I believe I'm a strong candidate, having a lot of trouble with recruiting

crabcakes3562's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

Hey WSO!
It's my first post so let me introduce myself; my name is crabcakes and I've just graduated with a degree in finance (I'm in Australia so target schools aren't a massive thing here). Graduated with okay grades, not great but not bad by any means.

A bit of a run-down on me:
- Worked 18 months (full-time) at a wealth management firm while going to night school (also full time)
- Interned at a private equity fund in the US (no return offer, I took the internship with the understanding they would not be able to offer me full-time since they
just finished a big round of recruiting)
- Was part of a student run hedge fund where I met a lot of people in the industry and have tried using those contacts for networking.

Now here's the problem:
I've just graduated and I am STRUGGLING in the recruiting process. I've applied for jobs left and right, have had like 2 interviews (one at a PE fund which ghosted me). All of the people I've networked with have told me I'm not doing anything wrong, I should just keep applying.

I feel like I should be a strong candidate? I've got full-time experience is something (remotely) related to finance? I've had a bit of deal experience? I'm networking but that doesn't seem to lead anywhere? I know it's a process but I've been applying/networking seriously for atleast 6 months now (graduated a month ago) and I honestly feel like I'm no closer to a job I want. Honestly, the only reason I can think off for not getting jobs/interviews is my name (I have a very foreign sounding name even though I'm a native English speaker with full working rights).

So what do I do? I've had a call from a BB for a middle office role (market risk analyst for their AM business). Should I take this (assuming I get it), work on my CFA and then try going through the recruiting process again next year?

Comments (4)

Sep 6, 2019

Some clarifying questions:
1) What do you mean by "wealth management" and what did you do during this WM stint? This will heavily affect the value of this experience on your resume.

2) When is the banking/finance hiring cycle in Australia? If the hiring season has passed, there's really nothing much you can do but wait for the next cycle, which should be about now.

3) Did you set your bar too high? Did you apply for only "top-tier" companies? What sort of roles did you apply for?

4) The AM market risk position is a good option, and definitely possible to leverage the experience + CFA to head to a front office position. But what sort of job do you really want?

    • 1
Sep 6, 2019

1) What do you mean by "wealth management" and what did you do during this WM stint? This will heavily affect the value of this experience on your resume.

I worked at a small firm so I basically helped the other FA's manage their clients (didn't have my own due to regulatory requirements). But I basically helped writing statements of advice, executed trades on clients behalf, did any odd bits of paperwork needed, liaised with lawyers/accountants etc

2) When is the banking/finance hiring cycle in Australia? If the hiring season has passed, there's really nothing much you can do but wait for the next cycle, which should be about now.

Full-time recruiting happens earlier in the year (from around Mar-June) as far as I'm aware

3) Did you set your bar too high? Did you apply for only "top-tier" companies? What sort of roles did you apply for?

Maybe? I applied for all the BB's, EB's but also a bunch of boutiques and mid markets. I was hoping to do IB (DCM) but I really enjoyed my time at the PE fund and I'd love to go straight into the busyide if possible. I've mainly applied for IB roles so far though

4) The AM market risk position is a good option, and definitely possible to leverage the experience + CFA to head to a front office position. But what sort of job do you really want?

Ideally I'd like to work in IB DCM but again I'm very interested in credit. If it was working at an AM that does credit that would be cool too. At this stage, I'm not that picky on the specific job. I just want something that will give me good experience. I know I'm being very open ended but I really just want to gain experience and learn as much as possible.

Sep 6, 2019

Did you do any sort of security analysis during your WM stint? Any investment recommendations? If you did, try to reduce the client servicing/reporting stuff on your resume and expand a lot more on the technical stuff you did.

Not too sure about the IB job market in Australia, but I always recommend folks to apply for a broader set of roles so that employment odds will be increased. You can always aspire toward certain firm/positions but the reality is very often, things just won't go our way.

Right now I think the best thing to do would be to do your best for the BB AM interview and secure it, while keeping an eye out for off-cycle opportunities. If all else fails, the AM market risk role would put a BB name on your resume, and market risk could be a good starting point to initiate conversation for opportunities on the public markets investment side of things.

    • 2
Sep 7, 2019
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