This article appears in QuantNet 2013-2014 International Guide to Programs in Financial Engineering. The job market for quants has changed inexorably. The “particle finance” trend of the last 20 years is on the wane. While funds will still be able to trade on a prop basis, banks’ ability to do so has been severely restricted. Some may see this as a pendulum, but most agree that the aggressive trading styles seen in regulated financial institutions will never be seen again. Does that mean that there are no more jobs for quants? Certainly not. It does mean, however, that the nature of the job market will be different. The growing number of quant finance programs also suggests that there will be much more competition for these jobs. The following suggestions may be helpful in the job hunt. Stop focusing upon HFT positions—there aren’t that many jobs out there, and many of the people who get those jobs find that it’s VERY hard to make money. Consider positions in model review, audit, and price verification. Those areas are growing rapidly. Check the job ads at the regulatory agencies (FRB, SEC, OCC, CFTC, and FINRA). Many people get their start at these organizations. Think about jobs outside of banking. Corporate treasuries need quants, too, as do data/ media companies. Know the industry. Be able to identify the top firms in each sector in which you interview (hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, etc.) Read the industry press. Know the regulatory landscape. Know the company. Read their annual report. Know their position in the industry and their strengths and weaknesses. Read all recent news articles about them. Don't spout off about all the big-name academics you know. Everyone else knows them, too. Have a good reason for wanting to be in finance. Wanting to make lots of money isn't one of them. Be convincing or you'll be tagged as a gold digger. Dress the part. Show up for your interview in business attire. Wall Street isn't Silicon Valley. Speak clearly. One of the biggest challenges facing many quants is being articulate. Most senior executives, while intelligent, aren't quants. Be able to express complex concepts in simple terms. Don't pad your résumé. If you make a major omission or misstate something, there's a good chance you'll be discovered and dismissed. Be prepared to discuss any topic you mention in your vitae. The quickest way to get dinged is to come off as a faker. Have an opinion. Show that you've thought about the issues facing the industry. Keep on top of current events. Don't get thrown off by a tough question. Pressure is part of the business. Do the best you can. If you simply don't know the answer, say so. Don't try to fake it. One flubbed response doesn't ruin an interview. Don't talk salary. The market is reasonably efficient. If you try to negotiate too hard, you will run into difficulty. Stop worrying about GPA. It probably won't matter that much unless it's really low. Don't brag too much about your programming expertise unless you're interviewing for a programming job, whiles there's an overlap, most quants aren't programmers and most programmers aren't quants. About the author Kenneth Abbott is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, where he is the Chief Operating Officer for Firm Risk Management. In addition, he also supervises the risk management of the Investment Management businesses. He is also responsible for legal entity risk management for Morgan Stanley’s US swap dealers and and sits on the investment and valuation committees for the Morgan Stanley Private Equity and Infrastructure funds. Previously, he ran market risk management for Bank of America’s Investment Bank. He has over 30 years banking experience, including 14 years at Bankers Trust as an analyst, trader, and risk manager. Ken has a B.A. from Harvard in Economics, an M.A. from NYU in Economics and an M.S. from NYU/Stern in Statistics and Operations Research. He is an adjunct faculty member at NYU, Baruch, and Claremont and sits on the Board of Trustees for the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and the NJ Scholars Program.