Cover Letters

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by nathanos, May 27, 2008.

  1. nathanos


    As I am sending out applications to prop firms I can't help but wonder if the cover letters I am writing have anything to do with the chances of me actually getting noticed at some of these places. My cover letters follow a fairly typical format:

    Paragraph 1: Let them know what you're applying for, where you heard of the position, and brief intro about yourself

    Paragraph 2: Highlight relevant skills, express your interests, why they should hire me, show some enthusiasm for trading

    Paragraph 3: Wrapping up, closing arguments, etc

    I was wondering if I should go for a bit more of an attention grabber that I've seen in job application howto books and websites like, "I knew I was hooked on trading when....", or "I spend all my free time following the markets and have decided that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life......" or something else equally dramatic. Not sure I'd use those specific examples but I think I've illustrated my point.

    My question is what kind of cover letters are people here sending out to prop firms? The former or the latter? Also, if anyone here by chance has worked in prop firm recruiting or knows someone who does, does the cover letter really matter, or is it just a dearth of relevant experience on my resume that makes the odds so long for getting responses?
  2. Diego11


    I have the same question you have. In the university we studied comercial english and they tought us how to write resumee's, letters, bad news etc..

    But from what understand the most important detai is the money. Once you have the money you could work with decent leverage as long as you pass the series 7.

    Is the money part true, I know you need money but is it just money or do you need to apply with a formal resumee stating your general securities experience or knowledge?

    I think they are not as interested in the letters as in the money but maybe im not right.
  3. Surdo


    Unless you are graduating from an Ivy League school and applying to GSAM or SIG with Quant skills, nobody give's a rat's ass about your cover letter. Spellcheck it and make sure your deposit check clears.

    Good trading!

    el surdo
  4. Certainly don't need a Ivy League education even at the highly respected places. Ivy is almost necessary for firms such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers though.

    Just discuss about your interest in the market and your drive to be successful. If you get a interview, make sure you express this desire in person. At that point, your education background will be less important than your work ethic, goals, etc.
  5. surdo, that's brutal to those applicants. They thought they were applying for a job, not realizing they were merely cannon fodder. hahaha.

    That's right, prospective traders, make sure your check is good. Once it's cleared, you can start trading at my firm. I don't care where you graduate from, Ivy League my ass. If you don't produce the deposit check, you will not trade period
    More simply put: No Check, No Trade.
  6. nathanos


    My post was regarding apps to pure prop firms requiring no capital contribution where they would be looking for just trading talent/potential. At retail or prop firms requiring deposit I would assume cover letter would be moot in their consideration for applicants. I do agree somewhat with Surdo though. You're either a fit for those uber-competitive positions or you aren't. They probably have enough qualified applicants vying for those spots to creally are about someone they'd have to think twice about.

    Since I'm not Ivy league I'm wondering what's taken into consideration at the shops a step below those. Will a great cover really set me apart? I've thoughg about it and I don't think you can just invent a great cover. If you've done something worth mentioning like developed some models or algorithms or won some contests then the cover could be beneficial, but if you have nothing concrete to write about I am feeling like over contemplating a cover is a waste of time. Anyway, getting noticed is probably 50% connections/networking and 50% if they're actively hiring/recruiting or expanding.
  7. I just got accepted to a prop jr. trader position in ct. with no initial capital, no training fee, no tech fees, etc. After 3 months if I'm successful under a demo account, all i have to pay are the commissions.

    I can say that what these places are mostly looking for is desire and determination to learn about the markets and the business of trading. I did just graduate from a liberal arts college that is ranked top 50 in the country (liberal arts), but it is no way IVY.