Did you manage to update your résumé and cover letter last week? Good! Otherwise you should read all the tips and tricks you need to know for a killer résumé and cover letter in my previous article. Let’s continue… the next step in your job search journey: exploring the job market! The world of finance is broad. Therefore, it is important to point out every section. This week we will be covering Private Equity (PE). The job market of PE is competitive and challenging! Understanding and good preparation is key.

What is Private Equity?

An important question: what is PE? This alternative form of investment, allocates investment money from institutional investors, such as high-net-worth individuals and pension funds. The raised capital is invested in the shares of a private company/ non-publicly-traded company that are struggling, but are expected to have great potential. These firms strive to improve the portfolio of these so-called companies and increase the value of an organization before selling out for a higher price, usually during a period of 5 to 8 years. In conclusion, you have to improve the profitability of the companies. In this field it is not all about selling and buying companies.

Private Equity explained

A career in Private Equity

Maybe you are interested in an internship? The duration of an internship is usually 3 to 6 months. What your main tasks will be? Supporting the analyst or associate in monitoring portfolio companies, cold acquisition to source new deals and building financial models.

Where you will assist the analysts and associates depends on the stage of the deal:

There are differences within the PE sector, such as type of deals, working hours, and the focus on specific sectors. Do your research before you apply for an internship. Candidates should have an affinity with finance related subjects like finance, econometrics, or accounting. And I repeat, affinity. It is not a requirement that you study finance to work in Private Equity.

The thing is unfortunately that PE companies don’t usually hire candidates without any experience… The moral of the story is that prior experience in other fields of finance, for example Corporate Finance/ M&A, will get you a long way.

Investing in multiple internships and extra-curricular activities during your studies will help you stand out and will give you the chance to start an internship or maybe even an analyst position at a private equity.

Our tip? Take your time and invest in your resume.

  • Invest in extra-curricular activities during your bachelor
  • Take your time for your Masters and finish it in 2 years instead of 1
  • Do an internship in Corporate Finance
  • Finish your Masters with an internship in Private Equity
  • Rock your internship and get an offer as an analyst
  • Or, invest in a career in Corporate Finance or Strategy Consulting and switch to Private Equity after two years


Want to know which Private Equities hire fresh graduates in The Netherlands, book your consult with one of our talent managers.

As shown above, the PE job market is very competitive and is not accessible for everyone. My advice: Network! Network! Network! Do not know where to start? You know where to find us. Get in touch with companies by attending Female x Finance workshops, so your network with women in PE and other fields in finance expands. A strong network is a must in the world of PE. 

You’ve now already updated your résumé and you know how to create a cover letter. In the upcoming articles I will help you ace an interview. Let’s keep in touch!

– Dave van der Heiden