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The Two Most Effective Ways for Finding a Job in Finance

There are two main ways of finding a job, the networking way and the “Apocalypse” way

Networking your way into a job

This may be the most important rule: you have to put yourself out there and reach out to everyone who is even barely connected to you. There are plenty of reasons why you need to network, including:

  1. To figure out what you want to do (Rule #2)
  2. To get helpful advice on finding a job in that industry
  3. To get more helpful contacts in that industry (that may help you find a job)
  4. If you work it right, you’ll have a mentor outside of your firm, that can give you unbiased opinions
  5. When you’re ready to leave your first job, you might have an in at another firm.

Now let’s focus on how you find people to network with. People are helpful by nature if they have time, and you know what you want to get out meeting. There is an infinite amount of places you can find networking contacts: your career center, your fraternity alumni, your university alumni, church, sports organizations, etc. Be bold and step up.

Now let’s talk about how to take those contacts and utilize them for finding a job.

The first step after you make the list, is to request an informational interview from ALL of them. This is typically a low pressure request, because you’re not asking for a job, you just want to know more about their industry/career.

The informational interview

The main goal of the informational interview is to put yourself in your contact’s mind. If a contact likes you, he’ll remember you. Ask questions not only related to business, but engage in small talk about his family/hobbies, whatever. At this stage you’re only looking to make a relationship. At the end of the meeting, ask if it’s okay to follow-up if you have any more questions.

After the informational interview

Follow-up. Thank them for their time.

About 1-2 months later, shoot that person another email and ask if they know of any positions at their firm or any other firm that is available. If they don’t know of anything, ask for a referral to speak with someone else in their industry that they know. Be persistent.

The Apocalypse Job Hunt Strategy

Warning: This one takes balls to do. I personally did it and was starting to see some success before I ended up accepting a full time offer.

Basically the Apocalypse strategy is cold-calling companies you want to work at.

Yep. Start off with a list of companies you want to work for (google, vault guides, etc), cold call them, and ask them for a job.

Here’s some tips for doing the Apocalypse strategy right:

  1. This doesn’t work with big banks, they love their processes.
  2. Figure out who to talk to. Use LinkedIn or the firm’s website and find somebody that’s a VP or above.
  3. Have your pitch down.

You: “Hi my name is Jacob Hanna and I’m a recent graduate of UCLA. I’m calling to request more information about securing a position as an Analyst at your firm. Are you currently hiring for any positions?”

  1. Expect rejection and counter it

Banker: “No, we’re not currently hiring right now.”

You: “Why aren’t you hiring now? Do you think you’ll be hiring in the future?”

Banker: “Yea, we may be posting a job opening on the local university career sites soon.”

You: “How soon? One week, One month?”

Banker: “I don’t know, how about I take down your info and I’ll get back to you”

You: “Sure, my number is….”

  1. Follow up with the same banker EVERY WEEK asking if they’re any closer to posting that job, try to convince him that they don’t even need to waste their time interviewing because they’re already talking to you. Be persistent, but cool and witty. Show your interest in them, but don’t freak them out. You want to come across as persistent, not crazy like a crazy ex.