Lateral PE Resume and Recruiting Tips

I'm currently a senior associate at a PE fund looking to potentially lateral in the next 6-12 months (may depend on whether I get promoted or not). I'm thinking about starting discussions with headhunters in the next month or two. I've seen a lot of resume templates for consultants / bankers looking to break into PE but haven't really seen many experienced PE resumes. I'll reach out to friends at other funds but don't want to raise any eyebrows by asking people at my current fund. I thought I'd reach out to this forum to get some advice.

How much detail do you include for the deals that you work on? Do you keep the descriptions relatively high level and then save the details for your interviews? Do funds have any preference for deal vs. portfolio company experience? I've included some example bullets in relation to a portfolio company I inherited when I joined, for reference.

  • Created new KPI dashboard that was circulated weekly to the management team and board of directors
  • Constructed cash flow model to forecast company's liquidity needs during pandemic and trained CFO to update model
  • Worked directly with CEO to develop optimal, modified compensation plan for key management team members
  • Built sell-side funds flow including purchase price walk and proceeds schedules in connection with sale 

Any recommendations around how best to prepare? Not sure what level of granularity might be expected in interviews but I'm planning to make some write-ups for my deals / portfolio companies detailing the following:

  • Initial investment thesis
  • Market overview
  • Underwriting model assumptions and drivers
  • Financial performance over time
  • Key initiatives undertaken during our hold
  • What went well vs. what went wrong
  • COVID impact
  • Outcome (if applicable)
  • How I added value to the team
  • Reflection on what I would have done differently

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Comments (7)

  • Consultant in Consulting
Jan 24, 2022 - 11:30am

Not too different from the IB -> PE one where you want to highlight specific deals to give relevant case studies of your work. This is the same deal as that. If you want to highlight non-deal stuff you can always add another section ("notable operating experience" or "sourcing" etc.) beyond just "select transaction experience". As long as it doesn't get too busy. For templates, you could try and grab an MBA program's resume book which will have a ton of examples in it (although admittedly will be pretty template).

Jan 24, 2022 - 10:29pm
bradyfanatic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

OP - I am in the exact same boat (finishing up my 3rd year in a 3 year pre-MBA program at a MM PE firm).  Feel free to PM me to discuss more, I essentially just "launched" my recruiting process.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Jan 25, 2022 - 9:29am

Made a lateral move a couple years ago - VPs at my prior fund were supportive so relied quite a bit on their guidance and looked at their resumes as examples.  Some of the items you've listed (funds flow, comp plan) are lower value add imo.  To the extent you can reference managing third parties, running entire diligence streams, post-close portco initiatives, drafting LOIs, marking up / negotiating legal docs etc. shows more of a VP level mindset.

In terms of prep, think you're hitting on all the right points.  In general, know your deals inside and out (basically have your investment memo down from sale process dynamics to the NWC trends).  On top of that though, make sure you can speak to VP-level responsibilities (negotiating docs, LOIs, third parties, etc.)

  • 7
Mar 16, 2022 - 7:12pm
hype2millennium, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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