Other ways to bolster resume/CV

Archidamus

Member
I'd like to ask the experienced quants, especially those that have had to make hiring decision, about some ways one can bolster their CV.

Most candidates will have the following:
- Good grades in MFE, CS, Stats, etc.
- Some programming specific certification
- Possibly experience in finance

What are some potential distinctions that you have seen or think would be beneficial to one's CV?
- Lead or co-authoring reserach in the areas of finance, math, science engineering?
- Taking an online courses not counting towards your degree, but to gain specific knowledge?
 
I think one way is to do reputable projects/competitions like hackerrank, github projects, kaggle, etc. The most important thing when selecting something is actually being interested in the project, otherwise the motivation will disappear before you can finish.

Online courses are pretty good, but I'd take the ones from top schools like MIT, harvard, stanford, etc. instead of coursera or edx, those are horrible and the technical material is drastically dumbed down.

I personally don't have a good GPA so this stuff is imperative to supplementing my application.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
A good tactic IMO that I use with online courses in which my students (I coach them) do a finance-based mini-project based on the material, write it up in a beautiful document and present it to potential employers. It means you are pro-active. You do by learning, and learn by doing (Aristotle said that).
 

Archidamus

Member
... write it up in a beautiful document and present it to potential employers.
I've started a small portfolio of 'mini-projects' that I've done, some finance themed. How would you suggest getting that to the attention of a hiring manager? Should that be a section in my resume titled something like "Research Projects" or "Analyses & Reports"? Then bullet point below with the titles and short one line description like; "API vs EIA crude oil reports, determining efficacy of using API data to trade EIA report release."

My current tactic is probably not very good. I've got my personal website address on my resume, which relies on an already busy hiring manager to recognize I have a website, then take the time to type it in since its probably printed on paper, then scroll down and click on icons to pull up my material. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I've started a small portfolio of 'mini-projects' that I've done, some finance themed. How would you suggest getting that to the attention of a hiring manager? Should that be a section in my resume titled something like "Research Projects" or "Analyses & Reports"? Then bullet point below with the titles and short one line description like; "API vs EIA crude oil reports, determining efficacy of using API data to trade EIA report release."

My current tactic is probably not very good. I've got my personal website address on my resume, which relies on an already busy hiring manager to recognize I have a website, then take the time to type it in since its probably printed on paper, then scroll down and click on icons to pull up my material. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
I suppose the meaning of life is getting attention. I suppose there's a lot of luck involved as well.
 

Liam

Active Member
I've started a small portfolio of 'mini-projects' that I've done, some finance themed. How would you suggest getting that to the attention of a hiring manager? Should that be a section in my resume titled something like "Research Projects" or "Analyses & Reports"? Then bullet point below with the titles and short one line description like; "API vs EIA crude oil reports, determining efficacy of using API data to trade EIA report release."

My current tactic is probably not very good. I've got my personal website address on my resume, which relies on an already busy hiring manager to recognize I have a website, then take the time to type it in since its probably printed on paper, then scroll down and click on icons to pull up my material. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
The question is wrong for starters. It should be "How the fuck do I get my CV in front of a manager for a live role?". Also, maybe make it clear that you are in a data role (something I gather from another one of your posts).

Maybe get someone here to look at the website first. There's so many ways it could go wrong from presentation to projects being the same useless shit every other dickhead does. Not saying your projects are necessarily shit but you need it vetted properly . Describing it on a forum is useless.

The ugly word networking comes to mind.

One suggestion is to ensure if you go down that route that you speak to people that have seen you in action that get your CV to a line manager. That's hard to find, especially in a specialised world like QF, but not impossible and if you get it, it's gold dust. Maybe someone in work that you can trust or someone in your MFE that is active.

If it's someone that heard you did blah, they won't have a clue. Even if someone, say in accounts, chances are they look up at you with a crick in their kneck and won't take any notice of details and end up putting your CV to the wrong managers. Instead, best bet is to network through any senior people you can find. At least in my case, senior people I'd worked with listened to the detail if I was looking for a career change and forwarded me to the right people, and usually quickly. But this was because I didn't give them bullshit, so got none back. And that was even senior managers that didn't necessarily understand quant finance but understood how markets work.

And try sell your website to recruiters. Recruiters work on the basis of who they can sell easily. Being straight out of MFE isn't an issue - I had never worked and got placed by a recruiter, albeit after a few months. It's more that you're in a role outside finance. You will need to effectively get across that you're not naive, you know the mindset is different in finance and that you can sell that to employers. This is also where you bring your, hopefully polished, website in.

If you want to be bold and cold call up and go through a list of firms be my guest. I used to cold call businesses to do surveys for a living before becoming a quant. Very tough if you have never done it before, it took me a while to get over the nerves, but anybody can do it, even if introverted, with time. Introversion is a load of bollocks and stuff like Myers Briggs isn't from evidence based psychology anyway - it's just an excuse for not putting yourself out there. This method of networking should be a last resort - I found that managers used to be ok with me only because I wasn't selling anything or looking for a job - thing is you are doing this for a job. Although if you can sell the idea that you will only be 1 minute max they may listen - I was usually looking for 15-20 minutes of their day. If you do go down that route I'd get direct numbers of senior staff, gatekeepers at financial firms were amongst the worst to try and get past and usually trained against our tactics.

Other than that it really is a lot based on luck and putting yourself out there and talking to people until you meet someone that knows the market and isn't a moron. As regards jobs straight out of school, ignore that answer. What happens in some firms is that they can't take a risk on noobs, but that's not all firms. For instance I was at one bank where we didn't even have any graduate schemes - any other bank I've been at not only had graduate schemes but did hire people straight out of school for junior quant roles. And tbh a lot of the reasons behind not having grad schemes were superspecific to that employer and stuff I've never seen anywhere else and nothing you would encounter in the market in general. When you're starting out people delight in throwing a bag bricks at you to carry on your back with negative messages suggesting you'll need to start out doing an internship etc etc, especially if they've not been to a wide variety of employers, try not to pay too much attention to it. It's not an easy market, but you can get an entry level role.
 
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Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
"The ugly word networking comes to mind."

In my day this was synonymous with TCP/IP.
 
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