Should I list Day Trading or Investing as Skills on my Resume or LinkedIn Profile?


I’m starting to see a trend towards listing investing and day trading as skills on some of my colleagues and readers resumes. In fact the skills are becoming quite common on LinkedIn profiles. But are they necessary? Will they cause more harm than good?

Why Day Trading is Dangerous to List on a resume

Darrell Z. D. makes a great point when he writes, “Does a microwave cookbook add value to a new convection oven?” Think about that question for a minute.

Although it has its positives and good people, the scam artists and manipulators are the ones who make the news. It’s likely to conjure up feelings of the .com bubble in 2000.

How many employers do you know that would consider that a skill? Most are not likely to. And do you know how they are going to find out more about it? They’re going to Google it. The first several results will explain to them that it is a dangerous hobby or way to lose money.

What might be better skills for investors to Write on a Resume

Instead of focusing on investing or day trading, and avoid mentioning penny stocks or Forex at all costs, articulate your skills you use in order to accomplish day trading or investing.

For example, if you practice fundamental analysis, it may be worth mentioning on a resume. This describes you as someone who is accounting savvy and very practical from a financial standpoint. When you get the interview you can articulate some of the formulas and metrics you look out for. It will show you know how to do work and that you are not making quick judgements for the sake of what the crowd wants.

If you use technical analysis on a regular basis your ability to understand and interpret charts will be a valuable skill for many employers. No, they won’t really care that you can detect a head and shoulders pattern, but being able to read an economics chart that describes supply and demand is something many in our generation are dumbfounded by.

Judging a stock or security based on the historical trends and what is occurring in the marketplace may also be appealing for potential employer. This shows that you have an understanding of the value of data. Regardless of whether or not it is valuable in assessing the value of a stock, it is incredibly valuable to a company looking for more information about their customers and clients.

Don’t BS Information You Cannot Clearly Demonstrate or Articulate in Person or in an Interview

What I am seeing more and more on Linkedin profiles is users listing these skills as something they are familiar with or have expertise in. However when you ask them to assess a chart they are clueless. Or worse when you simply ask them to give a P/E ratio based on the numbers of a fictitious company, they cannot do it. I know this because I interview for authors often.

Don’t get caught in this mess. Be very modest about what you know about investing or day trading and if you are a beginner make note of that. It is not worth it to ruin a potential career by lying, when the employer would have been very happy to learn that you were dedicating the time to the skill, and you find out was willing to train you.

Attention! There are NO Job Postings for Day Traders!

You may have been disappointed to discover that your skills in day trading or investing do not necessarily translate perfectly to the job world. Like a philosophy degree, you are not likely to find yourself working as a philosopher. It is all about using the skills you learned and translating those skills into marketable skills for your potential employer.

Begin looking for careers that require someone with analytical skills. Look for employers who need someone to interpret data, someone who has a discerning eye, someone who needs skepticism and investigate behavior. This is a great start in using these skills.

Once you are hired you can then show how you are using those skills of yours to learn their methods and translate them into skills for a variety of different career choices.

Next week I would like to follow this article up with one that looks at what jobs are available for day traders.

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