Private Equity Resumes

120 Comments | Private Equity & The Buy-Side - Resumes

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NOTE: While this article is still relevant and has great information, if you’re interested in private equity resumes you should review the following template and video tutorial to see exactly how to write one:

“I really enjoy it,” he says, folding his arms and lying back in his chair with a contented grin. “I’m in [private equity] because I like to be excellent and to win.”

-Steve Schwarzman, Fortune Magazine Interview

If you want to be like Steve here and become King Of Wall Street, your first step will be tailoring your resume to get those private equity interviews and break into the industry.

Sure, you did a great job with your investment banking resume. You got into a top group on Wall Street, or even if you didn’t, you at least managed to land a job at a boutique investment bank.

But if you want to be King, you have to think about your resume once again.

And with private equity recruiting season having just started, I figured a discussion of private equity resumes would be a good way to start the week.

In many ways tailoring your resume for buyside jobs is similar to crafting the perfect investment banking resume.

But it’s different in one critical aspect: you have to focus entirely on your investment banking experience rather than trying to be inclusive of everything else you’ve done.

Sure, for MBA admissions or jobs outside finance, show the whole picture. But for private equity jobs, your investment banking and deal experience are all that matter.

Private Equity Resume Structure

About half your resume should be comprised of your current investment banking job. Minimize your pre-banking experience. Yes, they will cover this during interviews, but the purpose of a resume is to get your foot in the door.

Education should be at the bottom of your resume now (unlike with investment banking analyst resumes), and the top of your resume should start with your contact information and then immediately jump into your Work Experience, starting with your investment banking job.

Writing About Your Investment Banking Job

Start this section with one or two brief sentences about your overall responsibilities and the types of deals you’ve worked on thus far. You could also include information on any special projects that were not deal-related but nevertheless contributed to the firm in some way.

There should be three key pieces of information you relay in this introductory sentence:

  1. Number of deals worked on
  2. Types of deals worked on – M&A (sellside and buyside), IPOs, Follow-Ons, Convertibles, Debt
  3. Skills gained – LBO modeling, accretion/dilution modeling, DCF skills, valuation

Once you’ve picked this as your summary, you need to decide on deals to write about and then go into detail on your transaction experience – this is the heart of your private equity resume.

Choosing Your Deals

A VP-level banker once told me that “it would be difficult to get a private equity job without closed deals on your resume.”

Nothing could be farther from the truth. When private equity firms recruit in between the middle of your first year and beginning of your second year, they don’t expect that everyone will have closed deals by then. Some analysts never even close deals at all!

When picking deals to write about, what you personally contributed to the deal is more important than the size or “prestige” of the deal. Yes, it’s nice to have $50 billion M&A deals under your name, but if all you did was a simple valuation or basic research for the other team members, don’t make it a focal point of your resume.

Always lean toward picking the deals where you learned the most and were the most unusual vs. choosing larger deals that were pretty standard and didn’t give you much unique experience.

For private equity jobs, also try to write about M&A deals rather than capital markets transactions – what you do on a daily basis is much closer to M&A than anything else. Debt might be ok to write about as well, but avoid IPOs and Fairness Opinions (FOs) if at all possible.

Writing About Your Deals

Let’s start with how you should not write about a deal:

How NOT To Write About A Deal

  • $5B Sale Of Company Y To Company X
    • Drafted Offering Memorandum and Management Presentation and tracked status of deal with potential buyers
    • Managed due diligence process between Company Y and different buyers and responded to all inquiries

The two items listed here would be expected of any investment banking analyst working on a sellside M&A deal. That’s what you as an Investment Banking Analyst do – you write the sales documents, maintain buyer logs, and send documents to interested parties.

There’s nothing here that makes me think, “This deal looks like a great experience!” And it commits the cardinal sin of not being results-oriented and specific.

The Right Way To Write About A Deal

You need to focus on what was unique about the deal. Did you influence the negotiation process somehow? Did an analysis you created result in a lower/higher price or get new buyers interested? Did you analyze the market in a way that led to more interest or a better price?

If you can’t think of anything unique to write about, pick a different deal. Sometimes it just isn’t possible, and there are many generic deals that are not good material to talk or write about.

Here’s how I would re-write the example above:

  • $5B Sale Of Company Y To Company X
    • Worked directly with CFO to build complex operating model of company involving 40 different properties across multiple states
    • Created market analysis showing favorable trends in casino construction despite subprime-related problems; led to 2 private equity buyers remaining in the auction process until the final round

It is still the same length as the previous attempt, but this one is about 500 times better. It shows what you did that was specific to the deal, and what the results of your work were. And it skips the generic points that are part of any sell-side M&A process.

Writing About Unannounced Or Dead Deals

This is fine. Just don’t mention any names or anything that could be tied directly to the specific deal. You’ll more than likely have to do this anyway when applying for private equity jobs.

Sometimes this can be tricky if it’s a very large or well-known deal that everyone has speculated on but has not been announced yet (e.g. Yahoo / Microsoft before the bid became official). In these cases, avoid mentioning specific numbers or dollar amounts and instead use percentages to make sure you’re not disclosing anything confidential.

Parting Thoughts

Successfully tailoring your resume for private equity jobs is similar to creating a successful investment banking resume. Be specific, quantify, and focus on results. Focus on deals, whether announced or unannounced, and what you contributed that was unique to each deal.

And for even more details and the actual Word document template, see the article and video tutorial below:

About the Author

is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys learning obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, and traveling so much that he's forced to add additional pages to his passport on a regular basis.

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120 Comments to “Private Equity Resumes”


    • says

      Thanks Prince, glad you found it helpful. My first few resume drafts were terrible until some other friends reviewed them and made the appropriate changes.

    • says

      Justin: Typically SAs have it a bit easier than full-time employees, but not by much. Also as a summer you will be “leveraged” a lot more to do tasks the Analysts don’t want to do, e.g. spreading comps. So expect a lot of work, but hey you only have to last for 10 weeks and it’s over.

    • says

      I spent three summers as a summer analysts and one of those summers in financial sponsors at a BB.

      I rarely had to spread comps since we normally relied on the industry groups to do that and then we spot checked it. I did occasionally get work put on my plate by other analysts that was considered mindless but how frequently this happens will all depend on how much your staffer exerts his influence. If the staffer makes it clear that only he can assign you to projects then you shouldn’t end up doing much BS work. My situation may have been unusual since we were very understaffed for analysts and for part of my summer the LBO game was still red hot. They may have needed me to do more modeling, etc. than a normal summer analyst.

      Most weeks averaged about 80-90 hours a week. I did have one week which was my last week were I took two red-eye flights and worked about 130 hours working on a bid for a sponsor bidding in a sell-side auction.

      In the two summers I worked in Prime Brokerage sales I worked between 65 and 80 hours a week.

  1. Drexel says

    I will be applying for an internship/job in London for a Private Equity venture capitalist position. I have 3 good letters of recommendation: One from Smith Barney, One from the Dean of Finance at my school, and One from a friend of mine who works for a Apollo Investments (venture capitalist firm).

    I would like to include a video resume, where I will elaborate my strong points as well as specific examples where I believe I can add value to the firm. These will include past experiences where I used my resources effectively and ultimately evaluated the outcome correctly. I will also articulate a few other specific points in my resume as to why I will be the best match for their firm and how previous experience will give me the advantage over other candidates.

    I would like to start applying immediately, but I would like to know if supplying a video interview would give me a technological advantage on my side or just waste my time.

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Yes this can potentially work but you’ll have to keep it very short. I don’t think PE trends is as useful as analysis of investments/industries you think GPs should be involved in

  2. Zak says

    Please Please Please do not do a video resume!!!! If i were on the other side of the table I will surely kick you out of the process..

    M&I, seriously great job! the part of writing job responsibilities is very very good! I appreciate your effort

  3. Fin says

    With the obvious difficulty of getting BB IB offers as a summer analyst for 2009, will there be a large benefit to these people when compared to historical years when PE recruiting comes along in Jan. 2011?

    I keep on hearing that reputation at this point is thrown out the door for all BB firms. As a result, do you think that PE firms will care less about which firm and group analysts go to prior to PE whereas before there was a large emphasis on those factors?

    • says

      Hmm, hard to say on what the benefit will be… on the reputation issues, keep in mind that PE is a really small industry to begin with. So they can afford to be hyper-selective and carefully choose who they want – most BB analysts don’t even go to large firms because there are far more of them than there are openings.

  4. adrian says


    actually working for a big four (3 years), and graduating from an excellent australian university, I am wondering about my chances to get into investment banking.
    Could someone give me hints, and advices?


    • says

      If you’ve already been working full-time for several years it’s more difficult to break in. I would do some networking first with alumni and perhaps some cold-calling to gauge the response, and if no one seems open to it then you may want to consider a top business school instead.

      • Robbie says

        It’s a little different in Australia: Adrien, as you’re already working for one of the big 4, I’d suggest moving into an area of Corp/Institutional banking or treasury services. US IBs in Aus usually poach the better workers in those areas. In Aus its all who you know: Work the long hours, make the contacts, and move up.

  5. James says

    Hey Brian,

    Just had a quick question about exit opps. I know you mentioned in the past that doing M&A was the best way to get into PE. However, I know some BBs don’t have a separate M&A group but rather have M&A analysts within the industry coverage verticals. If I was unable to get the M&A analyst role within the coverage group, would my PE chances be diminished? Thanks in advance


    • says

      You should be fine, M&A helps but it is not “required” to do PE or anything. You just need access to headhunters and good interview skills.

  6. James says

    Okay that makes sense. Also, during my SA stint and from doing some reading, I keep coming across the myth that working in more specialized groups like FIG or Nat Res can limit a person somewhat in terms of access to the buy-side. Could you provide any insight on this? Thanks again.

    • says

      There is some truth to that. You get more specialized as you move up, and it can be difficult to move elsewhere once you’re already on the buy-side. In those types of groups you’re more likely to head to FIG or Natural Resource-focused hedge funds / PEs, etc. rather than having great access to a wide range of different funds.

  7. James says

    Hey Brian,

    I’m doing some additional research on PE firms and it seems that most of the associates at the larger funds come from the “better” brand name bulge bracket firms (GS/MS/JPM etc). How is it possible for an analyst at other bulge brackets to overcome this or is it better to shoot for smaller firms out of the 2-year analyst program, go to b-school, and aim for the Blackstones, Apollos, and TPGs of the world? Thanks in advance

    • says

      You have to network aggressively and get referrals to headhunters from your friends at those places… honestly a lot of the time you can’t do that much, but its also almost irrelevant because no one in the real world even knows what private equity is so “prestige” is a joke compared to banking.

  8. dj says

    Hey just out of curiosity,

    For people who work in private equity or hedge funds what are you referred to as? Like an investment banker is a banker but the lingo (or nick name) you give to someone in private equity or a hedge fund is what?


  9. John says


    Thanks a lot for the help on top. Much appreciated.

    I’m going back full-time into a BB’s Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure group after interning there for the summer, and have been thinking a lot lately about the decision I’ve made from the point of view of exit opps. The group’s awesome but I’m not sure how open PE shops (diversified) are to taking analysts from specific industry groups. Have I limited myself already? You can be completely honest.


    • says

      You will probably be more limited to REITs / RE-focused PE firms in terms of exit opps. You can move elsewhere, but it will be much easier to continue along the RE path because firms like to pigeonhole you as you move up.

  10. Mike says

    great post M&I

    I’d like to seek your advice on the possibility that I switch to the IBD/PE industry

    I have been working in the middle office of capital market for years on quant/risk/pricing etc. at the age of 30. I know it is nearly impossible to make a switch directly, so a reasonable approach is to take a MBA – earliest entry at the age of 31 and then graduate at 33. Would it be too old to make the switch then?

    tks in advance

  11. Brian says


    What are your thoughts on Private Equity Advisor/Fundraising experience and MBA afterwords to get into PE?

    • says

      It’s tough because PE firms want former bankers or former PE guys. While fundraising is sort of close, it’s much more of a marketing role than an analytical role and as such few people make the switch.

  12. Stephen says

    Firstly, thank you for putting together such an excellent website.

    I’m about to go into my second year of university and I’m considering career options. This article focuses on getting into Private Equity from Investment Banking. Is it equally possible to get into Private Equity from Investment Management, or do they tend to prefer people from Investment Banking?

    Would you be doing different types of work at a PE firm, depending on whether you moved from IB or IM?

    • says

      It is very rare to get in from IM – the work has almost no overlap so you’d have to get extremely luck / move to IB first

  13. PE resume says

    Hi M&I. I am putting together a resume with my IB experience. I wanted to mention a sale process where I was strongly involved drafting the Information Memorandum, Management and Mini Management presentations, keeping to date a buyer log, etc. I’ve been trying to think of specific results of my work but can’t find any one without being too specific, which I can’t do. For the moment I have written in my resume this: “helped build an appealing equity story and address a broader buyer universe through targeted information disclosure in marketing materials” but that sounds too generic and bullsh*tish to me.

    The issue with this is that the company we were selling was not really an infrastructure company, but we had the idea of presenting its business model in the sales materials as a concession-based one. We drafted the whole IM putting our focus on the “concession” and “infrastructure” nature of the business. With this we addresed infra funds and not only classic financial sponsors, which would potentially place higher bids.

    Would you keep my sentence in the CV as it is, or how would you rephrase it without saying that we were in a way “lying” to investors? Or would you just mention generic stuff that everyone would expect from an analyst (“drafted Info Memo, management presentation and tracked status of deal with potential buyers”)?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    • says

      Just say that you re-positioned the company to appeal to industry-specific funds rather than just financial sponsors, which could potentially result in higher bids.

  14. credit says


    I have been offered a position as a “credit” analyst at GS. Do you think this can be useful to break into PE/HF later?


      • credit says

        Thanks. Don’t you think that maybe, a credit & convertibles research analyst, or an equities research analyst, is better positioned to get a job in the HF industry than an M&A analyst?

        I feel that the M&A guy just knows how to execute deals and win mandates (+some modeling), whilst the research guy earns a really strong technical and analytical skillset on equities or debt securities that would be way more useful to make money at a HF?

        Or am I wrong with something?

        • says

          Honestly no, because HFs focus on recruiting from front-office investment banking groups. ER you could argue “maybe” but for the others I would generally say no. It’s less about skill set and more about perceived prestige… also keep in mind that HFs vary enormously in their strategies so it really depends on what they do.

  15. Jun says


    I’m sure you get a gazillion mails along the same lines but I really did need your advice.

    Let me firstly congratulate you on your great work. This site has been extremely helpful and is exactly what has been needed in a long time.

    A quick background. I am based out of India, have a bachelors degree in finance and an advanced degree in finance and investment from a leading UK University (though not one of the top 5). I have over 2 years of work ex in policy research with a leading industry chamber in India, and have recently received an offer to join a P.E. firm here.

    This firm happens to be a start up, and they are still in the process of tying up loose ends – funds, etc. I just wanted to know if the risk is worth it, like what if the firm tanks? Will it hurt my prospects in the long run? I don’t want to be left high and dry by the end of it. I am also planning a MBA in future, would like to go to one of the Ivy leagues if possible, so that is another consideration.

    Any advice would be great.

  16. Question says

    Thanks for sharing so much helpful information. Having non-traditional experience at a PE shop – What are your thoughts on including personal contributions that shed less than positive light on the deal? (i.e. resulting in forecasting earlier than expected drawdown on revolver and increased working capital needs requiring cash infusion.)

    Regardless, the fund closed both deals but these points were very meaningful from the buyside persepective.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. says

    Im about start MBA at a top 5 school. Spent 3 years with SBA BANK and another 4 as partner with 2 other MBA running a search fund. We executed 3 deals in the 5m-20m range. Im wondering if that heavy managment/operations background along with the deal structures and top mba would get me looks from small-middle market PE funds. Im not interested in large LBO. Seems that SMALL/MIDDLE markets have to find value in ops. Curious your thoughts.

  18. M says


    I have an interview with a Recruiter for a Real Estate PE position in London. I have been working with a small RE Fund for about 7 months now but we have not done any deals as yet. Hence, I am looking to move to a more established brand name. The challenge I am facing is with the modeling test as I have not worked on many. I was wondering if you happen to have any commercial property proformas that I could work on to get a good grip on these techniques.

    Also, any other thoughts would be appreciated!

  19. Turn key says


    I have 4 years of due diligence experience with a big 4, an MBA from a known university (ranked in the mid teens) …

    Do I have shot at breaking into PE with these credentials … ?? If not, would you suggest a second MBA from a top tier school ?

  20. bhawna virmani says


    I am a Chartered Accountant, qualified two years ago. Currently, I am involved in Planning & Analysis role in a reputed media industry since the last year. Prior to that was working for an audit firm. I have strong interest for mergers & acquisitions. However, I am unable to make a way into this profile. Please tell me what should I do to crack this profile, for instance, any further educational course may be of help.

      • bhawna says

        Many thanks for the valuable feedback!
        Can you please guide me further.
        MBA although i plan, will happen till next year.
        In the meantime, i plan to give a shot to boutique IB or PE firm. Can you suggest me some firms here in India.

        • Sapna says

          Have a look at ICICI Venture Capital, India Value Fund Chrys Capital and Kotak Private Equity Group. Others are the Indian offices of Blackstone Group,Everstone Capital,Sequoia Capital and Baring Private Equity Partners.
          In IB, check out Edelweiss Capital,Kotak Investment banking and ICICI Securities Ltd.

  21. Yogesh says


    I am MBA in finance from Tier 2 institute, with strong exposure in revenue management and currently working with one of the big4 in India. I have a total work experience of approx. 2 years and have sound financial knowledge. I am looking for an opportunity to work in PE. I always wanted to work for PE but initially I was declined as I didn’t have relevant work experience!! Am I still building a relevant work experience? What additional experience or qualification can help me?

    • says

      Big 4 experience can help but you should try to move to TAS or their internal investment bank instead… do a search here for “accounting” to see a few guides.

  22. D says


    I’m currently applying for finance internships in Australia and have just received a letter of recommendation from my Vice-Chancellor. Would it be most wise to attach this letter to my cover letter/resume or have it on me during a subsequent interview?

  23. invag says

    Hi Brian,

    What do I put in my resume when all of the deals which I did were dead?

    It is quite problematic using the resume template of yours.

    Please kindly advise

  24. Jillian Hernandez says

    A good friend of mine’s uncle is in private equity, and I asked him if there was a chance I could get an internship with his company-he’s a partner. However, his office in this city does not take actual interns, as it is rather small.

    He still insisted that I put his firm on my resume, and say I worked as a private equity intern. The investment associate I supposedly worked with is on board also.

    I’m now working on my resume and have a telephone interview on Monday for an internship at a healthcare firm in corporate finance.

    Is this an ok idea? I know it’s too late now to change it since I’ve already submitted my resume to places.

    What kind of things do you recommend putting on a resume as a private equity intern? What kind of specific models in financial valuation are the most common for interns?

    • Jillian Hernandez says

      right now I just have general things on my resume.

      such as:

      • Assisted an investment associate in creating financial models.
      • Analyzed and researched portfolio companies in which we have invested.

      how do i elaborate on this more?

      • Jillian Hernandez says

        Thanks man really appreciate it.

        So i have a phone interview on monday…

        Been practicing a lot. I’m a junior and this will be my fourth internship, in corporate finance this time.

        When she does ask me about the specifics of what I did in this company or about “what kind of models”, would it be acceptable to say:

        “Assisted with financial models, merger models including comparative company analysis.

        The research and analysis I did of the current portfolio companies mainly included the healthcare industry, companies like NuVasive and DJ Pharma. However, there were different kinds of companies, including Education and Consumer Services.

        I did analysis of their operations, the areas of work they were in, and the products they had. ”

        Does this work?

        • Jillian Hernandez says

          Actually, I just talked to a partner at the firm.

          And he told me to talk more about me working with income statements, balance sheets, and cash flows-doing the core work before a model.

          Also I was working on two deals that eventually went through, and their company names.

          For analysis and research: I worked on actuals vs budgets, and pricing + competition for competitive products.

          Does this all sound good for a phone interview?

          • M&I - Nicole says

            Yes. Remember to elaborate on the details, what you got out of your work, what you learned, how you could use what you learn to add value to the interviewer

        • M&I - Nicole says

          Can you add more details and make your work sound more interesting? What sort of comps did you use? What conclusions did you arrive at? What did you learn? Can you find a specific example and make it sound more appealing to the interviewer?

          How did you utilize your strengths in your work?

  25. Salam says

    Firstly, I wanted to say that this is the most amazing website I’ve come across. I’m a 3.2 liberal arts grad from a non-target living in an irrelevant city, with no connections or mentors. Yes, I have an extremely slim chance of actually getting into i-banking, or anything really. But your posts are so helpful–no matter what industry you’re looking into, so thank you.

    About three weeks ago, I got an interview with a guy from a small private equity firm and I have a couple of questions. It’s a 10hr/week internship, mostly remote. I would be doing research, analysis, inputting data in spreadsheets, and making reports and powerpoint presentations as needed. He called it an “Acquisition Analyst” position, but surely that can’t really be the a typical “analyst” position? He said there was little to no math involved. So my question is, is that typical of an entry level FT position in private equity (though more hours)? And if I go through the internship, is this good experience for further opportunities?

    Second is I haven’t really heard from him since. He’s pretty old and hadn’t had interns before. Very flex and talking to me almost as if I already had the job. But he said it might take 3 weeks just for him to go through the interview process and he’s super busy. So I’ve been trying to keep checking in and staying on his radar: I e-mailed a thank you letter the day after the interview; called about 2 weeks after (and he was busy and quickly got off the phone saying he’d call me back but never did.) A week later (just a couple of days ago) I sent another short e-mail just letting him know I was still interested–no response. Is this fishy? Yes, he said it would take long, but he seemed very e-mail savvy prior to the interview and now he’s not responding so I’m not sure what to do. Any help is appreciated!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      No this isn’t a typical internship. However, it is a good way to get your foot in the door

      Call him again and see what he says. Yes it does sound like he has lost interest or things have changed, however he might also just be busy. Speak to him and see. If things have changed, move on and find another opportunity

  26. Prospects says


    I have been reading your articles and considering going back to MBA school. I am currently a fund accountant at a private equity fof. I was an auditor for 3 years at a big 4. I would like to know my chances of entering the private equity industry after graduating from MBA school or is it more likely to get into BB ibank then make the move to PE.

    • says

      Better to go to a bank first and then move into PE… PE is very tough to break into without transactional experience. You might be able to get in at a smaller firm, but banking or mgmt consulting experience is advised first.

  27. Mike says

    I graduated from UCF last summer with a degree in Finance, took and passed my CFA Level 1 this past Dec, and I am currently enrolled at Creighton University Masters in Security Analysis,which has CFA centered curriculum. My work experience involves a 5 month research analyst intern, more than a yr of life insurance, a yr internship with Director of Finance at UCF. Im still having a hard time getting an interview.

  28. says


    I am currently an analyst for a small/mid private equity firm $300m (so probably on the small side), and am considering going back for an MBA. I will have 2 years work experience as an Analyst and have a business degree from a state school. My goal is to eventually begin fundraising and start my own firm (a little harder than it sounds, right?). My question is, is it worth it for me to go back to school or keep adding to my current resume by keeping my current job. My undergraduate GPA wasn’t great and I have never been a great test taker so I’m not exactly sure what tier of school I would be eligible for. I was able to secure this job through some serious family connections in the PE world and I’m not sure if that would hurt or help my chances. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • M&I - Nicole says

      If you want to start your own firm, an MBA from a top school might help you because it gives more credibility esp when you are fundraising. However, if you can great and unique experience through your job and exposure to various investors, I would give it a second thought before quitting. Perhaps you can study and work at the same time? Apply first and see how it goes

  29. jc says

    Hi, do you recommend the same resume format for a post MBA ibd associate looking to break into pe? Thanks!

  30. Danny says

    Hi M&I,

    I have an MBA from UCLA. Prior to that I have 2.5 years of audit experience in Europe. I worked for twice for a small IB in Europe as a SA for a total of 8 months.. Since b-school, I’ve been doing business valuations.. The financial part of what I do is very similar to IBs.. Valuation models for various purposes.. I work with PE firms on a constant basis providing them post-transaction work for financial reporting purposes such as purchase price allocation, impairment tests, and stock option valuation..

    I want to move into a more transaction oriented job, preferably IB, considering PE is a long(er) shot.. I understand that my chances are slim to none.. Nevertheless, I wanted to ask for your advice.. Is there any way I can break into IB or PE? Would would your recommendation be if my chances are more than zero..

    Thank you very much..

  31. James says

    Great post. Question about dead deals.
    In understand that we shouldn’t give too many details about current deals. But what about dead deals? How do you include them in the resume? Is it OK to include something like: “Potential/Attempted $xxbn acquisition of XYZ Corp. by ABC Corp.”? I’m just a bit confused about what wording (“potential”, “attempted”?) you should use and how much information to disclose (price? names?). Would really appreciate if you could elaborate more on this… thanks!

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Have you done a lot of work on this dead deal? Do you have other deals to talk about?

      If you have done a lot of work on this dead deal and you think its worthwhile to list it, I’d list it as $xxbn attempted acquisition of [industry name] company by [industry name] company – you can disclose names/price if such info is not confidential. You can just state what you did there and the outcome of the deal under sub-bullet pts under this work entry bullet pt.

  32. Jon says

    While listing deal experience, e.g. $xxM Sale Of Company A To Company B, what is the best approach to listing a private equity investment with a private company in which the invested amount has not been disclosed to the public?


    • M&I - Nicole says

      XX PE Company’s Approximately XX Amount Investment in XX Private Company [You can even skip the company names]

  33. Richard Harris says

    He, I really enjoy reading your articles. I am in a non target Econ MS program and I am hoping to get work get a legit NY internship in PE or IB. My only actual experience is my current internship, which I just got. I am currently working with a PE placement firm. I am not sure how I should descibe the position without sounding dumb.

    I research on many PE news sites. Any news that is major personnel changes in PE/investment firms, funds being raised or closed, news relating to one of our four funds, or any general market trends, I put into a database. I have also extensive knowledge of all types of private equity since I had to learn them for researching. How would you word this on a resume?

    I currently dont work with any financial models since I just started. Should I mention some of the funds being raised and their target amounts?

    • M&I - Nicole says

      Just rephrase your second paragraph and focus on the impact you’ve made.

      If you’re involved in the fundraising efforts sure mention it. But from what you’ve mentioned I don’t think you are so I don’t think raising such information will be useful though you can try to demonstrate your knowledge of PE funds

  34. K says


    I’ve been working in equity research at a bulge bracket for just under 3 years, but have become increasingly intrigued by the PE arena. Recruiters have so far told me that I lack the “transaction and/or execution” experience for an investment associate role – what are these exactly? (i.e. what specifically have M&A analysts 1-3 done, than say what a writing equity analyst that has written on potential M&A and has built detailed equity/LBO pro-forma models etc, may have).

    Many thanks.

  35. B says


    For the number of deals in the introductory sentence, should the deal count include major pitches, ongoing, or failed transactions (i.e. ran an unsuccessful sale process)?


  36. Maggie says

    I was trying to log onto BIWS, but the website keeps telling me that I need to update my browser. Although it says updating is not required, it does not allow me to do anything other than clicking into one of the browser downloading websites. Can you direct me to how I can get access to the website without upgrading my browser?


    • says

      What web browser are you using? We require at least IE8 (IE 7 doesn’t support some of the features in use on many sites these days) or versions of Firefox / Chrome / Safari from the past few years.

      If you can’t upgrade your browser, we can point you to an alternate version of the site that uses the older design – email us at

  37. Tumi says


    Quick question about switching careers.

    Currently working in an operations management role for top fortune 500 infrastructure company. I plan to switch to PE dealing with infrastructure deals.

    I also just got accepted into a top 10 MBA program starting this fall and I am trying to get my foot in the door by doing a PE internship prior to starting my MBA.

    How do you suggest I go about marketing myself on my resume?


    • says

      Play up any analytical work, number crunching, or negotiation you did related to infrastructure… pitch yourself as “industry expert with finance experience + top 10 MBA program who knows the industry better than even people who did normal PE before because infrastructure is so different” and point out how you’ve gained the deal and modeling skills in the process.

  38. Gregory says

    Hi, I am a rising senior at a top tier undergraduate institution and prefer to undergo my financial services career at my own pace. It seems that IB is the only way to get into buy side of the financial services market.

    I am currently in an internship program that leads to a job offer with Bank of America. The position would be in Asset-Based Finance. I chose this line of business because I want to have a good work balance in my early twenties… (I hope you understand). But I would like to work in PE, just at a later point in my life, maybe after I get an MBA. Should I be worried?

  39. Another monkey says

    I am finishing my 1st year as an IB Analyst now and am looking to lateral to another BB or boutique. Probably 75% of my capacity over the last year have been spent on one project, the remainder were random pitches. Is it okay to write just about one project and to leave out the random work I have done?


    • M&I - Nicole says

      Yes, though you can always include few details of the random work you’ve done to diversify your experience.

      • Another monkey says

        Thanks Nicole, for previous internships, would you only list employer and role or would you also include a few brief sentences on what you actually did?

        Or, as in my case, I had 1 IB and a few non-IB internships: would you only write about the IB one?


        • M&I - Nicole says

          I’d focus on the IB one. I’d also write about the non-IB ones briefly, highlight finance related work you’ve done at non-IB roles.

  40. Talal says

    First off, this is a fantastic website and I sincerely thank you for putting in the time to help us out.

    I just finished a summer in M&A at a mid-tier bulge bracket bank – got the return offer as well. I was a bit fortunate to even have this job given that I had weak work experience leading up to this summer but that’s old news. I want to lateral to a top-tier bank or an elite boutique.

    In what ways is the full-time interview different than the summer analyst interview? I know they want to talk about my transaction experience from this summer but should I expect them to ask me how a PIK bond flows through a debt schedule?

  41. Dude says


    Many thanks for the awesome posts and website. Just had a quick question — it mentions above to avoid writing about Fairness Opinion transactions you have worked on. Just wondering what the reason for this is?

    What if you’ve been asked to provide a sort of formal valuation for an offer which involves heavy analytical work?


  42. Diana says


    I’ve been working in a top tier investment bank in London as an analyst in FIG. I am currently a year 3 analyst (up for associate promotion in a few months) and am yet to work on any deals. I have worked on one failed deal and my responsibilities were very minimal and that of a year one analyst (no modelling or in depth analysis)

    What advice can you give me with regards to moving into PE and what I can actually put on my CV? Is this a feasible option or should I apply to another investment bank and take a lower position?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    • M&I - Nicole says

      I think its a safer bet to gain more experience in IB first before moving to PE. Your deal experience may not be sufficient for some PE interviews. If you could stay at your current bank and transfer to a different group and gain more experience this maybe a better option, versus taking a lower position at another bank.


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