than others, in his experience, including:
  • Senior risk professionals and international (especially frontier markets) portfolio management professionals
  • Client-facing professionals, especially those who can make clients feel better
  • Alternative investments professionals
Sascha Bernitsky, a senior recruiting consultant with Evergreen Investments, echoed Gorog's comment about interest in international and alternative investments. Evergreen is also interested in fixed income professionals who have managed through market turmoil, he said.

Investment banking firm Leerink Swann especially likes job candidates who combine health care and financial expertise, said Alice Avanian, associate director of equity research. 


More job hunting tips for investment professionals

These three panelists offered additional job hunting tips. Here's what I took away.
  • Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to see how you fit their opening. In addition to your resume, craft a cover letter that highlights how your expertise makes you the best candidate for the specific opening for which you're applying
  • Prepare for your interview because your oral communication skills are more important than ever as investment professionals spend more time in front of clients.
  • You can turn your failures to your advantage. Bernitsky looks for candidates who can talk about how they learned from a failure.
  • Have plenty of references. Gorog said some of his clients are asking for seven to 10 references, although they may only call three to four of them.
  • Social networking can help--or hurt. Bernitsky has used LinkedIn to search for hard-to-fill positions. On the other hand, be cautious about posting personal information on sites like Facebook because your name will be Googled, said Gorog.
As for your written communications, consider the following.
  • Proofread and critique your letters and emails. Automated spell-check is not enough. Bad grammar can automatically disqualify you, said Avanian and Bernitsky. Also, a friend who reads your cover letter can objectively assess how well the letter makes your case.
  • Write a strong email subject line. For example: "small cap equity analyst--resume of Bob Johnson." It's important to include the title of the position you're applying for.
  • Don't bury the name of the person who referred you. Bernitsky said he'll be sure to read your resume, if you mention the person who referred you at the top of your email. Presumably the referrer should be an employee of his company or someone he knows.
  • Resumes should run two pages or less, and be laid out in a reader-friendly style.
  • Send a thank you note within 24 hours. Either email or snail mail is fine, said Avanian.
Good luck with your job hunt!

_________________
Susan B. Weiner, CFA

Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.

Copyright 2008 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved

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