Writing the Perfect Quant Resume
What keywords and details should you specify on your resume for quantitative finance jobs and internships.
Why should you optimize your resume?
One frequent question that quants ask when applying to jobs and internships is what to write on their resume. Given how competitive these jobs are, optimizing your resume is, in fact, a very important part of landing interviews. Nowadays, most companies employ ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems) to screen candidate resumes for keywords as a first filter for who gets selected for an interview. It's here where having the right keywords and details will allow you to pass this phase of the screening process.
In this article, we'll cover some general guidelines around what you should include in your resume for various quantitative finance roles. From there, we'll dive into a detailed analysis that we conducted, in which we looked at over 500 quant job descriptions to piece out the common qualifications that quant employers are looking for.
When writing a resume for a quantitative trader or quantitative researcher role, you'll want to focus on highlighting your competency in statistics and mathematics. Not only are these the skills assessed most widely in the interviews, but they are also what you will leverage the most on the job. Some good things to mention here would be your participation and performance in previous math competitions (AMC, Putnam, etc.), high scores on academic standardized exams, data analysis projects that you have worked on (preferably in Python), and any statistics coursework you have completed.
On the other hand, if you're applying for a quantitative developer role, you'll want to focus on highlighting your knowledge of computer science topics. This can range anywhere from compilers to distributed systems, but you'll also want to showcase any projects you worked on in these domains. Some good examples of side projects include building a toy market exchange or any deep learning models in Python.
While the guidelines above are great general practices to follow, we took it a step further and conducted an analysis looking at the most common keywords that appear in quant job descriptions. For each position type (Quantitative Developer, Researcher, and Trader), we checked the fraction of times that the keyword appeared in the job description. The results of our study are shown below.
While there are many interesting tidbits one can take away from this analysis, we'll highlight a couple that you may find interesting.
Having a Ph.D. isn't the end all for landing a job as a quantitative researcher. People tend to overestimate the importance of a doctorate degree, while only a third of quant research roles specify that as a requirement in their job descriptions.
If you're currently unsure of what major to pursue in order to become a quant you should:
- Quantitative Developer - Computer Science
- Quantitative Researcher - Statistics
- Quantitative Trader - Mathematics
Python is unanimously the most highly requested skill across all quant jobs, so learning it and mentioning it on your resume is really important. Excel is also a frequently mentioned skill, so throwing it on your resume may help you as well.
Thanks for reading our article; we hope that you found it helpful in understanding how you should write your quant resume. If you're looking for more quant-related career advice, you can check out the rest of the articles on our blog. Also, feel free to check out OpenQuant for the best jobs and internships in quantitative finance.