Here’s an honest account from hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson as to how to get a job at a hedge fund. No BS, straight and simple.
- “Don’t send me your resume. It’s useless. Everyone has one, and it’s basically just a scripted speech for the HR guys.” Unlike many other industries where the resume is key and it’s all scripted (e.g. you must say that you’re a team player, switching jobs to challenge yourself, etc), the hedge fund industry is brutally honest and can’t stand the standard, HR crap.
What hedge fund managers (employers) care about:
- “Explain the largest position in your portfolio. I want to know how you made the decision, and more importantly, how you think. I want to know if you really know your stuff and can do some original analysis, because if not, get out.”
In short, hedge fund managers want to see your trading diary – why you entered into the positions that you did, and why you closed the positions that you did. Real skill and performance are the only things that matter in the hedge fund industry – all of that corporate politics stuff doesn’t exist here.
How to get facetime with an employer:
- “This ain’t like the normal recruiting process, where companies set up booths on campus, talking to prospect employees.”
- “In this industry, connections matter. You gotta go out of your way to get facetime with a hedge fund manager – he isn’t going to find you, you got to find him. This means that if the manager’s doing a speech at Penn U, go to the speech and when it’s done, introduce yourself and show him your best investment idea.” The world’s not going to conform to you – you have to conform to it.
This is why I think the hedge fund industry is so special and so suitable for me – you don’t need to kiss ass (e.g. your boss’), you don’t need to cultivate “special relationships” with others, and you don’t need to play the corporate politics game. The only thing that matters is cold, hard, and solid performance.