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freeradical
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Posts: 15
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 6:15 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 27th, 2010, 9:24 pm

HiI am a newbie (recent EECS PhD grad) trying to put together a job search strategy and wanted some advice. I would really appreciate it if people who have gone through the process could share their insights into what worked for them. The main question is :If you were a newbie looking for an entry-level job, how would you prioritize your time and energy between these 3 - networking, working with headhunter(s), and applying through online postings ?- Networking : This has been my main line of attack for Ibs. My plan is to try and talk to quants in the bank and figure out what the relevant groups are, what they do and which one would be a good fit for me and whether the bank recruits directly or through headhunters and perhaps find someone who can forward my resume within the bank. This process of networking and informational interviews is going rather slow. Q : Is this a good approach for newbies ? Do entry-level people find jobs this way in finance ? - Headhunter : I am working with one right now. I am wondering if I should work with more. Q: How many headhunters should I work with at a time ?- Job postings : I've applied to jobs on quantfinancejobs.com and efinancialcareers.com and received no response. Q: Should I upload my resume ? Q: How much time and energy should I expend on applying to online jobs ? Q: Is the response rate any better for jobs on Bloomberg terminal ? Or some other resource (doostang etc.) ?Thanks for your time !freeradical
 
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mrmister
Posts: 225
Joined: August 15th, 2009, 4:33 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 12:18 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: freeradicalHiI am a newbie (recent EECS PhD grad) trying to put together a job search strategy and wanted some advice. I would really appreciate it if people who have gone through the process could share their insights into what worked for them. The main question is :If you were a newbie looking for an entry-level job, how would you prioritize your time and energy between these 3 - networking, working with headhunter(s), and applying through online postings ?- Networking : This has been my main line of attack for Ibs. My plan is to try and talk to quants in the bank and figure out what the relevant groups are, what they do and which one would be a good fit for me and whether the bank recruits directly or through headhunters and perhaps find someone who can forward my resume within the bank. This process of networking and informational interviews is going rather slow. Q : Is this a good approach for newbies ? Do entry-level people find jobs this way in finance ? - Headhunter : I am working with one right now. I am wondering if I should work with more. Q: How many headhunters should I work with at a time ?- Job postings : I've applied to jobs on quantfinancejobs.com and efinancialcareers.com and received no response. Q: Should I upload my resume ? Q: How much time and energy should I expend on applying to online jobs ? Q: Is the response rate any better for jobs on Bloomberg terminal ? Or some other resource (doostang etc.) ?Thanks for your time !freeradicalSince you have not posted your level of preparation or your full background, feel free to only address comments relevant to your case.Work with as many HHs as you can. Make sure they are not sending your resume to the same places. Try to get a position which would develop skills needed by the finance sector. If I were you, I would not try to get into a bank right now. A lot of people are being asked to move elsewhere less favorable, or are getting axed. If there is a payroll contraction, the newest hires are the first ones to go.While searching for a job aggressively, spend time learning about financial instruments from different sources. The days of hiring fresh PhDs with no/little finance knowledge are long gone.W.r.t. skills, do not overplay the stochastic calculus - risk neutral pricing - pde part on your resume as these are not the skills that people are looking for right now. Someone with a EE/CS PhD is a better fit for HFT jobs, and this means programming more than anything else.
 
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twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 5:02 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: freeradicalThis has been my main line of attack for Ibs. My plan is to try and talk to quants in the bank and figure out what the relevant groups are, what they do and which one would be a good fit for me and whether the bank recruits directly or through headhunters and perhaps find someone who can forward my resume within the bank.Not really a good approach. You run into the chicken and egg problem that you aren't going to find out this sort of information about a employer until you get to the interview. The other problem is that your chances of one particular frog turning into a prince or princess is low, so you should really concentrate on kissing a lot of frogs rather than selecting which frogs to kiss.QuoteI am working with one right now. I am wondering if I should work with more. Q: How many headhunters should I work with at a time ?Work with as many as you get get interested in you. My last job search I think I talked to about twenty headhunters.QuoteQ: Should I upload my resume ?No.
 
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twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 5:12 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: mrmisterIf I were you, I would not try to get into a bank right now. A lot of people are being asked to move elsewhere less favorable, or are getting axed. If there is a payroll contraction, the newest hires are the first ones to go.I wouldn't target any particular type of institution. As long as they are willing to pay for services, then consider working for them. Banks *are* in fact hiring.QuoteWhile searching for a job aggressively, spend time learning about financial instruments from different sources. The days of hiring fresh PhDs with no/little finance knowledge are long gone.That's false. Fresh Ph.D.'s with no/little finance knowledge are being hired. One big mistake that Ph.D.'s make is that they try to become finance people. If the bank wanted to hire someone with deep finance knowledge, they'd hire someone with deep finance knowledge. If they are going to hire a EE Ph.D., it's because they have some job that requires an EE Ph.D.The bad news is that there are few jobs for Ph.D.'s. The good news is that there are even fewer Ph.D.'s.QuoteW.r.t. skills, do not overplay the stochastic calculus - risk neutral pricing - pde part on your resume as these are not the skills that people are looking for right now. Someone with a EE/CS PhD is a better fit for HFT jobs, and this means programming more than anything else.If you are going to do financial reading, read up on market microstructure and financial clearing systems.
 
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KackToodles
Posts: 4100
Joined: August 28th, 2005, 10:46 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 5:44 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: freeradicalQ: How many headhunters should I work with at a time ?pal, what makes you think you work "with" a headhunter? You are simply a plastic poker chip, one of hundreds, even thousands, the headhunter pimp is shuffling around on his poker table to try to win himself a $100,000 jackpot. The poker chip is foolish to imagine it is working "with" the pro gambler.
Last edited by KackToodles on September 27th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 6:19 am

Obviously being a quant headhunter I don't quite take Kacktoodles position, because he is not cynical enough...His model is that a candidate is purely passive in this game, and some candidates don't try to manipulate their HHs, and the reason I say he is not cynical enough about HHs is that the model implies that you might as well let the HH pursue his own utility without any input from you.The HH does this for a living, so the idea of control is usually more than a bit optimistic, but you can help him to sell you, and provide incentives for him to do better for you.mrmister raises a good point about EECS PhD, it may be better to go for algorithmic trading, depends a lot on what you've done, signal processing can be very valuable,but logic has no value in financial markets The fact that my firm P&D has no presence at all on quantifnancejobs should contain information. EFC addresses a broad market, you are a specialist.Bloomberg are trying to push their terminal for recruiting, and when they demoed it to me I was surprised at how primitive, clunky, and unpopulated it was. I'm mentoring a couple of undergrad CompSci types this winter, and if they turned out something like that as part of a project, I'd regard myself as having failed.However, it is rarely optimal to work with one HH at entry level, since any given job is only seen by a minority of HHs.I'm not sure there is an optimum number, just a set of firms that you find good to deal with.
 
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ruairih
Posts: 18
Joined: April 27th, 2008, 9:58 am

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 9:21 am

Does anyone have a list of reputable recruiters? Looking at job message boards there seems to be a lot of spammers out there.
 
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Bentley
Posts: 97
Joined: September 14th, 2007, 3:54 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 11:26 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishQuoteQ: Should I upload my resume ?No.why do you think this is a bad idea?...Provided that you do not disclose personal data in that resume but just a more detailed description of your capabilities...
 
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GiusCo
Posts: 124
Joined: March 26th, 2010, 10:00 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 2:01 pm

My two cents as someone lurking for a position in energy quantitative analysis / research (got 4 different interviews in three of months plus one offer, which I turned down):1- find a hook working well for your profile ("recent EECS PhD grad" --> "algo trading" could be one) and which you may really like2- when you see adverts making a good fit, apply and speak directly to the relevant recruiter (keep your CV one page long!)3- Hone your financial and informatic skills in relation with your sector (this may require more time than you think)I'm not a fan of networking to be honest. For my experience jobs market may like or not your profile but you need to like your market.
Last edited by GiusCo on September 27th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 3:01 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Bentleywhy do you think this is a bad idea?...Provided that you do not disclose personal data in that resume but just a more detailed description of your capabilities...Because no one with a real job opening is going to spend time trawling through the databases.
 
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twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 3:03 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodles You are simply a plastic poker chip, one of hundreds, even thousands, the headhunter pimp is shuffling around on his poker table to try to win himself a $100,000 jackpot. The poker chip is foolish to imagine it is working "with" the pro gambler. In truth you aren't. Good candidates are hard to find, and if you are a good candidate you are worth more to the HH than the HH is to you.
 
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daveangel
Posts: 17031
Joined: October 20th, 2003, 4:05 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 3:05 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishQuoteOriginally posted by: KackToodles You are simply a plastic poker chip, one of hundreds, even thousands, the headhunter pimp is shuffling around on his poker table to try to win himself a $100,000 jackpot. The poker chip is foolish to imagine it is working "with" the pro gambler. In truth you aren't. Good candidates are hard to find, and if you are a good candidate you are worth more to the HH than the HH is to you.come on twofish - even you can't believe that surely ?
knowledge comes, wisdom lingers
 
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twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 28th, 2010, 11:39 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: daveangelcome on twofish - even you can't believe that surely ?Things start looking very different when you are at the other end of the interview table and you are looking at recruiters that give you candidates that aren't terribly qualified because those are the best that they have.Now HH do have a lot of informational asymmetry and will do their best to make it *seem* as if you are an annoyance to them. It's certainly not in their business interest to let you know that you are more important to them than they are to you, but for Ph.D. level candidates for technical positions it tends not to be true. MBA's tend to be interchangeable. People that can do real-time multi-threading tend not to be.From the point of view of a newbie job seeker, the HH seems like *GOD* and HH will do everything they can to promote that perception. Once you are on the inside you realize that they are just another salesman trying to make a buck and willing and able to use every psychological trick in the book to do it (not that there is anything wrong with that.)
Last edited by twofish on September 28th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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mrmister
Posts: 225
Joined: August 15th, 2009, 4:33 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 29th, 2010, 1:25 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishQuoteOriginally posted by: mrmisterIf I were you, I would not try to get into a bank right now. A lot of people are being asked to move elsewhere less favorable, or are getting axed. If there is a payroll contraction, the newest hires are the first ones to go.I wouldn't target any particular type of institution. As long as they are willing to pay for services, then consider working for them. Banks *are* in fact hiring.QuoteWhile searching for a job aggressively, spend time learning about financial instruments from different sources. The days of hiring fresh PhDs with no/little finance knowledge are long gone.That's false. Fresh Ph.D.'s with no/little finance knowledge are being hired. One big mistake that Ph.D.'s make is that they try to become finance people. If the bank wanted to hire someone with deep finance knowledge, they'd hire someone with deep finance knowledge. If they are going to hire a EE Ph.D., it's because they have some job that requires an EE Ph.D.The bad news is that there are few jobs for Ph.D.'s. The good news is that there are even fewer Ph.D.'s.QuoteW.r.t. skills, do not overplay the stochastic calculus - risk neutral pricing - pde part on your resume as these are not the skills that people are looking for right now. Someone with a EE/CS PhD is a better fit for HFT jobs, and this means programming more than anything else.If you are going to do financial reading, read up on market microstructure and financial clearing systems.I am not talking about some back office infrastructure role or one that involves creating reports. You must be out of your mind to tell people that they can get hired without finance skills in this climate.
 
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freeradical
Topic Author
Posts: 15
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 6:15 pm

Job Search Strategy : Need advice

September 29th, 2010, 3:08 am

Thank you for all your replies. It was really helpful. Looks like it's best to go through headhunters. The only interviews I've got so far have also been through the headhunter. I was under the impression that some of the IBs like Morgan Stanley and Barclays handle their recruitment directly through their HR - is that true for Quant positions as well ? maybe that's not true for the kind of Quant positions we're talking about ? Re: HFT : My Ph.D. research was in robotics. Seems like algorithmic trading might be a good fit. @twofish : thank you for suggestions on relevant topics to read up on.
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