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Myths About Recruiting For The Buyside

Recruiting For The Buyside
  • I went to a non-target, I will never be able to break in
    • Not true — we work with many tartargetst also non-target individuals. You have to have faith and really put in the work. If that means pinging 100 people on a Sunday afternoon at 5pm with custom emails with add-ons for the portfolio company that they sit on the board on — then so be it. These days, I would argue non-targets sometimes will be more coveted than target individuals because firms want HUNGER and it happens more often than not that the ones that break in from non-targets generally end up being more HUNGRY


  • I have to wait for headhunters to reach out to me
    • Only partially true, this is a very reactive strategy — what we recommend is to focus on an actively engaging proactive strategy as well — if you’ve been speaking with 1-2 headhunters already, doesn’t hurt to ping others over email/LinkedIn saying — “Hope all is well, I’ve been connecting with peers of yours around opportunities in the UMM (upper middle-market) PE space — do you have a few minutes to chat over the phone this week?” Sure sometimes it might not work but you have to understand that these headhunters are effectively middle-men and women and make money every time they place someone to their clients (the “Buyside”) which means that they want to speak with as many qualified candidates as possible and send their clients the top of the top (aka you just have to figure out how to not waste their time and make them see that you are of quality — want a surefire way to success? Get an OfficeHours Coach to run you through our PE Curriculum!)


  • Megafunds just isn’t attainable for me
    • Depends on your background but if you network hard enough, genuinely ping people cold with the methods described above — explain why your MM experience parlays to working at a larger-cap shop or maybe why your favorite color has been Apollo green since the day you were born — it might work in your favor. These days, you’d be surprised how many people are deterred from working at megafunds because many aren’t necessarily attracted by financial compensation anymore and want worklife balance. Megafunds will as a matter of fact have less worklife balance so if you go in HUNGRY and showing that you want it, you might end up with the opportunity to interview


  • I went to a target, I have friends in the industry — I don’t need to pay for OfficeHours
    • It’s awesome to have one-off friends to mock interview with, it’s awesome to have one-off friends to go to the gym with however what works for a single individual doesn’t mean that it will work for you. We’ve developed a surefire way of recruiting that works for MOST. While you know you’re good (Harvard, Yale, Wharton) — you also understand that this world is HYPER-COMPETITIVE and whatever edge you can get in it, you might as well take it


  • I can just wing interviews, I got into banking — how difficult can this be?
    • There are 20,000 Investment Bankers out there and yet only less than 2,000 Buyside Associate Positions. This is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT BALLGAME. What worked for banking i.e. memorizing PDFs, being involved in school clubs, summer internships that turn into full-time opportunities will NOT work for PE — expect this to be breaking into the Pros vs. Playing D1 — sure you’re better positioned, but how many athletes from D1 schools actually make it Pro? Now which actually make it Pro to teams that you care about? i.e. you don’t want to just end up at any firm right?


  • Headhunters will give me another chance if I mess up this first round of interviews, right?
    • NOT TRUE — if you mess up with a client of a headhunters bad, that feedback will come back to the headhunter sometimes in a super blunt manner being like “wow, X was not of caliber quality — how did they make the cut?” This is now on the Headhunter to make sure they NEVER SHOW YOU OPPORTUNITIES AGAIN since you made them look really bad… understand that it’s all a reputation game and you don’t want to be on the bad side of that reputation.


Are you preparing for the buyside? Schedule a call now with our top coaches or submit your application directly here and we’ll be in touch! Our experienced coaches will work with you to set and achieve your goals and provide support and guidance along the way.

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