When Should You Start Looking for a Private Equity Job?

This post is part of a short series that covers the who / when / where / how of landing a private equity job. This post is about the “when” of PE recruiting. You can find all the posts in this series here.

When Should You Start Looking for a Private Equity Job?

Private equity recruiting generally unfolds 10-18 months prior to your prospective PE start date.

Big prestigious mega-cap funds will recruit analysts, consultants, and other candidates beginning in the winter and spring of the year prior to the incoming PE class start dates — that can be 10-18 full months (and possibly even more!) in advance of your actual start date.

The next bracket of PE firms (e.g., semi-large and middle-market firms) may also start their recruiting processes around the same time or a bit later, but they will continue on after the mega-cap funds have finished recruiting and may recruit into the fall of that year as well (until they have filled their classes to their satisfaction).

Smaller firms and specialty funds may recruit even beyond that — winter and spring of the next year (the same year as the prospective start date) — and may also recruit in a more ad hoc non-standardized way, since their hiring needs may shift throughout the year (unlike mega-caps which have pretty stable, predictable hiring needs).


Found this series useful?

Be sure to check out our PDF guide “How to Nail Your Private Equity Interview (whether you have finance training or not)” for in-depth tips and strategies on how to successfully interview for jobs at top private equity firms!

Also be sure to check out our step-by-step Private Equity LBO Modeling Training Videos for walk-through tutorials on how to build an LBO model, navigate Excel with ruthless efficiency, and rapidly create an LBO PowerPoint deck to present to your PE interviewers.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen received an associate offer, without any formal LBO experience, on his first attempt at applying for private equity investing positions in the competitive San Francisco Bay Area. He worked for Huntsman Gay Global Capital, the Bain Capital spin-out founded by the industrialist Jon Huntsman, former Bain Capital Chairman Bob Gay, former San Francisco 49ers Superbowl quarterback Steve Young, and including former CFO of Citigroup and American Express Gary Crittenden. Andrew was previously a member of the Corporate Finance & Strategy Practice at McKinsey & Company and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. You can follow him on Twitter and .

Opt In Image
Get our FREE 10-part email mini-course on how to break into private equity: networking, interviewing, and LBOs
(No spam or BS, ever. Unsubscribe anytime.)