Advice for Job Seekers

I'm posting this message because I'm sick and tired of people I don't know contacting me for a job. Based on the e-mails and voicemails I have received, I joined this website to find out if these individuals are members of this website. Not suprisingly, they are. I'm a professional so I won't name names. However, I'm going to provide some employment advice. It's not comprehensive but it has worked for some knuckleheads I have helped in the past and it'll work for you if you have patience and determination. If you don't, enjoy a lengthy unemployment!

1) Apply to as many jobs as possible on a career board like Monster or Indeed.

Yes, many people use this route and supposedly, recruiters miss qualified applicants. However, if you've been unemployed for six months or longer, can you afford not to?

2) Have a CLEAR understanding of the position you are considering and the required qualifications.

If you don't have any mathematics training or computer programming experience, then you are wasting your time applying for a quantitative analyst role.

Conversely, if you are interested in a leadership role and you apply for an entry level position with filing as its main requirement, don't expect an offer. You'll be boasting about your abilities to lead teams while the hiring manager just wants someone who can place files and documents in an orderly manner.

3) If you are a less than ideal applicant (i.e. GPA<3.5 acquired from a not-top academic institution, no impressive accomplishments nor internships), you can still become a candidate for a position by having SPECIAL skills.

These skills are typically not taught in academic institutions but are highly desired by many companies. I'm referring to SAS, MATLAB and other proprietary software.

If you are still in school, I highly recommend acquiring a license for at least one of these applications and learning how to use it on your own time or, if you have the funds, by paying for a course taught by that company (i.e. SAS). I highly recommend the latter because it potentially provides a networking opportunity.

If you aren't in school and don't have the funds, you can still learn these skills via Youtube.

4) Attend industry events with the intention of learning more about the subject matter than passing out resumes.

In fact, don't even bring any resumes. Work the room and ask people about their thoughts regarding the event. If people find you engaging, they'll automatically extend the conversation. It's the professional thing to do. Don't bring up your employment ambitions unless there's some type of opening. You'll look and sound creepy if we're talking about multi-level modeling and all of sudden you mention that you are looking for a new job and are flashing your resume in front of me.

Regardless of how the conversation goes, ALWAYS ask for a business card. Within a day, send a message regarding how you enjoyed meeting them and that you are looking forward to seeing them at future events. DON'T ask for job advice in this message. DON'T expect a response. If they do respond, DON'T constantly badger them for job advice. If they feel COMFORTABLE, they WILL EXTEND the olive branch.

Yes, some of this sounds more like dating advice than job hunting strategy. However, think of it this way. If you are seeking a date with a drooling mouth and your pants around your ankles, you'll be quicker to receive a restraining order than a call back. Remember, PLAY IT COOL AND DON'T BE ARROGANT. Even if THEY are RUDE to you, remain POLITE. People talk and if you're unemployed and desperate, you don't want to put yourself in a bigger hole

5) DON'T LIE ON YOUR RESUME!

Your resume is fair game so expect follow-up questions. I'll ask you what Beijing is like if you claimed to have won a gold medal in archery during the 2008 Summer games. I'll ask you about how to do triggers and counts if you indicate you have SQL knowledge. If in doubt of your expertise, leave it off your resume. People are looking for highly-qualified yet honest employees. Why start on the wrong foot by being a liar?

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I hope this advice has been helpful. Please feel free to send me any questions but I don't want any solicitations for jobs. Good luck.

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Comments (27)

Jul 18, 2011 - 9:59am
blastoise:
can i have your number op

Same here. I'm a student from bumfcuk U. w/ a basket weaving major, 0.04 GPA, no experience, a criminal record, and no credit history. Can you give me and my posse a job?
Get busy living
Jul 18, 2011 - 9:18am

KMZZ, SAS and MATLAB are unique to each other and widely used in various industries. Unless you are already an expert in both (I can a spot a faker a mile away if you'd like to test me), I highly recommend learning the two. A lot of people don't know how to use these applications. Personally, if you were a mediocre student but had a strong grasp of either one, I'd rank you as a top candidate.

Blastoise, please send me an e-mail if you have any additional questions. I can provide advice and direction to some extent. Remember though, if you are asking for a job from me... I'm going to blow you off.

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Jul 18, 2011 - 10:24am

I think this is an absolute shit post. Encouraging people to look for jobs via monster.com - really? Learning skills via youtube - really? Whatever I guess..advice on this forum gets shittier by the moment.

JD

"Jesus, he's like a gremlin; comes with instructions and shit"
  • 1
Jul 18, 2011 - 11:17am
JimmyDormandy:
I think this is an absolute shit post. Encouraging people to look for jobs via monster.com - really? Learning skills via youtube - really? Whatever I guess..advice on this forum gets shittier by the moment.

JD

If you like being cold-called or cold-emailed, have people approach you at the turnstile of your building just to submit their resumes like take-out menus, then I have a list of losers who love to have you help them out in getting a job.

Jul 18, 2011 - 11:22am
frankie:
JimmyDormandy:
I think this is an absolute shit post. Encouraging people to look for jobs via monster.com - really? Learning skills via youtube - really? Whatever I guess..advice on this forum gets shittier by the moment.

JD

If you like being cold-called or cold-emailed, have people approach you at the turnstile of your building just to submit their resumes like take-out menus, then I have a list of losers who love to have you help them out in getting a job.


Just pass them on to recruiters, that's what I do. This post is not going to stop people from trying to break into the industry...it attracts the most agressive and relentless people on earth. Hell, before I had a job, I used to walk up and down Wall Street talking to random people.
Get busy living
Jul 18, 2011 - 11:25am
smith12346:
I don't want a job, but I would love some resume advice....if willing?

^ I rest me case
Get busy living
Jul 18, 2011 - 11:29am
UFOinsider:
smith12346:
I don't want a job, but I would love some resume advice....if willing?

^ I rest me case

And I rest mine.

Because you are where you are and in a position to help others and use you knowledge to benefit others you should be. Everyone started somewhere and unless you got fed with a silver spoon...or in your case I assume golden...you were just as eager as others at one time.

Jul 18, 2011 - 1:00pm

how are you cold emailed all day? Most hedge funds (at least ones that aren't chop shops) barely have websites let alone email addresses of employees. Furthermore, how are you stalked walking into the building? Do you wear your firm's vest/fleece/whatever else type of clothing with firm name out of the building? If you hate being approached so much, don't be so fucking obvious. Regardless, don't come onto a forum that is supposed to help prospective monkeys and encourage them to not be proactive. Dumbass.

JD

"Jesus, he's like a gremlin; comes with instructions and shit"
  • 1
Jul 30, 2011 - 12:35am
JimmyDormandy:
how are you cold emailed all day? Most hedge funds (at least ones that aren't chop shops) barely have websites let alone email addresses of employees. Furthermore, how are you stalked walking into the building? Do you wear your firm's vest/fleece/whatever else type of clothing with firm name out of the building? If you hate being approached so much, don't be so fucking obvious. Regardless, don't come onto a forum that is supposed to help prospective monkeys and encourage them to not be proactive. Dumbass.

JD

ever heard of lexisnexis?

Jul 18, 2011 - 1:14pm

Rawrrrrrrrrr so much anger RAWRRR RAWRRR. Me cant ignore emails from little students. Me to important, dont bother me. RAwrrrrs.

That being said, Frankie DOES give good advice. What does he say that is so wrong? Get more skills? Network but dont sound like all you want to do is use them? Apply to jobs that you ARE qualified for? Dont lie on your resume? And use job boards... wtf is the problem with his advice? It is the same shit I see on here every single day from the same posters bitching about his advice now. Job boards are one of many tools that you should be using to get eyeballs on your resume.

Stupid.

Jul 18, 2011 - 2:42pm

Frankie's advice is overall solid. Don't see anything wrong with it. Still confused as to how he's getting cold call and e-mails constantly and getting stalked in his apartment building.

Jul 18, 2011 - 2:54pm

Yea, I agree. Just because he doesn't offer a JOB doesn't mean the ADVICE is horrible. I think anyone will tell you in networking it is essential to respect the counterpart y if they have something you really, badly want.

So just because he is a cocky and successful guy, and is not offering a job on a platter, no need to hate......

Jul 18, 2011 - 3:22pm

I am still waiting for you to tell me how you are harrassed in your building, as this makes no fucking sense. You aren't Steve Cohen and I highly doubt you are on the front page of the WSJ as a VP of a hedge fund, so how would strangers know who you are? Overall I think your attitude sucks and you should rethink your position on your seemingly unwillingness to help people break into the industry. The one thing I do agree with is that prospects take the wrong approach when simply asking a stranger for a job.

What sort of chip in your shoulder do you have? I agree cold-emailing can be annoying, but if it is a targeted, well - constructed approach, it is usually successful (albeit not necessary landing a job, but a least a phone call to offer advice, informational interviews, etc.)

When I receive cold emails, I certainly will take the time to examine them (and possibly respond) if the approach is correct. Yes, I have much more important things to do, but I can spare 5 minutes here and there as we are not curing cancer here. If it is a simple note asking for a job, it is pretty intuitive that it's a shitty approach, and I would hope most people on this board are bright enough to know this is a shit tactic - especially since it is highlighted to the point of exhaustion on numerous boards already.

"Jesus, he's like a gremlin; comes with instructions and shit"
  • 1
Jul 18, 2011 - 3:49pm

It really just depends on people's personalities. Those who have been given a break at one point in their lives are usually willing to give others a break too. I know I am, I usually respond to people's cold emails if the person seems qualified.

If you grew up upper middle class, coasted through on campus recruiting and live on the upper east side, you probably can't emphasize with those in more desperate situations.

Telling people to apply for high finance positions through monster.com? give me a break

Jul 18, 2011 - 5:10pm

This post is GAY. Can I still say that?

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time
Jul 18, 2011 - 5:18pm

I can confirm that after getting SAS Certified, you can get a 100K a year job at 23.

Jul 18, 2011 - 6:32pm

Wow I can't believe I read this far down. This thread is a waste of everybody's time and a testament to the arrogance it seems Frankie goes through life with. I mean who can't agree with what he says about people doing that, but way to give the most generic advice I've ever heard and still manage to sound pompous, YA DICK.

I'm a rising senior currently working on networking for a job for next year and I certainly do the things you mention and it's going well, but it's still ridiculous if you aren't from a target school and nobody in your family works on wall street. This advice is in line with what may work, but how about some better advice on what to do rather than what not to do? I.e. my friend the other day came up with a genius idea and posted it on here about us attending a career fair of a target school even though we don't go there. How about next time you get mad about these "tons of cold-callers" you write genius advice like that, or better if that's in your repertoise rather than ripping into the poor souls who probably spent hours searching before being pumped to come up with your contact information. (speaking of which: stop dodging JimmyDormandy's question because I think everybody that posted in here is confused about how you're such a celebrity that people are blowing up your phone all day--as a job hunter I've searched far and wide for such information and it's pretty hard to come by, so either stop being an arrogant dick to the people who go through such lengths to find you or do a fucking better job of concealing your identity).

Also, you say that people with lackluster academics/experience should acquire special skills like SAS that "aren't typically taught in institutions." Ahhhhhh wait a minute let's back that up there. SAS, one of the most prevalant, if not the most prevalent, statistical analysis software in the world ISN'T typically taught at institutions? Give me a fucking break the non-target school I go to taught me SAS, Java C++ and Mathematica (similar to MatLab but not as common-like I said it's a target school so I think we don't have MatLab because it's too expensive, even MORE of a testament to how common SAS is in upper-level educational institutions).
^--So far from my personal research I feel like Excel VBA is actually the most common programming application used on wall street, so how come we shouldn't be learning that 'SPECIAL' skill instead of SAS or something? Or is it because you think it's more unique? I feel like applicability is more important than your level of uniqueness, just saying.

"Read 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. Every battle is won before it is ever fought. Think about it." - Gordon Gekko
Jul 18, 2011 - 7:52pm

Well, unfortunately I believe that there are many Frankie's out there. So don't bash him; you may not like his attitude but he represents the attitudes of a lot of managers. That being said, I have a few questions for you Frankie....

  1. I've always wondered why managers/business professionals don't like active job seeking during networking events. I mean, everybody knows that everybody wants something (good old Eurythmics). And isn't that what business is all about? So what is so wrong about being straight forward about wanting a job? I mean, be cool and discretely express yours smarts, but also express that you're in the job market and interested in your conversation partner's given industry (if you are, of course). What are your thoughts Frankie?

  2. I've had two internships now, and I've read a lot of job seeking. Primarily, I've heard that learning specific programs (Bloomberg, Metlab, SAS, QRM, etc) isn't the best use of your time/money because they are so specific to the given company and those skills can be learned so quickly on the job. I mean if you're a legit expert, that's one thing, but if you just are familiar then well its a small plus. What are your thoughts on that, Frankie?

(**I think he is really right about the YouTube comment. Unless you love class and have $2Blow, why take a class teaching you about a program you don't KNOW you'll ever use? That sounds more dumb than spending a few hours watching Metlab tutorials.)

Thanks for the response.

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