How to find a job in Private Equity or Venture Capital?
The search for a job in Private Equity can often feel like a daunting journey through the desert. “We’re not quite sure where to look, so we end up aimlessly scrolling through LinkedIn and other general job search platforms,” says Quentin, who is seeking an internship in Private Equity at the conclusion of his studies. However, the difficulty doesn’t end there. This is because, naturally, the job listings posted on these platforms are visible to a vast number of students and recent graduates seeking any opportunity in PE or VC. Every new posting on these websites means that you will be competing with sometimes over 200 other applicants.
But why is it so difficult to find a job in Private Equity or Venture Capital?
The main reason for the challenge of finding a job in Private Equity or Venture Capital is that most funds consist of small teams. This is a far cry from the Big Four or investment banks that have high turnover rates among junior employees and launch recruitment campaigns every year to keep their pool of analysts refilled. In contrast, the number of available positions in each investment fund is usually very limited, and it is not uncommon for investment teams to maintain the same number of analysts over a period of one or more years.
The fact that investment teams are small also means that recruitment campaigns are more limited in scope. Unlike consulting firms and banks, most investment funds do not have a large HR staff that continually monitors recruitment forums and posts job offers on a massive scale.
Because of this, investment funds tend to rely more on their personal network to recruit employees. This approach to recruitment is distinct from the traditional and standardized processes of investment banks, and it leaves more room for networking and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Find here our article presenting the PE industry: What is Private Equity?
So, how can you approach the challenge of finding a job in Private Equity when you’re just starting out in your career and the founders of the big Parisian funds are not (yet) inviting you over for Sunday lunch?
Before you get discouraged, take a look at our recommendations to help you finally land a job in Private Equity.
Let’s start with the obvious ones. Although many interns and junior professionals scrutinize them, it is difficult to overlook the classics.
You may have noticed that a large number of job offers in Private Equity and Venture Capital are posted on Microsoft’s professional social network.
The first crucial step is to take care of your profile. It serves as your business card, and sooner or later, recruiters will check it out. Building a good profile requires effort and time, and we will address this topic in a future article. You should also add an alert so that the algorithm notifies you as soon as a new offer that matches your search criteria is posted.
Additionally, continue to check the available offers regularly. Do not solely rely on the automatic alerts that are sent to you.
Don’t overlook generalist platforms, either. Jobteezer, Welcome to the Jungle, and Indeed.com all have investment fund job postings.
When looking for a job in finance, you cannot ignore specialized sites like Dogfinance, Michael Page, or the well-known efinancial-careers, which have job offers in PE/M&A/VC/TS in France and internationally.
Of course, these three sites are not the only ones. For junior positions and internships in Private Equity and Venture Capital, you can also check out the Earlystage website.
Typically, candidates tend to visit the sites and platforms mentioned above but forget to check the following sites.
The big funds’ career site
Go directly to the career sites of major funds such as Naxicap, Idinvest, Bpifrance, Ardian, and LBO France. These firms have more comprehensive websites than smaller private equity firms. They may share their recruitment offers or email addresses on their career pages.
The specialized press
If you’re searching for a job in Private Equity, another option is to explore the specialized press. CF News is a media outlet dedicated to Private Equity and M&A transactions. While you need a paid subscription to access most articles, the CF News recruitment page is accessible without one, listing current job postings.
Recruitment agencies and headhunters
Recruitment agencies and headhunters, like Alvedis Conseil, are another possibility. Alvedis specializes in recruiting for investment funds, and job listings can be found on their website. You can also send in your CV to be contacted about future opportunities.
And after that?
After exhausting the general and specialized platforms, there is one more option: the spontaneous application. However, it’s important not to spam all the investment funds out there.
A more strategic approach is to follow Private Equity news and occasionally send a LinkedIn invitation to the HR manager or founder following a significant event in the fund’s lifecycle, such as fundraising. This allows you to congratulate your contact and demonstrate your interest in their investment fund. Additionally, you can mention that you are looking for a position and would be happy to meet with them at their convenience. Fundraising is a crucial step for any investment fund, providing new capital to invest and often leading to staff expansion.
Another option is to invite Private Equity headhunters on LinkedIn, presenting your profile and explaining your job search. Many candidates overlook this step, but it is an effective way to get on headhunters’ radars. They may contact you later if they get new job opportunities.
Patience and resilience
These are certainly key when searching for a position in Private Equity and Venture Capital. Now that you know where to look, it’s important to regularly monitor each site.
To better prepare for technical questions in finance, Excel modeling cases, and to succeed in your Private Equity interviews, you can discover our complete Private Equity training.
Good luck in your job search.