We spoke to Wall Street's top young headhunters -- here are their best pieces of advice for job candidates

Photo: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images.
  • Business Insider recently compiled a list of the top headhunters on Wall Street age 40 and under, and we asked many of them what they like to see from job candidates.
  • We got a slew of useful tips for landing coveted positions on Wall Street.
  • Transparency is crucial, one said: “Kids just not being honest with me or other recruiters – that, to me, is huge.”

Business Insider recently compiled a list of the top headhunters on Wall Street age 40 and under, and in the process we asked many of them the same question: What do you look for in candidates?

One recruiter said that a great strategy when going into banking is to specialize in an area that isn’t completely saturated.

Banks are massive and can be intimidating – and not all sectors are as valued as others. If you’re at an investment bank that is already overrun with talented associates and vice presidents covering technology, consider a different industry or even middle-market transactions.

“Do your best to find an area or sector that is both underpenetrated and niche-y, but it also needs to be valued by the bank,” one headhunter told us. “Find a sector to cover that has upward running room.”

Here’s what others had to say about how to land coveted Wall Street positions:

  • Be agile, and don’t shy away from strenuous projects: “People are looking for individuals who are more agile and flexible than they ever have before,” a recruiter told us. “I’m very attracted to candidates who have been through significant difficulties.”
  • Demonstrate investing prowess – even if that’s just having smart analysis and opinions of the deals that senior bankers are actually running: “I look for those that are already thinking like an investor and have opinions and their own point of view on the deals they have worked on.”
  • Transparency is crucial in developing a healthy relationship with a recruiter: “Kids just not being honest with me or other recruiters – that, to me, is huge,” one headhunter said. “As long as your open with me that will be good in my book.”
  • If you want to rise to the top, don’t move around too much: “Someone who jumps around today, that doesn’t read very well for a senior level,” they said. “However, the healthy thing is to figure out what it is you want to apply yourself to and drive after that.”

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