TIP: It's not always what you know...

but also who you know. In a slow economy, it pays to job-hunt thru your circle of Wall Street friends, rather than relying on your resume alone.

Remember back in high school when that new girl showed up and you just knew you had to meet her? How did you do it? No doubt you did some research - figured out her name, where she came from, what classes she was taking - and then started to look for connections among your circle of friends to figure out who knew someone who knew someone who knew the girl. By following that relationship path and then spending some time talking with her - bam! You had a date for Friday night.

The same approach is just as effective for a job hunt on Wall Street. Not sure who to approach? If you have a specific bank in mind but don't know any insider

  • Explore the bank's circle of 'friends' - firms that it works close with. e.g. vendors, hedge fund clients. Do you know anyone work there? Chances are they have some inside contacts and may be willing to refer you.
  • Approach an insider who's been featured in a recent article. ie. someone who was quoted on a specific subject. Compliment him/her on the article and ask about the company (in that order). Get some recommendations about who else you might talk with, either at that company, or in another.
  • Consult with an ex-insider who may still have friends there. ie. a retiree of the bank. They will probably enjoy a trip down the memory lane.
  • Approach reporters who writes about your target firm. Compliment him/her on the story, and probe gently for the names of people she interviewed.
  • Participates in your professional community. i.e. not-for-profit organizations and subject based online forums. Develop relationships with people who share your interests and goals. Help them with their problems & they will help you with yours.

Just like how you tell your friends you only want to know the new girl, ask insiders for insights on specific subjects (ie. what it's like to work there), not a job lead. The latter turns people off and won't get you very far. It's more effective to get referrals who will later get you closer to the hiring managers. If you plan to drop the person's name in other conversations, remember to ask for permissions.

Category: C++ Quant > Land the Job You Want > Pre-Interview > Networking


  1. Hello..

    You linked back to me, but didn't leave a comment. So I felt that I should. In the least, it starts an introduction between the two blogs.

    I am Regan, aka Ever lasting blog stopper.

  2. Thanks for the Advice,
    However, though this practice seems adventageous to those who possess a social networking within their careers, it does little to promote a meritocracy, which I would have assumed Wallstreet Traders to support.

    After witnessing the Bush disaster for the past 5 years, I feel compelled to criticize even the suggestions of practices that contribute to any more cronyism in American Society. As sociologists have demonstrated, one's social networking is highly affected by one's socio-economic position that he or she assumed through birth.

    Therefore, you offer great advice to those who happened to be born into the correct social networks, but your suggestions do little in the way of providing proper support to those who care to break through the barriers created by class and status.

    Russell Cole