It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

"It's not Christmas yet, what are you saying? It's not the most wonderful time of the year..."

But yes, my little monkey minions, it _is_ the most wonderful time of the year: recruitment season will be upon us in a mere week or two!

For all of us who didn't do BB SA, or maybe didn't procure a full-time offer, or maybe are tired of off-cycle rejections, or mayb -- you get the picture; these next couple of months are important to a lot of people on this website. But in the heat of the moment, it's easy to forget what's important as we enter recruitment. Lots of us have class, others have jobs, so I'm here to dish out some last-minute reminders that could help you out as you're scrambling to perfect every part of your application.

There's no questioning it: WallStreetOasis has a ton of awesome information. Maybe even too much awesome information for the casual lurker (as opposed to those of us who are veterans and may or may not have a life outside of this site). Most of this information will help you in some tangible way during recruitment, but sometimes people forget that the "Search" function exists and are in a deer-in-front-of-headlights scenario when looking for something specific on WSO. I guess I can't help you with that directly, but I can help you by making a reminder list of things that you need to prepare for as you enter recruitment, which might spur some curiosity and desire to seek out all of that great information.

No need to beat around the bush: let's dive right in.

1. Get your resume reviewed
Whether you do this through WSO's paid Resume Review Service, the public resume review, or just have a bunch of friends read through your resume is no concern of mine (well, maybe I'm a little biased towards using WSO, but I'll live), but having your resume thoroughly reviewed is pivotal. "Well, duh you get your resume reviewed, reading this post is already a waste of my time." False. Even when you think your resume is 100% perfect -- there's a good chance that it's NOT. After you've read it 50-100 times, it all begins to sound so good, and any mistakes that you might have made grammatically or even spelling-wise (!!!) become harder and harder to notice. "Thomson ONE" is _not_ spelled "Thompson ONE", dashes should all be uniform, etc etc etc. Bottom line: never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes (or 10 sets) look it over before you send it out -- better be safe than sorry.

2. Make sure your clothes are right
Don't walk into an interview with a pinstriped suit that's five sizes too big because Pops gave it to you. There are literally a million threads about fashion on this website (oh you WSO fashionistas...), but the bottom line is that you need a charcoal or navy suit, well-fitting, and a conservative shirt and tie. I just received a navy suit from Indochino for $379 and the fit is spectacular -- I recommend using that service (takes 3 weeks) if you don't have a suit and are on a budget.

3. Follow up with your contacts
Hopefully by this point you've had some informational interviews, hit it off with certain people, and are comfortable asking them to support your candidacy for a position during recruitment. If you haven't (God help your soul), it might not be too late to start reaching out to alumni in addition to using resume-drops through OCR. If you're not on campus and you haven't done a ton of networking -- better late than never. Ask your contacts if you should also apply through OCR/web portals, or if them sending your resume along is sufficient. You want to make sure all of your bases are covered with this one.

4. Find an interview practice buddy
So you've read the WSO behavioral and technical guides. You've thought about the questions a lot. You think you can answer them pretty well. Hell, when you answer them in your head, they sound downright perfect -- no way you don't land an offer. False. This will be one of the hardest, if not the hardest, years for full-time IBD recruitment. Stumbling during your story or during the "why banking?" question is strictly not an option. Find an interview partner, either in real life or in the ethereal world of WSO. Hell, I'll be your interview partner if you PM me.

5. Have a back-up plan
Let's face the facts: we're not all gonna make the cut. Having a back-up plan is crucial so you don't end up back at your mom's house, depressed and unmotivated. As was previously stated, this year is going to be difficult for recruitment, and it's important to remember that not getting an offer isn't the end of the world and there is a lot out there that you probably aren't even remotely cognizant of that also represents a good career choice. Thankfully, banking recruitment occurs relatively early, so you still have a lot of options if things end up not working out. Hold on to some chips just in case your opponent has the nut flush; no need to go all-in yet.

6. Make sure you are mentally prepared for the task at hand
What I mean by this is you have to block out everything going on in your life that might make you sad, anxious, depressed, etc. when you're going through recruitment. Things are going to go a lot smoother and feel a lot better if you feel confident about yourself as you go through interviews, phone chats, and everything in between. This means you need to do whatever puts you in the best state of mind in preparation for the next two months: exercise, yoga, meditation, sauna, or whatever else you need to ensure that you're in tip-top shape. There's plenty of time to lament and be emo if you don't get an offer (you shouldn't do this, see bullet point 5), but if you're sad now, leave that shit at the door, because it's not helping you.

That's all I have for you today ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully this post reminds some folks out there of the approach they need to take during recruitment, and how important it is to be prepared in many different facets. Hope you enjoy reading this and stay classy.

Comments (34)

Aug 13, 2012

Well-written and just in time

Aug 13, 2012

I'm still in the heat of my Networking but I have a question. I don't expect to vie heavily for any positions during this season but are there still opps to be found after this period? I graduate next Spring and I will have some non IB offers. If I make a good connection(s) between now and then, could I still be considered to start next Summer?

Here to learn and hopefully pass on some knowledge as well. SB if I helped.

Aug 13, 2012
That_Aston:

I'm still in the heat of my Networking but I have a question. I don't expect to vie heavily for any positions during this season but are there still opps to be found after this period? I graduate next Spring and I will have some non IB offers. If I make a good connection(s) between now and then, could I still be considered to start next Summer?

tough if you don't get into the normal recruiting cycle, but at smaller shops the recruiting tends to be less structured / more sporadic, so you'd still have a shot at those.

BUT, you should be trying to get interviews lined up NOW through informational interviews and/or have built out your network this summer so you can reach out before OCRs resume drop.

Aug 13, 2012
WallStreetOasis.com:
That_Aston:

I'm still in the heat of my Networking but I have a question. I don't expect to vie heavily for any positions during this season but are there still opps to be found after this period? I graduate next Spring and I will have some non IB offers. If I make a good connection(s) between now and then, could I still be considered to start next Summer?

tough if you don't get into the normal recruiting cycle, but at smaller shops the recruiting tends to be less structured / more sporadic, so you'd still have a shot at those.

BUT, you should be trying to get interviews lined up NOW through informational interviews and/or have built out your network this summer so you can reach out before OCRs resume drop.

Hmm, thanks. How tight is the window for the upcoming cycle? I'm not going to waste my time with my useless OCR but I do have some people willing to see me and forward my resume.

Also, if I don't end up in my desired spot..Would I still follow the same path during recruitment next year after I've graduated/How do firms view graduates as opposed to seniors? ex: Land a somewhat relevant position and utilize my network to get in the running for Fall '13.

Here to learn and hopefully pass on some knowledge as well. SB if I helped.

Aug 13, 2012

Ah yes, the "informational interview" ... the gift that keeps on giving.

Aug 13, 2012
BlackHat:

Ah yes, the "informational interview" ... the gift that keeps on giving.

It's like the recruiting form of herpes

Aug 13, 2012

What is a recruiting season like for a recent graduate? Am I just going to be applying for positions online, or should I be trying to sneak into information sessions at NYU/Columbia and networking?

Aug 13, 2012
SymphonyBanker:

What is a recruiting season like for a recent graduate? Am I just going to be applying for positions online, or should I be trying to sneak into information sessions at NYU/Columbia and networking?

If you're in NYC, just reach out to people via e-mail, set up a time to meet up, chat them up and ask them for help once recruitment begins. This is far more common at smaller firms, of which there are a billion in NYC. It should be easy enough to piggy-back onto "normal" recruitment as a graduate. Sneaking into sessions at Columbia and NYU wouldn't hurt either -- always good to cast a wide net.

Aug 13, 2012

Great write-up.

Opstar lifestyle, might not make it

Aug 13, 2012

I haven't networked at all--- so fucked.

Aug 13, 2012
couchy:

I haven't networked at all--- so fucked.

It's late, but not too late...get out there.

Aug 13, 2012
couchy:

I haven't networked at all--- so fucked.

No need to network if you have OCR.

Aug 13, 2012
BTbanker:
couchy:

I haven't networked at all--- so fucked.

No need to network if you have OCR.

no OCR.. lol I just sent out a couple of emails...

Aug 13, 2012

i was a casual lurker, still am i guess. and then i got poo hurled at me for it. and then i cleaned the poo off and utilized the tools a little better. shoot i didn't even know it was recruiting season. why is this time of year recruiting season?

"Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait."
-Thomas Edison

Aug 13, 2012

I'm shit scared for trying to find a full-time job. No OCR, limited network, worse recruiting season ever...sobs hopefully, my current internship this summer will turn into full-time. They want me to work in the fall & spring...I hope they know I need a job.

Aug 13, 2012
mokey1234:

I'm shit scared for trying to find a full-time job. No OCR, limited network, worse recruiting season ever...sobs hopefully, my current internship this summer will turn into full-time. They want me to work in the fall & spring...I hope they know I need a job.

You can control the size of your network so no one is going to feel bad for you. No one cares about your hopes you gotta go out there and make people believe in you.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Aug 13, 2012

and why does it have to be charcoal or navy? i accept that there are "ways of doing things" which may or may not be completely ridiculous, but i'd like to know why someone would really "not hire" me just because i so happened to wear a tan colored suit or a black suit to an interview. just curious....

"Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait."
-Thomas Edison

Aug 13, 2012
WreckEmFinance:

and why does it have to be charcoal or navy? i accept that there are "ways of doing things" which may or may not be completely ridiculous, but i'd like to know why someone would really "not hire" me just because i so happened to wear a tan colored suit or a black suit to an interview. just curious....

Because doing that shows two things:
- your lack of preparation or resourcefulness in that you failed to find out the decorum or standards of the industry which you're applying to join
- your inability to fit the culture (dress conservatively and tastefully)

It may seem trivial as an outsider, but honestly, with a six-figure income (to start!) on the line, why even risk it? For the record, you can get away with the black. Tan, God rest your soul.

Aug 13, 2012

good points. but i do love a good tan suit. different shades of tan and khaki and such. guess i'll just have to wear my tan suits to the derby's with the bowler hats in the summer and mint jouleps or whatever.

"Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait."
-Thomas Edison

Aug 13, 2012

Just out of curiosity, obviously this is important for the UG monkeys- but for all the graduated monkeys, how do you feel about the start of the recruiting cycle. Because idk about you guys, but there is NO WAY I can possibly apply for a job that'd start in what, May? June? I wonder if the feelings mutual or if applying for a job that if even gotten, wouldn't start for another ~9 months isn't a deal breaker. (I'm obviously refering to if you don't already have one, btw)

GBS

Aug 13, 2012
GoldmanBallSachs:

Just out of curiosity, obviously this is important for the UG monkeys- but for all the graduated monkeys, how do you feel about the start of the recruiting cycle. Because idk about you guys, but there is NO WAY I can possibly apply for a job that'd start in what, May? June? I wonder if the feelings mutual or if applying for a job that if even gotten, wouldn't start for another ~9 months isn't a deal breaker. (I'm obviously refering to if you don't already have one, btw)

It wasn't pretty, but I basically had to set my life up so that this wouldn't be a problem. That means putting working anywhere else on-hold, limiting myself geographically, and being OK with the fact that living off of $300 a month for the next 9 months is reality. At least if you net a full-time offer that doesn't start until June 2013 you no longer have that built-up pressure and anxiety about being unemployed -- maybe even cut a deal with the employer to get a chunk of your signing bonus early so you can do something fun. But yeah, it's not ideal, but that's just the way it is.

Aug 13, 2012
Vontropnats:

It wasn't pretty, but I basically had to set my life up so that this wouldn't be a problem. That means putting working anywhere else on-hold, limiting myself geographically, and being OK with the fact that living off of $300 a month for the next 9 months is reality. At least if you net a full-time offer that doesn't start until June 2013 you no longer have that built-up pressure and anxiety about being unemployed -- maybe even cut a deal with the employer to get a chunk of your signing bonus early so you can do something fun. But yeah, it's not ideal, but that's just the way it is.

Yea, I'll prob end up tossing my hat in the ring for the fuck of it- because the last thing you want to do is be turned off by a job that wouldn't start for close to a year, only to have that year pass and not have something else anyway, lol.

GBS

Aug 13, 2012

When is it advised to start following up with contacts for jr SA recruiting? I'm also scared shitless but hate following up excessively without much to say. Is it too early to send a few emails and request some informational phone conversations with some of my contacts from sophomore year?

Specifically, I met a really nice MD from a bb with a similar background as mine. I got a superday at his firm soph year but no offer. Too early to send him an email to get back into contact for jr SA recruiting? And any advice as to what to ask for? Does an informational interview make sense if you have already interviewed there?

Aug 13, 2012

You guys wanna see how big my "network" is? More pics where that came from if you show me yours, but I bet you got a tiny little network...

Aug 13, 2012

APAE:

How about a black suit with embedded pin stripe?

Aug 13, 2012

Help. My firm said in my review that I did really well and everyone liked me, so they want me to stay for my senior year. They also said they might be hiring analysts for full-time starting fall 2013 and said "I had a good chance of being included as a candidate to interview" along with all the other candidates from top tier schools. (I'm not from a top-tier if you had gathered). Is that normal? I've been there the whole summer and they'll treat me like someone they've just meet at OCR. My mentor, family friend, told me that what the firm told him was some of the best feedback he'd ever seen. Is my firm just trying to keep me on my toes so I don't slack. Poker face? This is so weird...

Aug 14, 2012

I've been in contact (ie. info interviews, emails) with numerous people & alumni who are now working at BB's, MM's etc., through the summer. How exactly should I follow up with them now as recruiting starts?

Do I send them an email asking them to forward my resume? Do I ask them explicitly if they can help me with an interview?

Aug 17, 2012

I have a suit question too ;) I have a black suit with dark pin stripes, no vents. It is a 3-button. Is that ok? I know I have to buy a more modern suit, but I'll be honest. I am a little "fat" and I want to make that purchase when I'm looking my best. No point in buying a suit that won't fit when I get into shape. So I want to see your opinions.

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Aug 18, 2012

Go buy a cheap one. 3-button + black + unvented ... 3 strikes and you're out, so to speak. No one is dinging you off the bat, but that's such a horrid look that you ought to do yourself the favor and pull the trigger on a new suit.

Aug 19, 2012
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My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

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