Private Equity Resume Template - Official WSO CV Example

WallStreetOasis.com's picture
WallStreetOasis.com - Certified Professional
Rank: The Pro | banana points 36,342

Attached to the bottom of this post, you will find the Wall Street Oasis private equity resume template for experienced professionals, used by the WSO paid service and thousands of candidates to successfully land a job in private equity.

For those of you with deal or project experience coming from Investment Banking or Management Consulting and looking to make sure your private equity CV is polished for those competitive buyside jobs in private equity and hedge funds, we have a great sample resume you can now use free of charge (attached to this post below).

We hope this clean format gives you an even bigger edge in recruiting (besides being members of WSO :-). Also, don't forget that our private equity interview prep guide is now available after years in the making (here)!

As I mentioned earlier in the week when we released the investment banking resume template for undergraduates, we think the WSO templates give you a lot more flexibility on spacing. It's tough to condense all of your deal experience into a coherent summary, so we hope this is helpful. (Check out the Private Equity Interview Prep Pack for a guide that will teach you all you need to know for your private equity interviews.)

This is the PE resume sample we use in all of our the WSO resume reviews with experienced buyside professionals.

This particular banking resume sample is for experienced hires, not undergraduates. You should also not take these bullets since they just being used as placeholders / examples and aren't that strong.

Resume Questions in Private Equity Interviews

There's one very important aspect of your resume that pertains to private equity: deal experience. Plenty of people make it into private equity without much deal experience. (Keep in mind that much of private equity recruiting occurs within a few months of one's investment banking analyst stint.) If you do have deal experience, it should be a highlight of your resume. Here's some great insight from @Candor, a private equity associate.

Candor - Private Equity Associate:

The single most important part of your interviewing experience with PE firms will be your deal experience. I would say a solid 30% of every single interview I had was spent talking about my deal in depth. If you don't have an announced M&A deal on your resume, or you don't have an unannounced deal you feel comfortable talking about on a very granular level, I don't see what you would talk about in your interviews.

I was incredibly fortunate to have a $1-2bn sell-side on my resume that got announced two months before everything started (conveniently, right when I met with the headhunters). I think it was the single most important factor in me landing the interviews (and ultimately the jobs) that I received. If I hadn't had an announced M&A deal on my resume, I likely would have waited until next year to go through the process.

PE Resume Format, Spacing, and Font

Spacing and font size go hand in hand. While it's recommended that you keep the bullet font at 10 and replace the bullets with content of roughly similar size, you can change it to font 11 if you need to fill more space with less. Don't drop the font to 9. At that point, the resume will become too cluttered and won't have enough white space. Moving it up to 11 is tolerable, but if you're applying for private equity positions, filling the resume shouldn't be an issue in the first space. The ratio between content and white space is optimal as it stands.

Typically, format is a question of major relevance to people during private equity. Lucky for you, you've found yourself on this page. Format is already set; just fill in the blanks.

What should I put on my Private Equity Interview Resume?

Arguably the most important aspect of your resume, since you're already set as far as formatting goes, is the bullet points, which make up the content of the resume. Here's what you need to know for the bullets on your private equity resume, courtesy of @upod01, an investment banking analyst.

upod01 - Investment Banking Analyst:

Try to quantify some of your experience. In the case that you do not have a quantifiable metric, focus on how you outperformed and any results you achieved.

Example of something great to put on a resume: "Helped create first-time access to life-changing technologies, products, and services for isolated villagers through locally-owned, managed, and sustainable (profitable) entrepreneurial solutions." Not so great: "Assisted with move-ins and move-out of tenants." You see my point.

Number of Resume Pages for PE Interview

This one should be a no-brainer, it's more so a universal rule than a question specific to PE resumes. Don't ever go over a single page! It doesn't matter how much relevant experience you have or how many skills you have, keep it to one page. If you want justification, here it is from @upod01, an investment banking analyst.

How to Break Into Private Equity? Use the WSO Interview Course

Private equity recruiting is ten times more cut-throat than anything you've ever experienced before. If you want to break into private equity, you need to be well-practiced in the technical aspects of the interview. The package is worth well more than the $299 price; the job prospects you set yourself up for are worth far more than $299.

PE Interview Course Here

A couple of quick notes:

  • Please feel free to share this post and pass it along to friends.
  • If you're looking for our resume for undergraduate investment banking, click here.
  • Remember, if you are looking for real finance professionals to help you structure and word your resume bullets and experiences, please consider our industry leading resume editing service, specifically targeted towards investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, trading, management consulting, and other finance resumes. Our testimonials speak for themselves: www.wallstreetoasis.com/wso-finance-resume-review :-)

Hi Anonymous Monkey, upload your resume and land a job

Members that upload a resume get 2.3x the number of interview invites through the Talent Oasis. Learn more.

Comments (71)

Feb 14, 2014

You really are the man

    • 1
Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

Mar 15, 2014

Looks cool. As expected, Education becomes last on the list (as opposed to graduates resumes), also, skipping the objectives.

People often ask for a Deal sheet, but I keep that separate and only make it available on demand

    • 1
Mar 28, 2014

Is skipping the objectives section advisable when looking for internships?

Edit: never mind, just saw the link to the undergrad one. I wonder if it's advisable for engineering internships.

Mar 28, 2014

most professional resume reviewers will tell you to include an objective statement at the top of the resume. finance industry based on my experience is one of the few places where it's expected for you to go without one...so my guess is for engineering internships, probably best to include one. good luck!

Jul 15, 2016

I got plenty of interviews without an objective during undergrad, even outside of finance.

Jul 15, 2016
dionysian:

Is skipping the objectives section advisable when looking for internships?

Edit: never mind, just saw the link to the undergrad one. I wonder if it's advisable for engineering internships.

When you're applying for a job your objective is to get the job. What purpose is there to state "my objective is to get a job in blah" when you're literally applying for a job as that?

    • 2
Dec 8, 2016

I wouldn't include unless you're in need to fill space. I never had an objective statement and landed many interviews and internships. By sending the resume it shows what your objective is... to get the internship. Lose the objective and fill that space with more relevant or interesting information that can separate you from the rest. good luck!

Mar 28, 2014

I know it's nitpicky, but do you guys usually include relevant coursework? is it worth 2-3 lines of that vs adding more detail about past job specifics?

Mar 30, 2014

really depends on the person. If you feel there are 1-2 bullets being left out to make room for that relevant experience, then yes, you can remove it, but I still think only a few years out of school it can show that you were focused and studied relevant courses (this can especially be useful if the position you are applying to is more related to a course you took vs. your actual professional experience).

I'd still argue that less is more, and unless you can quantify the action and results from your prior experiences, another boring bullet about how you "helped coordinate meetings" is less value-add. These bullets are placeholders and should not be used as good examples since they are just "ok"...ideally you can quantify and show your impact more.

Hope that helps,
Patrick

    • 1
May 7, 2014

Hey Patrick,

The one thing that I was wondering is--do we really include club experience from College? Don't get me wrong I loved that, but I always thought once I left that I would be excluding it from my resume, much like I excluded my HS stuff once I moved on to college.

May 7, 2014

again, the bullets are just placeholders.

If the leaderships experience is particularly impressive in college, you can keep some of it on, but should shorten this section if that is all you have. Ideally, you've taken on some leadership roles post college (associations, charities, etc) so you can replace your college leadership experience with something more recent

Jul 1, 2014

I will download this for future endeavor.

You da real MPV. May you - and this amazing forum - live long and prosper.

    • 1
Aug 25, 2015

Would you put Series 79/63 under certifications, or is this implied with the deal experience?

Feb 16, 2016

NA

Mar 28, 2016

Even though none of these resume apply to my situation there is still something to take away from them that can be used to improve my resume. THX

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

    • 2
Mar 28, 2016

what are you asking for exactly?

Mar 28, 2016
ibd_analyst:

what are you asking for exactly?

Resumes. I definitely omitted that from my post. My bad.

Mar 28, 2016

Nobody?

Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

May 12, 2016

Would you include college internships under work experience? Say you worked in boutique PE as a sophmore, then BB as a junior, and then went FT to that same BB - would it be alright to list the BB experience and the boutique PE experience (to show you've done PE before?)

Best Response
Jun 3, 2016

Typically, you list your relevant internships until you no longer need them - i.e. you've been promoted a time or two and your positions no longer all fit on one page. In your example, your professional experience section would look something like:

  • BB Analyst 2016-Present
  • BB Summer Analyst May 2015-August 2015
  • Boutique PE Summer Analyst May 2014-August 2014

Eventually, it would look something like:

  • Vice President 2020-Present
  • Associate 2018-2020
  • Analyst 2016-2018

You would cut the internship stints because you no longer "need" them on there and there's no reason to have a multi-page resume until you're running companies.

    • 5
Aug 30, 2016

Brilliant.... absolutely brilliant!

Oct 11, 2017

Given how early headhunters are reaching out these days for on-cycle recruiting, any advice on how to fill up the resume when it's likely you've barely gotten started on your first staffing?

Oct 24, 2017

Not easy, but I think having something like generic responsibilities under your Work Experience is fine...once you have a few pitches or one live deal, it does become much easier.

Until then, the only major difference from your college resume is to flip order of Education with Work Experience and maybe remove ~1-2 internships if needed for space.

If you only have ~3-4 bullets for the new job and no transactions to list (yet), then I'd assume recruiters would understand why :-)

Jan 21, 2018

How would you recommend listing a position held at a portfolio company? I'm currently a PE Analyst, but also simultaneously serve as the Director of BI at one of our platform companies. The two positions have quite different responsibilities.

Also ----

At my previous firm, I was given three titles within two years (due to promotions - it was a less structured environment). Would you recommend listing each separately under the company, choosing the last title, or?

Basically, as it stands, I've had five different titles, at two firms, over the past 2.5-3 years post-undergrad.

Mar 11, 2018

How much detail should we put when describing a banking deal? Also, should I only list deals where I was the main analyst?

    • 1
Mar 11, 2018

Should I list what my bonus was too?

Mar 30, 2018

Hi, hoping I get a reply. I was wondering if I should inculde my current part-time barista job on my CV. I already have a lot of other finance related stuff on my cv which is quite enough to fill the page. I was just wondering if I should include the part-time job simply because I am currently employed there. Pls help!

Mar 30, 2018

My banking stint is now 2 short bullets. My first PE gig is also significantly shortened. It kind of just depends what you want to emphasize...my current role takes up the most space as there's more interesting stuff to talk about

Mar 30, 2018

that's a good post, although i feel it's applicable for any job. the more detail you can provide, the more legitimate your accomplishments look. along with quantifying your experience, you also want to make sure that you can speak about why any certain deal worked for buyer x or seller y.

in my opinion, your resume is less than half the battle if you're trying to get into pe. i know this goes without saying, but networking is essential.

Mar 30, 2018

Yeah, I definitely think networking is key and something I should have done more of when I was recruiting. I relied on headhunters way too much rather than being proactive.

Am I correct in assuming that only the "unique" parts of the deal are worth writing about? That's the guideline I've used in the past, but not sure how others view this.

Mar 30, 2018

kinda goes hand-in-hand with citing specifics. if you can talk intelligently about a deal and how/why it worked (i.e. unique situations, creative financing, etc.) it sounds a ton better than simply stating "i worked with associate to develop financial model and investment memorandum for deal X"

Mar 30, 2018

I'm tempted to do a PE interviewing/networking guide now, too bad I'm not really an expert on networking for PE as I used headhunters way too much.

Think there's anything different about networking into PE jobs vs. banking jobs?

Mar 30, 2018

Dosk, just read your resume guide. I think what you have is good, but out of the whole thing, you only really give two or three pieces of advice! You may want to expand it to cover more of the resume or dig in deeper as to what kind of tasks are impressive to a private equity interviewer.

Also, on a side note, I read your "Boutique Investment Bank" blurb. Must admit, I was rather offended by the comment: "The only situation where you might want to pick a boutique instead is if you have offers from multiple banks, are reasonably confident the boutique will give you good work, and just like the people or work environment a lot more after thorough investigation." This is a very poor piece of advice which is, I'm guessing, heavily biased ...

Mar 30, 2018

And to clarify, when I say "boutique" I mean a true regional boutique, not the likes of Evercore/Lazard etc.

I have friends who have gone to these places and on the whole they have not had good experiences, though some have.

I would be dishonest if I told people to pick a regional boutique because they thought it would give them better work experience, a higher salary, or better "exit opportunities."

As I said in the post, the bottom line is that it is very random, much more so than going to a larger place.

Sorry if I offended you, but I stand by my advice that it is generally a safer bet to go to a bulge bracket, top boutique, or even middle-market vs. going to a regional boutique for most people.

PM me if you want to discuss further and I can explain a bit more behind my thinking here.

Thanks for the thoughts on the PE resume piece. It's hard to generalize what specific tasks the recruiters like; generally they want to see lots of modeling experience and really strong analytical abilities. I'll see if I can add anymore detail, but again based on my own experiences and friends' experiences recruiting, I do think it's highly dependent on someone's own experiences.

Mar 30, 2018

Without trying to hijack the original purpose of this thread, I will say that I agree with Dosk from the perspective that a lot of people choose boutiques for the wrong reasons (that also happen to be the BS people tend to feed interviewers during MM boutique interviews). Things like "smaller deal teams" or "more hands on experience" or "tighter knit culture" or "more client interaction." I mean, to be honest, I have friends at places like William Blair, Piper, HLHZ, BMO, Sagent, Cowen, etc. and their experience is no qualitatively better than what I got at a BB.

The biggest misconception about BB's (for some people, I mean) is that you become just a face in the crowd and nobody cares about you. Well, it's true, as an analyst you are a replacable commodity, but that holds true whether it be Goldman or Goldsmith Agio. In terms of smaller deal teams, the biggest deal team I was ever on was 6 people. I was never on a team with more than one analyst, and only once was I on a team with two associates (but for a $19 billion dollar sellside, understandable). Was I face in the crowd? Maybe, but D's and MD's from Sponsors, Lev Fin, ECM, and converts all knew my name. As a group associates and analysts routinely went out, sometimes with VP's. Directors took analysts out to lunch and on gambling excursions. Client interaction? As a second year, I traveled half of the East Coast leg of an IPO roadshow with management by myself.

Even if you got all this at a regional boutique (and not many I've spoken to have - instead my friends at Piper are stuck doing co-managed equity follow-ons), you wouldn't get the name recognition and the recruiting advantages of the BB. That's why I would always advise a kid with two offers to take the BB.

I'll never forget interviewing at a regional boutique, feeding my interviewer the usual about why this boutique over the other BB's. I think I mentioned something about how I wanted to be at a place where you weren't put into the grinder for two years and spit out, and that I wanted to actually get something out of my experience. The MD interviewing me replied "well, to be honest, we'll grind you up and spit you out in two years here, so what then?" All I could do was babble on about the other intangibles to working in smaller organization, but in my head I was thinking "he's right. Why would I ever choose this over a bulge?"

Mar 30, 2018

Well, I must say, myself and those working alongside me are having a drastically different experience than you have described. I do work at a very reputable MM firm, but I don't think that matters considering MMs and boutiques always get thrown together. I won't get into the details, but all of the "smaller shop" reasons have proved true in addition to things I would never have thought of. Maybe we're the exception to the rule, but my first deal is set to close by the end of the month, and I'm currently engaged on another live deal (not to mention I'm slated to take over an addition one when our 2nd years leave). Oh, and, one of our third years has closed nine deals so far (and we put one analyst per deal team). I promise you his experience has far exceeded anything he could have obtained at a BB.

Anyways, just some food for thought, not attempting to strike up an argument, especially on a topic discussed as heavily already as this one. I understand your points, I just don't think that is the correct message to be sending all of the starry-eyed college students out there.

Mar 30, 2018

I definitely see your point, and here's not to say a well known MM or regional boutique can't be just as good as an experience or better than a BB. For a kid who hasn't summered at either bank he has offers from (1 being BB, 1 being MM or boutique) I compare the BB experience to a pretty expensive chain restaurant - no matter where you go, you know the food will be pretty good and you'll have a good dining experience (and once in a while, the chef will hit the ball out of the park - for example, my friend in a BB satellite office has closed 4 multi-billion dollar deals, including one of the largest LBO's of 2006). Alot of boutiques (especially regional ones) I compare to the random restaurant you walked by on 53rd - you have no idea how good it might be, it could be the next hidden gem, or it could be completely terrible. At a BB, you know the experience may not be the best, but you know it will be good, and you'll have good opportunities.

One of my bset friends is at HLHZ in New York. He is having a great experience and he's always excited to go into work every morning. I'd argue that HLHZ is one of the best MM banks out there. If he wanted to go to KKR next year, could he? A possibility. As a top ranked analyst from HLHZ, is it possible that he'd get passed over in the recruiting process by a somewhat mediocre analyst from say, Morgan Stanley? Quite possible. But regardless, I don't think he cares because he has no interest in PE and I think he'd be just as happy being promoted to associate. So for him, great choice. For Joe CollegeSenior who has no idea, it's much more objective.

Mar 30, 2018
GameTheory:

I definitely see your point, and here's not to say a well known MM or regional boutique can't be just as good as an experience or better than a BB. For a kid who hasn't summered at either bank he has offers from (1 being BB, 1 being MM or boutique) I compare the BB experience to a pretty expensive chain restaurant - no matter where you go, you know the food will be pretty good and you'll have a good dining experience (and once in a while, the chef will hit the ball out of the park - for example, my friend in a BB satellite office has closed 4 multi-billion dollar deals, including one of the largest LBO's of 2006). Alot of boutiques (especially regional ones) I compare to the random restaurant you walked by on 53rd - you have no idea how good it might be, it could be the next hidden gem, or it could be completely terrible. At a BB, you know the experience may not be the best, but you know it will be good, and you'll have good opportunities.

One of my bset friends is at HLHZ in New York. He is having a great experience and he's always excited to go into work every morning. I'd argue that HLHZ is one of the best MM banks out there. If he wanted to go to KKR next year, could he? A possibility. As a top ranked analyst from HLHZ, is it possible that he'd get passed over in the recruiting process by a somewhat mediocre analyst from say, Morgan Stanley? Quite possible. But regardless, I don't think he cares because he has no interest in PE and I think he'd be just as happy being promoted to associate. So for him, great choice. For Joe CollegeSenior who has no idea, it's much more objective.

Damn, you took a God damned sledgehammer and hit the nail right on the head with it. This is some real talk.

Mar 30, 2018

I'll also add (as a random afterthought) that while nine closed deals is truly impressive, and one disadvantage to doing large, "elephant" deals is their volatility, when it comes to PE recruiting oftentimes one good announced transaction is all you really need. And sometimes, one excellent transaction can provide you with better experience than doing multiple transactions of relatively the same nature (i.e. all sellside M&A). One of the guys in my group worked on what I like to call the group's "landmark" deal for the year (you know, the one's the senior guys always point to tombstone-wise in pitches). Without going into too much detail, it involved a sell-side opportunity that we passed on to pursue the buyside. The seller elected to go private (with financing provided by 2 major competitors), resulting in a massive break-up fee and a 60 day go-shop. We took our client (a strategic) in a semi-friendly unsolicited bid past the break-up fee (and taking the financing along the way). So in one transaction this guy was able to get experience with a proxy battle, a large strategic merger, syndicated term loan, and a bond offering. Arguably the best experience I've ever seen an analyst get out of one deal - and it landed him at a top-tier PE.

Mar 30, 2018

GameTheory, that was a great analogy with the restaurants. That has been my argument all along - going to a small boutique is completely random, whereas even a good MM and definitely BB firms are much more of a "sure thing."

Also, you don't even really need any closed deals to get a PE job. I've closed quite a few so far, but I've actually gotten better experience from some deals that have not closed or deals that have fallen apart!

That deal you wrote above sounds like a great experience. I don't have anything that impressive, but I would add that some of my smaller deals are actually better to speak to in interviews rather than larger deals just because I contributed more personally or the deal was out of the ordinary (distressed asset sales, for example), etc.

Mar 30, 2018

Definitely, personal involvement is a huge factor in your learning process and interviews (kind of a "Captain Obvious" statement on my part). This particular deal involved an M&A team (they dropped off after the merger closed), and a LevFin team (associate and analyst, but analyst dropped off or left the bank, can't remember). On top of that, the analyst from my group (the industry group) was a top performer and took on alot of of the responsibility himself. It only cost him a few years off of his life and his (ex) girlfriend.

Me personally, I only had two announced deals when I interviewed, and only spoke to 1 of them - a fairly large LBO that probably would have been one of the biggest if it had been done in 2005, but nothing like 2006 and 2007.

Mar 30, 2018

I combine both methods

Mar 30, 2018

well then it doesn't fit on one page

Mar 30, 2018

I used #2 when I went through recruiting, but I've seen both. When I review banker resumes, I don't really read the bullets -- I know what the job entails.

Mar 30, 2018

A little more than half of my resume talks about my current banking experience, about 1/4 is my school / personal stuff, and the rest is left for my internships. The page is full but I have bullets at the top and deals listed.

Mar 30, 2018

thanks for the replies, anyone else?

Mar 30, 2018

it depends. have you had a lot of transaction experience and closed deals? if so i would list each deal separately and list the specifics of each deal. interviews would flow better that way as the interviewer would likely ask you to speak in more detail on one/two of the deals. maybe im biased but if i see bullets that just list transactions, i'm not able to assume that you've taken on a lot of responsibility.

Mar 30, 2018
bankergirl:

it depends. have you had a lot of transaction experience and closed deals? if so i would list each deal separately and list the specifics of each deal. interviews would flow better that way as the interviewer would likely ask you to speak in more detail on one/two of the deals. maybe im biased but if i see bullets that just list transactions, i'm not able to assume that you've taken on a lot of responsibility.

...speaking from my own PE recruiting experience. #1 worked well for me.

Mar 30, 2018

It depends. If you work on M&A deals, go with option 2; if you worked on mostly financing/underwriting deals, go with option 1.

Mar 30, 2018

i have closed a number of deals, mostly M&A, and although I see the reasoning on just listing all the deals, I think option #1 looks better, especially if you have good specific talking points.

Mar 30, 2018

5 classes and 50 hr/week job? 4.0 gpa?

Do you sleep?

Mar 30, 2018

.

Mar 30, 2018

..gpa is very important at the early stages as are SAT scores so yes you should put your gpa on your resume otherwise it may seem like you are covering something up

these factors become less important once you're 5 or so years out.

that said, sub-3.5 gpas can be easily overcome with a good brand name, relevant and solid deal experience, and a strong network. along with the proper sales pitch in interviews.

I'm making it up as I go along.

Mar 30, 2018

thanks. helpful.

Mar 30, 2018

The SAT is still relevant after college?!?

Can I put my GMAT score instead? They're about similar percentiles, I just think it'd be "too much" to have both on the resume, and the GMAT is so much more recent.

Mar 30, 2018

Gmat on the resume only if above 700 right?

Mar 30, 2018

Yes definitely. You should also be borrowing a friend's template or, less ideally, a headhunter's.

Mar 30, 2018
butt_tighthole:

Hey monkeys first post longtime lurker. I'm having some difficulty formulating a concise description of my duties for a pe internship I'm currently completing. I've worked on one deal where i analyzed the pro-forma projections of this project and created a due diligence outlook of potential problems. another where i created a model for a potential acquisition and another where I've been researching an specific sector of an industry by doing comps etc. I know i probably sound like a halfwit for asking for help with this but I'm really struggling with creating a short concrete description of what I'm doing.

What are you having trouble with?

You can try writing something like "Analyzed pro-forma projections of XXX in order to determine accuracy of financial statements"

Mar 30, 2018
Mar 30, 2018
    • 1
Sep 11, 2018