1. READ - Get up to speed on the hedge fund industry. Read hedge fund industry publications. You may also want to read several hedge fund books including Hedge Funds for Dummies, The Alternative Asset Handbook and others.
2. PICK YOUR POSITION - There are 3 basic entry level hedge fund jobs - hedge fund analyst, hedge fund trader, or sales. An analyst is the most common starting place, but define your roll and start networking with hedge fund people.
3. NETWORK - Network with hedge fund professionals through the internet message boards. Networking with the Chartered Financial Analyst chapters can be a great way to meet hedge fund employees. If you have done your homework (steps 1 +2) some of these contacts may be willing to or give you advice on getting a job in the hedge fund industry.
4. INTERNSHIPS - See our section on hedge fund internships. If you do get a hedge fund internship work your butt off and over-deliver and don't take up too much of the hedge fund manager's time.
5. RESUMES - Some factors that hedge funds look at include:
• CFA Designations
• Equity analyst, trading or sales experience
• Loyalty, passion, humility and hunger
• Quantitative and/or modeling experience
• Strong Educational background – Ivy League, MBA, Quant-focused PhDs
• High-quality name experience
• The desire for a high commission/bonus structure payout system
You may also want to consider getting a hedge fund list. This way you can contact hedge funds directly. This is particularly useful in the current economy. You can find some inexpensive lists (as opposed to the $5000+ Barclay's and other firms charge):