How do years of experience impact my buy side job search?

By July 30, 2016Job Search

If you are younger, your years of experience do impact your buy side job search.

Recruiters typically put candidates into buckets based on their years of experience. The buckets are 1-2 years, 3-5 years, 5-7 years, 7-10 years, and 10 years plus. LinkedIn also uses these buckets to search people based on their experience.

Why do recruiters and LinkedIn use these buckets? Because they match the broad titles at an asset management firm or hedge fund. The titles they want to fill are junior analyst, analyst, senior analyst / vice president, portfolio manager, and executive / partner.

If you are targeting the junior analyst or analyst roles, the years of experience matter more. If you want to target a title that typically has 1-2 years less experience required, then there could be several issues. Would you be willing to take a step down in salary? Do you have the same stamina to meet project deadlines as someone younger than you? Do you mind reporting to a manager who could be younger than you?

These issues are why recruiters / firms are sensitive to hire within the work experience range at the junior analyst to senior analyst levels.

Work experience matters a lot less at the 10+ years level when the role to fill is at portfolio manager and above. The pay, stamina, reporting issues are non-existent. There are a lot fewer qualified candidates at this level, and the goal is to find the best talent.

Author Kelvin Jiang, CFA

Kelvin Jiang has a decade of investment experience in public equities, private equity, distressed debt, and leveraged finance. His journey spans across Calamos Investments, Thornburg Investment Management, CHS Capital, and J.P. Morgan. Throughout his career, Kelvin has screened and interviewed candidates extensively for the buy side. Kelvin earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management and graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University. He is a CFA Charterholder. In his spare time, Kelvin is an avid commentator on NBA trade rumors and Oscar-worthy performances.

More posts by Kelvin Jiang, CFA

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