Finance professionals and graduates know that their resume is important. However, an application is more than just a resume. Very often, recruiters want to see a cover letter as well.

However, 78% of employers don’t consider it a mistake when candidates leave out a cover letter, says a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). But let’s face it, if you just started your career, it will be hard to differentiate yourself from other candidates with just your resume.

Most people who apply for hedge fund jobs have an impressive resume as well. They studied at prestigious business schools and gained work experience in well-known companies.

Sell Yourself to Potential Employers on No More Than a Page

In a hedge fund you will work in a team and you will work long hours. Therefore, personal fit is crucial. In a cover letter, you can express your personality. Potential employers read the letter to find out:
• Who you are
• What you can offer the firm

The whole letter shouldn’t be longer than a page.

Tackling the Sections
Who Are You?

A good way to start is with your unique selling proposition, also known as an elevator speech. This is a brief statement such as: “A finance professional with over 20 years’ experience in forex trading…” Moreover, you can tell potential employers how you are connected to their company. If you know an employee or have a recommendation, mention it right up front.

What do You Bring to the Table?

This is not the place to write the story of your life. Think about the specific needs of the company. Often the job ad tells you what they are looking for. Explain how the skills you have fit their needs and how you can contribute to their success. Here you can point to relevant experience you have and connect it to the position you’re applying for.

Wrapping It Up

Remember, the cover letter is your sales pitch. If you can’t sell yourself, you most likely can’t sell anything else either. Get to the point, don’t include meaningless fluff. Write in brief, understandable sentences and don’t make grammar/spelling mistakes.

Most employers spend less than one minute going over your cover letter, says SHRM . That means you don’t have much time to show and shine. Make it easy to scan; nobody will read it in detail.

In the end, you can close with a call to action. Ask for a meeting and thank them for their time and consideration.

Hedge fund jobs are competitive, don’t miss your chance. Write an outstanding cover letter and make sure your employer gets a good impression. Once you have an invitation for a job interview, you have passed the first hurdle.

At its most basic level, a hedge fund is a private partnership. However, the way the first hedge fund conducted business was nothing less than a financial revolution. Alfred Winslow Jones established the first hedge fund in 1949. He called it A.W. Jones & Co. As a testament to its durability, it is still active today.

Hedge funds take their name from gardening hedges, which protect a home from unwanted attention. Protection and secrecy remain core elements of many hedge fund philosophies. The key insight for Alfred Jones was that instead of just buying stocks, one could “hedge” market exposure by short selling less favorable stocks. This meant that any gains would be a result of skill rather than random market movements. The only way to make money was to predict which stocks would perform better than others.

Following Jones’ success, many other managers accepted the hedge fund challenge. Now, hedge funds have proliferated into a multi-trillion dollar industry with a multitude of strategies. Nonetheless, the secretive nature of hedge funds persists, and this means finding a job in the industry is like walking through a daunting maze of gardening hedges. How will you ever find the doorway?

In some industries, sending unsolicited resumes can work. In the world of hedge funds, having an inside connection is often the only way to pierce the veil of secrecy. Like an exclusive country club, “invitation-only” can be standard procedure. This means knowing the right people, meeting market movers, and networking are the ways to get inside.

For a long time, hedge funds were so exclusive that it was actually illegal for them to advertise their business. The 2012 JOBS Act lifted this SEC rule, and a few hedge funds experimented with advertising. However, old habits die hard, and many funds preferred to remain in the dark. Also, other regulatory agencies maintained their advertising prohibitions.

Even if an investor stumbles across the fund through a personal connection or website, they can’t invest unless they are an “accredited investor,” which means they have $1 million in assets (primary residence not included) or $200,000 income during each of the last 2 years. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to not explicitly advertise your business and find investors who meet the strict accredited investor criteria. This is why hedge funds use third-party marketers to connect them with the right investors.

The hedge fund industry can be a puzzle for job seekers and clients alike. Learning about the way the industry works is the first step to success. Create your networking plan today.

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Everyone talks about how much CEOs make. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, made $23 million in 2013. He was the highest paid CEO on Wall Street. Congratulations to Mr. Blankfein, but his annual compensation is just one week’s compensation for some hedge fund managers. John Paulson (Paulson & Co.), George Soros (Soros Fund […]

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No one ventures into the hedge fund industry to blow up their careers, but sometimes, that’s exactly what happens. As CNBC reported, Owen Li, the founder of Canarsie Capital, apologized to his clients for losing virtually all of their money. In 9 months, the equity at Canarsie declined from $100 million to $200,000. After losing […]

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With most of the US stock markets trading close to their all-time high values, finding attractive investment opportunities has become difficult for hedge funds. Faced with limited investment opportunities, hedge funds are becoming creative in their approach to deploying capital. One such technique currently in favor among hedge funds is buying large stakes in companies […]

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Schroder Commodity Fund, KKR Equity Hedge Fund Shut Operations

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Two major hedge funds are calling it quits on the back of redemption pressure from investors following successive years of below average returns. One is them is the Opus commodity hedge fund of the London-based Schroders which had at its peak $2.3 billion under management but has since seen its assets dwindle to only a […]

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