by Brian DeChesare Comments (90)

The Perfect Sales & Trading Resume Template?

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In Part 3 of this series, you’ll learn all about how to write sales & trading resumes and how to use them to win interviews and offers.

I still remember the beginning of my freshman year and my first visit to the career office…

I was eager and determined to craft the perfect resume that would land me a summer internship in Sales & Trading at a bulge bracket bank.

After spending hours and days working with an advisor going back and forth, I sent it over to a buddy of mine who was a trader at Citi, who had promised to help me with it…

In less than 5 minutes, he emailed me back with his assessment: “This is sh*t.”

And that was my welcome to the world of trading – blunt, rude, and to the point.

Ultimately, I completely revamped my resume and used it to land an offer at a bulge bracket bank – coming from a non-target school with absolutely 0 on-campus recruiting.

Here’s how I did it, and how you can do the same:

The Template & Tutorial

Let’s jump right in:

Sales & Trading Resume Template [Download]

Note: You should always submit your resume in PDF format unless they tell you otherwise.

Here’s the tutorial video:

Your Resume Template Starting Point

Let’s not waste time with the basics: you need to use the existing resume template on this site as your starting point.

Yes, it says “investment banking resume” but it works equally well for Sales & Trading, and you save time by eliminating the need to format everything.

Forget about multi-page resumes (unless you’re in Australia, maybe), and resist the urge to write a laundry list of halfhearted experiences: still focus on the top 3-4 work/leadership experiences you have.

You still use the same sections: Education, Work & Leadership Experience (or “Professional Experience”), and then the section at the bottom with your Skills, Activities and Interests.

And the same advice about quantifying experience and going into the details and results of what you did still applies.

What’s different with Sales & Trading is the input to this resume template.

Above all else, S&T recruiters look for these 3 characteristics on your resume:

  • Quantitative Ability
  • Analytical Skills
  • Passion for the Financial Markets

Note the contrast between what they’re looking for in IB vs. S&T: in investment banking they care more about your ability to work long hours, leadership / teamwork skills, and general passion for business and finance rather than the markets specifically.

Those characteristics can still be important in S&T since it’s far from a 9-to-5 job, and since you do interact with salespeople / traders.

But the overall focus is more on quantitative / analytical ability and passion for the markets.

It’s trickier than it looks to convey these skills on your resume, but you must get them across if you want a good shot at winning interviews and landing offers.

Quantitative Ability

This is one of the most important skills required to land a job in S&T. Whether you’re in fixed income or equity, you must be able to work quickly and efficiently with numbers.

You’re constantly calculating prices to quote to clients, and one tiny little error can end up costing your firm or your client millions of dollars…

…and in some cases even your job (I’m looking at you, fat finger traders).

So you should emphasize anything related to math on your resume:

  • Math or math-related major or minor
  • Quantitative coursework
  • High math SAT scores (750+) or math A-Levels (if you’re in the UK)
  • Math club / Math-related competitions
  • Previous internship or experience where you did a lot of quantitative work – think number-crunching, engineering, anything with spreadsheets, and so on.

If a trader glances at your resume and sees that you’re an English major with no math-related coursework and no quantitative work experience, he’ll (rightfully) be skeptical of whether you can do the job.

So if that’s you, get relevant experience right now: take a more quantitative class and write about an extended project you worked on, or get a part-time internship doing something that involves numbers.

It doesn’t even have to be finance-related: it just needs to demonstrate that you’re comfortable working with numbers.

Analytical Skills

Wait, isn’t this the same as quantitative ability?

No, not quite.

“Quantitative ability” refers specifically to numbers, whereas “Analytical skills” refers to any type of analysis you do, whether it’s quantitative or qualitative.

If the central bank raises interest rates, what does that mean for your positions or your clients’ positions?

You may not be able to answer that with a number, but you can come up with qualitative guesses for what might happen and how you should react.

If you’re from a liberal arts or mixed background you might be tempted to demonstrate this one via your analysis of Moby Dick or Hamlet, but that would be a mistake: find something that’s more relevant to business, even if it’s qualitative.

The best way to demonstrate this is via coursework or previous work / internship experience:

  • Write about how you analyzed a company’s strategic position vs. competitors as part of a case competition or a business class.
  • Write about how you analyzed your firm’s marketing efforts and found ways to save money and improve the ROI of their spending.
  • Write about how you analyzed a stock and decided to invest via your personal account based on valuation metrics and value investing criteria.

There’s no such thing as over-using the word “Analyze” when you write your bullet points for this one (Ok, maybe keep it to one mention per bullet point…).

Passion for the Financial Markets

If you don’t have some experience with the financial markets, don’t even bother applying for S&T roles.

You might be able to get into IB or PE without trading or following the markets very much, but it’s almost impossible to do that here.

Unlike bankers, most traders actually enjoy what they do – at least when they first start out – so they want to see that you will also enjoy it.

You could demonstrate this passion with:

  • Your major – Being a finance major helps.
  • Previous work experience – Anything where you traded or dealt with the markets.
  • Clubs in school – Think of any type of finance or investment society where you present your ideas, talk about possible investments, and so on.

If you have absolutely nothing in these categories, you could list a mock trading account or personal trading account – but beware that many professionals don’t take these seriously, so doing so could hurt you.

Also, realistically, you will not win S&T offers at large banks if all you have is mock trading experience. You need a sequence of previous finance internships to maximize your chances.

Got Education and Work Experience?

That covers the main points for your Education and Work & Leadership Experience sections on your resume.

But traders like to have a good time, too, so the last section of your resume is also important.

Skills, Activities & Interests

Not too much is different here from what you see on IB resumes: note any language skills you have, any organizations or activities beyond what you’ve already written about, and any certifications such as the CFA (no, it won’t help much for S&T, but it’s worth noting especially if you don’t have much experience).

The most common question here: should you list “Interests” like gambling and poker?

Short answer: yes, they can definitely help because sales & trading is all about risk management, probability, and keeping your emotions in-check… just like gambling.

I know an analyst who made a deal with his boss that he could use the boss’s money to play poker and take 25% of the profit…

Sounds crazy, but it’s true – anyone on the public markets side of a bank loves to take calculated risks, or they wouldn’t be working there.

Just make sure that you don’t come across as overly obsessed with gambling / poker – don’t devote huge portions of your resume to it, and don’t spend half your interview talking about your poker winnings.

No firm wants to hire a rogue trader that will lose them a billion dollars.

Putting It All Together

As I mentioned in the beginning, the same resume template still applies for S&T, so there’s nothing new there.

What’s different is how you write about your experiences and what you emphasize.

More Questions?

I know, you still have a few lingering questions so let’s go through them…

What’s the Difference Between a Sales Resume and a Trading Resume?

Nothing! Or at least, very little.

When you apply, you apply for S&T, not a specific group… during the interview you can stress your preference for one or the other.

So you still need to write about your quantitative and analytical abilities and your passion for the financial markets…

…but if you’re more interested in sales, you must also be a “people person,” a good communicator, and a team player.

Sales is all about making your client feel special and making sure that they are sending your bank business.

You take your clients out 3-5 times a week, and you’re on the phone with them all day.

So you should emphasize a few points more strongly if you’re planning to join the sales side:

  • Social Clubs (fraternities/sororities).
  • Sports Teams – S&T recruiters love athletes (it shows you are a team player, and that can handle stressful situations).
  • General involvement in extracurricular activities / non-work-related activities.

What About High School / Secondary School Experience? Can I List It If It’s Really Impressive?

Normally it’s not a good idea to write about high school, especially if you’re already several years into university or you’ve already graduated.

If it’s something truly amazing – placing well at the International Math Olympiad, a national math competition where you placed well, etc. – you can make an exception and list that.

But if you’ve already been working full-time for several years, you should not devote much space to it unless you have absolutely nothing else to demonstrate your math skills.

No, Seriously, What About Certifications, Degrees, and Series Licenses?!!

Sure, list them if you want to but don’t kill yourself getting them.

It’s far better to spend that time 1) Networking or 2) Getting experience trading / investing on your own.

Series 7 and 63 and so on are more helpful for S&T than they would be for banking, but they still won’t make or break your chances of winning interviews.

What If I Really Have Nothing Related to the Financial Markets?

Then you have a problem. You need to get some experience ASAP, and the fastest way to do that is to join a student-run fund or professional organization, or to start trading your own personal account, whether simulated or real.

Of course, this begs another question: if you don’t have any markets-related experience, are you sure Sales & Trading is even right for you?

It’s like aspiring to become a novelist but having no writing experience.

What About S&T Resumes for Those with Full-Time Work Experience?

To be blunt, you don’t have much of a chance of getting into S&T at a large bank if you’ve already been working full-time in another field.

There are fewer spots available, and traders rarely even hire from the MBA pool, let alone experienced professionals elsewhere.

If you have your heart set on this, your best bet is to aim for a sale role instead (experience elsewhere is more transferable), or to go for prop trading or something else where results are valued more than pedigree.

Your actual resume will not be much different: focus on all the points above, but put your Education section at the bottom, keep your experience to work-related experience, and leave out student clubs and activities.

You should still list professional organizations and your own investing track record, but you can’t eliminate real work experience in favor of those.

Anything Else?

The floor is yours. Ask away.

This is a guest post from a reader who broke into Sales & Trading (S&T) coming from a non-target school. In the upcoming features in this series, we’ll continue to explore the sales & trading recruiting process with coverage of interviews and more.

Still Need More Help?

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Specifically, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Detailed, line-by-line editing of your resume/CV – Everything that needs to be changed will be changed. No detail is ignored.
  • Your experience will be “bankified” regardless of whether you’ve been a student, a researcher, a marketer, a financier, a lawyer, an accountant, or anything else.
  • Optimal structuring – You’ll learn where everything from Education to Work Experience to Activities should go. Regional badminton champion? Stamp collector? You’ll find out where those should go, too.
  • The 3-point structure to use for all your “Work Experience” entries: simple, but highly effective at getting the attention of bankers.
  • How to spin non-finance experience into sounding like you’ve been investing your own portfolio since age 12.
  • How to make business-related experience, such as consulting, law, and accounting, sounds like “deal work.”
  • How to avoid the fatal resume mistake that gets you automatically rejected. Nothing hurts more than making a simple oversight that gets you an immediate “ding”.
  • We only work with a limited number of clients each month. In fact, we purposely turn down potential clients in cases where we cannot add much value. We prefer quality over quantity, and we always want to ensure that we can work well together first.


About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys lifting weights, running, traveling, obsessively watching TV shows, and defeating Sauron.

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Read below or Add a comment

  1. Hi! I am just wondering whether I could get help from resume screen for prop shops (like JS, Optiver, etc.)? Has been devastating to keep getting rejected :(

    1. Are you asking if we can review your resume and offer feedback? If so, no, not for free, though we do offer it as a paid service (detailed edit) and also if you’re a customer of one of our courses (quick review and comments).

  2. Hey Brian, I got a question. I had two trading internship, but my bosses in these two companies didn’t
    let me do things besides operation. I could only try to look at the P&L to see how the trading room profit.
    My question is that is there any project that I can put on the resume to fill the blank and convincing my
    future employee I got passion in trading office. The FX project.

    1. I don’t know. Maybe try to spin your work into saying that you improved the firm’s efficiency or profitability or something like that, and you initially started in operations but became interested in trading after observing the traders there and tracking their records.

  3. Hi,

    For both ibanking and s&t resumes, would you include the company name of whatever company you invest in or not?

    For example, Apple Inc. or $100 billion Technology Company

    Thank you

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes, I’d include the company name.

  4. Hello,

    I am almost an aerospace engineer and I have to complete to more years to get a degree in business administration. I have just taken an internship in a small company similar to Bloomberg but quite smaller.

    After the exams, I thought that it would be a good idea to take another internship. What do you think about a mutual fund, or something related to wealth management or similar??

    Thank you in advanced

    1. I made a mistake: ” I have to complete *two* years more”

    2. M&I - Nicole

      Sure, an internship in asset management can be useful.

  5. Hi guys

    I’ve been working for a short while now. I had a solid CV when I was a student thanks to you guys. i’ struggling now though to build a CV that I think would be strong for a mildly experienced sales person. Do you have any advice on the kinds of things I can include under my work experience to reflect everything that I’ve learnt in my current job?

    1. Nicole Lee

      I’d focus on the impact you’ve made i.e. how much sales you generated. If you’ve done any analytical work I’d include that too.

  6. There’s a typo on the text on the template download button, it says downlaod. Feel free to delete this comment later!

  7. Hello Brian, thank you very much for this interesting topic and thank you to the entire team for this great website with which I learned a lot of things.

    My situation is a little bit complicated. I’ve ended a Management School this year (4 months ago) with a Master in Financial Engineering with decent grades in a good school in my country (Belgium), and I am looking actively for a job now. I am 25 years old and passionate about financial markets and quantitaive analysis/macroeconomics. I have some interesting staff from an academic point of view on my resume (like my quantitative classes, my master Thesis or the fact that I speak 5 languages). I am also a self learner, trying now while I am looking for a job to improve my math,finance, programming skills .

    I would like to work in the trading area/research/quantitaive analysis in London, but unfortunately I lack the essentials on my resume for this kind of position. The extracurricular activities (I don’t think that Tai Chi Chuan would be relevant for a trading position), the work experience (only 3 months of internship), or the trading account ( I’ve found some little funds now and I am in touch with a broker to do it as quickly as possible). I demonstrated my leadership during our group works at the university, but doubt that it will be relevant.

    My questions are as follow:

    1. How in those circumstances try to show my dedication and passion (through my self learning), but without appearing as a nerd, and to try to obtain an internship this year?

    2. While I am aware that getting an internship this year in S&T investment banks and/or funds would be difficult, there are 2 opportunities at one of the Big 4 firms (they come often in my School to recruit and 3 of my finance teachers work for them), 1 opportunity is at an advisory department for corporate finance and the other is for risk management (with a lot of quantitative staff to do , but it is not a junior job rather a trainership). Would this be viewed as a negative work experience on a trading floor for a big investment bank or hedge funds/prop trading ? And with addition of a trading record?

    3. The idea would also be to work for the Big 4 company 1-3 years, spare money and go for an econometric master in London School of Economics, but then wouldn’t my age (28-30) be a problem?

    4. I completely agree that network is essential, nevertheless it is quiet a problem knowing that I want to go to London but will be working on continental Europe, do you have some tricks for this kind of situation?

    Of course if I don’t get a position that I really want this year, my projects will be to work, spare money, have a trading account, network as hard as I can and maybe do some certifications (if time allows).

    And as to “how bad do I want to get in this area”, my answer is… bad…really bad.

    Thank you very much for your help !

  8. hi brian,

    Can i use the same advice for summer internship in asset management?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Which advice were you referring to?

  9. KewYang Chew

    Hi, Brian.

    First of all, i would like to say a big Thanks for creating this website, it really benefits me so much! You have kept my worrisome aside! My name is Chew,22, I come from Malaysia, studying in last semester of my undergraduate finance local University, my current CGPA is around 3.65/4, and I’m fighting to get First Class honor in this semester which it must be 3.75 or above. It was a big regret that my parents coudnt afford to send me to University of Queensland to finalize my last year degree. I really don’t know how to depict how passion am i to financial market, i started to trade stock when i was 18 and move to forex 2 years ago, proper risk management, mindset and psychology is applied at trading. And i have read some books about option trading, unfortunately due to my busy school work, i do not have extra time to practice it. In addition, Im very interested in trading any financial instrument, i found them very interesting. Actually i have spent most of my university time on learning how to become a professional trader and building my track record since i know Im not coming from famous business school(my university is quite famous in Malaysia though). My ambition is to join hedge fund as junior trader then target to become a portfolio manager, or to become an investment bank trader. I plan to start my career in Singapore since there are lot of companies doing fund management, so the opportunities are much more and the future is brighter there, then i may move to Hongkong or Sydney if there are better opportunities. If i cant get into Singapore, i may start with local investment bank for 2-3 years. Besides, there are some experience i got for my past 3 years – i have joined several stock trading competitions in past 3 years(no awards), i was give a month trial by a private company to manage a pool of funds but fail to get it and i have actually started my own small MAM account(Manage account) last year to help few of my friends and my family to trade/invest, my objective is to gain responsibility and get the experience to work under stress condition during my earlier age, because i know im eager to work in fund management next time. In the meantime, I have deep understanding about the global microeconomics, i understand what drive the current market and those factors that may affect the market, i am also have the agility to react to sudden news events or making big decision, and i have strong investment gut feeling which able to predict the movement accurately most of the time. In my trading experience, i have suffered time of up and down and eventually know how to become a professional trader. Last but not least, I was previous a state swimmer during age of 12-15, i understood how having playing in sport have affected my attitudes(high self-confidence, competitiveness and wanting to win) and also i plan to do CFA lvl 1 in December, would you suggest me to do so? Since im going to graduate in 2 months time, and i should be ready to write my resume and apply for trading job. There are few questions before i start writing the resume, should I mention those trading competitions under working experience? Should i mention i was a sportsman? Base on my information given above, could you suggest me which part should i focus more when writing resume? How do you think about my experience?

    I really appreciate! Thank you very much. Hope to hear from you soon. My email

    1. M&I - Nicole

      In response to your questions:
      – should I mention those trading competitions under working experience? Yes, under trading experience
      – Should i mention i was a sportsman? Yes – this would help
      – Base on my information given above, could you suggest me which part should i focus more when writing resume? I think the article gives you quite detailed guidelines to follow. If you follow that this would help you

  10. Byron Constantine

    Hi M&I I’ve put down mock trading under interests, how does that sound? Should I also perhaps specify what platform I am using?
    Also I have four university degrees, one which I am currently doing while I work, must I list all my degrees?
    For instance my undegrad was a BA in politics which seems like just a waste of space right?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes I may include more details re. your mock trading experience

      Yes it is best to list all your degrees assuming you have space. You can perhaps spend less space on the degrees that are less recent and may not matter as much

  11. Hey all !
    I have a question about career strategy planning here. I am currently finishing my master’s degree in France but couldn’t land any interview for Sales&Trading so far. I’ve done internships in a big bank but not related to trading (energy & commodity financing loans).
    I might have a chance to land a trading job/internship in Colombia (my second homecountry); but I wonder whether it would be possible afterwards to go back to europe for a real sales/trader job in a big firm. Would an experience in an emerging country be as valuable ?
    Many thanks for your prompt reply!

    1. It might help, but they would still discount the experience since it’s in an emerging market. But if that is the best option you have for doing S&T, I would take it because it will still be better than doing something unrelated in Europe.

  12. Lorraine Q

    Brian, thank you for your sharing. May I ask why did you hide the names of those stocks being pitched in the resume template? Should we do in that descriptive way or just give the ticker/name?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      If the information isn’t sensitive (most likely isn’t), you can list the name of the stock.

  13. if i want be an Wall Stree Investment Banking Sales & Trading what can I do now

  14. Hey – First of all great article as usual, keep up the good work!

    I have a question: one of my main hobbies is Urban Exploration (which is, according to Wikipedia, “the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment”)
    The thing is that this “sport” has a sketchy reputation, so do you think I should include it on my resume?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      No it is fine, you can include it on your resume.

      1. But should I?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          I think it may be a good idea to list it. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  15. Hi I’ve been working at a prop trading firm in NY for several years, but looking to transition into big bank, then hedge fund. Strangely, I may have better leads in U.K. or Singapore than NY. If there’s an opportunity abroad, can traders easily transfer to NY after a couple years? Not sure how that works. I wouldn’t mind learning/trading a new product to get into a bank, but would prefer to live in NY over long run. Thanks.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It depends on your market knowledge (and visa – but I presume you have the work permit since you’ve worked in NY for several years.) I think it is doable to transfer locations though you’ll have to demonstrate your track record as well as your market knowledge

  16. What would be an appropriate heading for the blurb in my resume under experience about my personal trading? Just graduated from college and have been actively trading daily for 3 years using technical analysis and calculated entries and exits.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d put it under Personal Trading Experience, under Professional Experience

  17. Hi,

    Your website is unbelievably helpful and encouraging! I really appreciate you guys’ detailed hard work. Hopefully one day I can contribute to this website!

    I have 2 questions:

    1) I have been managing 3 real money online stock accounts. One of them was opened in 2009, and the other two were started this year. I was investing for two years since 2009, and have been swing trading since this year (But getting really serious only since June).

    My question is, do I list this in Work & Leadership Experience section or as an Activity on my resume? I have a lot experience and thinking to list, but I wonder this may not qualify for a “Work Experience”.

    2) For this recent quarter, my accounts are making losses right now. The reason was mainly because I’m also a full time college student, which I cannot monitor the stock market and find news in time everyday (But I have tried my best whenever I have time).

    I read above in a similar comment where you said “avoid listing the results of your trades and instead explain your thinking behind them in detail” and “say they were fairly recent so it’s too soon to tell since you plan to hold for the long-term”. But my question is, is it good to list (or say when asked) that I have been “swing trading” (since this is more focused on short-term results than investing)? How do I answer? I do have a lot of experience to talk about, but I can only see a profit later this year or early next year.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      1. You can list it under Trading Experience
      2. Yes you can still list it – just talk about your strategy, your reasoning, what you’ve done etc

      1. Thanks a lot!

  18. Hi,

    Thanks for the article above. My resume is highly IBD focused but still shows very a strong ‘quantitative ability’ and solid ‘analytical skills’… but I don’t have a passion for the financial markets (FTSE etc)… but do like reading up about M&A deals etc. However, because I study at LSE, and because of my quantitative degree/background, recruiters/people in the industry automatically categorise me as a ‘quant hedge fund analyst/trader’… even though I have IBD experience and present my resume in the ‘IBD’ way. BBs have called me requesting I apply for a S&T internship, not IBD, but I am not interested in S&T (i have shadowed traders and didn’t see myself do that for even 3 months!) so there is a problem. Do you know what I can do?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’m not quite sure what your resume is like so it is hard for me to advise you on this forum

  19. Johnny Reb

    My apologies for the ignorance and grammatical errors. I’m on lunch break right now.

  20. Johnny Reb

    M&I: I’m going to be a senior in high school next year and I’m interested in finance. I know it sounds cliche because everyone thinks they want to be an investment banker when their in highschool-but I want to be an investment banker. I plan to get an MBA after 2-3 years of working after college. I’d like to start out at as an associate at a decent firm. What can I do to start preparing now? What should I major in for my undergraduate studies? I’m going to Washington and Lee (hopefully) and they don’t exactly have a straight finance major, just economics, accounting, etc. I’ve had a mock-portfolio for two years and I plan on setting up an account when I get home from this internship I’m doing right now at a mutual fund. The buy side is pretty interesting and pleasant, so why would I ever want to be an i-banker? This group hasn’t hired anyone in 11 years and they rarely take interns. Also, I have many connections to some bigwigs at well known firms, so networking won’t be as hard for me. You blog is remarkably interesting, by the way.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Try to major in business preferably finance and accounting if you can. Otherwise, try economics. Yes if you are interested in investing the buy side would be interesting for you

  21. Hey Brian, I agree with this article very much. I just finished my internship with Standard Chartered Global Markets (Manila, Philippines) and got to sit with the different trading desks (not to mention 1 month with Debt Cap. Mkts). More than anything they appreciated my hunger to trade and passion for the market (and never-stressed nature). They like the fact that I trade with simulation accounts and when I’ve got downtime, they see me reading newspapers or, WSJ etc. Traders don’t find it weird that you’re so enthusiastic and trade with simulator accounts – they think you’re genuinely hungry enough to do this. They don’t teach trading in school, so they want you to want really bad it because they’re taking time away from watching the market to teach you, some random college kid.

    (Got invites to work with them when I graduate btw, from multiple desks, DCM and the MD, thank you for all the advice you post on this site, I read it religiously.)

    1. M&I - Nicole

      “Traders don’t find it weird that you’re so enthusiastic and trade with simulator accounts – they think you’re genuinely hungry enough to do this” : Yes, because the above shows that you have a genuine passion for the markets. Your work is a major part of your life, esp if you work in trading/IB! I believe one needs to have a passion for the markets (and interviewers can tell whether you have a genuine passion in it or not), a strong EQ and ability to manage one’s emotions, and a strong drive to succeed in order to excel in trading


  22. Hi,

    Love the template and advice given. Just got a question about the work and leadership section. Would it be better to put in the experience in order of time or by relevance? I did a corporate finance internship last year, but currently doing some less relevant work such as mentoring and tutoring.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      In order of time is best because interviewers usually value your most recent (and most relevant) experience.
      Are you working FT as a mentor/tutor? If its not a full time role, I’d highlight put your corp fin experience as the 1st work entry under your work experience and put your mentor/tutor experience at the bottom of your resume or below your corp fin entry depending on what you do as a mentor/tutor

      1. well, im tutoring high school maths and english, part time. So i guess this is less relevant and should be below the corp finance experience

        1. M&I - Nicole


  23. I loved this article, will you guys be doing any “day in the life” articles for S&T? I read the intern one but I’d like a good idea of what a full-time S&T employee does on a daily basis. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! And yes, we hope to do more day in the life features on S&T soon. There is the intern one right now but I want to cover different desks and what full-timers do as well.

  24. I am a Software Engineer with 7 years software engineering experience and have a BEng degree and nothing else related to finance. I play Poker in small club and I am an endurance cyclist with a couple of my old friends. I have my own mock account I trade on but it only picks stocks from the London Stock Exchange. What sort of layout in brief do I need to get into Sales and Trading. My experience at work saved hours and money and we resurrected few customers on our account at work because of the changes I advised on.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      You can list your mock account, stocks you invested in and the returns you generated.

      1. OK. So in this case my resume will be education, experience (here I will put any achievements and advices I made which is basically software development but will make it business oriented and how much I have saved the company), skills, activities and interest (I will put I am fluent in arabic, oracle certified, have my own mock account in trading, I will also add in the CV I won 3 times in a row the investment competition when I was in school 18 years ago). Is that good ? Or is there a better layout.

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Sure. Education, Experience, Skills, Activities & Interests …

          1. One last point. Under which section do I list the mock account ? is it under professional experience and it should it be before my current job ? Please let me know. Also in the article it says if you are in full time education you put the experience before the education and leave out Skills, Activities & Interests … Is this all still true ?

          2. M&I - Nicole

            Under Professional Experience works. If your current job isn’t finance related, yes I’d list your mock account above your current job
            Yes I’d follow the article’s guidelines

  25. In London, fantasy trading accounts are not viewed positively. I have spoken to people at all levels (analyst up to a CEO of one of the most prestigious boutiques in the city).

    The logic is, ‘I do not want you on the floor if you’ve got a punting account,’ It is unfortunately as simple as that.

    You are far better off making sure you have very very strong opinions (developed by reading/following the markets) and knowing your stuff than having a fantasy account. Even if you’re using real money, it isn’t viewed in a positive light.

    One caveat I’ve seen is some traders preferring to hire people (this is for the UK only) kids with an A in A level mathematics + a liberal arts degree (french, history, politics, economics etc) just b/c these kids tend to be “more interesting”

    1. I find that hard to believe, especially if you’re using real money. How else could you possibly know if you are good at trading without trading yourself first? And if it comes down to 2 people with similar profiles, would the non-trader really win out?

      Still, there may be regional differences and it could be the case that trading accounts are not viewed positively in the UK.

      From discussions with traders at bulge bracket banks in New York, I know that most of them would much prefer someone who’s passionate about trading and who has done it before vs. someone who just thinks it sounds cool but doesn’t have any experience.

  26. Hi Brian,

    For the Fall recruiting season, when do first-round interviews for S&T Analyst positions typically start? Prior to the first-round interviews beginning, will they inform you of their decision to advance you to the first round by messaging you via e-mail or through phone?

    If you are asked to come for a real interview in an office in NY or London, say, would they mail you the airplane tickets several days or weeks in advance? (I’m not sure how the logistics of this works out.)


    1. M&I - Nicole

      FT Analysts roles – usually quite early in the US, maybe August or September. But it varies a bit by bank and region.

      If you make resume cutoff they will usually just email you, would take a long time to call everyone.

      They will either book the tickets for you online or tell you to do it and reimburse you.

  27. Hi, would you please release the general accepted fees (introduction, success) wages and expenses scheme, I’m negotiating and don’t want to be pretentious neither be lower nor out of bounds. Thanks & regards

    1. Sorry but I don’t understand your question. I think you’ve asked something like this on Facebook before and I didn’t understand it then either.

      If you’re asking about the fees you pay to a bank when they advise you on selling a business, it varies widely based on deal size, circumstances etc. so impossible to say from what you’ve said there.

  28. Hey.

    How much do boutiques pay on average.? What are the hours like? Is the actual work difficult? How much knowledge do I actually need to know about valuation?

  29. Nishant

    I’m a junior at University of Michigan. I’m studying Nuclear Engineering. And I’m also considering adding either Finance (Ross school of business) as second major, or Financial mathematics. I’m leaning more towards financial mathematics.
    I’m highly interested in financial market, and I trade daily on the virtual portfolio.

    What are you opinions on financial math degree in relation to Finance?
    Is it worth adding either of those as second degree?

    1. I don’t think you’ll see a huge difference between the two. I also don’t know if you should necessarily take on a 2nd major – it might be too much work and simply adding a minor in one of those would give you a similar boost. Financial math would probably be better for public markets roles and anything more quantitative, finance would be better for transactional roles (IB/PE).

  30. Dear M&I,

    How would the above S&T Template change from someone from a non-target school but with relevant financial experience i.e. interned at Research and GCM in bulge bracket now trying to join S&T.

    Should more emphasis be made on extra curricular activities of a quantitative and analytical nature since I am from a non-traditional background?


    1. If you already have that kind of experience then you can list it as is – you definitely don’t want to focus on activities if you have 2 highly relevant internships already.

      Do focus on the more quantitative / analytical tasks in the internships though. You can still list activities but I wouldn’t go beyond 1 or 2 since you have the internships already.

  31. Hi Brian, what do u do if ur mock trading account is making losses? How can u spin that into something positive?

    1. Hi Law,

      I am not Brian but coming from a personal experience I would strongly recommend to start learning how to trade and understand whether you like fundamental or technical analysis. Then you need to learn and master your strategies and then understand market psychology. Also, trading journal helps a lot. You need to be able to reflect from your trades.

    2. You can just avoid listing the results of your trades and instead explain your thinking behind them in detail. If they ask you how the trades have performed so far, just say they were fairly recent so it’s too soon to tell since you plan to hold for the long-term.

      1. Thanks Anton and Brian, good stuff there and nice response =)

  32. One more question-

    Saying that I do choose finance as my major, can you name any good public schools (for business) off the top of your head?

    1. UC Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, UVA, UNC all come to mind. More banking recruiting at the first 3.

  33. Hello! Since you don’t email anymore, I’ll try to get in touch by these comments.

    I’m currently an upperclassman in high school, and I had a couple of questions for you.

    1. I’m interning at a wealth management firm next year (networked my way into that (: ). Do you have any advice on what to do when I’m there? My goal is to go into IB after college, but I’m quite happy to work there.

    2. Is an Ivy League education completely necessary to get into investment banking? I want to go to the University of Western Ontario, which has a great reputation for its business school, but I hope that the banks don’t just focus on the Ivy League grads.

    3. Any other advice on what to do when in high school? I downloaded your free program (modeling, etc) and I was surprised that I understood most of it! I want to just practice interview skills, network and get a good knowledge of the job. Any other tips?

    Thank you for your time!

    1. 1. Network, get to know the markets, get referrals from other people, figure out if you like the work.

      2. No but it makes it a lot easier. In Canada I think they mostly recruit at 5 schools – see:

      3. Not really, keep your options open and remember there is life outside of finance as well. You shouldn’t be dead-set on pursuing a certain path at this point.

      1. Thanks!

  34. Brian,

    Your guest suggested emphasising mock/simulator trading. If you don’t have actual experience to point to, is it still a good idea to list this as a work experience entry? e.g. Choose companies that have actually been profitable in share price terms over the past 5 months or so, and expand showing that the investment would have been profitable in a real-life portfolio?

    1. Sure, but I would still try to list some type of student activity / volunteer / other leadership experience as well just to show that you can work in teams and in formal roles in addition to trading on your own.

  35. Brian,

    How would you rate the travel opportunities associated with Sales & Trading? Are there many opportunities, or are you primarily based in the one place?

    1. For trading you are basically just in one place. Sales may involve more travel depending on what’s going on at the moment (e.g. a roadshow). Overall consulting is by far the most travel, followed by IB, then sales/trading.

      1. There is actually a fair amount of traveling when it comes to the busy season (springtime). BB Research Analysts are going to meet clients in various parts of the US and depending on where you are based you could be out 2-5 days a week.

        1. Actually Brian, just to follow up:

          In markets outside of the US, would you still imagine there to be a similar trend around those times too? While it is not the main focus for sales & trading, would you deem it of value to emphasise any international experience/language capability on the CV>

          1. There may be, but generally for trading languages / international experiences don’t matter as much because everything is in English… for sales or research it can be more of an advantage (see the podcast we did on S&T). Not sure how frequent travel would be outside the US but perhaps someone else can answer.

  36. Michael

    Great article!

    I did an internship in a high-frequency trading firm. Since HFTs are normally quite secretive, the name is not know. I want to emphasize on my resume that it’s a HFT firm, how can I do this?

    1. You can just add a 1-line description next to it or after the company name, or put the description in your summary sentence.

  37. Hey Brian, I read that there is a slim chance for people who already have a full-time job to get in S&T. Is this a dead-end for me or I still have a shot? What would be the best approach for someone like me who graduated 6 months ago in accountancy and is currently working in the backoffice in the pension industry. Is going back to school for a master in finance, MBA or something in a quantitative discipline a good way to revamp myself? Or the best approach would be to network heavily? Or is there another way out of this?

    1. If it’s just 6 months of full-time work experience you still have a shot but less so at large banks. I would try:

      1) Focusing on prop trading firms or other small places that don’t care as much about your current status.

      2) Thinking about a Master’s in Finance program.

      3) Still try networking and maybe even focus on something like sales roles and see if you can work your way into trading from there.

      4) Think about back/middle office roles at banks – it’s more do-able to get into sales & trading from those than it is to get into IB.

  38. Few quick questions:

    1) For “Quantitative Ability”, are we looking for only arithmetic/statistics-related stuff, or should I put down “Multivariable Calculus” in the Relevant Coursework section?

    2) Is sports betting a good thing to put under interests, in the same vein as poker etc. Also, what happens if somebody asks how good you are at betting/poker. Is it okay to say “I’d rather not say”, or should you reveal your strategies etc. What if you’re too successful (not saying I personally am) – will the interviewer question your motivations as to why you want an S&T job when you’re making a nice income off poker/betting?

    3) I’m in a frat, but I don’t have a leadership position. In that case, where do I list this in my resume?

    4) How intense does your mock trading account have to be? I have a real trading account (which I’ve had for a year), but I’ve only held positions in 5 stocks, and never more than 3 at a time – I’ve also only sold/bought/fiddled with the allocation only 3 or 4 times. Is that enough?

    5) Is knowing just the front page of the WSJ, MarketWatch etc. enough – how detailed are people expecting your market knowledge to be? I’d love to spend all my time looking at it, but I also have homework to contend with.

    Okay, so it’s a bit more than a few quick questions, sorry! And thanks in advance, guys!

    1. Thanks!

      1) Anything math-related is good, so Calculus certainly counts.

      2) Yes, it could be if you can explain your strategies properly. If asked, just say that you have some experience doing it and consider it a hobby to divert away questions of why you don’t do it full-time.

      3) You should still list it at the bottom, either by itself or note one of your accomplishments.

      4) Sure. Doesn’t have to be that intense, just be able to describe a couple of trades and investment ideas quite well.

      5) We’re going to cover this in the next few parts of this series – there’s a specific list of indicators you should be familiar with. Not that many to know, but they will expect basic knowledge like interest rates, oil/gold prices, GDP growth, unemployment, etc.

      1. Hi Brian,

        Thanks so much for your reply! I think my resume’s solid now, and I’m on my way to be prepared for the interviews.

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Glad to hear!

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