26 April 2018
If you’re a young professional, you may be at a place in your career where you’ve started to think about your future. For many, this may mean taking on a leadership role. However, it can be difficult to navigate this important career step without any formal leadership experience. The good news? It isn’t impossible! Even if you don’t have a leadership title on your resume, you can still prove you have the potential to be successful in this type of role by highlighting leadership skills on your resume. Here are 4 ways to show that you have the leadership skills necessary for success, regardless of whether or not you have had a leadership title in the past: Address What The Company Is Looking For When applying for a new role, you want to edit your resume with an “ask and you shall receive” mentality. In other words, you want the skills you put on your resume to match up with the skills the company listed in the job posting. This is particularly important to do with your soft skills. For example, if the company is looking for someone with excellent communication skills, place emphasis on work experiences that show you’re an effective communicator. A great way of doing this is by giving examples of experiences where you’ve needed to negotiate or collaborate with others in order to reach your goals. Highlight Past Projects And Results A great way to demonstrate your leadership skills on your resume is by highlighting your past achievements. Go further than just listing past job responsibilities by describing the skills you’ve acquired and the accomplishments you’ve made in your career. When possible, use numbers. If you helped your company increase revenue or website traffic, for example, try to offer a dollar amount or percentage on how much of a difference you made. Emphasize Teamwork Skills You don’t necessarily need formal management experience to show that you can lead. Instead, try to focus on past experiences where you have overseen a project, worked well within a group, or helped improve some type of process. If you have undertaken any of these tasks, chances are you already have some skills that are indicative of a strong leader. The ability to delegate, problem solve, stay organized, and manage your time are just a few examples of skills that can prove you are ready for this career step. Think Beyond Professional Roles Even if you’ve never had a professional job title before, you still could have leadership experience that a potential employer would be interested in. If you volunteer with a charitable or professional organization, for example, highlighting it in your job application can be a great way to prove your leadership abilities to a hiring manager. Maybe you’re a committee chair within an outside organization or you’ve been put in charge of a charitable initiative in the past. These types of experiences can help prove your leadership skills, while helping a hiring manager get a better sense of who you are as an individual.
25 April 2018
After two years as a technical recruiter at another staffing firm, Luis was ready for a change. While he still enjoyed his work, he felt his career had hit a wall. In search of an opportunity that would offer more room for professional growth, Luis joined The Execu|Search Group in 2014 as a Staffing Manager in New York. Luis transitioned into a business development role for the Accounting/Finance temporary division after six months of recruiting. Due to his success, Luis was given the opportunity to help the company expand into South Florida. Since he was originally from the area, the decision to relocate to the recently opened Fort Lauderdale office and build the Accounting/Finance division from the ground up was an easy one. After hitting a key milestone, Luis was asked to oversee a second team. Today, Luis manages the Accounting/Finance and Office Support lines of business for the Fort Lauderdale office. Continue reading to learn more about his story: On why he joined The Execu|Search Group… Off the bat, I could tell that The Execu|Search Group was different from other staffing firms. I was immediately drawn to the work environment where it was clear that leadership trusted your judgment. While colleagues at all levels are available for mentorship and support, they allow you to perform without being micromanagers. Finding an organization that would give me the independence to make an impact was an important factor in my job search, and it’s one of the main reasons why I chose Execu|Search. On what he loves about working here… The ability to grow without restraint is something that has set my experience at Execu|Search apart. The company is very encouraging of new ideas, which has allowed me to develop my own process. Since you really get out what you put in, this has created a culture where employees are motivated to work hard and move into leadership positions. The fact that we’re expanding nationwide has also provided me with more opportunities for professional and financial growth. Being able to help the company break into a new market, build my own team, and grow the operation have all been extremely rewarding career accomplishments. On what he enjoys most about his job… I feel very fortunate to be part of my team. We’re a very close knit group that supports each other, both personally and professionally. The entire team knows that we would not be able to succeed without each other, and this synergy has been integral to our expansion into South Florida. On what he thinks sets him apart from others in the field… I do not like to focus on making short term gains with my clients, preferring to focus on long-term relationship building. I think my big picture approach is something my clients appreciate, and I manage my team with the same philosophy. For example, I teach them that every hiccup along the way should be viewed as a learning experience. Breaking into a new market is never easy, and these short-term challenges will only make us stronger as a team in the long run.
24 April 2018
In the midst of a job search, it can be frustrating when you feel as though you’re not getting any calls after submitting so many applications. If you find that you’re consistently not getting interviews, it may be time to take another look at the applications you’re submitting. Learn how you can avoid these red flags when you’re applying for jobs in the video below.
20 April 2018
There’s no doubt that 2018 has been off to a strong start. According to the most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2018 marked the 90th consecutive month of job growth in the U.S. For professionals in the financial services industry, this not only means more opportunities, but in addition to that, business is booming—especially for hedge funds. In particular, macro hedge funds have seen some nice returns in Q1, and they’re responding by increasing their hiring to keep up with business demands. “Our economy is finally seeing an uptick in interest rates, which should help returns for macro hedge funds as the markets see increased volatility,” says Ryan Murphy, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. Macro funds, which bet on macroeconomic trends using currencies, bonds, rates, and stock futures, have been outperforming the broader industry for over a year, becoming a top hedge fund strategy among investors. “Because of this increasing demand, macro hedge funds in particular are scaling up their businesses and substantially expanding their hiring efforts,” explains Ryan. “We haven’t seen hiring like this before.” This trend includes bolstering back office departments like internal auditing and fund administration in order to address current business needs. As a result, professionals who specialize in these roles may find many lucrative opportunities in the job market. “Opening new jobs in back office roles allows for these hedge funds to build a solid infrastructure for their operations,” says Ryan. For financial services professionals who work in the back office, Ryan suggests that you take a look at job openings, even if you’re happy in your current role. “With so many opportunities out there and the job market thriving, you may miss out on an excellent opportunity if you don’t learn what’s available to you,” he says. To get a feel for the market, consider consulting a recruiter who can give you more insight into your market value in the financial services industry. Additionally, these hedge funds are making efforts to attract top talent. As they continue to struggle to find high quality hires in this competitive job market, they’ve begun to increase compensation to entice top performers. “We’ve seen higher than usual base salary offers with pay equity at hedge funds lately,” explains Ryan. “As a result, if you’re not sure you’re being compensated fairly in your current role, now is the time to look at your options—you may be surprised at how much your base salary could increase in your next role!” Coupled with unprecedented hiring, this candidate-driven market is giving financial services professionals a lot of leverage in the hiring process. “Many professionals may not realize how valuable their skillset is until they get into the job market,” says Ryan. “We’ve seen many of our recent candidates receive multiple offers, and this has allowed them more opportunities to negotiate for everything they want in their next role.”
19 April 2018
If you’ve ever worked from home before, you know that it can definitely help you get a lot accomplished! While you’ve been able to see the benefits of working from home in the past, there’s evidence that employers are beginning to recognize the value in it as well. According to recent studies, there has been a 17 percent increase in the availability of flexible jobs over the past year. Additionally, employers are realizing that offering flexible work options is a great way to retain top talent. However, working remotely isn’t without its challenges. For many professionals, the comforts of home can be distracting and tempting to your inner procrastinator. While these obstacles can be tough to overcome, being conscious of them can help you boost your productivity when working from home! With this in mind, here are 5 ways to do this: Identify your supervisor’s expectations No matter your location, there is a certain level of work your supervisor expects you to complete within a given day. If you’re going to work from home, consult with them about their expectations regarding the volume of work you produce. Even though you aren’t in an office, that doesn’t mean your supervisor expects anything less than high quality work. Once you’ve discussed these expectations, write them down and keep them near you as a reminder and motivator. Get dressed Lounge clothes and pajamas are comfortable, but that comfort can be very distracting. Part of the morning routine for those who don’t work from home is getting dressed for the day, which puts them in the working mindset. Before you start your day, take the time to get yourself ready as if you were heading into the office. While we’d all like to stay in our sweats all day, work appropriate clothes will help you remain alert and productive. Set goals Setting and meeting goals is an important part of a productive day, so start your day by setting some goals to ensure effective time management. Starting the day at 9? Try setting goals to accomplish by noon. Just ate lunch? Make a list of tasks that need to be completed by the end of the day. Setting checkpoints for yourself through the duration of the day is key to staying on track of your deadlines. Schedule breaks Peppering scheduled breaks throughout your day not only gives you time to relax, but can increase productivity as well. That being said, it can be especially hard to get back to work after a short time away from your desk when working from home. To make the most of your time, plan for an appropriate lunch break as well as a short afternoon break and stick to them, no matter how difficult it may feel. Limit media distractions When working from home, there may be more access to distracting media such as Facebook and Twitter than if you were in a traditional office. Utilizing programs such as Cold Turkey can temporarily block your access to distracting websites and can help you to avoid the temptation of non-work related websites. Similarly, minimizing phone distractions can help you be more productive while at home. Though you may not want to turn your phone off entirely, putting your phone on vibrate and/or away from your direct reach can make it less tempting to check your texts or apps. Staying focused is one of the main keys to success when it comes to working from home, so identifying what could be potentially distracting and taking the necessary steps to ensure interruptions are kept to a minimum is one of the best ways to stay productive.
18 April 2018
Melanie Marshak, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division, recently hosted a roundtable that brought together approximately a dozen General Counsels/Chief Compliance Officers to discuss topics currently impacting the industry. During the open forum, CCOs from various hedge funds, private equity, and asset management firms discussed topics such as: Current hiring trends in Compliance Recent regulatory issues and development The importance of monitoring and testing compliance programs Recent SEC inspections Also in attendance was Todd Kaplan, Founder and Principal of Cloudbreak Compliance Group, who presented to the group on “10 Simple Tests to Bolster a Compliance Program,” in which he outlined a number of review tests (i.e., Email, Political Contribution, Social Media, etc.) that compliance programs can incorporate. Tom has over 11 years of regulatory compliance and investment management experience and is a licensed attorney in the State of New York. “These forums continue to serve as an open collegiate space where like-minded industry professionals can come together to share their insights with each other,” says Melanie. “As regulation continues to be a hot topic in today’s economy, it’s important that professionals throughout the financial services industry come together to share their individual successes along with presenting ways to improve compliance programs.”
18 April 2018
Despite considering yourself a super employee, even the best of us can get exhausted by our work. Culminating stress, anxiety, home responsibilities, and lack of sleep over time will wear anyone down. As the importance of mental health has gained more prominence in recent years, so has the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance—and employers are beginning to catch on as well. When you feel weighed down by your daily life, taking time for yourself is critical—in whatever form you can. However, while the idea of “mental health days” is becoming more widely accepted in the workplace, this isn’t always a reality for every employee. With limited time off and a host of other responsibilities, many professionals would have to take a day without pay if they were to indulge in this practice—something that is either not practical or simply not possible. However, that doesn’t mean that you must be stuck in your rut, continuing the cycle of exhaustion. While a day off may not be possible for you, there are still several ways in which you can recharge and begin to feel reinvigorated in your work. Check out these eight ways you can revive your mental health without a day off: Unplug While you may still need to be at work, this doesn’t mean you can’t evade the office. If you’re the type of person that checks their email at all hours of the day, practice unplugging from the office and make an effort to avoid looking at your inbox. In most cases, it can wait until the morning to be addressed. Additionally, making the effort to reduce your screen time outside of work in general can have a more positive effect on your mental health. Change the scenery Sometimes, all you need is a little more variety to shake it up. Sitting at the same desk day in and day out can get old quickly. If you have a laptop, finding a new corner of the office for the afternoon can give you a renewed sense of focus. Or, if you have the option to work remotely, this could be a suitable alternative to taking the day off. Working from your home office or from a coffee shop might just give you the relaxed work environment you needed. Switch up your routine As habitual as humans are, sometimes our routines aren’t always beneficial to us. Even if you love your routine, a simple shift can actually prove to transform your energy levels and mood. For example, if you usually shower at night, try showering in the morning to see if this gives you more energy. Or if you typically spend your morning answering emails, try saving emails for the afternoon while you focus on more complex tasks in the morning. Take a night off More easily said than done, taking a night off from some of your home responsibilities can give you a small window to recharge. This could mean a number of things, including getting a friend to watch the kids, ordering takeout instead of cooking, and simply allowing yourself some flexibility at home. While home life can get hectic, see if you can sit down for 30 minutes and read a book or watch a new television show. Taking time to do small things for yourself can remind you prioritize your own needs when they’re so easy to abandon. Exercise If you’re really exhausted, this may seem counterintuitive to a relaxing “mental health day,” but you are also probably aware that physical and mental health are correlated. Because exercise increases endorphins in your body, this can increase your energy levels and help you to feel a renewed sense for focus when it’s time to get back to work. Whether this means a long gym session or a 10 minute walk during lunch, squeezing in any form of exercise can help you find your balance and put more mental energy into your work. Meditate For those who feel particularly anxious or overwhelmed, sometimes practicing meditation can help you get a grip on all of the thoughts racing through your head. While the majority of people may find meditation difficult to understand, the act of simply sitting alone with your thoughts can give you the time you need to sort it out. When doing so, focus less on the endless list of things you must accomplish in front of you, and place your focus only on what you need to do next. Start a journal Similarly, sometimes we just need a time and place to sort out our thoughts to begin to feel rejuvenated. In addition to analyzing what stresses us out the most or figuring out our priorities, a journal can serve as a log that you can look back on. In chronicling your everyday life, you may find an unhealthy pattern or a particular event that always causes you more anxiety. As a result, you might even be able to extract those root causes that are making you feel so run down to begin with.
16 April 2018
Now that you’re on the hunt for a new job, it’s important that you take the right steps to ensure you’re set up for success. While a strong resume or an impressive professional background are great ways to get yourself noticed, your job search checklist should encompass much more. If you’re in need of a quick refresher on the areas you should be paying attention to while you’re job hunting, here are 8 simple mistakes you should avoid at all costs: Job hunting without…a strategy While it can be tempting to dive right into the job market and aimlessly submit applications, it’s important to note that this can do more harm than good. The most successful job seekers are the ones that have outlined a strategy for themselves. Set specific goals you want to reach, whether it is the types of companies, roles, or responsibilities you’re looking for in your next job. Job hunting without…a LinkedIn account In today’s digital age, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not having a LinkedIn account. Your LinkedIn profile is typically the first stop an employer will make to get a quick snapshot of your professional experience and skills. If you haven’t created a profile yet or need to bring your profile up to date, be sure to do so before you start applying to jobs. Job hunting with…errors on your resume Your resume is often the first opportunity you have to make a positive first impression, so if you want to be taken as a serious candidate, be sure to foolproof your resume. Rather than relying solely on spellcheck to catch misspellings, have a fresh set of eyes look at your resume to point out issues with grammar, format, or syntax. An error-free resume is one of the best ways to make it clear that you are serious about the role. Job hunting without…being organized If you are applying to multiple jobs at a time, it can become overwhelming to keep track of every submission you’ve made. After all, you never want to be caught off guard if a prospective employer contacts you for an interview and you can’t remember which role you applied to. To avoid this situation, create an Excel or Google Doc to organize and track your activity, including: jobs applied to, date, responses received, phone interviews, etc. Job hunting without…prepping for common interview questions Not all interviews are created equal, but at the very least, there are a number of common interview questions you should be prepared for. Having specific responses in mind can go a long way to increase your level of confidence. Job hunting without…preparing interview questions to ask While answering interview questions is one half of the interview equation, you also need to make sure you have thought about questions to ask your interviewer. Whether you want to learn more about the role or company culture, asking detailed questions shows you’ve done your research and lets your interviewer know you are genuinely interested in working with that company. Job hunting without…utilizing your network One of the most underutilized areas in the job search process is your own network. Instead of sending your resume into a black hole of online applications, reach out to people in your network to see if there’s any way they can lend a hand. In addition, attending networking events, volunteering, or arranging meet ups are great ways to build your network. Job hunting without…sending thank you notes Instead of ending your interview and waiting to hear back, be sure to take the extra step to send a ‘thank you’ note to all those who were involved in the interview. Along similar lines, if you feel left in the dark on where you stand in the interview process, don’t be afraid to follow up with your contact to get an update.
13 April 2018
To recover from the impact of the Great Recession, banks have needed to find new ways to produce profits. In light of this, hedge funds, asset managers, insurers, and private equity firms have increasingly turned their efforts to alternative investments with banks to maximize yield in a low-interest environment. With a move to more alternative investments, namely private debt, the rising interest in this space has translated into an increase in job opportunities for finance professionals! “Over the past two years, financial institutions have found an increased need for candidates with experience in operations, bank debt, and collateralized loan obligation products,” says Paul Herman, Senior Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services team. Whether you have leverage finance/investment or buy side experience and are looking to break into an emerging market, here are 3 things you need to focus on: Increasing your marketability Whether you’ve been focused on equities, fixed income, or derivatives, it can be easy to become complacent with the types of products you specialize in. However, today’s financial institutions are most interested in your product knowledge, including your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities that can emphasize the specifics of what you know. “Finance professionals looking to transition to the private debt space should find ways to support different desks at your current employer to build your product knowledge,” recommends Paul. “This will not only diversify your product knowledge and make you a more marketable candidate, but it may also give you greater flexibility to make a career transition in the future.” Keeping an open mind If you are serious about transitioning into a new role, it’s important that you remain open to new opportunities. “I’ve found that candidates are more apprehensive to entertain these newer private debt opportunities because they aren’t as educated on many of the responsibilities or benefits of these roles,” notes Paul. For example, there is a large number of buy side firms that have much flatter structures than the big banks (i.e., Analyst, Associate, Senior Associate, etc.), so it can be tempting to get caught up in the title of the role rather than the opportunity. “If you aren’t willing to look past a title, for example, you could be doing your job search more harm than good.” Job titles can vary by company, so don’t overlook an opportunity because the title is different from what you were originally looking for. Instead, continue to do your due diligence by evaluating the responsibilities and keep an open mind about different opportunities. Knowing your worth As you embark on any job search, it’s important to know your worth. This will ensure that you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to leverage your technical and soft skills to get what you deserve. “If you’re looking for ways to stand out against competition, emphasize any modeling skills you possess or highlight any private credit or Mezzanine experience,” says Paul. “Understanding just how important these skills are to prospective employers can go a long way in negotiating the right terms for yourself.”