Recruiting and Resume Advice from the Rockies

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Greetings fellow primates! My name is Robert Shaw I am an Executive Recruiter with a company called the Bradsby Group in Denver, Colorado working in the Investment Banking Division. The Investment Banking Division of the Bradsby Group serves the Investment Banking, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets hiring needs of some of the largest names on the street and the fortune 500 and fills those companies with top flight talent in order to serve them best. Our group is industry agnostic as a whole with relationships in every sector, my particular specialty lies within the Technology, Media and Telecom space and the Energy space, two industries that are a staple of the Bradsby Group.

I would like to thank Justin, Andy, Patrick and the rest of the team for inviting me to be a part of WSO's contributing author team, it is a real honor to be able to be a part of this and hope that everyone will find something useful from these articles.

I got my start recruiting private wealth advisors for Barclays Wealth, Wells Fargo Advisors, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse just after the 2008/2009 fiasco with a small start-up company in New York. Once I jumped to Investment Banking with Bradsby Group this year, the most major change was the process involved with engaging candidates, one of the most important things being that I needed to get resumes.

So with the New Year approaching, and hopefully a big recruiting season, I thought it would be time well spent to just go over how to keep your resume from looking like a fluffed up "pitch" to a concrete background which asserts why you rock and the best way to use someone like myself after you have put it all together.

In the picture below I have fabricated a resume of a 2nd year TMT Analyst. There are a few things I would like to highlight about this resume. First, the top of the resume should always have what you are doing now. Don't make someone search for it, school shouldn't be at the top unless there is nothing else worth mentioning in the experience section. In the first section of experience there is a detailed, yet concise breakdown of 3 things - the company, group and what the group does, the role responsibilities (types of transactions worked on, etc) and any noteworthy accomplishments or accolades awarded for outstanding performance. Next is the most critical piece, transaction experience, if you are an analyst, don't hesitate to put on "staffed/pending" transactions!

Don't load your resume with useless past jobs, recruiters and employers would rather see that you were staffed on 10 deals than just throwing on experience from college jobs (college professor once told me JOB stood for Journey Of the Broke).

DO, however, make sure to include all of your quality internships, especially anything where you were able to enhance skills that translate directly into investment banking (modeling, research, Capital IQ,etc.). See the example resume here

When working with a recruiter many people misunderstand what the value of the recruiter is to them and how their process works so I want to provide some transparency here to make sure people aren't turning their recruiters off and spending their own time wisely. As an outside agency, a company like Bradsby is brought in to often perform a narrow search for a specialized experienced professional who meets a prescribed set of qualifications outlined by the client.

I get a handful of resumes per day for people who are applying for Investment Banking positions at my recruiting firm, not realizing that we are not an Investment Bank since they didn't do any research. What that tells me is that people aren't doing their homework and it doesn't make you look good! And you are not being productive with your time!

Especially recent graduates and people trying to jump from one industry to another, unfortunately a recruiter like myself is not going to be able to help you because that's not what our clients are looking for, nor what they will pay us for. The more appropriate person to reach out to would be someone that who focuses on campus recruiting and does the staffing for the annual classes that many banks hire dozens of people for.

After a year or two of experience you may elect to work with a recruiter like myself to do a lateral move. Whether you are prospected or reach out to be considered for a current or future opportunity that may come up when you are looking to make a move, the recruiter can be a very valuable asset to you and I often suggest working with 2 or 3 because we all have different relationships and also cannot recruit away from our clients and our hands are tied. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are giving a recruiter everything they need to keep you on their radar.

First, make the right introduction. You already have the resume set up, now also include a quick overview of who you are so we get the basics. You don't want us reading a cover letter - I will tell you why in a second - but you do want us to get an understanding of who you are and what you do right off the bat. When you send your resume over- include something like this below. This paired with your resume is all a good recruiter needs to get to work for you.
---------------------------

Overview

  • From New York - Graduated from University of Texas w/ a degree in finance in December 2007 (3.9 GPA) got my MBA from there in
    2010 (3.8GPA), 710 GMAT - I am 28yrs old
  • Worked at BAML as an Analyst in a Generalist group from 2007-2010
  • Began working as an Associate for Morgan Stanley's Energy investment banking group in NYC in January of 2010 (we specialize in
    debt raises and restructurings / bankruptcy)
  • I work anywhere between 70-110 hours a week, usually 6 days a week
  • Our Associate program is a 3 year program and I just entered into my final year
  • Have been promoted early 2x, maxed out bonus wise 2x (My base is $120K and got a $100K bonus)
  • *** Please also include your current comp and desired comp moving forward at the bottom***

Work Experience

  • Highest profile deal was a sell-side LBO of $1.4b E+P Company to Confidential buyer
  • Since then have worked on 2 OFS deals (restructuring and debt raise), Midstream deal (debt raise), private Drilling company (restructuring)
  • As an analyst worked on 2 telecom deals, restaurant deal (bankruptcy) ,distressed bank (hired to sell their portfolio), and a social media / marketing company restructuring
  • Some of the models I have built are DCF, asset sales, M&A, 3 statement, 13 week cash flow, and debt raises ( I can provide more information about this as needed)
  • My responsibilities include understanding the legal aspects of our clients credit agreements, building financial models, creating the investor presentations, managing the marketing and diligence process and running any other form of financial analysis our client needs
  • I have also worked on a variety of other pitches / capital structure analyses / bankruptcy analyses

---------------------------

Why don't we want a cover letter? The answer to that also may answer a few other questions, but it's simple, and it's not personal. As a recruiter our value to you is always having new opportunities coming in for you to consider, especially the ones that are being done on the DL. If I am your recruiter, you want me out there finding those orders, not reading cover letters, returning extraneous phone calls or doing anything but pounding that pavement like a bully who needs milk money.

Thanks for taking the time to read this everyone, please feel free to ask questions below and next week I will pick a few to address. Next week I will be talking about interviews, interview prep and the process followed the next week by my favorite thing - dealing with offers and counter-offers. Thanks again to everyone at WSO and of course the readers for reading!

Comments (27)

Sep 13, 2012

Hi Robert,

Thanks for all of the great information. It's great to hear from someone in Denver (I spent my whole live growing up south of the city and am now working in the Midwest).

Currently I'm working at a very small boutique bank (less than 15 people and I'm the only analyst). I've been on the job about 6 months so I'm starting to think about private equity. It's been a great experience so far because I'm involved in every deal and have even sourced a couple deals (well made the initial introductions at least). My concern however is that the lack of brand name will hurt me in recruiting.

I've heard conflicting reports about how receptive headhunters are to people outside of the well know middle market banks, so I'd like to ask your opinion about whether or not it makes sense to try to lateral to a bigger bank or would it be okay to stay at my current bank given that I love it here and am getting great exposure.

Thank you in advance.

Sep 13, 2012

As a recruiter my advice is to always do whatever you can to take the next step in your career. Because nothing is really cut and dry I can tell you that the people going into the big PE shops are obviously going to have some very juiced up resumes.

What I have seen though is that when it comes to PE the people who are at the shop dictate the standard...

My advice to you would be to not scoff at any opportunities that come your way. Evaluate anything you decide to pursue from the back end forward... Think about your long term goal as specifically as you can and then think of the path to get there.

Does going to a BB/bigger bank have its advantages? Certainly
Is it the only way into PE? Certainly Not

Robert Shaw
Recruiting Consultant
Lakeshore
Denver, CO

Sep 13, 2012

As a recruiter my advice is to always do whatever you can to take the next step in your career. Because nothing is really cut and dry I can tell you that the people going into the big PE shops are obviously going to have some very juiced up resumes.

What I have seen though is that when it comes to PE the people who are at the shop dictate the standard...

My advice to you would be to not scoff at any opportunities that come your way. Evaluate anything you decide to pursue from the back end forward... Think about your long term goal as specifically as you can and then think of the path to get there.

Does going to a BB/bigger bank have its advantages? Certainly
Is it the only way into PE? Certainly Not

Thank you for the response. That makes sense and is in line with what I'm thinking, especially considering that I come from a large big 10 school with a great alumni presence in banking/PE in my city so networking wise I've been very fortunate. I guess I should have mentioned it before but I'm interested exclusively in mm PE (the smaller the better actually as I like that type of environment) so I will certainly not scoff, and would actually prefer, to work at a 10 man $100mm fund instead of KKR. Thanks again for the advice

Sep 13, 2012

Moraine lake is in Canada

May 29, 2013
mehp:

Moraine lake is in Canada

Can't believe someone else knew...first thing that came to my mind was pic of ML.

Sep 13, 2012

Mr. Shaw,

Thank you for your outline. I'd like to make some comments.

  1. You are not very forthcoming with responding to your candidates - I think every candidate that put forth the time and effort to send you his/her resume deserves a response, the standard "thanks, but you're not what we're looking for..." letter of acknowledgement. Unfortunately that problem is not unique to you / your firm but is pervasive in the recruiting/headhunting industry.
  2. If you don't have an ACTIVE search going (i.e. for the TMT Banker) and are just building up a database of Resumes, well, that doesn't serves me[the candidate] very well, does it ? It detracts my attention from other CURRENT job openings.
  3. I don't think GPA is that important for the experienced hire that you're seeking. If I'm three years out of college, why talk about my GPA ? For an intern/current college student GPA is indeed crucial.
  4. You are asking to write down previous compensation-I disagree. That information is confidential and I would not discuss it until the final stages of interview.
  5. I disagree with providing a dealsheet upfront. I'll give you a dealsheet when your client [the Company] has expressed interest in getting me onboard. It's got to be a give-and-take here, where I see you've raised the interest in ME in particular. It's not just me throwing everything at you [figuratively speaking] where you're a wall and no feedback is coming back.

Thanks !

Sep 13, 2012

Financier - appreciate your thoughts

  1. what you are asking is impossible - since you dont sit in my seat i know you dont know, but if i took the time to write back to every single person who sends me a resume I'd work 7 days a week and still never get anyone a job. one of the reasons i wrote the article is to give everyone a clear understanding of my value to them. So my question to you is this - would you rather me send thank you notes? Or call you about a new job opportunity that I can get you an interview for? (remember what you sent your resume for).
  2. reverting to my previous answer - pulling down expired posts or something that is no longer active is not a top priority for me. But you are incredibly wrong about it not serving you. Many people who respond to old inactive posts which are scattered all over the internet (thus very difficult to keep track of and take down) actually find that while that opening may no longer exist, that I actually have something new coming up that they would be a fit for.
  3. couldnt agree with you more on this - i think its absurd. however, I have clients who ask this and being that it is such an annoying detail - i ask for it up front because i am not going to chase someone to get their GPA from undergrad - so i just get it out of the way.
  4. i wasnt even going to address this one - but i am going to be representing you and i wouldnt ever send a canddiate to a job without having his full story - just as i would never ask someone to go to an interview without the full story.
  5. long story short - without a deal sheet i lack the information to hold a commanding knowledge of your background and sell you to the best of my ability. does it need to be something being sent all over creation? NO. but wouldnt you like your recruiter to know more than 1 page's worth of information about you?

Finance - you have obviously sent me your resume in the past lol. However your issue should not be with me - 1. this isnt a kids birthday party, i dont send thank you notes. i try my best with everyone but it's impossible. 2. if you are a good candidate and your resume goes to a recruiter - it is always time well spent. you will get a call when there is something to talk about. 3. i'm not a hiring manger, i am the messenger, if my client wants someone with a 3.7 GPA - i'll point them in ur direction so you can tell them how to run their business. 4. after working with brokers and investment bankers, the best guys are the ones who have the least issue talking about compensation. people afraid to put it out there are typically low producers and do not get paid and dont want to get low-balled because of it at their next gig. 5. kinda the same as #4 - the guys who have been closing deals dont want to hide that, those are ACCOMPLISHMENTS, that get's you buy-in from a recruiter or a hiring manager so you're the first person he thinks of when something comes up.

Robert Shaw
Recruiting Consultant
Lakeshore
Denver, CO

Sep 13, 2012
Financier4Hire:

Thanks !

You know who pays recruiters, right? Recruiters don't owe candidates anything. If you offered to pay Shaw $50,000, maybe you could work something out.

Sep 13, 2012

SirTradesaLot speaks the truth... and that reflects right up the line to be quite candid. Do i always get a call back from a hiring manager i want to work with? Noooo sir.... but if he calls me back in 6 months because i made the effort to work with him in the past - you better believe i'm not going to be having a hissy fit since he didnt call me back the first time. I'm going to be extremely glad he called back, and then i will make a few phone calls to candidates who will be really happy to hear from me...

If my feelings were hurt and i didnt work with the guy because i needed a thank you note from him, it would only hurt my candidates and myself.

Question to everyone: You submitted your resume to a recruiter in January... September comes along and here he comes again, Mr. Jonny-come-lately... Instead of writing thank you notes, the recruiter has landed a big client and has now circled back to see if you would like to pursue the opportunity he has, one which you would be very interested in. Would you tell the recruiter to kick rocks or work with him and let him introduce you to the client?

Robert Shaw
Recruiting Consultant
Lakeshore
Denver, CO

Sep 13, 2012
SirTradesaLot:
Financier4Hire:

Thanks !

You know who pays recruiters, right? Recruiters don't owe candidates anything. If you offered to pay Shaw $50,000, maybe you could work something out.

true. but without candidates a recruiter is nothing.

Sep 13, 2012

It's interesting that you handle analyst level laterals - most of the recruiters I have spoken to are pretty much focused on placing analysts in buy side roles (I assume the fees are much more lucrative).

Sep 13, 2012

it's not so much that the fees are more lucrative but there is a lot more business to be done. a lot of the big sell-side shops can handle these hires on their own. however, from time to time replacement hires and corporate positions are great opportunities for me to work with analysts.

Robert Shaw
Recruiting Consultant
Lakeshore
Denver, CO

Sep 14, 2012

Robert,

Thanks for your post, this is really helpful information. A question I have is do you currently, or have you in the past, done any placement for management consultants seeking positions in private equity? I noticed your original post mentioned specifically junior bankers and am wondering if this is part of the head-hunter function so if you know of other firms that do this that would be helpful.

Thanks.

Sep 20, 2012

plato,

i would have to know a little more before i say yes or no - particularly about the M&A experience, modeling skills, etc... one thing that varies among the consultants i work with is their technical backgrounds. some have experience building models from scratch and are crushing out tons of them. some guys are picking up templates or working off other people's models which is a bit less attractive to some clients, especially the ones who want the ability to build the model from scratch.

however, one thing i am currently working on is getting an offer at one of the BB's for someone out of a consulting firm after only 1 year and if i had an open mandate that fit into his niche specialty he is definitely someone i would introduce to a PE client.

Hope that gives you some clarity - feel free to email me if you would like to chat further. Thanks Plato!

Robert Shaw
Recruiting Consultant
Lakeshore
Denver, CO

Sep 21, 2012
Rocky Mountain Recruiter:

plato,

i would have to know a little more before i say yes or no - particularly about the M&A experience, modeling skills, etc... one thing that varies among the consultants i work with is their technical backgrounds. some have experience building models from scratch and are crushing out tons of them. some guys are picking up templates or working off other people's models which is a bit less attractive to some clients, especially the ones who want the ability to build the model from scratch.

however, one thing i am currently working on is getting an offer at one of the BB's for someone out of a consulting firm after only 1 year and if i had an open mandate that fit into his niche specialty he is definitely someone i would introduce to a PE client.

Hope that gives you some clarity - feel free to email me if you would like to chat further. Thanks Plato!

Thanks for your response, I sent you a PM with further details.

Sep 14, 2012

thanks Robert for all your input

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Jan 7, 2014

Thanks for sharing this valuable blog with lot of information's regarding resume, This will be more helpful for job seeking peoples. Thanks for sharing with us!

Oct 18, 2014

thanks!

Jan 13, 2017
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