Home > The Business of Trading > Professional Trading > Foot-in-the-Door Advice/Help?

Foot-in-the-Door Advice/Help?

  1. Hey all. I'm a 21 year old undergraduate student majoring in Economics and Theology. Upon graduating this spring, I plan on pursuing my dream of becoming a trader.

    I feel like I am extremely qualified for an entry-level, trader's assistant-like position. I have great grades from a very exclusive college, leadership experience, and one (soon to be two) internship experience(s). More importantly, I have extensive history (5 years) trading my own account as well as one year managing a limited investment partnership which I founded (up 30.1% YTD).

    However, I have had little luck gaining the interest of employers.

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your time. I love the site and really respect you guys who post on here.
  2. Hint #1 - Don't post your email address/home address on public forums.
    Hint #2 - There is another thread for people who want to become traders. You should visit that thread.
  3. 1. Why are you not pursuing a position with the firm where you did your summer internship? If it is because it's in wealth management instead of trading, why would you think your background is better suited to trading rather than a client-facing role (hint: your background is better suited to wealth management than trading)? What makes you think trading is a better area of the financial markets to get into (hint: it's not...my wealth management friends are the ones with the yachts)?

    2. You say you are developing a model for a hedge fund. Why won't they give you a job and some capital to trade?
  4. Your cover letter is too long and too emotional. You come across like the Rudy of trading.

    With that being said, everything else looks fine. Be patient. Most employeers probably want someone that can start asap. Unless you are applying to Goldman, etc., must funds or banks do not hire this far out.
  5. OK mate here it is....

    I used to own a recuruiting firm and I still help get people jobs all the time...so i can give a few tips.

    1. Not to insult, but a christian liberal arts college that nobody has heard of is NOT exclusive. Ivy league is exclusive. If i see anything that would hurt you, it would be your choice of schooling...but oh, well, as soon as you get your first job...it wont matter as much. But i mention this so you dont go to employers telling them you went to some great school....becuse if you do the next word out of your mouth had better be "Stanford"..so dont use your school as a selling point, it isnt.

    If anyone else reads this...the key to a "good school" is one that everyone has heard of and is famillliar with. I went to one of the "university of "enter state here"" schools that has a good footbal team...so everytone knows the school. "the university of pennsylvania" has pull "university of ohio" has pull "brickleman college" does not...unless the person interviewing you went to the same school.

    2. Ok now down to the nitty griddy. Finding a good job is a FULL TIME JOB. work it 40 hours a week...not just sending a few reumes over the internet. If you have a great personality...that is what matters. you sounds like a nice enough kid. So, to meet these people and to show them what a nice kid you are....GET ON THE PHONE.

    3. Make a list of 50 companies you want to work for. Find out who the PEROSN IN CHARGE is. the person in charge IS NOT HR. HR processes paper work, the decision maker is the department head. find the department head and get him/her on the phone.

    4. tell them that you admire their company and would like to meet them in person to see if there is a personality match beteen you and the company. Tell them thet you will send your resume in 5 minutes and follow up the next day to make sure they recieved it.

    5. then call back and ask if your qualifications look good. If they do, offer to buy them luch to get to know them personally.

    6. if they say they arent hiring, ask who they know who IS hriing.

    7. if you get a referral to somone else, make sure you use the referal persons name to get on the phone with the "new" person.

    8. call people by their first name...not sir or mr. or mrs. Put yourself on the same professional level as them.

    you have to be a salesman is the moral of the story, call around and sell yourself...do any thign you have to do to get infornt of the person.

    As a little success story for you...I used this method. I did not have good grades in school, and am not smarter than anyone else. I didnt really have much to offer. But i knew what i wanted to do and i knew where i wanted to do it. So here is my life now... I am 31, i live in tropical paradise (costa rica) i run an international department and a fund for a broker dealer...and i feel half retired. Whne i am not at the country club playing golf... i go to the race trace or to the beach.

    have a plan, sell the plan execute the plan.

    PM me if you have further questions.
  6. sorry about all the misspellings above...i am writing this very quickly. i should have proof read that...
  7. The notion that one needs to attend a good university to land a good job is just absurd.
  8. pure comedy..

    Focus on job posting sites. ET won't get you too far in this search. There's a large knowledge base here, but not jobs.

    If you want a trader position tailor your resume to say that by highlighting things you have done that correlate to trading.
  9. I just wanted to point out that just the visual appearance of your resume is very elegant looking, as far as content I am in no position to make any comments, but you definitely have the visual aspect of the resume down pat, I am impressed.
  10. It is relative to exactly what or who the "good job" is with. For instance, if you want to get into a real high level institutional or market making type position with an SLK, CSFB, or SIG, if you dont have a top tier school program under your belt from a harvard, wharton, stanford, ivy league player, etc. with killer SAT or GMAT scores, forget it, do not bother applying.
  11. Well I go to a B school and I know one fact. And that fact works everywhere.

    If you are in an Ivy school you work in FRONT OFFICE...with clients, good pay etc.

    If you go to the school that I go to or a decent kind of school, some what heard of university/college....you get middle office job....pay is great of course less than the front office, its not that bad.....Or at least I am telling this to my self.

    The third option, just completely sucks......you work in BACK OFFICE......your job is to take phone calls, look over trades...boring stuff.....pay is considerably less than the first 2 options.......for this you attend school that no one ever heard and your resume have to be just horrible........Please god, please, dont let me end up there in the end!!!!!!!

    PS....sorry if I offended anyone in the BACK OFFICE.
  12. The comments about schools are largely correct. If you go to a top tier school you can get it with a top tier company, if not you have very few options.

    One option is to get into a top tier grad school. It is very difficult to do, but it can be done.

    Second is to become the protege of a well known "name" in the financial business. Again it is very hard but can be done.

    Finally you can study on your own, take whatever jobs you can get and work to obtain a traffic stoping financial record of your own as a retail trader/investor. And again it is very difficult to do, but can be done if you have the "right stuff"...

    No matter which path you take, you need to exhibit the same characteristics, intelligence, maturity, discipline, focus, perseverance. Most young folks have none of these attributes and that is why it rarely happens for them.

    Try to think realistically about your life and your character. What have you accomplished to date? How likely is it that you can do what so many have tried unsuccessfully to do before you? Fasttracking your career requires a lot of sacrifice. Do you really have what it takes? If you answer is "yes", ask yourself "when in the past have I ever been tested in this way"? and "what was the result"?

    Good luck
  13. I warn you. This is going to sound harsh, but this how the business world will treat these matters.

    The format of your resume is not within business standards. The cover letter does not appear to be a business letter. "To whom it may concern" is not acceptable on a business letter.

    Take a second to think about this. You want to get a position of responsibility. You state that you have a 3.0+ GPA and have all this work experience, however, you cannot construct a proper business letter.

    Lets say I was the director at one of these firms and asked you to construct a letter to a client. Would you hand me back a rambling letter like this stating "To whom it may concern"? There is no letterhead on the letter. You might as well be writing to a buddy.

    The cover letter and resume is very important. Imagine yourself as the person reviewing these things. They see these resumes all the time and know how it should sound. If there is anything that appears off, then it will be placed in the trash. Any mis-spellings, any margin spacing issues, ANYTHING.

    Why not spend a few hundred dollars and employ a professional resume writer? If you mess up writing this thing, then it can cost you FAR MORE then 200 bucks.


    As you can see, my English grammar is not top tier and I will admit that. So if I was going to construct a cover letter or resume, then I would turn it over to the professionals.
  14. You need to go to a career web site and read all you can about writing a resume, cover letter and job searches...

    First of, be professional: handle your self like one, your letter format and writing style must be organized and professional (3-4 short paragraphs).

    List of your strong points - list a summary of your qualifications in your resume, these are the first thing the interviewer will read.

    Create a resume with 4 to 5 lines short descriptions for each job experience, starting with the most important first. List all of your accomplishment, sell your self, brag like you do with a friend, and be proud.

    Tell them things like with your qualifications and experience you would make a great addition to the company...

    You can read and learn more good tips from a career web site.

    Good luck in your job searches.
  15. Fair enough.

    Here is a tip that you will find very helpful and that is role playing. Find a crew of older persons and have a mock interview session. Im sure your father or your uncles have been through interview situations before. Do it with as many people as you can find, friends, family, etc. Place yourself in solo sessions as well as 2-3 man.

    Tell them all to put you threw the ringer and place you in the toughest situations possible. Make it as tense as possible. Even have them dress up and find an office environment. Go to a local public library, they should have some available study rooms that can serve as a mock office.

    A good website to use is www.thevault.com. That will give you interview questions and may even have the corporation that you are applying to. They even have a messageboard and you can contact current employees and such.

    I have always found that aggressiveness is the key to getting a job. Never blindly fax or email a resume. First call the person, then introduce yourself and go from there. Send them your resume by email or fax. Then wait a day or so and then call back. Dont leave a voicemail, try to get a hold of them directly. Unless they say directly or write to you that they are not interested, then your still a candidate for the job. Keep calling each week until they give a direct sign that they are not interested.

    Another technique is to find the place you want to work at, the person in charge and walk right in. Employers tend to like this kind of aggressive tactic. This will impress many people as its very ballsy and shows how much you want to be there. Most people wont have the guts to come right in. This tactic is a lot easier in NYC then in some other remote places however.

    Getting a job is not like picking up a woman. Its ok to be a little over aggressive. Corporations want people around who are aggressive and have the desire to be there.

    Resumes that are faxed or emailed will be tossed in the trash or deleted. On the other hand, a person who calls or just shows up will be given more attention. You have nothing to lose by making phone calls or showing up besides your time. Actually, it will give you more experience talking to people and selling yourself.

  16. I've done a fair amount of hiring, and given your education and experience I think you've done a pretty good job. There is some good advice above (e.g., to nix the "extremely exclusive" bit) but generally the letter and resume are concise and read well.

    Consider including the mentorship with the hedge fund manager on the resume, even if it wasn't paid. I often received over 500 resume's for an opening, and only read the cover letters if the resume made the first round of culling. Also, unless the sums are very small, consider listing the assets that the mentor and you have under management.

    Everyone is different, and initiative is important, but I personally would not have responded positively to an unsolicited visit or repeated direct calls. I was just too busy, but I don't doubt that others would look favorably on those tactics.
  17. look over trades, find out who is the best and if his style fit you then learn from him, soon enough you can afford to be OUT OF OFFICE.
  18. You are on the right track and asking the right questions. Good luck. And I think you have received some pretty constructive advice so far. I was most impressed by your experience at the Broadmore. That is an excellent Hotel and Resort that only employs sharp individuals such as yourself. And I am always impressed by service industry experience in quality restauants such as the Famous Steakhouse. You learn great life-lessons in such places.

    I graduated from the Colorado School of Mines where I was active in a Fraternity and received a National Award for "Distinguished Greeks of America". I remember putting this on my resume 20 years ago just because I felt it needed more "stuff". That one line caught the eye of a Greek-American in a Company I was targeting. Long story short: I got that job. Lesson: you never know just what bullet on your resume is going to get noticed.

    Regards, Joe