For candidates at top-tier bulge bracket firms, headhunters will most likely reach out with buy-side private equity job opportunities during your first year of your analyst program. However, for the investment bankers and consultants that come from mid-tier and boutique investment banks, the process of getting a private equity job opportunity is much more difficult. You will have to be proactive and find opportunities without the help of a headhunter. Ways to search for opportunities include searching online, speaking to alumni, and networking at school and employment events.
When I was looking for private equity opportunities, I would go through headhunters, but I also actively pursued private equity firms through my own efforts. If I came across a healthcare private equity firm that I was interested in, I would send an email to a senior member of the investment team (such as a VP or Managing Director) and attach my resume. For example, if you go to TSG Consumer Parnters’ website (www.tsgconsumer.com), there is no email address or contact to send over a resume if you are seeking an opportunity at the firm. This can mean that they only take candidates from headhunters; however, you can still fax your resume or you can try to send your resume through email directly to a Managing Director or senior member of the investment team. It never hurts to send a resume to any firm and it shows the firm that you are ambitious and actively seeking to attain your career goals. Here is an example email you can send directly to a senior member of a private equity firm:
Dear [Enter Name],
I would like to express my interest in a pre-MBA associate opportunity at [PE Firm Name]. Currently, I am nearing the end of my [investment banking or consulting] analyst program at [Firm Name]. With the skill sets I have developed, I am looking to hit the ground running in the next step of my career. I have attached my resume for your review and look forward to hearing from you.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me via email or by phone.