How to find a job in Transaction Services?
Securing a permanent position in Transaction Services can be a tough task. Many candidates who are interested in this field often follow the standard recruitment process, but get rejected at the screening stage. They then receive a rejection email thanking them for their interest in the position.
The recruitment process in Transaction Services firms is highly standardized. The goal is to have the same criteria and process in place for all the offices of the company. This standardization has led HR to focus heavily on the name of the school listed on the resume. As a result, large Transaction Services firms tend to look for candidates who fit a specific mold and have less room for those who don’t fit the traditional profile. This means that, despite having impressive experience and a flawless resume, you may still receive this kind of rejection email:
Our recruitment department has studied your application for the position of ”Analyst in Transaction Services – CDI – M/F” and would like to thank you. Despite all its qualities, your application does not meet the requirements for this role at this time. We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a positive outcome.
However, we invite you to continue to consult our new offers.
Thank you again for your interest and good luck in your job search.
(Note: this mailbox is not monitored, Please do not reply to this message)
The Human Resources team “
If your profile doesn’t meet the expectations of HR, you may need to find alternative methods to secure a job in Transaction Services. In this article, we’ll present several ways to get a permanent position in this field, including some that deviate from the standard recruitment process.
The Transaction Services internship: a foot in the door
Just like in many other areas of finance, it’s often easier to secure an internship in Transaction Services rather than a full-time contract straight out of school. Once you start your internship (assuming it goes well), you’ll have the support of your team, which can make it easier to get hired permanently. During the internship, you’ll not only gain valuable experience, but you’ll also demonstrate your dedication, diligence, and value to the company.
By starting as an intern, you can bypass the recruitment process that previously excluded your resume. With the connections you’ve made with your team and the support of your managers/partners, the hiring process could become a formality.
Interested in Transaction Services, Restructuring or Valuation? Find our complete guide to these professions.
Enhance Your Resume (especially if you are not from a target school)
If your resume is not getting the results you want, consider these 3 ways to improve it:
Obtain an MSc from a target school:
While it requires both a financial and time commitment, enrolling in an MSc from a target school is likely one of the most effective ways to meet the criteria of the largest firms, funds, and investment banks.
The investment is still significant and other options are available if you are not happy with going back to school.
Acquire Additional Diplomas in parallel with your professional activity:
Adding qualifications in accounting or obtaining the first level of the CFA to your resume can greatly alter the way HR views it. They will see you as a motivated student with a keen interest in finance and a proactive approach to improving your knowledge and enhancing your resume.
Recruiters understand the significance of these diplomas and certifications, and the effort you put into obtaining them. While it may not guarantee your hiring, it can serve as a major advantage in the recruitment process.
Develop the skills that are highly prized by Transaction Services consultants:
Being proficient in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and Power BI (Business Intelligence) can give you an edge in Transaction Services, Restructuring or Valuation.
VBA is a widely used programming language in financial analysis and modeling. It is often utilized by Valuation and Modeling teams within Transaction Services to create complex financial models.
Power BI is a data visualization tool that can help process and present data, and is sometimes used to present the results of a project to clients or to deliver interactive dashboards.
Having these skills offers a double advantage:
- They are very useful in Transaction Services, valuation and financial modeling.
- Few consultants know how to use them. By mastering them, you become a very interesting profile within a TS, valuation or restructuring team.
Targeting smaller Transaction Services firms
Many candidates interested in the TS, Valuation and Restructuring professions only think of the Big 4. But there are plenty of other consulting firms that you can target. The hiring processes in larger firms are often very standardized, but smaller firms might not give as much weight to the name of the school you went to. To see if you have a good chance of getting hired, you can check the LinkedIn profiles of the firms’ teams. If many of the consultants have backgrounds similar to yours, then you have a better shot.
It’s also worth considering that smaller firms may offer a more personal and friendly work environment, where you have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with your colleagues and clients. Ultimately, don’t limit yourself to just the Big 4 or the largest Transaction Services firms. Explore all your options and find the right fit for you, both in terms of the company culture and your professional development.
Have you thought about starting in auditing as a stepping stone to Transaction Services?
Even though auditing and Transaction Services are distinct fields, auditing can serve as a common entry point to Transaction Services. Many Transaction Services consultants have worked in auditing for a year or two before making the transition.
Auditing is a widely available field with less stringent hiring criteria than Transaction Services consulting. By working in auditing, you will gain valuable skills that can be applied to Transaction Services such as financial analysis, account analysis, project management, and client interaction. Additionally, auditing can provide a foot in the door to the industry.
If after two years in auditing you find the transition to Transaction Services challenging, you have the option to move on to another consulting firm. Your experience in auditing will still be highly valued.
You may find it useful to check out the interview with Thomas Christophe, a senior consultant in Transaction Services at Eight Advisory, who himself followed the auditing route before joining the Transaction Services team.
Maximize Networking Opportunities
If you don’t want to go into auditing, pursue additional education, or start with VBA, networking can still be a great opportunity for breaking into Transaction Services. In fact, networking can be particularly effective in Transaction Services firms for several reasons:
TS, valuation and restructuring teams have high turnover and therefore recruit regularly.
If you approach consultants, there is a good chance that they are looking to strengthen their teams to compensate for certain departures or to support the growth of their activity.
You can of course get in touch with them on LinkedIn or at school forums and open days. By reaching out to current consultants, you increase your chances of finding a team looking to expand.
During this type of event, you will have the opportunity to meet people who have come to talk to you. They may also retain some resumes during these forums. It is therefore a golden opportunity to stand out from the hundreds of resumes that arrive on the website.
Many managers realize how time-consuming the recruitment process can be and how promising candidates can be left out.
At the stage of Senior Managers and Partners, they can then give you a chance even if you did not attend a top 5 school.
Some of them may be open to giving you a chance, even if you did not attend a top-ranked school. They then become an entry point of choice. To do this, you need to contact them. You can simply introduce yourself and express your interest in the offer they have shared. You can also take advantage of this opportunity to ask for a discussion and share your questions with them (make sure they are relevant).
Without specifically trying to “bypass HR”, in some cases, junior candidates may have the chance to speak directly with senior managers, which can lead to a first-round interview before the application goes to HR. If the team likes your profile, the risk of HR rejecting your application due to your school background decreases. However, be aware that you will still need to perform well in fit questions, technical case studies, and assessment centers.
Because they can also be paid to recruit you
The “co-opting” system is a common practice in the Big 4. Consultants are often motivated to interact with you, provide guidance and support your application process, as they can earn a few thousand euros, depending on your level, if you successfully get hired. This is the reason why some consultants frequently post messages on LinkedIn offering their help:
Conclusion: How to get a permanent job in Transaction Services?
Securing a job in the fields of Transaction Services, Restructuring or Valuation should not be limited to merely submitting your resume to the career sites of the Big 4 firms.
There are several options that may require considerable effort, but can significantly increase your chances of success during the screening process. If you ask recruiters and financial professionals for advice, they may guide you towards these options.
Alternatively, you can also take simple steps to enhance your resume or fully leverage the power of networking. Keep in mind that there are various ways to increase your chances of getting a permanent job in Transaction Services. Whether you choose to go through a certification program, network with professionals in the industry, or simply improve your resume and application, the key is to be proactive, persistent and well-informed.