I have been day trading for a few years now and have been quite profitable. I believe I have the skill set and knowledge to continue this indefinitely as a career however I recently found another calling in which I want to pursue instead despite the pay decrease :).

Should I add day trading as work experience on my resume or should I just explain the gap when asked? I want to add my day trading experience on my resume to showcase my financial (majored in Finance), programming knowledge, and analytical skills that I heavily rely on to execute my trades but feel that the hiring manager may view this as more of a hobby than "work experience"?

The organization I am applying for accepts a broad range of academic fields. The position I am inquiring about would not require financial or programming knowledge however it may help. I believe analytical skills are imperative in this position.

  • What kind of jobs would you be applying for? i.e. Is the experience you gained relevant? For instance if you were applying to be a software developer or hardware technician, the experience you gained may not be necessary, but if you were entering sales, or anything with customers the experience would probably be relevant
    – Tas
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:26
  • @tas I have updated my question to address this.
    – NuWin
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:51
  • Experience is experience and if relevant is always good to show. It tells a lot about who you are. Still, be ready to have a clear answer to "how are your daytrading activity and job here to fit together" Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 9:24
  • 1
    When you state you need to explain the gap, were you full time at day trading and not putting this experience will create a blank in your resume?
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 12:08
  • 1
    If it was me your resume would go into the "no" pile. Unrealistic is the word that comes to mind.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 16:42

4 Answers 4


TL;DR If it's not relevant, don't put it on your resume

If this was your primary source of income then I would not consider it as a simple hobby. You must have been pretty good at it if it allowed you to take a few years hiatus from a 'typical' job.

I don't know what kind of job you've been searching for. This sounds like it would be very relevant experience if you job hunt is more marketing / finance focused. Outline what qualities you looked for in the companies you've invested in.

If you're applying as, for example, a software engineer, then don't include it on your resume (Unless you wrote special software to help you. In which case, put that down).

  • the organization I want to be apart of accepts a broad range of academic fields however the position I am applying for has very little to do with finance. I believe analytical skills are imperative though. So in short, do not put day trading on my resume but explain the gap?
    – NuWin
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:47
  • At the hobby level it'd also be relevant if applying for a job in the parts of the financial industry because it shows interest in the area of business and indicates that you already have a lot of domain knowledge and should be able to ramp up faster. Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:47
  • 3
    IF you didn't have a day job and were supporting yourself via day trading it was a full time job; and as your most recent employment absolutely belongs on your resume. You will OFC need to be prepared to discuss why you're changing careers. Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 22:49
  • @NuWin Analytics sounds relevant enough to me. I just mentioned finance / marketing because that's what comes to my mind when I think 'trading'.
    – Raven
    Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 23:10

You should consider including it in another section, such as "Other Experience" or something along those lines.

When you realized that the hiring manager may consider that to be more of a hobby than a job, you answered your question right there. Why risk that? A gap, at the very least, they can ask.

That said, the day trading, especially if you were particularly good and did make it your full-time occupation for a period of time, is perfect for

(a) another section of the resume;

(b) mentioning in the cover letter if it is relevant; and/or

(c) talk about in the interview if it is relevant.


If it was your main source of income and you put enough hours in it to be deemed a full time occupation I don't see whats wrong in including it to be honest.

Its not an illegal activity and shows many positive traits in you,as in analytical skills mentioned, if you had the prowess and intelligence to pull this through. An explicit mention in your CV, perhaps mentioned in an "Others Section", as mentioned already, or just as your last work experience can get the employer to ask more about it and you make your case about it as intended.


The problem is the word "day". Could it be that you were just a self employed Stock Trader? Or even just an Investor? Did you almost always zero out at the end of the day? Write down what you did as a trader, without the word day. If that is honest and looks good, what's the point of adding "day"?

Being successful in your chosen career for several years belongs prominently on your resume, especially if it is your current job. Don't lie about anything, but don't unnecessarily label something with a label you (and possibly others) don't like. Many people don't know what day trading is, they only think it is something fishy. If someone asks, "Were you day trading?", you are already being considered (you made it to the interview). Just saying "yes" should be less of an issue by that time.

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