[Laid off analyst] Extreme difficulty getting interviews for analyst/SA... What's going on?

Hi,

TLDR: Wtf is wrong with my profile that I just get nonstop ghosted/rejected by banks? Are all laid off analysts dealing with this, or is there something particularly bad about my profile? Advice pls

I got laid off a few months ago from a LMM/MM boutique (generally no rep in the US) after spending a year working there after graduating. I was an IB analyst, although on a somewhat untraditional team (don't want to go into detail to retain anonymity but it wasn't your typical M&A/DCM/LevFin etc...). The market and the nature of the team resulted in none of the deals I worked on closing, although we did a ton of work. My whole team was wiped, and the firm had a hiring freeze preventing internal laterals - I was just a victim of circumstance.

I've had recruiters look at my resume and tell me it's structured correctly and makes me look good on paper. 

I thought it would be easier to get interviews given I had "investment banking analyst" on my resume for a year, as well as an M&A IB internship and an equity research internship. Granted, all from LMM boutiques, but still... 

I didn't go to a top-tier school, but not a shabby one either - one of the larger private schools with strong business programs (BU / NEU / NYU). Cum Laude honors, finance major and data science minor.

I go on LinkedIn and see a decent number of analyst / senior analyst openings. I've applied to credit teams, M&A teams, ECM teams, PEs, the works... BBs, EB, 3rd/4th tiers, no-name shops... been applying for about two weeks now and have gotten only rejections or ghosted. Recruiters hit me up about roles and when I reply with my resume, they ghost me. I've gotten enough rejections that I'm starting to panic now. What's going on????


My theories (which do y'all think are true?):

  1. There are a million ex-BB analysts floating around, who maybe also only have a year or less, but they've got that BB rep. Every analyst opening gets flooded with like 400 applications, so when they see a bank they haven't heard of, it's auto-rejection.

  2. Nobody who has only one year of IB experience is getting anything right now, and this doesn't have anything to do with my profile. The market is filled with 2nd/3rd year analysts that didn't make Associate. Seeing only 1 year is auto-rejection.

  3. University/Grades (i.e. Cum Laude as opposed to Summa or Magna)

  4. The fact that I wasn't on a 'typical' team 

  5. I don't have FINRA certifications (was mid-studying when I got cut)

  6. I am applying in NYC only (don't really have the option of going elsewhere), which is where layoffs hit the hardest and hence the stiffest competition.


Any advice here would be majorly appreciated. Hopefully, this thread will also be useful for some others that are also in a similar position. 

 

I’m in a similar boat, 1st year associate that got cut in February and I can tell you it’s not just you. Sure, I might have it easier because I’m an associate with more experience and my FINRA license, but it’s a bloodbath. I’ve applied to hundreds of jobs, not just IB, as everyone is cutting with little hiring. The demand is also way lower then the supply of bankers as we heard new layoffs every week. There are

Likely 100 bankers applying for each position compared to maybe 10 bankers in the last 2 years (more jobs and less bankers looking). It’s very depressing, as I’m applying to say 30 jobs a week and hearing back from maybe 5. Of those, they want certain experience (if you’re TMT and applying to a healthcare role you’re not going to get it, or at least it’s way harder).

The key is to keep applying, but at some point you (like me) might need to take another position in the short term

 

Fuck man. If even associates are getting shafted... Do you think it will turn around? 

What short term job did you take? 

 

Have not taken yet, but am officially considering. Legit just got rejected from a 2 month long process, numerous interviews, model exams, and then 3 hour superday, only to find out via the application no longer being available at the banks website indicating they filled it with someone else.

At this point I’ve dipped into savings for a while that I’m desperate enough to take another type of finance job in the short term and try recruiting in a year back to banking.

 
Most Helpful

I'm sorry man I really feel for you. I got laid off last year just six months into my analyst program. It was so tough to get interviews and even tougher to convert. Though I haven't seen your resume I think it's pretty likely you are just getting fucked over by the current recruiting market. Bad combination of a ton of juniors at solid banks getting laid off at the same time, nobody voluntarily leaving their seats, macro etc.

I was coming from a meh boutique and I just had to own the story, set the narrative. Processes were extremely long this winter. Would take two to three weeks between rounds just to schedule the next interview. One process was generally 1-2 months at least. Would suggest you give it an earnest effort for 3-6 more months. You are going to have to get lucky at the end of the day. I had 30+ processes and most ended at the first round. Got one offer and feel extremely lucky. I had done a niche workstream on a deal and it was relevant to what my current fund does. You'll have to stick it out long enough that you're able to capitalize on something fortunate.

You got this, just keep interviewing man. It's tough but market won't be this shit forever.

 

Problem for me is that I’m an associate, which while there are less associates than analysts, means that firms are going to be very selective. My IB experience isn’t from a BB, so while I’m not a no name boutique, it’s very hard as I likely will always lose out to a GS or JPM associate who worked in a TMT team. Honestly, this whole experience has given me a really bad taste on Banking.

 

Yes I ended up on the buyside at an LMM PE fund. I did not use HH they were generally unhelpful because my profile was tough to show around. Mid GPA, non-target, laid off. I got into my current role because it is a very niche strategy and I got lucky. Most of the guys from my analyst class are still looking or have taken offers at MM banks. I interviewed at 90% random regional boutique and MM banks. This fund was pretty much the outlier in my process but it worked out.

 

This trend is going for all sectors right now, including the tech industry.  Plenty of laid-off Senior Engineers and an over saturated amount of new engineering/CS grads/boot-camp candidates flooding the market for what little spot is available at the companies.  Economic slowdown is my guess, but I know that my company currently is holding off on hiring until maybe Q1 of 2024 - assuming things are well by then.  

 

I'll give you an honest answer in hopes it helps give clarity. At the BB I'm at, all the analysts who got cut were bottom bucket / were on a performance plan. Analysts who had trouble with basic computations, basic logo moving, and general process management. I think most would argue that there's still 20-30% of the class that could be let go, but you need the low performers to create a bell curve / to handle the shit staffings no one else wants to do. We laid off 2 analysts (who no one could even understand how they got here). Your case is obviously different, but unfortunately for you, the stigma will still be the same. Analyst headcount reductions are - for 99% of the time - about performance. While you are the exception, changing the narrative is tough. There are no open seats, and if deal flow remains slow, I wouldn't be surprised at most cuts coming in November. I also don't understand your story. How can you not have FINRA certifications? That's a requirement for all front office roles. Whatever the case is, you need to face the music to understand IB is not an option for you at this moment. It likely won't be for another year. The are other analysts in ECM, DCM, and levfin roles who got cut (who do have their licenses still) who would automatically trump you based on that alone. I'd find something small for now (corp dev gig or general finance) and perhaps go the MBA route to get back into the pack in a more efficient way vs doing it cold. The likelihood you land a coverage group as a lateral hire with no licenses will be very very very difficult (the only guy I've ever met who did it is now an early promote VP who was out of Europe and came to the US). I would knock the SIE out of the way while applying for jobs, and perhaps re-evalaute living in NYC. It's time to lock it down and start grinding (as I'm sure you have been). A better deal market will not be the gates opening for you. Keep grinding and things will work out. Best of luck. 

 

I appreciate the candid response. Sounds like I'm kinda fucked for the short term. 

Re the FINRA stuff, it was just circumstance. They kept telling me I didn't really need it till associate, so I was casually studying but didn't get there in time. I guess priority one should be getting those licenses squared away.

I've accepted I might need to do something banking-adjacent or totally different for a little while. Don't want to do MBA because its way too much money, I guess corp dev or some strategy role at a tech company or startup could hold me over. Back office at a bank maybe although that would really suck the life out of me. Tough times. 

 

The job market is ASS rn, everything I look at has 150+ applicants. Seems like you have to be the perfect candidate to land a job right now. It’s really tough, looking into Corp Dev/Tech along with IB/PE but options are extremely slim rn

 

Sorry for this but I believe you need a quick reality check in order get a good understanding of what’s going on.

1) You’ve been recruiting for 2 weeks and you are shocked you still haven’t gotten an interview? There are tons of GS/MS, etc. analysts that have been recruiting for months and can’t get anything.

2) Relocating is not an option? I believe you should seriously reconsider this given NYC is the most competitive market.

3) Try to at least clear the SIE exam, might help you to convince ppl you can clear the rest in the 1st month or so.

Not to sound to pessimistic but you were laid off (already a negative stigma), no relevant experience, no certifications, went to a non-target and you are targeting NYC only in a time when there are hundreds of laid off analyst that have much better background. I have been in a similar situation so don’t want to discourage you but you seem a little delusional to me and wanted to make sure you are aware that getting a high finance job rn will be tough. Also prob a good idea to start networking. Gl

 

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