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Getting Your Foot In The Door

Hedge Funds Job, Hedge Funds JobsI'm constantly getting asked: "How do I get my foot in the door and get my first hedge funds job?" Everybody wants to get in, especially ex-mortgage people. The perception is of astronomical pay, glamor, Hickey Freeman suits, Ferragamo shoes. Here are 3 tips to wedge your foot in that door...

1) Work for free. Industry switching usually means taking a cut in pay. To get your foot in the door, be willing to start commission-only or at a very low pay rate. Once you prove yourself valuable there will be plenty of opportunity.

2) Improve your pedigree. While there may be a few people involved with hedge funds who didn't graduate from a good college - they are either unusually experienced or unusually brilliant. For most of us, pedigree matters. Consider going back for an MBA at a "name school". Full-time programs are more fashionable than executive programs if you're making an industry switch. Consider industry-specific training program and designations such as the CAIA, CHA, CPA or CFA.

3) Have friends on the inside. Getting hired off the street into a hedge fund, even for an entry-level job, is pretty hard. Getting hired at a hedge fund where one of your good friends works is not so hard. Keith Ferrazzi's book "Never Eat Alone" is a new classic. Read it and then read it again.

Remember that the financial market is pretty tough right now. A lot of folks are sitting on the sidelines with their money and hedge funds, like everyone else, are trying to run lean and mean. Top performers with track record, pedigree, and "know how" are prized. Random people who washed out of other industries are in LOW demand. To get your foot in the door you'll need to go the extra mile. That's not what everyone wants to hear, but it's the truth.

Marc Goormastic of Goormastic Executive Search

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