CV/Resume,Cover Letter/Competency Questions

Your CV/Resume is the first and only chance you will get to make a good impression to the employer.  As the person examining your CV does not have a chance to look at you in person and interact with you , you need to have a CV that will immediately draw attention.  The same applies for when writing a Cover Letter or answering Competency Questions. You should be aware that the examiners have hundreds or even thousands of applications to examine and therefore you should make all possible effort to assist them select you for an interview. There is a massive amount of literature in the web regarding how to create a perfect CV and Cover letter but I will only go through the things that an examiner would looking to find in your CV/Cover Letter

REMEMBER YOUR CV/COVER LETTER IS YOUR ONLY TICKET TOWARDS BEING OFFERED AN INTERVIEW

What trading employers are generally looking for

When preparing your CV, Cover letter or answering questions make sure you show clear evidence that you posses the following skills

 

  • Strong mathematical/quantitative/numerical skills: The obvious way to demonstrate this is through your degrees or education. Show examples of test scores, A Level courses, GPA scores in quantitative related subjects such as Mathematics/Statistics/Physics/Economics/Finance/Computers where you have done exceptionally well.

 

  • Strong analytical/problem solving skills: Employers want to see how you would approach a problem and find  solutions. Demonstrate your ability to do so by mentioning problems and complex assignment you underwent in the past and successfully completed. A strong degree usually in hard science courses can be helpful.

 

  • Interest in Financial Markets: Thought a finance background is not usually a pre-requisite employers expect you to show an interest in finance and financial markets. Make sure you demonstrate this by specifying how you follow a the financial press and try to do so by reading newspapers and magazines (The Economist, The Financial Times) and business TV Channels such as Bloomberg and CNBC.

 

  • Proficiency and experience with technology/Programming Languages (Java, C++/C#, Matlab,Perl, VBA, Excel): Show in your CV evidence of working with computers, and the software you have worked with. Show examples of projects you have completed using what. If you have not any programming language it is a good idea to start learning one. You can find tones of tutorials and examples of how to learn using them on the web and even videos on YouTube.

 

  • Fast Decisions/Work Under Pressure/Responsibility: Traders are expected to make very fast decisions (eg place a trade) as those decisions can cost millions to the company.  Show evidence of how you can maintain yourself calm under pressure and come up with fast and accurate solutions. Also demonstrate your ability to take on added duties, responsibility and roles.  A good way would be saying how you are able to meet deadlines when you have several of important tasks to complete and are able to come on top by prioritizing understanding what is important, finding what the main problems are and delivering.
  • Strong work ethics/motivation/drive for success: This is where you demonstrate how you perform in the workplace and what is the main thing that keeps you going. You need to mention how you find exciting learning new things, how you try to discover methods that will help perform better, deliver better results and make you become better. Also explain how you want your piece of work to differ by trying to find new and original ideas and methods .

General Competency Questions

 

At any stage of the interview process you should always expect to have to answer the following questions, either in writing or verbally. Therefore you should ensure you have answers to those. Try to demonstrate that you posses the qualities mentioned above.

  • Why do you want to be a trader? : This is an obvious question. Ask yourself what is that you like about trading.  You can say something in the following lines. Explain how you enjoy the challenge the analysis involved being able to  make your own decision, learn from your trading mistakes and the satisfaction and rewards you would get from this. AVOID MENTIONING ANYTHING ABOUT MONEY
  • Why would you make a good trader?:  Refer to What trading employers are generally looking for section above should you get asked this question and try to demonstrate as many as those qualities possible. A good trader in general apart from being good with numbers is expected to be able to remain calm and confident under pressure, make fast and accurate decisions (trades) understand and admit when he has made a wrong decision ( wrong trade) in order to get out of it, react and correct it as soon as possible. Explain how you posses all of the above and how you admit your mistakes and view them as an opportunity to learn from them and become better.
  • What do you know about the style of trading you are applying to ?: Though previous experience may not be required you are expected to know a few basics about trading. If you are here I am pretty sure you know the basics about FOREX trading and you find a few more info in the roles section
  • What do you know and what do you like about the company?:  Find information regarding what the company you are applying to is about and why it appeals to you. Try to find about what trading activities it performs, the technology it uses, and why the working environment is ideal for you. Also know what types off assets does the company tend to trade. Trading companies tend to avoid disclosing too much information regarding their operations and business models. This is due to competition and to avoid criticism from the public. But nevertheless you should be able to find sufficient information to put you through should you get asked.

DROP A COMMENT HERE AND I WILL SHARE WITH YOU SOME INFORMATION ,AT NO COST, REGARDING RECENT DEVELOPMENT IN PROPRIETARY TRADING THAT IF YOU SAY TO AN EMPLOYER WILL REALLY MAKE YOU LOOK DESIRABLE AND WILL SHOW THAT YOU ARE REALLY KEEPING UP WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE FINANCIAL WORLD. I JUST WANT TO SHARE THIS WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY INTERESTED.