Your Target Role in Private Equity

April 3, 2012

If you are looking for a job in private equity, then you already know that it is a highly competitive industry. You already know who the top private equity firms are, and you probably know where your competitors are coming from. But do you know exactly what you want your role to be once you land a job? Knowing exactly where your passion and skill-sets lie will ensure you are on the right path to a private equity career.

Private Equity jobs can be broken down into four main positions. Below is a description of each one, as well as tips on what skills are required:

Back Office – this encompasses Accounting, Legal, Analytics, Marketing and Sales. These are the most easily attainable post-MBA positions in the PE industry. The major skills required are: technical understanding of the industries in which the firm invests, analytical skills to assess investment opportunities, and interpersonal skills needed to build a strong network.

Investment Professional – this position is focused on researching various potential investments and supporting the general partners. Having a background in investment banking and analysis, being at the top of your class, and having 2-3 years experience will help you stand out.

Investor Relations – this position involves speaking to investors and limited partners, both at the fundraising level, as well as maintaining existing relationships. PE firms are looking for candidates with 3 or more years of experience in investor relations for a financial institution, a solid understanding of private equity investments, and outstanding communication and presentation skills.

General Partners – these are the “Dealmakers.” The general partners make all of the decisions about the private equity fund and are also in charge of managing the fund’s portfolio. Candidates for the General Partner role must have 7+ years of post-MBA experience, a good rapport in the industry, and a large network.

For a comprehensive view of the private equity career path, check out Job Search Digest’s Private Equity Careers Guide at

About the Author:

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC, is a Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach with nearly two decades experience working with professionals in finance, management consulting, legal, and technology.

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