How To Land A Job In Commodity Trading

Do you want to know how to land a job in commodity trading? Applying to a commodity trading role resembles many other job applications.

Trading houses look for driven individuals who are good at numbers and people. Make sure you understand the process and play your cards well.

How to Land a Job in Commodity Trading:
Part 1, Prepare

Before you send your first application make sure you have done your homework. You’ll need to:

  1. Define you job target group

    Defining a clear scope is a very important part of the application.
    Make a few decisions early in your process; it will make your life easier. Adjust your scope if you see it’s not for you, or as you gather feedback.

    Decide where you want to apply (ie location), which roles (eg operations, trading, or finance), and a number of target companies.

  2. Put together a great general CV

    Find yourself a good CV template (find our specific CV advice here). Then brainstorm (start with a sheet of paper)

  3. Learn how to write a cover letter

    You can find our cover-letter specific tips here. Make sure you remember the main principle; be concise and write a powerful message that engages the writer.

  4. Understand how recruiting works

    In general terms, HR only selects a number of candidates. Management decides. HR acts as a filter, and does not really always understand the actual requirements and daily tasks. Make sure you pass the first HR stages and prepare for a more real stage when you reach interviews with actual managers/senior peers.

    Now that know what to prepare, you are ready to learn the second part in how to land a job in commodity trading. Apply.

How To Land A Job In Commodity Trading:
Part 2, Apply

  1. Write your application material

    1. Target a specific job opening or company HR mail.
      You can find a list of the best trading commodity trading career sites here.
      Target a specific opening, and make sure you understand what the company is looking for. You’ll only be able to make a good application if you have a clear idea of the target opening. Do not mass-apply without tailoring your applications – it will be wasted time.
    2. Fine-tune your CV/Resume (find tips here).
      Once you have a specific job opening, read it multiple times and analyze what the recruiters will want to see. Once you find out, your CV must match the requirements of the position you are applying for. Voila!
    3. Write a job-specific Cover Letter (find tips here).
      In addition to the tailor CV, write a short but powerful cover letter. There is nothing more lame than a copy-paste cover letter – don’t do it because recruiters will immediately dump your application.
    4. Make sure your presence online is professional.
      Your employers shouldn’t be able to find your last spring-break pics. Make sure that your Facebook posts are only shared with friends, and your Tweeter, LinkedIn and other profiles display professional content or blog posts.
  2. Send the application

    1. Attaching grade reports, standarized test results, etc.
      They might not be required. Read well the job opening and include only material that benefits your application.
    2. Following up gently, if necessary
      Your target company might receive hundreds of applications. Recruiters are human. Make sure you follow up, but let them do their jobs.
  3. Company screening round
    1. Recruiters review and screen your application material
    2. Shortlist by recruiters / lower management
  4. Interview rounds (first rounds with HR, then management)
    1. Phone/Skype interviews
    2. In-person interviews (tips about interviews here)
    3. Case-studies
  5. Final decision
    1. Offer, if you are selected.
    2. Waiting list
    3. Rejection (Keep trying)

Of course, you’ll possibly skip some steps if you have been recommended or head-hunted.

Find more information and tips in the specific pages on CV/Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews.

David Goldstein

David is the Head Editor at Commodity Trading Guru. He has trading experience at large commodity trading houses globally. Currently he lives with his family and two dogs in a village near Geneva and enjoys triathlons and snow sports. Ask him about fine wine and modern art.