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8 Biggest Job Search Mistakes Quants Are Still Making

December 8, 2014

As an executive recruiter with over 30 years’ experience working with quantitative candidates, I’ve advised many talented professionals throughout the job search process. The growth this industry is seeing right now is nothing short of explosive – I still remember analytics as a tiny niche when I started recruiting! – and the career opportunities seem to be growing exponentially by the second. We get calls from organizations almost daily asking for help filling quantitative roles.


Given this explosive growth, it’s important that you know what to do in your search. I often act as a career adviser to my candidates, so I wanted to some of the biggest job-search mistakes some analytics professionals are still making. Click here to see the worst strategic career mistakes I see Quants making when choosing between offers, negotiating salaries, and more.

  • Overly Lengthy Resumes – Barring a few exceptions, 1-2 pages is generally a good guideline for resume length. Keep your early experience brief, and focus on your most recent roles and accomplishments.
  • Irrelevant Resume Content– Include detail about the impact your work has had on your organization’s or client’s business, not just a list of tactical duties. If you’re targeting a role as an analytics manager there’s no need to detail your duties as a summer lifeguard, and never include pictures or personal information (e.g. age or marital status) on your resume.
  • Unprofessional LinkedIn Photos – For many hiring managers and recruiters, this will be their first impression of you, so make sure it’s a positive one and choose a photo that is professional. Even if the roles you’re targeting aren’t client-facing, having a professional photo is important.
  • Incomplete Profiles – LinkedIn is the go-to resource for hiring managers and recruiters; maintain a profile that is complete and professional, and fix any spelling or grammar errors. Project work is especially strengthened with specific, quantified examples.
  • Failing to Research Companies – Your interviewer will expect you to know basic information about their company and the latest news, and it’s wise to research anyone whom you will be interviewing with, or meeting during your interview. It is also expected that you will have prepared strong questions for the interviewer, and researching the company will help.
  • Being Presumptuous or Overly Casual in Interviews – Hold off on talking about benefits like vacation time or upward mobility until after the first interview. Focus first on showing that you’ll be a good fit for the organization, and seeing if the organization is a good fit for you. Similarly, interviews are not the best time to test the boundaries at a new company; avoid swearing, jokes that could be offensive, or overly casual clothing.
  • Not Following Up After Interviews – This is a must-do. Make sure to get business cards or email addresses from everyone that you speak with during an on-site interview so you can send personalized thank-you emails afterwards.
  • Poor Communication – As you know, communication skills are crucial in analytics, and one-word or very short emails can be interpreted as poor communication. When describing your quantitative projects or your experience, avoid using the word “stuff” or being vague, and be specific.

I hope you found some of this information helpful, if there’s anything you feel should be added to this list feel free to leave it in a comment below. If you’re a hiring manager or HR professional, check out this article I wrote on how companies can fix their hiring processes.

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