Common Mistake: Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Common Mistake #6: try to look like a "jack of all trades" candidate

When writing their resumes, a lot of candidates try to make themselves look like a jack of all trades, i.e., someone who knows everything, from stochastic calculus to number theory to statistics to option pricing to programming. They do this by listing any quant-oriented skills they can think of which they think will please the reader.

Regardless of whether you do possess all these skills, it’s better to focus on one or two particular skills that are really strong. Nobody can know everything, but most would-be quants have some in-depth experience in some particular subjects. I think it’s better for you to highlight your own expertise areas.

Does this mean you should not list your other skills? By no means! You should list all your relevant skills, skills that you truly possess, but must write your resume in such a way as to make the reader aware of your in-depth expertise. In other words, try to make yourself look like a "jack of all trades" and "master of one trade" at the same time.

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