Hi everybody. I wanted some help with modifying my resume for applications at investment firms/hedge funds. I am a master's student and in my free time I do some trading in oil, natural gas, and coal using strategies based off of pairs trading.
I am revising my resume and I thought that this would be helpful to include outside of my actual work/academic experience. Does anyone have advice regarding the best way to go about this? Would I just put in something like "Independent Trader", list my general strategy, and then give a short review of returns?
Depends on what kind of job you are interviewing for. If you are interviewing for a spot at their trading desk I would highlight some of those things and give details, but just enough to get in the door. Let them know all of the details during the interview.
But if it's a job not necessarily related to trading, like account mgt, IT, whatever, then you can mention it as a hobby but not too much detail.
Just so you know, if you take a job at such a firm they may require that you stop any and all trading of your personal accounts, afraid that you might use their algorithms or proprietary information for personal gain. There was a time a number of year ago where I considered taking an IT job at PIMCO and that was one such requirement that turned me off on the opportunity.
I am going to guess here and say that you are NOT into long term trading but rather you trade actively during the day.
Placing the fact that you are actively trading could be a detriment if you place a lot of detail on this subject.
Let us first address applying for non-trading jobs....IF you get the interview, they will ask you about where your priorities lie. They won't want you to spend part of the working day, when you should be concentrating on your work...what you are getting paid for, being distracted by you spending time actively trading.
One thing I constantly see for jobs in the investment firms is that NO EXPERIENCE is necessary...they are basically looking for sales people
You might say....hey...I AM experienced. But the fact of life is....they don't want to hear about your strategy...WHY? because they have a tried and true method that they want you to use...they probably don't want creativity that does not jibe with what they are doing...they want to mold you to their ways. Also...I cannot see them having you doing personal trading on their time either.
So my advice is to scale back on your emphasis on being a trader and list it as an interest...If it is important to the job...they will twig to this interest and you will be asked more questions in the interview...but be prepared for those negative questions about daytrading on their time (long term trading has fewer issues as you can rightly say you make most of your decisions on the weekends and set your orders before or after the bell....
I don't think it will help you and it may hurt you to put undue emphasis about trading in your resume
Yeah - I should have been more specific about my plans. I am trying to get in at the front office somewhere. I'd really like to get a position at a hedge fund but I know how competitive those are.
Shodson - thanks for the heads up regarding controls on trading. I actually remember that when I worked in the back office for a while I was unable to do any trading. I'd be happy to give up the hobby for the job though!
Underexposed - regarding my strategy, I tend to hold positions over weeks or months instead of intraday. Now that you mention it, I recall a few firms I interviewed with a while ago told me that they were looking for someone who had not already been shaped yet so your point makes a lot of sense.
So I'm getting the feeling that since I haven't made a career out of this yet I should just give a brief blurb about it at the bottom of my resume and that's only if I am applying to positions that are related to it.
That's probably a good idea. You may want to tailor your resume to fit what you think are the priorities of the firm you are applying to.
You don't want to get too cute with this. People who read resumes (I have read hundreds) can quickly detect BS. But different firms want different things.
I had an entry on my resume that, quite truthfully, said something like "Option Trader, own account" for a period when I wasn't working for someone else. It then, briefly, described what that was, since I did not think the person reading it would necessarily know what it was .
I got the job. They were impressed that I had gone off on my own and done that. It was a manufacturing company that had no connection with the markets at all. I had also used a similar resume, years earlier, to get a job at a major Wall Street bank, which did have a (big) connection to the markets. It helped at that time because the experience was relevant to what they did.
Everything you do or have done can have a relevance to whether someone wants to hire you. You have to be completely honest, and you also have to put yourself in the shoes of the person you hope will read the resume and ask you in for an interview.... If you have written something that that person wanted to see, you may create an interest, which is the only thing that a resume can do. Then, if you get an interview, it will be up to you.
Now, to your specific point, if I were applying for a job as a trader, I would want to present evidence that I was a totally hot-shit trader.... since it appears that is not what you are looking for, probably your interest in trading, and any real experience in it, would be valuable but only up to a point. If you want to be "front office," what sales experience do you have? If none, what can you say that would make someone take a chance on you? You can see that trading experience would count for something, but would not be the deciding factor. Anything you had done that would make someone think you would be good at sales or dealing with customers would be more important. You can see how to tailor your story to what you are applying for, while still staying within the literal facts.
Good luck with this. Eventually, people end up with the jobs that are good for them. Hope it works out well for you, sooner rather than later.