Banker Cover Letter Examples
Use these Banker cover letter examples to help you write a powerful cover letter that will separate you from the competition.
Bankers are responsible for lending money to businesses and individuals. They also work with customers to develop financial plans and investment strategies.
To get a job as a banker, you need to have a strong understanding of financial concepts and a passion for helping people reach their financial goals.
Use these examples to write a banker cover letter that stands out from the competition.
Formal/Professional Writing Style Example
With a strong background in finance and a proven track record of successfully managing financial operations, I believe my skills and passion make me the ideal candidate for this role.
I possess a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from XYZ University and have gained over five years of experience in the banking industry, with a focus on financial analysis, risk management, and regulatory compliance. My previous roles as a Financial Analyst and Assistant Controller have prepared me well for the challenges of this position, enabling me to develop competencies such as forecasting, cost reduction, and strategic planning. In my most recent role, I was responsible for managing a team of seven, where I implemented measures that resulted in a cost reduction of 15% and led the successful completion of the annual audit process in collaboration with external auditors.
As a highly organized and detail-oriented individual, I excel at performing complex financial analysis and identifying trends to inform data-driven decision-making. My strong communication skills ensure that I am able to effectively communicate financial insights to stakeholders at all levels of the organization, leading to improved understanding of key performance metrics.
By joining your company, I am excited to contribute my skills and experience to meet and exceed the expectations set for this role. I am highly motivated to contribute to the financial success of your organization and am confident that my dedication to upholding the highest financial standards will make me a valuable asset to your team.
Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to discuss my qualifications further and learn more about the opportunities for professional growth within your organization. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
Entry-Level Writing Style Example
As a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of State, I am eager to begin my career in banking and believe this position at [Bank Name] is a perfect opportunity for me to utilize and expand upon my skills and knowledge.
My educational background has provided me with a strong foundation in finance, accounting, and risk management. Specifically, coursework in financial management, investments, and financial markets has prepared me for analyzing and interpreting financial data. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to participate in an internship with a local financial institution, where I gained valuable experience in customer service and relationship building. This experience has equipped me with the skills to handle customer inquiries, process transactions, and identify the best banking products and services to meet their needs.
I am particularly drawn to [Bank Name] because of your commitment to providing exceptional customer service and your dedication to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. I believe these values closely align with my own personal and professional goals, and I am confident I can contribute positively to [Bank Name’s] overall success.
I would be thrilled to be given the opportunity to contribute my skills and enthusiasm to your team at [Bank Name]. I have attached my resume and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Networking/Referral Writing Style Example
I was thrilled to learn about this opportunity through my colleague and friend, Mr. John Doe, who has been working with your team for the past three years as an Investment Analyst. John has always spoken highly of the dynamic work culture and growth opportunities at your bank, and I believe my experience and skills would make me a perfect candidate for this role.
As an individual with over five years of experience working in the banking sector, I have a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of banking services, including account management, credit analysis, and customer service. I am confident that my ability to communicate effectively with diverse clients, my strong analytical skills, and my drive to provide exceptional customer service will position me for success in this role.
Being referred to your organization by John, who has firsthand knowledge of my work ethics and professional accomplishments, underscores the belief that I have the skills and drive necessary to make a significant contribution to your team.
I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of your esteemed organization and contribute to its growth and success. Please find my resume attached for your review. I would welcome the chance to further discuss my qualifications and how I can add value to your team.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you further.
Enthusiastic/Passionate Writing Style Example
Having admired [Bank Name] for a long time, I am inspired by the innovation, dedication to customer service, and strong commitment to fostering financial inclusion that your institution consistently showcases. I am confident that my skills and eagerness to contribute to your team make me the ideal candidate for this role.
During my time at [Previous Company], I demonstrated my passion for banking by consistently exceeding sales targets, fostering relationships with clients, and actively participating in community outreach programs. I believe these experiences have equipped me with the perfect blend of sales, analytical, and interpersonal skills to excel in this role.
One particular achievement that stands out is my successful implementation of a comprehensive financial literacy program, which not only increased our brand awareness but also empowered numerous individuals to make better financial decisions. I am eager to apply this same dedication and innovative mindset to the Banker role at [Bank Name]. I am certain that my contagious enthusiasm for assisting clients in reaching their financial goals will make me an invaluable addition to your team.
Furthermore, I am dedicated to continually enhancing my banking acumen by staying informed about the latest industry trends, attending relevant workshops, and pursuing new certifications. I am confident in my ability to not only adeptly fulfill the responsibilities of the Banker position but also consistently go above and beyond for the benefit of both [Bank Name] and its clients.
Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to join your esteemed organization and embark on a successful banking career with [Bank Name]. I look forward to the chance to further discuss my qualifications and passion with you during an interview.
Problem-Solving Writing Style Example
Having thoroughly researched your bank’s impressive growth and dedication to customer satisfaction, I have identified two central challenges that I believe my background and expertise can help address: bolstering customer loyalty and adapting to the ever-evolving financial technology landscape.
Firstly, I understand that establishing and maintaining strong relationships with clients is key to customer loyalty and long-term business success. With over six years of experience in the banking sector, I have honed my skills in understanding clients’ financial needs and goals, creating tailor-made solutions and fostering trust through excellent communication and prompt service. My ability to combine in-depth market analysis with a client-centric approach will help your bank not only boost customer satisfaction but also maximize opportunities for financial growth, ultimately reinforcing customer loyalty.
Secondly, to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry, banks need to adapt to fintech innovations, streamline processes and provide digital products that cater to the changing needs and preferences of customers. In my previous role at XYZ Bank, I was responsible for integrating new technology solutions into our branch offerings, leading to a 20% increase in customer adoption of digital services. My experience in implementing cutting-edge solutions and facilitating training to ensure a smooth transition for staff and customers alike will prove invaluable in your bank’s continuous pursuit of digital excellence.
In summary, I believe my client-focused approach, financial expertise, and experience in digital transformation will make me a valuable addition to your team. I am eager to contribute to your bank’s ongoing success and further enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my candidacy further.
Storytelling/Narrative Writing Style Example
Growing up, I had always harbored a deep fascination for numbers and financial matters. This passion, combined with my desire to help others, led me to pursue a career in banking. Let me share with you a story that I believe perfectly encapsulates my dedication to this field.
A few years ago, I found myself in a difficult financial situation. A close friend approached me for help with her struggling small business. With my background in finance and my strong analytical skills, I was confident that I could assist her in turning her business around. I eagerly took up the challenge, putting my knowledge of financial management, budgeting, and cost-cutting techniques to work.
As we delved into the business, I identified several areas where improvements could be made. We negotiated better terms with suppliers, streamlined operations, and implemented a comprehensive financial plan. I even took the initiative to educate my friend on the importance of financial literacy and effective money management, empowering her to make better decisions in the future.
Fast forward a year, and her once-struggling business had become a thriving, profitable venture. The satisfaction of helping someone in need and the joy of witnessing their success fueled my passion for the banking industry even more.
This experience has taught me the power of effective financial management and the profound impact it can have on people’s lives. I am eager to bring my skills, dedication, and passion for helping others to your organization as a Banker.
Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and am confident that my background in financial management and commitment to customer service make me an excellent candidate for the role. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further.
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Professional Banking Cover Letter Example for 2023
Read for inspiration or use it as a base to improve your own Banking cover letter. Just replace personal information, company application data and achievements with your own.
How to write the perfect banking cover letter
Writing a Banking cover letter might feel like skating on thin ice – choosing between buzzwords mentioned in the job description and original content, while worrying about making even the slightest mistake.
And what can make this experience a bit more fun and exciting? You guessed it. Relying on expert advice and examples.
Luckily, we have you covered. Check out our tips on writing a memorable cover letter below.
The secret to making your Banking cover letter remarkable is to share your excitement about the company, the field, and the position.
It’s also a good idea to aim not to re-write your resume, but rather to build upon it and expand on your competencies.
Now, let's look at some other things that will make recruiters remember you.
Address your cover letter to the right person and make your introduction strong
In general, the salutation you use depends on the tone of voice you’ve decided to go for but also on the company culture.
However, it’s always a good idea to address your letter to the person responsible for the recruitment process. If you don’t know their name, try to find it out. And only if that proves to be impossible, choose a generic salutation.
Here are some phrases you can use (note that some of them require you to know the hiring manager's name):
- Dear Mr. John,
- Dear Ms. Petersen,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Dr. Todd,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for]
You wonder what the key to good introductions is? (Moderate) Creativity!
You’ve probably heard that many people out there have started using phrases like “I found your job advert on platform X and decided to apply”, right?
And what’s wrong with such phrases, you may ask. They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.
So go for something different. Begin your cover letter by sharing your excitement about the company, the position, and even the field.
Mention both your hard and soft skills
The resume is the place to list all your hard skills. The Banking cover letter, on the other hand, is the ideal place to emphasize your soft skills and link them to your achievements.
Think about times when your skills have helped you achieve certain goals that seemed too difficult. And don’t worry about admitting some of your weak sides – this is a great way to show recruiters your potential and ability to grow, both professionally and personally.
Looking at the specific job posting requirements could also give you insight on what skills should be included in your resume by all means. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen cover letters for keywords before passing them on to recruiters.
Prove that you've researched the company and are aware of industry problems
Showing that you’ve researched the company and are familiar with it is a good way to prove your work-readiness.
It will also point the recruiter to the fact that your skills and qualifications will have a long-term impact on the company. Just link some of your strengths to the ways in which current or potential issues can be resolved.
Go for an actionable ending
By now you’ve managed to make a good impression on the hiring manager, and it’s important not to ruin it. That’s why you need your ending to be just as great as your cover letter’s body.
But what are the things that make up a memorable closing line? Expressing gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration, and saying that you look forward to their reply, to name a couple.
You can stick to traditional phrases (e.g. Looking forward to hearing from you soon) if you wish to be on the safe side. Just make sure that the language you use matches the company culture.
Cover letter examples by industry
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- Financial Analyst
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- Senior Financial Analyst
- Accounting Analyst
- Accounting Assistant
- Budget Analyst
- Vp Of Finance
- Fund Accountant
- Director Of Accounting
- Pricing Analyst
- Accounts Clerk
- Finance Director
- Leasing Consultant
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Pair your cover letter with a matching resume for guaranteed success
If you want to make sure that the hiring manager will remember you, pair your cover letter with a matching resume.
Check out our Banking resume examples and job-winning templates for some additional inspiration.
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Personal Banker Cover Letter Example (Free Guide)
Create an personal banker cover letter that lands you the interview with our free examples and writing tips. use and customize our template and land an interview today..
Are you looking for a job as a Personal Banker? Writing a cover letter is an important step in the job application process. Our Personal Banker Cover Letter Guide is here to help you create a convincing and informative cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition. With our guide, you can be sure your cover letter will make a lasting impression.
We will cover:
- How to write a cover letter, no matter your industry or job title.
- What to put on a cover letter to stand out.
- The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
- How to build a cover letter fast with our professional Cover Letter Builder .
- What a cover letter template is, and why you should use it.
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Dear [Hiring Manager],
I am writing to apply for the position of Personal Banker at [Company Name]. With over [X] years of experience in the banking industry, I am confident that I am the ideal candidate for the role.
Throughout my career, I have gained extensive knowledge in all aspects of personal banking, including customer service, investments, and financial advice. I have a proven track record of success in developing and maintaining strong customer relationships and delivering outstanding customer service. I am adept at problem-solving and have a keen eye for detail, ensuring that all transactions are completed accurately and efficiently.
I am highly organized and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. I am comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and am able to multitask and prioritize tasks effectively. I am capable of working independently as well as collaboratively and have a strong customer-centric approach. I am also highly adept at utilizing banking software such as [X], [Y], and [Z].
I am confident that I possess the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful Personal Banker and would be a great addition to your team. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how I can contribute to the success of your organization.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Why Do you Need a Personal Banker Cover Letter?
A Personal Banker cover letter is an important document when applying for a position in the banking industry. It provides a great opportunity to show potential employers why you are the right fit for the job. Here are some reasons why you need a Personal Banker cover letter:
- It helps to highlight why you are the perfect candidate for the position.
- It demonstrates your knowledge of the banking industry and how you can use your skills to benefit the company.
- It provides a great way to show how you can contribute to the company’s growth and success.
- It allows you to showcase your personality and how you can work well with a team.
- It gives you an advantage over other applicants as it shows that you are serious about the job.
A Few Important Rules To Keep In Mind
- Be sure to address the letter to a specific person, if possible. If you don’t know the name, you can address it to the “Hiring Manager.”
- Keep it brief. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page.
- Highlight your qualifications. Make sure you emphasize the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the position.
- Show your knowledge. Demonstrate your understanding of the company and the position you are applying for.
- Be confident. Show that you are confident in your abilities and that you are the right person for the job.
- Proofread. Make sure you review your cover letter for any typos, spelling errors, or grammar mistakes.
- Include your contact information. Include your full name, address, and phone number at the end of your cover letter.
What's The Best Structure For Personal Banker Cover Letters?
After creating an impressive Personal Banker resume , the next step is crafting a compelling cover letter to accompany your job applications. It's essential to remember that your cover letter should maintain a formal tone and follow a recommended structure. But what exactly does this structure entail, and what key elements should be included in a Personal Banker cover letter? Let's explore the guidelines and components that will make your cover letter stand out.
Key Components For Personal Banker Cover Letters:
- Your contact information, including the date of writing
- The recipient's details, such as the company's name and the name of the addressee
- A professional greeting or salutation, like "Dear Mr. Levi,"
- An attention-grabbing opening statement to captivate the reader's interest
- A concise paragraph explaining why you are an excellent fit for the role
- Another paragraph highlighting why the position aligns with your career goals and aspirations
- A closing statement that reinforces your enthusiasm and suitability for the role
- A complimentary closing, such as "Regards" or "Sincerely," followed by your name
- An optional postscript (P.S.) to add a brief, impactful note or mention any additional relevant information.
Cover Letter Header
A header in a cover letter should typically include the following information:
- Your Full Name: Begin with your first and last name, written in a clear and legible format.
- Contact Information: Include your phone number, email address, and optionally, your mailing address. Providing multiple methods of contact ensures that the hiring manager can reach you easily.
- Date: Add the date on which you are writing the cover letter. This helps establish the timeline of your application.
It's important to place the header at the top of the cover letter, aligning it to the left or center of the page. This ensures that the reader can quickly identify your contact details and know when the cover letter was written.
Cover Letter Greeting / Salutation
A greeting in a cover letter should contain the following elements:
- Personalized Salutation: Address the hiring manager or the specific recipient of the cover letter by their name. If the name is not mentioned in the job posting or you are unsure about the recipient's name, it's acceptable to use a general salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team."
- Professional Tone: Maintain a formal and respectful tone throughout the greeting. Avoid using overly casual language or informal expressions.
- Correct Spelling and Title: Double-check the spelling of the recipient's name and ensure that you use the appropriate title (e.g., Mr., Ms., Dr., or Professor) if applicable. This shows attention to detail and professionalism.
For example, a suitable greeting could be "Dear Ms. Johnson," or "Dear Hiring Manager," depending on the information available. It's important to tailor the greeting to the specific recipient to create a personalized and professional tone for your cover letter.
Cover Letter Introduction
An introduction for a cover letter should capture the reader's attention and provide a brief overview of your background and interest in the position. Here's how an effective introduction should look:
- Opening Statement: Start with a strong opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Consider mentioning your enthusiasm for the job opportunity or any specific aspect of the company or organization that sparked your interest.
- Brief Introduction: Provide a concise introduction of yourself and mention the specific position you are applying for. Include any relevant background information, such as your current role, educational background, or notable achievements that are directly related to the position.
- Connection to the Company: Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organization and establish a connection between your skills and experiences with their mission, values, or industry. Showcasing your understanding and alignment with their goals helps to emphasize your fit for the role.
- Engaging Hook: Consider including a compelling sentence or two that highlights your unique selling points or key qualifications that make you stand out from other candidates. This can be a specific accomplishment, a relevant skill, or an experience that demonstrates your value as a potential employee.
- Transition to the Body: Conclude the introduction by smoothly transitioning to the main body of the cover letter, where you will provide more detailed information about your qualifications, experiences, and how they align with the requirements of the position.
By following these guidelines, your cover letter introduction will make a strong first impression and set the stage for the rest of your application.
Cover Letter Body
As an experienced Personal Banker, I am pleased to present my resume for your consideration. My expertise lies in providing excellent customer service, developing strong relationships with clients, and providing financial guidance.
I am adept at developing comprehensive financial plans that help customers achieve their financial goals. I have excellent interpersonal skills and have experience with financial analysis, loan processing, and risk management. Additionally, I have a strong understanding of banking regulations and procedures, as well as a strong knowledge of banking products and services.
In my current role as a Personal Banker, I am responsible for providing a full range of banking services to customers, including opening new accounts, answering questions about products and services, and assisting with loan applications. I am also responsible for identifying customer needs and recommending appropriate products and services. Furthermore, I am proficient in using banking software to process customer transactions and provide accurate information.
I am confident that my skill set and experience make me an ideal candidate for this position. I am committed to providing excellent customer service and building strong relationships with clients. I am also eager to learn new banking products and services and become an integral part of your team.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you further about how I can contribute to your organization.
The conclusion and signature of a cover letter provide a final opportunity to leave a positive impression and invite further action. Here's how the conclusion and signature of a cover letter should look:
- Summary of Interest: In the conclusion paragraph, summarize your interest in the position and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the organization or school. Emphasize the value you can bring to the role and briefly mention your key qualifications or unique selling points.
- Appreciation and Gratitude: Express appreciation for the reader's time and consideration in reviewing your application. Thank them for the opportunity to be considered for the position and acknowledge any additional materials or documents you have included, such as references or a portfolio.
- Call to Action: Conclude the cover letter with a clear call to action. Indicate your availability for an interview or express your interest in discussing the opportunity further. Encourage the reader to contact you to schedule a meeting or provide any additional information they may require.
- Complimentary Closing: Choose a professional and appropriate complimentary closing to end your cover letter, such as "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or "Thank you." Ensure the closing reflects the overall tone and formality of the letter.
- Signature: Below the complimentary closing, leave space for your handwritten signature. Sign your name in ink using a legible and professional style. If you are submitting a digital or typed cover letter, you can simply type your full name.
- Typed Name: Beneath your signature, type your full name in a clear and readable font. This allows for easy identification and ensures clarity in case the handwritten signature is not clear.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Personal Banker Cover Letter
When crafting a cover letter, it's essential to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. However, there are common mistakes that can hinder your chances of making a strong impression. By being aware of these pitfalls and avoiding them, you can ensure that your cover letter effectively highlights your qualifications and stands out from the competition. In this article, we will explore some of the most common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you create a compelling and impactful introduction that captures the attention of hiring managers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, understanding these mistakes will greatly enhance your chances of success in the job application process. So, let's dive in and discover how to steer clear of these common missteps and create a standout cover letter that gets you noticed by potential employers.
- Not including keywords from the job posting.
- Not tailoring your cover letter to the role.
- Including irrelevant information.
- Using a generic cover letter.
- Using an overly formal tone.
- Making grammatical or spelling errors.
- Not providing specific examples of your skills.
- Not proofreading your cover letter.
- Not providing contact information.
Key Takeaways For a Personal Banker Cover Letter
- Highlight your customer service and sales experience.
- Demonstrate your ability to build relationships and trust with clients.
- Showcase your financial services knowledge.
- Explain how you have successfully handled difficult customer service situations.
- Mention any relevant certifications or qualifications.
- Demonstrate your ability to work within strict guidelines.
- Express your enthusiasm for the banking industry.
- Emphasize your excellent communication and organizational skills.
A resume offers a general overview of what jobs you have worked at in the past, whereas a cover letter is a chance for you to expand upon a few vital skills that the hiring manager wants to see in qualified candidates. If you are having trouble figuring out what to include, then read through this professional personal banker cover letter sample for ideas. Be sure to glance through the accompanying tips section that follows the sample.
Professional Personal Banker Cover Letter Sample
Personal banker cover letter must-haves.
Skip clichéd business statements, such as thinking outside the box, to avoid making your letter read like a commercial. You want to get straight to the point in your cover letter, so leave out any rambling. Focus on why the company should hire you as opposed to why you want to work for the company. Make sure you give plenty of details about your experience like this professional personal banker cover letter sample does, so that you avoid speaking vaguely. Finally, keep your letter to one page, and lean away from comedy and personal anecdotes.
Best Action Verbs for a Personal Banker Cover Letter
This professional personal banker cover letter sample uses interesting action verbs to make sentences more engaging, and you should do the same by including words such as analyzed, allocated, audited, budgeted, determined, programmed, netted, measured, researched, and reconciled.
Cover Letter Text
Dear Logan Matthews,
After reading through your job description, I believe I have the skills you need in a new personal banker. With a commitment to customer service and a general knowledge of the banking industry, I could be a true asset to United Bank. In order to assist customers to the best of my ability, I always try to obtain a true understanding of someone’s financial background. That is why at my last job, I found it vitally important to offer every customer a free consultation. I simply spoke to each client about their financial history and what they were hoping to gain out of meeting with a new personal banker. This allowed me to offer products and services that could best meet those needs, and no time was wasted offering something the client had absolutely no interest in. If the situation extended beyond my scope of practice, I always referred my customers to the appropriate banking professional. This helped me build trust and loyalty, which actually helped me upsell more bank products. You are looking to boost enrollment in your new credit card line, and I can target those customers who stand the most to gain. I always strive to assist customers in any way I can. For the past five years working at L.A. Banking, I fostered relationships with customers and convinced them to stay with the institution long term. I hope to implement my strategy at United and would love to discuss my skillset with you further. Thank you for your time.
In addition to the Professional Personal Banker Cover Letter example, be sure to check out our Personal Banker resume example .
The cover letter that will get you a job in a bank
Do you really need to write a cover letter when you're applying for a job in an investment bank? These days, it's surely all about the skills in your CV - who's got the time to read that extra blurb saying how perfect you are for the role?
Recruiters working with experienced hires certaintly don't have the time. Most of the banking recruiters we speak to treat the cover letters (or 'cover emails') they receive from experienced candidates as an irrelevance. "For experienced roles, we rarely look at cover letters," says the CEO of one London-based financial services recruitment firm. I just go for the CV," agrees another. "I look at the CV and then I phone them. - If the CV is relevant, I'll get everything that would have been in the cover letter from that call."
This doesn't mean you should just attach a CV/resume with no introductory email. It does mean that the introductory email might not be read - but you still need to make sure you don't make common mistakes like referencing the wrong bank, or forgetting to attach your CV altogether.
However, there some situations in which cover letters can make all the difference.
- When you're applying for graduate jobs in banking.
- When you're applying to banks directly (without going through external recruiters),
- And... when you happen to be using a recruiter who simply likes cover letters (hard to tell!).
"For graduate hires, cover letters are very important," says one headhunter. Just how important is reflected by the fact that some banks specify them as a must-have in the ir graduate recruitment process . Banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie typically all demand that their would-be analysts in Europe write cover letters or something very similar, says Victoria McLean, a former Goldman Sachs recruiter and founder of banking CV specialists, City CV. "Some banks still ask for specific questions to be answered around motivation, strengths and key behaviours/competencies (these are of varying word counts depending on the bank)," she says.
Goldman Sachs historically demanded that recruits write a 300 word personal statement as a cover letter. A former recruiter at the firm told us it was very important. "Some students were excellent until they got to the cover letter," - those 300 words let them down.
What makes a good banking cover letter? Mai Le, a former Goldman Sachs investment banking associate who ran CoverLetterLibrary , a community which houses a collection of cover letters that have enabled juniors to get jobs at banks in the past. Le says the best cover letters have two things in common: narrative structure (they emphasize your story and show the choices that brought you here) and facts and figures that underscore your background and achievements. By comparison, Le says the worst banking cover letters suffer from key-word stuffing, irrelevant information and spelling and grammatical mistakes.
It can help to follow a general template...
You need to tailor your cover letters for each job you apply to. But this doesn't mean that you can't write a cover letter that follows a template. It does mean that each time you apply for a new job, you will need to fill in the template all over again.
McLean suggests your template follows the following format: Introduction. Why me? Why you? Why this job? In total, the text within the template should be no more than 750 words, or one A4 page, long. Le says some candidates also use a format that's ordered as, Why this job? Why this bank? Why me? "It's a matter of personal preference," she says. Ultimately, you want all these elements in the cover letter and should go with which ever you feel comfortable with.
Either way, here's what to include.
The easy introductory paragraph
The first paragraph is all about explaining why you're writing. If you're applying for a graduate job in a bank, keep it short and sweet.
"The first paragraph is just to say who you are and why you're writing the letter," says McLean.
This paragraph might read something like. "I am an X with X year history of X at global banking firms including X as well as X. I have been working for X for the past X years."
If you're writing a Goldman Sachs cover letter that's 300 words or less, you can ditch this style of opening paragraph. - There's just no space for it.
If you're writing to a recruiter, there's less need to be quite so brief with your introduction. Say who you are, and explain why you've approached that recruiter in particular: "If someone says they've been referred to me by someone I know and respect, I will sit up and pay attention," says one U.S. recruiter. "The same applies if they say they've learned that I mentor women and that this is something they're interested in too."
In other words, when you're writing a cover letter to a recruiter, you need to know who you're writing to. Use this introductory paragraph to address them in person. Flattery will get you everywhere.
The selling yourself paragraph. 'Why you?'
The second paragraph is usually harder. This is where you need to start selling yourself, expressing your personality, and explaining why you're such a hot catch. It's here that you can add in some of the narrative explaining how you came to apply for this role, plus some of the substantiating figures that Le says make successful cover letters so effective. Don't use bland and empty phrases like, "I am a determined, motivated person." Do look at the key words and skills used to describe the job you're applying for and (without too obviously reiterating the ad) explain how you match them. Focus on the results and on outcomes you've achieved in similar situations in the past. You need to be specific and you need to bring yourself to life.
If you're writing a cover letter to accompany a graduate application, McLean says you can use the second paragraph to talk about what you've studied and how it's relevant. If you've studied finance and know how to do a DCF, now's the time to mention that. If you haven't studied finance but have good relationship management skills and you want to work i n M&A (a relationship-focused business), say that here. Provide EVIDENCE for the skills you're claiming to have.- List any awards you've won. Never, ever, make empty statements. "Many successful trading cover letters feature the candidate's trading return profile and their rationales for their success or failure," says Le. " - Cover letters for sales positions highlight the candidate's track record that evident their ability as a natural salesperson."
The motivational paragraph. 'Why this job (in this sector?)'
If you're an experienced hire applying through a recruiter or applying directly to a bank, this is where you explain why you want the job you're applying for. If you're a student applying for a first job, this is why you need to explain why you want this job and why you want to work in this sector. Be specific - you'll need to know about the job and the sector before you start this section.
As a student, you'll need to link your skills back to your motivation for working in that area of banking above others, says McLean. Why M&A? Why not sales and trading? Why not compliance? - If you want to work in operations , for example, explain how you have a passion for building systems and improving efficiency, as evidenced by your system for serving customers in your weekend job...
"You should include what you love about the industry to which you are applying," says McLean. "Why is it important to YOU? Why does it matter to YOU? How does it make a difference to YOU? and why is it interesting to YOU? Especially valid for Graduates: Why finance? Why investment banking / asset management? before addressing the specifics of the division or programme to which you are applying. The key is to make this personal…. This is where most grads go wrong in their cover letters, they sound too generic and impersonal."
The connection paragraph. 'Why this bank ?'
The fourth paragraph is all about explaining why you want to work for that particular bank. Again, you need to be specific. McLean says graduates often copy and paste from banks' own websites. For example, it's not unheard of for them to write, "I want to work for Goldman Sachs because you have 170 locations across 90 cities in over 30 countries." This will get you nowhere.
"The idea is not to flatter your potential employer but to identify what makes them a good choice for you and you a good fit," says McLean. "Telling Goldman or Citi you want to work for them because they are the best is not going to impress anyone. However, writing that it’s an opportunity to work with some of the best minds on the street and that you want to be held to those same exacting standards is a bit more engaging." But you need to put this in your own words: you need to make it personal and say what the banks strengths mean to YOU.
The other ex-Goldman Sachs recruiter we spoke to said she particularly looked for, "creativity and effort and writing about Goldman Sachs," when running through students' cover letters. People were expected to say exactly why they wanted to work for Goldman rather than, say, J.P. Morgan.
Instead of just reiterating what you've read on banks' websites, therefore, you need to cite some unusual reasons for choosing that bank that will make you stand out. If you're a student, it helps to say that you've met some of the banks' staff and were impressed by them. Citigroup, for example, suggests that student cover letters reference encounters with the bank's staff at recruitment events. - Make a note of the staff you meet and explain what they said or did that impressed you, and what made you think you'd like to work with them.
Mark Hatz, a former M&A associate at Goldman Sachs and Perella Weinberg Partners who now helps people get jobs in banking , says stressing your rapport with people you've met from the firm is particularly important when you're applying for a job in M&A or capital markets: "These are advisory businesses and they want to see that you can build a rapport and work in a team. If you get the job, you'll also be spending a lot of hours in the office with these people, so showing you like them is very important."
It also helps to reference the bank's strategy, to mention any awards the bank won, and to cite any conversations you've had with or comments you've read from other industry professionals and analysts who've given concrete reasons why it's good place to work. Everything in this section needs to be positive. - You need to explain why you want to work for Deutsche Bank specifically without writing anything that denigrates its rivals. The more senior you are, the more you will need to reference solid strategy points at this stage.
"Show a grasp of where they are going, what the plan is and why this appeals to you," says McLean. Show that you know their strategy and that you agree with the way they're addressing challenges. "You should also write about the future of the firm. You should be planning to be there for a few years and hoping to share that future with them," McLean adds. Look at the shareholder letter in the last annual report for information on a bank's strategy.
The call to action
Finally, you need to end the cover letter with a call to action. McLean suggests completing the letter with the following sentence: "I really look forward to hearing from you. I am available for interview and contactable by X.'
Simple. Except all of this has to be written in 750 words - or just 300 if you're a student applying to Goldman Sachs. It's not so easy after all.
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The Investment Banking Cover Letter Template You’ve Been Waiting For
If you're new here, please click here to get my FREE 57-page investment banking recruiting guide - plus, get weekly updates so that you can break into investment banking . Thanks for visiting!
A long time ago I said that we would never post a cover letter template here :
“I was tempted to post a Word template, but I don’t want 5,000 daily visitors to copy it and to start using the same exact cover letter.”
But hey, we already have resume templates that everyone is using, so why not go a step further and give you a cover letter template as well?
Plus, “investment banking cover letter” is one of the top 10 search terms visitors use to find this site – so you must be looking for a template.
The Template & Tutorial
Let’s jump right in:
Investment Banking Cover Letter Template [Download]
Download Template – Word
Download Template – PDF
And here’s the video that explains everything:
(For more free training and financial modeling videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel .)
And if you’d rather read, here’s the text version:
Do Cover Letters Actually Matter?
At bulge bracket banks, people barely read cover letters.
Cover letters matter 10x less than resumes and 100x less than networking.
But there are a few special cases where they’re more important:
- Boutiques and Local Banks – Sometimes they actually read cover letters.
- Unusual Backgrounds – If you’re NOT in university or business school at the moment, you may need to explain yourself in more detail.
- Outside the US – In Europe, for example, some banks pay more attention to cover letters, online applications, and so on.
Similar to grades and test scores, a great cover letter won’t set you apart but a poor one will hurt you – so let’s find out how to avoid that.
Keep your cover letter compact and avoid 0.1″ margins and size 8 font.
With resumes you can get away with shrinking the font sizes and margins if you really need to fit in extra information, but this is questionable with cover letters.
Go for 0.75″ or 1″ margins and at least size 10 font.
With resumes there were a couple different templates depending on your level – but with cover letters that’s not necessary and you can use the same template no matter your background.
1 Page Only
Ok, maybe they do things differently in Australia (just like with resumes) but aside from that there is no reason to write a multi-page cover letter.
If you actually have enough experience to warrant multiple pages, do it on your resume instead and keep the cover letter brief.
List your own information – name, address, phone number, and email address – right-aligned up at the top.
Then, below that you list the date and the name and contact information for the person you’re writing to, left-aligned on the page.
If you don’t have this information you can just list the company name and address and use a “Dear Sir or Madam” greeting.
That’s not ideal – especially if you’re applying to smaller firms where cover letters actually get read – but it’s all you can do if you can’t find a person’s name.
If you’re sending the cover letter via email as the body of the email, you can omit all this information and just include the greeting at the top.
Paragraph 1: Introduction
This is where you explain who you are, where you’re currently working or studying, and how you found the bank that you’re applying to.
Name-drop as much as possible:
- Impressive-sounding university or business school ? Mention it. Even if it’s not well-known, you still need to mention it here.
- Your company name , especially if it’s recognizable, and the group you’re working in, especially if it’s something relevant to finance like business development.
- How you found them – specific peoples’ names , specific presentations or information sessions where you met them, and so on.
- The position you’re applying for (Analyst? Associate?) – especially for smaller places that are not well-organized.
This first paragraph is all about grabbing their attention.
Example 1st Paragraph:
“My name is John Smith and I am currently a 3rd year economics major at UCLA. I recently met Fred Jackson from the M&A group at Goldman Stanley during a presentation at our school last week, and was impressed with what I learned of your culture and recent deal flow. I am interested in pursuing an investment banking summer analyst position at your firm, and have enclosed my resume and background information below.”
Paragraph 2: Your Background
You go through your most relevant experience and how the skills you gained will make you a good banker right here.
Do not list all 12 internships or all 5 full-time jobs you’ve had – focus on the most relevant 1-2, once again name-dropping where appropriate (bulge bracket banks / large PE firms / Fortune 500 companies).
Highlight the usual skills that bankers want to see – teamwork, leadership, analytical ability, financial modeling and so on.
If you worked on a high-impact project / deal / client, you can point that out and list the results as well.
This may be your longest paragraph, but you still don’t want to write War and Peace – keep it to 3-4 sentences.
Example 2nd Paragraph:
“I have previously completed internships in accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers and in wealth management at UBS. Through this experience working directly with clients, analyzing financial statements, and making investment recommendations, I have developed leadership and analytical skills and honed my knowledge of accounting and finance. I also had the opportunity to work with a $20M net-worth client at UBS and completely revamped his portfolio, resulting in a 20% return last year.”
Paragraph 3: Why You’re a Good Fit
Now you turn around and link your experience and skills to the position more directly and explain that leadership + quantitative skills + accounting/finance knowledge = success.
There is not much to this part – just copy the template and fill in the blanks.
Example 3rd Paragraph:
“Given my background in accounting and wealth management and my leadership and analytical skills, I am a particularly good fit for the investment banking summer analyst position at your firm. I am impressed by your track record of clients and transactions at Goldman Stanley and the significant responsibilities given to analysts, and I look forward to joining and contributing to your firm.”
Paragraph 4: Conclusion
This part’s even easier: remind them that your resume is enclosed (or attached if sent via email), thank them for their time, and give your contact information once again so they don’t have to scroll to the top to get it.
Example 4th Paragraph:
“A copy of my resume is enclosed for your reference. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss my qualifications with you and learn more about Goldman Stanley at your earliest convenience. I can be reached at 310-555-1234 or via email at [email protected]. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.”
These examples cover how to apply to a bank if you’re in university, business school, or you’ve been working for several years.
If you have a more unusual background (e.g. you went to med school, graduated, started your residency, but then decided you wanted to be an investment banker), then you might need to add a few sentences to paragraph #2 or #3 explaining yourself.
Resist the urge to write your life story because no one will read it – interviews are a much better venue to prove how committed you are.
Email vs. Attachments
If you’re emailing your cover letter and resume, do you create a separate cover letter attachment?
Or do you make the body of your email the cover letter?
I think it’s redundant to create a separate cover letter and attach it, so don’t bother unless they ask specifically for a separate cover letter.
If you’re making the body of your email the cover letter, make it even shorter (4-5 sentences total) and cut out the address bits at the top.
Optional Cover Letters?
If you’re applying online and it says “Optional Cover Letter” should you still upload one?
You might as well because it takes 2 minutes once you have a good template – it’s not the end of the world if you don’t include one, but you never know what everyone else is doing and it’s not terribly time-consuming.
Cover Letter Mistakes
Remember the role of cover letters: great ones don’t help much, but poor ones get you dinged.
The biggest mistakes with cover letters:
- Making outrageous claims (“I’m a math genius!”) or trying to be “creative” with colors, pictures, fonts, and so on.
- Going on for too long – 10 paragraphs or multiple pages.
- Listing irrelevant information like your favorite ice cream, your favorite quotes from Wall Street or Boiler Room , and so on.
If you think this sounds ridiculous, remember the golden rule: do not overestimate the competition .
For every person reading this site, there are dozens more asking, “What it’s like to be an investment banker?” at information sessions.
Sometimes you hear stories of people who write “impassioned” cover letters, win the attention of a boutique, and get in like that …
…And I’m sure that happens, but you do not want to do that at large banks.
If you do, your cover letter will be forwarded to the entire world and your “career” will be destroyed in 5 minutes .
As with resumes, there are hardly any good examples of investment banking cover letters online.
Most of the templates are horribly formatted and are more appropriate for equities in Dallas than real investment banking.
Here’s a slightly different but also good templates you could use:
- Best Cover Letters – MBA Template
More questions? Ask away.
Still Need More Help?
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We will take your existing resume and transform it into a resume that grabs the attention of finance industry professionals and presents you and your experience in the best possible light.
When we’re done, your resume will grab bankers by the lapels and not let them go until they’ve given you an interview.
Specifically, here’s what you’ll get:
- Detailed, line-by-line editing of your resume/CV – Everything that needs to be changed will be changed. No detail is ignored.
- Your experience will be “bankified” regardless of whether you’ve been a student, a researcher, a marketer, a financier, a lawyer, an accountant, or anything else.
- Optimal structuring – You’ll learn where everything from Education to Work Experience to Activities should go. Regional badminton champion? Stamp collector? You’ll find out where those should go, too.
- The 3-point structure to use for all your “Work Experience” entries: simple, but highly effective at getting the attention of bankers.
- How to spin non-finance experience into sounding like you’ve been investing your own portfolio since age 12.
- How to make business-related experience, such as consulting, law, and accounting, sounds like “deal work.”
- How to avoid the fatal resume mistake that gets you automatically rejected . Nothing hurts more than making a simple oversight that gets you an immediate “ding”.
- We only work with a limited number of clients each month. In fact, we purposely turn down potential clients in cases where we cannot add much value. We prefer quality over quantity, and we always want to ensure that we can work well together first.
FIND OUT MORE
You might be interested in reading The Definitive Guide to Equity Research Internships.
About the Author
Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street . In his spare time, he enjoys lifting weights, running, traveling, obsessively watching TV shows, and defeating Sauron.
Free Exclusive Report: 57-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews
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279 thoughts on “ The Investment Banking Cover Letter Template You’ve Been Waiting For ”
I love how hand downs and direct this page is. Trying to break into IB come from a (semi-)target school but very bad GPA, love how you are always motivating, but realistic. Keep it up!
I am a sophomore and have a low gpa (2.5) should I include this on my cover letter? how do I stand out and not get dinged, low gpa because had to work full time freshman year because my dad lost his job, and my family had health issues. Am an only child.
All you can really do about a low GPA is network extensively so that people who know you can recommend you, and so you can avoid being filtered out by screening tools. See: https://mergersandinquisitions.com/low-gpa-investment-banking/
Maybe include a brief mention of why your GPA is lower in your cover letter, but focus on how you’ve improved since your first year (mention the higher GPA since then).
Thanks for the write up!
If i am writing my cover letter in the body of the email, Do i write the name of the recipient instead of dear Madam ?
I like it not bad
Hey Brian – thanks for this article. Quick question: is there a certain point in your career (in my case, I’m an associate) when you can stop with the cover letters even if they give you the option?
Cover letters are pretty much always optional unless they ask for one.
I was wondering for your template, you gave a solid and formal introduction. I also see other career advice sites that recommend making the cover letter “memorable” and straying away from the cookie cutter method with more flashy intros. As an example just from another online source: When I was seven, I wanted to be the GEICO gecko when I grew up. I eventually realized that wasn’t an option, but you can imagine my excitement when I came across the events manager position, which would have me working side by side with my favorite company mascot. So what’s your opinion on this? I’m sure it’s different for every field, so would you say the average investment banker appreciates something like this, or would it just make them roll their eyes and make you seem too keen/tryhard.
Same Andrew again…
Sorry I should’ve watched your video fully before asking. But you mentioned to not get too fancy with fonts, photos, etc. But would the bit of personal information outside the cookie cutter approach separate you in the slightest? To me, cover letters sound like they have the same purpose as GPA. A 4.0 (good but generic cover letter) won’t give you any advantages, but a 2.5 (poorly done letter) will eliminate you from the application process.
Yes, cover letters are basically used to weed out people, not to select them. You can include some personal information such as an interesting student group, study abroad, or experience that led you to IB, but don’t go overboard with trying to appear “interesting.” Save that for actual networking and interviews.
If you are applying to traditional “high finance” roles such as investment banking, private equity, etc., you should not do anything creative with your cover letter. It will only backfire. Firms either do not read cover letters, or if they do, they simply look at them to make sure you didn’t do something silly or inappropriate. You’re taking a very big risk by writing a “creative” cover letter, and one that has very little upside with tons of downside.
For online applications that request your resume, but do not specify whether a cover letter should be included, should I submit a cover letter? Also since you can only submit one document in these cases, should you compile resume and cover letter into one document?
Thanks so much.
If they just request your resume, just include your resume. I would not even bother with a cover letter or combining them into one document.
Do we have to leave
At the bottom of the Cover Letter? Many thanks
*In Online Application where they ask you to attach your CV and Cover Letter – if that makes any difference
Brina, many thanks for the quick answer. Just a last question:
Shall we sign between sincerely and our name or under our name?Both options are good?
The first one is slightly better.
I just wanted to thank you for not only this Cover Letter template but also your Resume template. I have used both and I have received great feedback from interviewers and getting my foot in the door for asset management.
Thanks! Glad to hear it. Good luck!
This question targets the paragraph listing relevant experiences & skills gained through it.
As a University Student with some corporate finance and consulting experience but nothing directly related to investment banking, do you think it would be relevant to list explain skills gained during university classes (e.g. a term project that simulated the entire M&A process based on a real life deal) that involved valuation, simulated investor calls, etc. Or do you believe sticking to actual work experience would be best suited.
Thanks a lot for all the content you post.
Stick to your work experience if you have actual CF and consulting internships. Maybe add a line or brief phrase within a line that mentions your learnings from university classes as well.
I live in the UK and I’ve been told cover letters carry a lot of weighting in the initial application process. I have written a cover letter which is 8 paragraphs but it’s still 1 page. Do you think this would be ok or should I take some stuff out? Thanks in advance, great website you have.
By the way, it’s still size 10 font but I had to reduce the line spacing between the paragraphs to fit it all in.
Cover letters only matter in the “negative” sense, i.e. if you write something stupid or have typos, you could lose an offer or interview opportunity. Your cover letter should be as short as possible, so 8 paragraphs is too long, especially if you had to reduce the font size to 10, which is too small. So, be more concise and realize that bankers glance at hundreds/thousands of these letters each recruiting season…
How do one relate a tax internship experience which I acquired In an accounting consulting firm to an investment banking internship I hope to start with with BofA
Talk about how your tax findings/work affected the big picture… did they potentially change the company’s valuation? What was the impact on the company’s financial statements? Did anything you did result in changes to the internal controls at the company? Did you do any tax work related to M&A or equity/debt deals?
Hi Brian, I have read that the header of a cover letter should match your resume. Is there a reason the header from the M&I resume template was not included in this cover letter template?
??? I think it would be very odd if your cover letter started with your name in a bigger font size at the top… so, no if that is what you are asking about. A cover letter should start with the normal heading of a letter. Your resume is different because it’s intended to present the key points in bullet/highlight format.
I agree. Thanks.
I’m applying online to banks in the EMEA area and most banks ask for my motivation – they don’t require a cover letter. Could I still use this template? or wouldn’t it make any sense to use this template?
If its the case that this template would not be useful, do you have any tips on what to focus on in such a motivation letter?
I think this template is too long for a simple question about your motivation. Your motivation should basically be the last part of your “story” – assuming 150 words for a competency question and a 300-word story. See:
How do you travel like a dug dealer? haha…You are funny. Great info. Thanks a lot. I’m trying to break the front door at Piper Jaffray so I can put my little two feet inside that door.
hey, i am actually studying law in France but i wanted to go on trading/investment banking/hedge fund area. What would you suggest me ? Which arguments should I point out ?
Thanks a lot !
??? I’m not sure I understand your question.
The links for Workbloom – Investment Banking Intern Template and Vanderbilt – Cover Letter Template are not valid anymore. Is it possible to fix that? Thank you very much!
We don’t have alternate links, sorry. But the template there wasn’t much different anyway.
Hi Brian, I had a question in mind. I have been working with a Big four Audit firm in India for the past 10 months now, and have a Bachelors in Commerce degree from a non-target University here. The role here is Back-end, as in we do not have client interaction, and rather coordinate with the US/EMEA teams – which deal with the clients directly – for the work. Recently, I got a call from GS for an Analyst position under the Data Resource Group for its IB Division in India. How do you suggest I pitch my auditing experience to get an offer for this position? Also, considering the work I do here is back-end and basically, formatting files around and punching in numbers! Thanks in advance for your help!
I would just point out how your audit work led directly to results with clients and how you were a part of the client-interaction process, even if you didn’t speak with them directly. As a result, you have a good understanding of what they’re looking for and how to get them results most efficiently.
Thanks for the template. Is it correct to include in the cover letter an entreprise which I am auditing or not?
Sure, you could, but you have to be able to tie that to whatever role(s) you’re applying for.
Hi there, thanks for the cover letter template you provided. It’s a great help. Just wondering does the same template work for UK application? As you mentioned they tend to pay attention to cover letters.
Yes this template works for UK applications.
Thank you for sharing your blog, it helped a lot cos I am also having a hard time in writing a cover letter and I suck! Hope you can help more. Keep it up!
Thank you for sharing the template and guide! I am a recent college grad and just started working in an economic consulting firm (last month). I want to make the career transfer to IB and I am trying my best networking everywhere. I am applying for an IB analyst position and editing my cover letter. Should I still mention in the cover letter my leadership roles in college or it does not matter much?
You can mention them briefly, but you should focus on your current role.
Thanks for the template! After working as an ER associate for 2 years in my hometown, I am moving from North America to Europe in the next few weeks. Should I mention in my cover letter something to the effect of “After visiting [country] several times over the past few years, I applied for and received my Work Visa” or will the recruiter assume I have a visa and do not require sponsorship? I just do not want to be passed over if they are assuming I will be a headache for them!
Furthermore, I am also hoping to move from ER to corporate. Besides tailoring the letter to reflect skills mentioned in the posting, are there any other changes that need to be made when moving out of capmarkets?
Thank you for your time!
Sure you can include this. Yes, I’d talk about why you want to move from ER to corporate and talk about why you prefer corporate over ER (perhaps you prefer the type of work in corporate better and you see yourself in a corporate vs. in a bank) and you want to move over to XX industry [the industry the corporate you’re applying for is in] given XX reason [ideally you’ve covered that industry in ER before]
Thank you Nicole. Should I be putting this explanation in paragraph 2? Or later on in the letter?
I’d probably list this later in the letter.
Hi, I’m studying in the US and applying to summer IBD internship in 3 different locations (New York, London, HK), so who should I address to in my cover letter since there is only one cover letter for three different recruiters? Thanks!
I’d say Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom It May Concern
when you express abbreviations, let’s say M&A, how do you put it in a cover letter? i.e., (“M&A”) or (M&A) without punctuations mark?
M&A is fine I believe
Hi! You mentioned that putting the name of the recruiter is always better than just a “Dear Sir/Madam”. When applying in London, do you think it is appropriate to address the cover letter to a recruiter I haven’t personally met that I just found his name via an internet search, specifically from Linkedin. Also, there are dozens recruiters for the same company on Linkedin, should I still address the letter to a specific person? What about if it is the director of HR? Should I address it to him/her directly?
Yes, I’d address the email to Director of HR. If you don’t know the person’s name, I’d say “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”
Hey, I have a question concerning applying for an internship at G&S in Europe. Instead of a cover letter they want you to submit a motivational statement with 300 words when applying, which is according to them similar to the cover letter. But I am a bit unsure that I express my motivation for applying for an investment banking postion with this cover letter because it focuses more on previous internships. Should I outline my internships and then explain that I want to pursue an career in IB because of them? and should I mention my extra curriculare activities which involve leadership experience and exotic interests?
I’d briefly touch on your previous experience and focus on why IB, and why GS. If the previous experience can serve as your IB spark, use them. So yes you can mention that you want to pursue a career in IB because of your previous internships, but don’t dive too deep given word limit and you can address that in interviews. No, the latter part should be demonstrated on your resume, unless you have space in the statement
What should you do in [Signature]?
I’m not sure I understand your question. I’d just insert your signature there.
Upload an image of your handwritten signature?
Yes you can do that. Copy and paste it below “Yours sincerely/Best Regards”
I resigned from my previous role in April this year as we were planning a family move to another country However, it did not materialize due to some unexpected changes and I have to start looking for a job again. This has left an employment gap of about 3 months in my resume. During this period, I have taken the BIWS course to enhance my knowledge. Shall I mention my current status and address that in my cover letter? or leave it out and talk about it when asked during interview?
Xavier, you can list that on your resume and cover letter. You may also want to talk about other activities you’ve done during those 3 months.
I am a first year associate working at a boutique bank on the trading floor and trying to switch into equity research/banking side. How is the cover letter different from the cover letter template above. Do I need to specifically state why I am switching?
Yes you need to address why you’re switching
Do you have any suggestions as to how I can gracefully address this? The reason why I am switching is because I don’t feel like I am learning much out of my positions – not being given much responsibilities, etc…
I’d focus on the positives on why you prefer the other division versus your current one; not what you’re lacking.
Hi, I am wondering when introducing my skill sets and experience in the second paragraph of the cover letter, is it appropriate to use bullet points? e.g. my key skills/experience include: bullet point: A bullet point: B
Yes you can do that, though a lot of times we find that its best to follow our template, unless you’re a very experienced candidate
I worked at a boutique investment bank for an internship and I was wondering how I may explain my low gpa on my cover letter. I would focus on my strengths and what I learned from the position but sooner or later the question of gpa will be addressed either during an interview or sent through email. How would I approach this?
This may come up in interviews and I’d address it then. I am not sure why you had a low GPA. If you had family/personal reasons you can list that. Otherwise if you were taking more advanced courses because you were too ambitious and got a lower GPA as a result of that you can list that too.
I’m applying to various finance and IB positions and my documents will be seen as a package sent through my school. I created my resume in a very similar format to the template on your website, only using .5″ margins. I have the same header layout (with name and personal info) on both my resume and cover letter. My question is regarding holding these .5″ margins on both of my documents to keep a consistent look. I’m just curious as to whether this would be a good or bad idea, or as to whether you think it would even matter.
I haven’t seen the format of your resume so I am not 100% sure. 0.5 margins maybe a bit crowded but depending on your content it can be doable. If you have lots of solid content, yes this is applicable. Otherwise, I’d shorten your content and go for the standard margins
Hey, this template isn’t just for investment banking right, it can be used for targeting internships in accounting as well? Same with the resume template?
If you change the paragraph from why IB to why accounting, you can use this template. The resume template is tailored to IB though you can use it for Accounting roles too
I graduated from a top school 1.5 years ago, but unfortunately ended up at a not so impressive bank. What’s the best way to name drop the school in the cover letter? Thanks.
First paragraph – you can just say that you are working at XX bank and have recently graduated from XX school
I am applying to three different divisions in the same investment bank that are different in nature (2 back office and one front) and there is only one cover letter for all three that asks you to describe your motivation for each. Since they are different positions, how do I go about this?
I’d be generic and focus on why finance and how you can make an impact to the firm
How about adding the recommendations from the previous job? Is it worth? Should we add it even if they do not menton about that?
You can provide recommendations upon request
Hi, I am wondering whether I need to include a signature in my cover letter for online application. If so, should I just insert it in the pdf document or scan a paper copy of the cover letter? Thanks!
Yes you can include it. Both works.
Just a follow-up question: I am applying for summer analyst position at CS, and they only allow one application per applicant. Should I use the same cover letter during campus recruiting (addressed to an alumnus) for my online application? Since I am applying to CS HK as well, I am wondering whether I should use a slightly different cover letter.
Sure I think this shouldn’t be a problem. Yes the HK one should be slightly different – i.e. why HK, why Chinese market
Dear M&I staff,
I’m a master student in Europe. I’m currently attending a Master of Science in Finance after completing a bachelor in business administration. Do you have any specific suggestion about my first paragraph? Also, if I can’t find the name of the recruiter, how can I start the letter? I was thinking about expressions such as “To whom it may concern…”; does this work?
Thanks in advance
Yes it does, or Dear Sir/Madam.
First paragraph – I’d follow the template on the post
Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is [Insert Name] and I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Finance at [Insert University Name] where I have also been awarded a Bachelor of Science with honors. How would this sound?
Sounds good, though I’d probably just use My name is [Insert Name] and I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Finance at [Insert University].
Hey Brian/Nicole, Thank you guys so much for this website. I spend days on it reading your articles! lol I’m just wondering when I do the name-dropping on the cover letter, is it alright to put the company names in bold? or is that too much? What do you guys think?
Thank you for your kind comment. You should credit Brian for his hard work! I don’t think its necessary to bold company names. I think its probably better to leave it “unbolded.”
i a lil older i was originally an engineering major, left school (didnt graduate), started working as a stock broker, then mortgage broker, and then more sales background. I then re entered school and graduated with a degree with finance, gpa not so high bc of past screw ups, but now looking to break into finance. I love finance, and cant figure out how to convey that in a cover letter. can you help?
Focus on the impact you’ve made in your previous roles. Then say while you’ve enjoyed and learn a lot from your previous experience, you realize [Talk about your IB spark here], and that you realize you wanted to pursue IB because [XYZ]. Then say that you’re confident that your [XX] skills can be an invaluable asset to the firm (something around those lines)
If I’m applying for a job based on an online job posting (LinkedIn / other job board), then in my 1st paragraph, ho would you address the section about how you learnt about the job / company ?
(I find it awkward to say that “I recently learnt about your company through your online ad on abc.com”)
I recently learned about your company from [a contact/an event/an online job posting] and was impressed with what I learned of [List what you’re impressed with here]
Thanks for your reply.
I’m finding it awkward to write “I learnt about your company from an online job posting” bcoz I feel it sounds like I did not know them before seeing the posting (which, in turn, sounds insulting for the company).
Instead, can I just say “I recently found out about the XYZ position at ABC Capital & want to apply for this position”?
Sure, this sounds good. No, this isn’t insulting – this is why companies post on job postings! It is best if you have already spoken to people at the company and use that as an intro. line.
please i am an undergraduate in my final year with just one internship experience and one teaching experience, that was before i gained admission. i want to know if it is appropriate to include my date of birth and list of referees; i will also like to know the maximum length of resume ideal for some one in my category. Thanks.
Please see https://mergersandinquisitions.com/free-investment-banking-resume-template/
No, I don’t think you need to include your DOB and list of referees. Maximum length of your resume would be 1 page.
Hi Brian, thanks so much for creating this awesome website.
I’m a year one student in a non-target uni in HK who’s interested in IBD. My first semester GPA wasn’t stellar because I had a hard time balancing family issues and adapting to a new country.
I’m currently applying for several pre-internship programs, and am afraid my less-than-3 GPA will cause my immediate disqualification. What can I do?
I’ve had several leadership positions in high school, am great at networking/socializing, and speak a few languages. But my first semester GPA is lackluster. Please advice, should I explain in my cover letter?
Best Regards, Sara
Yes, your GPA is likely to be alarming to interviewers. Sure, you can explain the above on your cover letter, though I would focus on your strengths and what you have achieved first. You want to draw people to your strengths. I’d also try as hard as you can to boost your GPA next semester and craft a very good explanation when you land interviews.
Hey there M&I,
Firstly, I’d just like to thank you for this template – it truly is priceless.
I’m from Melbourne, Australia and I’d like to break into Investment Banking for a long-term career.
I’m starting a Bachelor of Commerce degree at The University of Melbourne and I was thinking of double majoring in Accounting and Finance.
I feel as though this will put me in a good position for Investment Banking and will also provide me with a few alternatives should I be unable to make it to Investment Banking or decide that it’s not for me.
Sorry about the long-winded explanation, I guess what I want to know is whether or not the double major sequence I have suggested is desirable in Investment Banking or there is a better sequence you could suggest to me.
Also, what do you have to say about people getting summer internships after first year? I haven’t heard of anyone doing this before, but have you? How should I go about trying to increase my chances?
Thanks very much!
Thanks. Yes, that sequence is fine but I don’t know if it would give you an advantage. From what I understand about Australia, I believe most people who get into banking there actually have dual Commerce and Law degrees.
Summer internships after year 1: very tough. You’d have to aim for small local firms. And probably not common in Australia.
I’m applying to a Private Equity internship and I completed the BIWS fundamental and advanced modeling courses. Should I talk about this in my cover letter? Right now I just have a general statement about it and that I worked on some case studies.I was wondering whether I should go more in depth and mention a specific case? Leave it as a general statement? Or take it out completely
Yes, definitely mention the specific case studies as that makes it sound much better than just saying you completed the courses.
Document for listing them on your resume (you may be able to apply parts of this):
I took your advice and mentioned specific case studies.
One other thing, currently in the second paragraph of my cover letter I talk a lot about my internship experience, but this internship doesn’t have to do with IB, its accounting and sales for a hotel. I did spin it in away that says that I picked up skills from this internship that I can apply to IB, PE, etc. Should I focus less about this and more on the BIWS courses, and projects in school I worked on since it doesn’t directly relate?
I would probably do an even split in that case.
I found this guide and template very useful. I was wondering, though, if I were to apply online to bb investment banks that didn’t make any meeting at my university and require a cover letter, what should I write in: “I was recently introduced to your firm via [Friend / Contact at Firm / Presentation] and was impressed with what I learned of [Your Culture / Working Environment / Bank-Specific Info.].”
I know about these banks just because of their fame, so should I just skip this part?
Sure though having this line may be more convincing.
I am now applying to Société Générale M&A summer internship in Power, Utilities and Infrastructure department. I tried to find some alumni working there. I could manage to find one via linkedin; however, i cannot contact him because he sets a permission. I wonder what should i write on cover letter if i can’t find a contact in SG?
Dear Sir or Madam / [Name of Recruiter if you have it]
I feel sorry not to explain it clearly.
Quoted from the IB template: ” I was recently introduced to your firm via [Friend / Contact at Firm / Presentation] and was impressed with what I learned of [Your Culture / Working Environment / Bank-Specific Info.] ”
I searched SG career website but they mention the work environment and culture very vague. I tried to find an alumni working there; however,the alumni office hasn’t replied me yet.Even worse, SG hasn’t held any campaign event at our uni. At present moment,I can’t manage to get a contact at firm. I did search they have an aggressive expansion plan for the department 2 years ago. Should I mention this instead?
It would help if you have spoken to a contact who is working/worked there or attending one of their info sessions. Otherwise, yes it may be useful to mention of their department’s aggressive expansion plan.
Hi! What if I have not attended any presentation and I do not know nobody that work in a specific bank? Can I still apply online? I am applying to investment banks in London and I know that they recruit using the online application process.
Yes you can still apply online.
Adding to what Paolo has mentioned, what about the cover letter? Since we do not know anybody that work in that specific bank (nor attend any presentations), who do we address the cover letter to? (Or is it better not to submit one if the cover letter is optional?)
Secondly, is it alright to say that we found out about the job/vacancy by browsing through their website?
Again, thanks for your continuous kind support.
Quoting from the article:
“If you don’t have this information you can just list the company name and address and use a ‘Dear Sir or Madam” greeting.’ ”
If it’s optional, I wouldn’t even bother submitting it especially if you don’t know anyone there. Yes saying you saw it through a website is OK.
I’ve just graduated in Finance and Accounting but wasn’t able to get summer internships in my 2nd year. What else can I write in section 2+3? I’ve got work experience in wholesale, an accounting firm and an insight day at a Merrill Lynch which were just before I started uni, i.e. 2009 can I still use these in this section or would it look bad since they are old?
I’ve taken part in many trading simulation games in teams etc which show all the skills you have mentioned in the paragraph, would it be acceptable to use this as an example even though it was a simulation?
They wouldn’t look bad but not exactly current. Ideal if you have recent experiences to list. Otherwise you can list them
Yes – show the returns you generated
Thanks for the useful resources.
Last year, I hadn’t as much insight and experience with IB (I was coming from law and bearely started to study a MSc-Finance in a good school). I still got two interviews with a nice boutique and a bb. I got reject at the final round.
This year I’m applying again (I’m currently doing an off cycle M&A internship)
1. Shall I mention I applied last year, and why I like the firm so much? or shall I just make a regular cover letter and avoid to mention I applied a year ago?
2. How many interviews should I go through to secure an offer, or what is the average? I’d like to know whether I am doing something bad or just if it is because you need to go through several interviews to finally get something?
3. What would shall I do with the current market if I secure another off cycle internship or a full time M&A position in a leading law firm? (I prefer finance than law, but I m getting old and need to start working as oppose to “intern”)
Sorry for this long thread, thanks for your help.
1. you can mention it if you want though I don’t think its necessary 2. hard to say – depends on you. people generally go through more than several rounds of interviews to land an offer 3. network a lot
Last year, I hadn’t as much insight and experience in IB profiles (I am coming from law and bearely started to study a MSc-Finance in a good school). I still got two interviews with a nice boutique and a bb. I got reject at the final round.
— Shall I mention I applied last year, and why I like the firm so much
Hi, I have an upcoming interview with a bulge bracket bank in Capital Markets. I submitted my resume about 1 month ago and got selected recently. My resume was updated recently and is much much more in depth than before. Should I reach out to the recruiters and ask if I can have them replace the resume on the website with my new one? Or would this be frowned upon? Thanks!
Yes, please do that!
Thank you for your tips, they are great!I have two questions:
1. All templates I find are about experienced people. If you are a person with no experience (or with a very short experience in a different area), how can you turn this fact around and convince someone to hire you? Should you really emphasize your academic background?
2. I started a PhD but early on I realized that it was not the right fit for me. How and where should I mention this? Should I explain why? I am afraid that no one will be considering me for a job position because I am quitting the PhD…
Thank you so much!
1. There are templates for inexperienced hires – pls look for the one for undergraduates. If you have NO work experience at all, I’d suggest you to emphasize your academic background and extracurricular activities. 2. Explain this on your cover letter & interviews. No, it shouldn’t be a problem if you know how to spin your story. Most jobs don’t require a PhD these days anyway.
Hi, Thank you very much for uploading the template.
But what if I don’t have background info or experiences specific to the investment banking industry even though I have banking experience in a different field such as Loan Officer? Will that matter?
I will be considered as a fresher in that case how can I convince anybody about changing my profession to investment banker or wealth management analyst from this profession?
And can you also please help me with a sample C.V for freshers in Invest and Wealth Management.
I do have an MBA in finance.
You’ll have to figure out why IB and pitch your story well.
You can use the same template for Wealth Management – just focus on your research and investment experience
I’m planning to use this short cover letter as my email body. My question : “Should I opt for a longer version with more elaborate details?”
— Dear Sir/ Madam [or the recruiter’s name],
I would like to express my interest in a position as [position] for [company].
As you may perceive from my summary, I’ve been leveraging my consulting and technical skills from my previous career as an IT Consultant to break into the finance industry. Thus, I’m adapt at translating clients’ problems into a satisfying, concrete solution. I also possess good leadership skill and can work well with others. [ + other skills the company valued / demanded for this specific job]
I would love to expand my career with your company, and am confident that I would be a beneficial addition to your company. I have enclosed my resume and I would welcome a personal interview at your earliest convenience.
[Name and contact address] —
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
I’d keep your email short, sweet and succinct. Anything longer than that is too much.
Hello, my question is regarding the introduction —
“Paragraph 1: Introduction This is where you explain who you are, where you’re currently working or studying, and how you found the bank that you’re applying to.”
I have nearly 2 years of consulting experience, but have recently been laid off. Since I’m no longer working or studying, how would I approach this as far as introduction?
Just introduce yourself and tell interviewer you’ve been laid off due to the lackluster economy – they should understand. Tell them what you’ve been doing with your free time i.e. traveling, studying, picking up a new hobby, etc. As long as you sound like you are doing something productive/interesting with your life, you should be fine
Errors – If there are minor typos that most people don’t see at a glance, are you in the clear? I’m not sure if people read cover letters that closely especially during OCR when hundreds of people apply at the same time from one school.
It depends on whether your reviewer is attentive to details or not!
I don’t exactly have a stellar GPA, so I was wondering if the cover letter is where I would explain myself? Or is it better to just not mention it? Thanks! And love this website!
It depends why you don’t have a stellar GPA – if you have a legit reason i.e. you had sick parents you needed to take care of etc I think it would help
Thanks for the article. I just had a quick question. I was originally interested in marketing and completed two internships my freshman year undergraduate (currently a junior applying for summer analyst positions). Since then I have had several research internships. Would it be a good idea what lead my decision to go from marketing to banking in my cover letter?
Any input would be awesome. Thanks!
Yes I would explain why you changed your mind in your cover letter and point to a specific person/incident
I am studying at a “frontier market” university and am currently an exchange student at a highly ranked (Top 100) universities.
Should I use an exchange studies university in a cover letter instead of a university where I’ll be graduating and mention it accordingly (I am currently an exchange student at…)?
No, I think you should still use the university where you’ll be graduating
ha frontier market. I am putting where I am an exchange student with the frontier school I attend.
I’m applying for an internship in the US, but I’m studying in Germany. Should I mention that my University/Business School, is one of the best business schools in Germany?
Thank you for your answer!
I don’t think it makes a difference. You could try but reviewers might not necessarily care too much re that
Hi, thanks so much for this article. I am writing a cover letter to J.P. Morgan, but I cannot find the office address in HK, shall I omit it at the top?
But what if I don’t have background info or experiences specific to the investment banking industry? does that automatically rule me out as a candidate even though they specify that finance background is not necessary?
Could I simply emphasize my skills and abilities that I have gained through other experiences such as working for an NGO?
just one other quick question. At Goldman Sachs, one could apply for internship in several divisions and they have asked motivation for applying to different divisions. Would it make this impression that you yourself do not know what division is right for you when you make applications for several divisions? Thanks a lot.
With Goldman, yes. However, in a way you still need to hedge your bets because one division’s MD might like you and the other’s MD might not.
I’ve shown my CL to the Head of HR in my firm and he adviced me to write something “catching” as a title between the date and “Dear Sir or Madam,..”. So do you think it would be okay to write there: “Why I am a good fit for taking part in your spring programme”? Or does this sound too arrogant?
Thanks a lot! Jevira
This sounds generic.
Have you got another idea or just put there: Spring Programme at XYZ. :D Thanks, and sorry for the time you lose with all my questions..
Come up w something original he said right? I don’t know if the above is original. You should just ask him what his suggestions are. I’d love to help but I need to think through it and have to look at your CL; wouldn’t be fair to other customers who are paying for our CL editing service.
Thanks very much for your helps. I have a few questions and I would greatly appreciate if you could help me. I am doing a double degree master in Complex Systems Science (A multidisciplinary field), so I have studied one year at Warwick, UK and now I am studying the second year at Ecole Polytechnique, France. 1) Should I mention anywhere that I have had a multidisciplinary approach since in my field I have to interact with people with completely diverse backgrounds, from Physics and math to economics and Philosophy? 2)I have got a full scholarship from European commission for my studies. How should I mention it? 3)I think many people are not very acquainted with the structure of such joint programs between two universities in two different countries. In my CV, shall I mention it as two masters and not saying that they are in fact joint? 4)My master thesis has been about financial contagion and I do not have ant job or internship opportunity, so how should I write the second paragraph?
Thanks in advance and sorry it becomes too long. Mostafa
1. Not sure how you will be wording this one. Difficult to use this to stand out 2. Yes 3. No, put joint but you can separate the two in diff lines 4. Can’t help you on this one.
Hi, it’s me again. Does this template also apply for online applications where you have to upload the cover letter? Or can my personal adress, the banks adress and the date can be removed withous replacement?
Yes these templates apply to online apps too
No, I don’t think you should remove the details you mentioned
I’m a first year university student in the UK, and looking to apply to a spring division internship at Goldman Sachs (and probably many others in the near future).
I have litte actual experience in terms of working for firms, but have competed in many stock market challenges/competitions, and I have come to university a year early, having been moved up a year.
Clearly with my lack of experience, I will need to slightly change the template you have provided above; how would you recommend I do this?
I nearly asked the same thing – but my question didn’t even appear.
You should elaborate on your stock market challenges/competitions
Is it okay to write under my asset mgmnt firm that I “increased producivity of checking several entries by about 60%”? It was an excelsheet with about 120 rows in which I had to find the entries which were more than once in these rows. (it was an excel formula I made for that).
Or does it sound ridiculous?
Oh, its in the CV, not the cover letter.
yes it does sounds a bit ridiculous and monotonous. Sorry.
So I’ll delete :) Thanks. Its very difficult to boost your CV.
btw: may I send you, Nicole, my CV that you could look over that? You see my email adress, i guess. I’d really appreciate it! Thinking, that it sounds “too” ridiculous…
We’re not offering resume editing at the moment but will be introducing it shortly, so you can watch for that announcement.
What does “shortly” mean? Within this month? And will it be free? If not, how much would it cost? If you’re launching in the very near future, please reserve one place for me :-).
Haha yes but not free. Sure.
Thanks for your work!
My question is that if I apply for some regions where original language is not English i.e. China, Japan, will it be ok I send a 2-page resume/cl with one in English and another Chinese/Japanese/whatever? or seperately in 2 .pdfs?
No. Not necessary. Just send a one-page resume in English
If bilingual required?
No still submit one pager unless they ask
Another not-related question, do you think that a 4-month full time internship in PE department of commercial banks, say, standard chartered, strong enough to pass the summer/FT online selection? prior to that i had internship in big-4. a senior in university and will pursue a finance master degree right after. thanks
Should do but again it depends on what position you are interviewing for and which division you are looking at. Also depends on who is screening you..However, I believe your experience should suffice
Do you think sending a cover letter with a CV directly to the Head of investment banking dpt is inappropriate? The bank is hiring (according to website). Sent my CV to HR a month ago, no responce.
Sure, just send him a brief email and your resume. No point in sending a cover letter – address what you need to say briefly on the email
What is your opinion about listing client names. Obviously working in a deal situation it would not be acceptable to mention a client name and the transaction itself if this is not public but in my case I have done a lot of work which didn’t result in deals however I am quite keen on mentionning the clients as I have worked with many PE and large Corporate clients. Is it fine to write: “selected list of clients: A,B,C,D,E…
Why would you want to use names there? Just for more credibility when you discuss deals? I would still avoid using names if possible for dead deals. You can still mention that you’ve worked with some big PE names such as X but I wouldn’t go into details; pretend deal is still ongoing even if it died, and leave out the names.
You do such a great service for idiots like me!Keep it up.
Hi! For my motivation letter, which the company requires on their application website, shouldn’t I just say I like money and that I want to work for their company because I would like to earn a lot? Or should I go with the “It’s my passion… I like to be challenged… I’d like to contribute innovations for the growth of the business…” bits? Thank you!
applications for bulge brackets. thanks!
Um #2, always
I am beginning to write my cover letter for a number of boutique banks in the fall to apply for analyst positions. What do I if I don’t know anyone at the firm and can’t namedrop a presentation I attended (1st paragraph)? Can I just say
“My name is John Smith, and I am a recent graduate of Fordham University (Class of 2011). I am interested in applying for an analyst position at XYZ firm”
Is there anything else I can add to the first paragraph to flesh out my cover letter a bit? Thank you very much and keep up the good work!
Hi, I recently switched to a major in economics from engineering. The engineering curriculum at my school is very challenging and had a negative impact on my GPA over my freshman/sophomore year (3.4 currently). Would it be appropriate to list that I was previously an engineering major on my resume to reflect the challenging curriculum I was previously engaged in?
Yes that’s a good idea or at least reflect coursework on there
Thanks for the cover letter and resume templates, they’re really helpful. A friend of mine used your templates to score a summer internship in corporate finance advisory at a big four company in london and I was able to score a SA offer in the IBD of a BB firm in frankfurt, germany. we’re both germans btw.
depending on how fulltime recruiting develops we should set something up for a “breaking into IB in europe”-feature if you see the demand for this. So long, Nick
Congrats, interesting to hear that it works in other countries. There are a few articles on Europe (UK, Germany, Italy) already but could use more if you have a unique angle.
A company was recruiting at my college, and all they asked for was for us to send them a 1-page motivational letter? Any idea what I can include in the letter? Eg, why me? Why should I get the offer? Why should I get the bursary? My strengths and weaknesses?
They don’t want a cv, they just want a motivational letter. I’m not too sure what to include in it. Any help would be appreciated.
I would just follow the cover letter template here and expand on it a bit… don’t go into strengths/weaknesses, just follow the outline above.
Thanks Brian for putting up such a nice website and sharing valuable stuff with us aspirers. I might be using a wrong space to look for your suggestions anyways here I go. My challenge here is to make a successful transition from a business development/ strategy side (prior 3 yrs of exp. with a commercial bank) to IB. Being done an MBA recently from a decent B school in UK where I gained the required skill sets for IB, I was targeting at BB which doesnot seems to be working out my way so I m considering the small boutiques as well to start with. I thought a good cover letter can win recruiters attention in my case. Any advice on the approach I should carry to enter into IB & put my prior experience into use to encash it is highly appreciated.
If you do a search for “Networking” and “Cold-calling” you’ll see the most helpful advice – cover letters do not make a difference, focus on your cold-calling and networking skills and do not give up until you try hundreds of places.
is it okay to put stuff on your resume you don’t mention in your cover letter? or should your resume ONLY include stuff from your cover letter?
It’s fine, you can’t even mention everything in the cover letter anyway
In the 3rd paragraph you explained that we should say something along the lines of “I am impressed by your track record of clients and transactions at Goldman Stanley…”
This is obviously a great way to tailor your cover letter, but I was wondering where you find out information of transactions. I’ve found some doing a simple Google search, but is there an independent authority that tracks all of these? As well, how do you know which transactions to mention? The ones that the firm is particularly proud of or ground-breaking?
Use the WSJ Deal Journal or NYT Dealbook to find recent deals they’ve done, anything sizable or significant e.g. the Goldman / Facebook deal
I realized I made a grammatical error in the last paragraph of my cover letter today. I never noticed it before and I’ve sent it to three places already, one BB and two boutiques. Big deal?
No, no one reads cover letters anyway
Firstly thanks for the website, it’s great.
My question is: in most summer IB internships, they ask several cover letter-like questions like “In 250 words max, describe your career aspirations” etc., however there’s usually an option to upload a cover letter as well. Would you advise keeping it concise or would you include examples of IB-related things, adapted to the question, despite the fact you’re effectively rewriting the cover letter?
This is in UK by the way.
Thanks in advance.
Just keep it concise – competency questions are not a big factor vs. CV/interviews.
Thank you for the template.
Should we use the email format for a doostang message as well?
No keep it way shorter like 2-3 sentences maybe
I guess I’m the most complicated case here. I’m currently doing BA in Art History and Italian at UCL, London, now doing my Erasmus in Italy. However, last summer I worked as a M&A Summer Analyst in a small boutique bank specializing in cross-border M&As. There, I started from scratch, with no finance experience/knowledge, but learnt a lot and had lots of hands-on experience, since the company was really small and I was involved in literally everything.
I’m applying for summer internships in large investment banks and about to start writing my cover letters. I assume I must explain myself for studying Art History & Italian and my out-of-the-blue interest in I-Banking, plus use my last summer experience as a selling point. Any other specific hints?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Well, why did you work there? What made you interested in doing that? Reference a specific person or if nothing comes to mind use something from the news or your background e.g. I was always really interested in Italy and the UK and got interested in finance as a result of [xx] so I wanted to explore cross-border M&A and leverage my skills/interests like that.
Hi, I have completed my masters in Drug Discovery and Translational Biology. But currently I am planning to apply for any investment banking positions. As I don’t have any background or experience in the given field, i don’t what to write in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph.
Can you please help me,
Talk about the analytical skills you gained and how they apply, or the leadership / project management skills or anything else like that from previous internships or school.
Hey guys, this letter just repeats what is inside the Resume anyway. What is the additional value for the potential employer to read this kind of resume? There are no additional information. Wouldnt it be better to wite about your motiviation, your personal (not work) background, and reasons to chose this department/bank ? Or would it harm to do this?
Furthermore, the letter includes the information about resume enclosure 3(!) times. I like this site but this template really does not look too promising for me!
So don’t use it? The point is that no one reads cover letters, but in case they do, you don’t want to screw up by saying anything controversial or anything that could be misinterpreted.
If you start writing your personal story, bankers might mistake it for a soap opera script rather than cover letter.
Cover letters have no value at all, but just like grades if you screw one up it could hurt you. This template is intentionally boring and gives very little information because otherwise people would download this and insert pictures of unicorns, write about their past relationships, and other nonsense.
Great comment, made me laugh
Do you recommend being creative in cover letters, ie varying sentence structure, using big/expressive words ?
No, creativity is for marketing or poetry – this is finance.
I’m a US student currently at Oxford for my junior year. All the applications for the UK offices are online. I know you have already answered the question before, but I don’t want to make any mistakes. So just to clarify:
1. Omit the physical addresses, mine as well as theirs. 2. Omit the recruiters name leaving only the name of the bank 3. Omit the signature 4. Do not enclose resume since that is a separate attachment
Thanks so much in advance.
Hie ,i realy luv ur advice!.,Im doing a Bsc in Financial modelling with UNISA.is this a good start for a career in investment banking?.i finish next year, could u tell wat i can do to make myself marketable after graduation.
Honestly, I’m not sure on that one because I’m not familiar with the school. If a lot of banks recruit there, it’s fine; otherwise you should transfer elsewhere.
Its University of SouthAfrica ,im also staying in Africa.is there something i could do 2 giv me an added advantage over my coleagues?.
This article has some tips on South Africa: https://mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-south-africa/
What’s your take on headlines (i.e.Application for IB Analyst) and postscripts? I’ve heard from many friends to add them on because they will grab attention. But then again, they aren’t going into banking.
Not applicable for banking
i will be applying to merrill lynch. In the template, you stated many of the internship and job roles that provide the skills required to be a great investment analyst. However, i was just wondering, if i have a perfect gpa, perfect sats score, how can i use these to my advantage in my cover letter?
You can’t really, just list them and be done with it – no point in trying to emphasize those because there’s not much to say and they speak for themselves.
Hi, If the firm’s online application says “you can only attach one file: this should contain your CV, cover letter and any other materials relevant for the position”, does it mean in the word document file I upload, the 1st page is resume, the 2nd page is cover letter and the 3rd is transcript? It looks pretty strange because the document is gonna be 4-5 pages. But since they only allow me to upload one file, I’m not sure what to do with the cover letter and the transcript. Or can I just omit them and attach the resume document only? Thanks a ton.
I would not send the transcript unless they specifically ask for it, otherwise just create a 2-page file with your cover letter and CV
First of all, great website! It’s really helpful and I think you guys are doing a great job.
I am visually impaired, however I have always followed regular education and have performed like anybody else (also in jobs, at associations, etc). Many banks stress their emphasis on diversity and now I am wondering if I should include this fact in my cover letter / online application? On the one hand I feel it would fit great into the whole “what are you most proud of”-question, but I am also scared it might work against me?
Please note I’m applying London, not NY. (I think European regulations might differ from US-ones). I go to a European target school.
Personally I would not list it on your CV / cover letter / online application, but maybe bring it up in an interview if it fits in naturally.
Hi Brian, I was beginning to start writing coverletters–atleast get them going, but I’m confused on where to find the unique strength of each BB, which makes it diff from its competitions. One of the things which makes a good cover letter is that its specific to a firm, but I dont know how to find such information. For instance, I was looking at MS, Barclays website in the section ,’Why MS’ or ‘Why Barclays’, and it seems every firm had the same agenda. We are committed to diversity , team player etc. Obv I need to go into more depth than this. Brian where I can find information specific to each BB on their website? I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.
You should read the WSJ Deal Journal blog and look for recent mentions of the bank and what deals they have been advising on – then reference those in the cover letter.
Hi Brian, I’m in a similar position as the above poster. For companies without a personal contact I want to talk about a specific deal they’ve advised on.
I’m just unsure how to formulate such a sentence without encouraging diffcult to answer questions.
E.g. I was thinking of something along the lines of “I was impressed with your company’s role as target advisor in the $X bn acquisition of companyX”
I’m afraid this would result in the question of ‘why were you impressed?’.
Any chance you could give a sample sentence of how you would talk about a deal in a cover letter?
P.S.: Keep up the good work with BIWS, love the constant updates. Highly recommended, well worth the money!
You can say something like “I recently saw news of your role as an advisor in the $X bn acquisition of company X and was immediately interested, since I’ve followed the [X] industry for awhile.”
Hi, I graduated from a target, went to medical school after graduation, but left after two years to pursue a career in investment banking. I now work at a small investment research firm, and I am applying for 2011 analyst class.
How much “explanation” do I need to do in cover letter? Or should I just focus on my job experience and modeling skills?
I don’t think you need much explanation since you quit medicine after 2 years, so just focus on other aspects
Is the physical address at the top still necessary if you’re attaching the cover letter as a .PDF in an online form?
I can’t thank you enough for all these info Brian,
In all honesty, I did have a sudden family death last year for which I had to leave school in the middle of the semester and come back after about two weeks. I got in a lot of psychological stress and uncertainty and I ended up messing up my grades significantly for two semesters. However, I did improve last semester with a full workload (maximum number of credit hours allowed at my school + advanced level classes) and got near 4.0.
How should I mention this on my cover letter? Also, how would I do that on an electronic cover letter which should only be about 4-5 sentences?
Thanks again in advance.
I would just say you had a health issue and had trouble balancing everything, but quickly learned your lesson and received perfect grades right after that. Giving a family excuse sounds fake so I would probably not write that even if it’s true.
Thanks but the thing is that wasn’t my freshman year. It was my sophomore year. So I did well my freshman year than poorly as a sophomore and improved as a junior.
Also, what about the electronic cover letter? Would it be ok to take up some sentences to explain my situation?
Just say you did poorly “at first” and then improved and have perfect grades this past year. I would still keep your cover letter short as no one has time to read a lot.
I would appreciate your advice on this.
I’m a senior at a target school in Far East Asia. It’s really tough to get into a BB here and I’m thinking of visiting each BB and handing them my resume and cover letter to ask for a junior equity research position. I doubt I’d be able to personally meet the head of research or a senior analyst without prior arrangement, so I’d be probably handing my resume and cover letter to HR. I need to stand out but I have no equity research internship experience. What I do have, is a equity S&T internship at a BB and a RA (intern) at a top-tier mgmt. consulting firm. Plus experience managing a personal portfolio and trading derivatives in notable amounts.
Now, my problem is this. I made it to the final round for a junior ER position at GS but unfortunately was not given the offer (the offer ended up going to someone with some full-time experience in ER; had I been competing against fresh-out-of-college candidates would the result have been different?). I would like to mention this in my resume or cover letter hoping that it would serve as evidence that I’m really interested in ER and that I have the potential. But I’m worried that this might send the wrong signal. Who would like to accept a candidate knowing that he was unsuccessful elsewhere? I’m worried that I might appear arrogant in their eyes. I’m thinking of visiting CS, UBS, Citi, MS, ML, JPM, etc. In ER here in Asia, they’re at least at par with GS if not better…
I realize that answer to this may depend on the culture here. Please advise. Thanks.
I would not mention an unsuccessful interview with GS for the reasons you mentioned.
Hi Brian! Long time reader, first time poster. I’m currently a rising senior at a target school on the tale end of my internship at a strong boutique bank in New York. I only have one week left, and I’ve been given zero modeling opportunities. I’m very disappointed. I figure that I should ask for some modeling work. But I have some questions.
1) Does it reflect poorly in interviews for full-time that I didn’t do any modeling? Should I “stretch” the truth?
2) Do you have any other relevant comments about doing a junior year internship and not getting any modeling experience? I’m concerned with how this hurts my full-time credentials, how this might affect my resume, and how overall my standing will decrease relative to my peers because I didn’t get modeling experience.
It’s quite common not to have modeling experience… just say you did research and assisted with potential clients / potential buy-side deals but don’t say anything about modeling. Most people do no modeling in their internships so it doesn’t matter much anyway.
What’s a better part-time fall internship, BB PWM or no-name boutique (I mean no name.. say 3-7 employees)?
Both are about the same, but the boutique is better for your resume because you can write “Investment Banking Analyst”
I often read though it’s June interviews are still taking place.
When do banks in America/Europe begin accepting applications for: 1) summer interns (analyst) 2) full-time (analyst/associate)
Is the end of a summer intern equivalent to the end of the full-time offer application period? Because ppl. might are offered a full-time offer after their summer intern.
To put it in a nutshell: When is recruting/application time generally?
Summer interns are December/January, full-time is August-September.
And when do you start as summer intern, when u successfully applied in dec/jan or successfully applied for aug/sep?
Summer interns usually start in June
This post reminded me of the classic cover letter to Lehman that was on Leveraged Sellout. I tried to see it, but it appears LSO has shutdown. Is this the case? Are the days of re-reading the same, hilarious stories over?
I don’t know because it’s not my site, but yes it appears to be down. Maybe check the google cache.
Thanks for the release of this article, much appreciated.
Curious on an unrelated question though, when you try to develop relationships with bankers and do the initial outreach to set up an information interview, how far ahead should you plan? I mean should you give them dates within the week you email, 2 weeks ahead, etc?
Also, for specific time slots you ask for, what time is it usually best for a banker to talk to someone about that? Like early morning, late night, right after lunch, etc?
Thanks again, H
Give dates within the next 1.5 weeks so they have a few days to respond. Usually right after lunch is best for bankers, for traders you have to call after market hours are over
Hi Brian, Thanks for the website, I have a quick question for you. I am in one of the new Masters in Finance/Management programs. I am at a target school for undergrad/MBA (think UNC/Duke/UVA). However, since the program is very new, banks don’t know much about it. Aditionally, although I have had some Wealth Management internship experience, I don’t have an I-Banking internship.
Given my situation, do you think it is better for me (in terms of B-school and exit opportunities) to go into a top ten consulting firm (excluding MBB) or try for mid-market/boutique investment banks (My school is very good in placing people in consulting), assuming I don’t get into a BB. I ultimately want to end up in PE or HF (preferably PE).
Thanks for your help.
I would still say banking because consulting –> PE is very tough unless you go for firms like Golden Gate Capital that hire a lot of ex-consultants… and even there they’re mostly from MBB. Much easier to go from smaller bank –> PE than to go from smaller consulting firm –> PE.
Should I mention the fact that my company is in F500? It’s know in Europe, but I doubt it is known in North America.
You can add it in, yes
I don’t have any inside experience about the recruiting process, but a friend/colleague of mine (BB) mentioned that while recruiting for regional european branches/off-cycle internships often look at the cover letter, they almost never do it for summer positions in London.
Everyone seems to have different stories re: cover letters, but they are certainly less important than resumes, networking, or interviews
What about for laterals?
Same template applies but talk about how your previous banking experience applies to the new position you’re applying for
I appreciate your template for its compactness, I understand I shouldnt overestimate the competition, but Im trying to sell myself to the recruiter, so simply mentioning my skills and experience will not differentiate me from the “competitor”…?
I personally dont have so much experience in the finance realm (although Im genuinely interested in it and have managed to get a ten day insight into a BB) so do you encourage mentioning transferable skills I acquired through extra curricular activities, ie football = teamwork, etc, etc…
Cover letters are not really the place to “sell” yourself, which is why this is short… much safer to keep it boring and then do the selling via networking / interviews.
I know this is supposed to be basic, but the first paragraph is pretty useless. Your name, university/job position and contact details will already be on your resume so what’s the point in wasting time and space repeating the details on your cover letter. Also, saying “I am interested in pursuing an [Investment Banking Analyst / Associate] position at your firm” is also somewhat redundant, since the recruiter knows what position you’re applying for.
The template is good as a starting point, but on the off chance someone actually does read your cover letter, I would try to do a lot more than just make redundant statements.
This template is for both email and traditional letters… and in email it’s certainly not redundant. Even with traditional letters you are introducing new information by giving the name of the person you met at their firm as well as your major / where you’re working more specifically.
so do you expect the same stats as what you have written for the resume template? A given population, and a limited percentage will download it, and even a limited percentage will copy it word for word?
Cheers, thanks for all the great info!
In the grand scheme of things, yes – online a lot of people use these templates but most people who apply to banks do not use them.
I’m currently a rising junior at a semi target looking to be a SA next summer. This past summer I interned at a discount brokerage firm but had significant responsibilities (they didn’t have to hire an additional broker because of me) and got a lot of experience and face time with clients.
I have an opportunity to apply for a PWM internship for the fall with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Should I continue with my current internship through the fall or would it look better to move to the more distinguished name? I imagine the work would be similar. thanks
Go to the better name
nice template, it sure will be easier for internationals like me to write one now. thanks.
Thank you for the cover letter template.
“If you’re making the body of your email the cover letter, make it even shorter (4-5 sentences total) and cut out the address bits at the top.”
Do you mean we should drastically cut down the entire 4 paragraph cover letter into 4-5 sentences?
Yes, make it so they don’t have to scroll much (if at all) when reading on a Blackberry. 1-2 sentence intro, 2 sentences on your work experience and how it makes you fit for the job and then 1 sentence conclusion.
A nicely put article! Anyway, I like the new template for the website too!
A question that is unrelated to the article:
How far does an interviewer expect you to know in a previous live deal that you were previously involved in as an INTERN? I mean really, to be fair, often times, even if interns are being put into live deals, they are only doing menial works (including me), such as researching, data mining, presentation slides building, etc.
How far of financial analysis would the interviewer expect you to know?
Also, in terms of financial modeling, you’ve said it before that it is the kind of work that everyone should want to be exposed to. But what if the financial modeling is not for a live deal, but for a potential deal? Would it still look better than the menial works in live deals?
Thank you! You have no idea how helpful you have been.
They expect you to know what you indicate you know… so don’t set expectations very high. And yes any type of modeling work is better than menial tasks
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The cover letter template that will get you a job in banking
Do you really need to write a cover letter when you’re applying for a job in an investment bank these days, it’s surely all about the skills in your cv – who’s got the time to read that extra blurb claiming you’re perfect for the role, 14 oct 2016.
Ireland's International Financial Services Centre
Not everyone, that’s for sure. Most of the banking recruiters we speak to treat the cover letters (or ‘cover emails’) they receive from experienced candidates as an irrelevance. “For experienced roles, we rarely look at cover letters,” says Logan Naidu, CEO of London-based financial services recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners. “I don’t really read the cover letter, I just go for the CV,” agrees Richard Hoar, director of banking and financial services at Goodman Masson. “I look at the CV and then I phone them. – If the CV is relevant, I’ll get everything that would have been in the cover letter from that call.”
Before you start sending CVs and resumes for banking jobs without any preamble whatsoever, though, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are some situations in which cover letters can make all the difference.
- When you’re applying for graduate jobs in banking.
- When you’re applying to banks directly (without going through external recruiters),
- And… when you happen to be using a recruiter who simply likes cover letters (hard to tell!).
“For graduate hires, cover letters are very important,” says Naidu. Just how important is reflected by the fact that some banks specify them as a must-have in their graduate recruitment process. Banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie all demand that their would-be analysts in Europe write cover letters or something very similar, says Victoria McLean, a former Goldman Sachs recruiter and founder of banking CV specialists, City CV.
Goldman Sachs is particularly demanding – it requests that graduate applicants write a personal statement which is effectively a cover letter in 300 words or less. In theory, Goldman Sachs is ditching its cover letter process and will soon be using HireVue digital interviews to select its student hires, but for the moment the 300 word killer cover letter is still an integral part of the Goldman recruitment process. A former recruiter at the firm told us it’s very important. “Some students were excellent until they got to the cover letter,” she told us – those 300 words let them down.
Banks own recruiters are also partial to cover letters. “For me, the cover letter is the important part,” says Malcom Horton, head of recruitment at Nomura International. “It’s the only opportunity you have to express yourself beyond the list achievements on your CV.”
Some headhunters, working at the senior end of the banking recruitment market, are also fans of the email that essentially introduces your CV. “The cover letter is what humanizes you,” says Jeanne Branthover, a Partner of DHR International’s Global Financial Services Practice in New York City. “The cover letter tells me what your resume can’t – the resume tells me what you’ve done and the cover letter puts that in context and tells me what you want to do next.” She adds: “I get literally 100 resumes a day and the ones that come with standard cover letters go straight into the database, but the ones that have been personalized to me are the ones I’ll pay more attention to. – It’s a differentiator.”
What makes a cover letter good? Branthover says it’s all about personality and warmth: “This is going to sound corny, but a good cover letter can make me want to help you. ” For this reason, there’s absolutely no point sending out a standard cover letter that hasn’t been adapted to the role you’re applying for. “A lot of the cover letters I see have been written to accompany completely unrelated jobs,” says Hoar. In this case, a cover letter will actually do you a disservice.
You’re going to need specific cover letters that follow a general template…
So… you need to tailor your cover letters. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t write a cover letter that follows a template. It does mean that each time you apply for a new job, you need to fill in that template all over again.
This template should follow the following format: Introduction. Why me? Why you? Why this job? In total, the text within the template should be no more than 750 words, or one A4 page, long.
Banking cover letter template – the easy introductory paragraph
The first paragraph is all about explaining why you’re writing. If you’re applying for a graduate job in a bank, keep it short and sweet.
“The first paragraph is just to say who you are and why you’re writing the letter,” says McLean.
This paragraph might read something like. “I am an X with X year history of X at global banking firms including X as well as X. I have been working for X for the past X years.”
If you’re writing a Goldman Sachs cover letter that’s 300 words or less, you can ditch this style of opening paragraph. – There’s just no space for it.
If you’re writing to a recruiter, there’s less need to be quite so brief with your introduction. Say who you are, and explain why you’ve approached that recruiter in particular: “If someone says they’ve been referred to me by someone I know and respect, I will sit up and pay attention,” says Branthover. “The same applies if they say they’ve learned that I mentor women and that this is something they’re interested in too.”
In other words, when you’re writing a cover letter to a recruiter, you need to know who you’re writing to. Use this introductory paragraph to address them in person. Flattery will get you everywhere.
Banking cover letter template – the selling yourself second paragraph. ‘Why you?’
The second paragraph is usually harder. This is where you need to start selling yourself, expressing your personality, and explaining why you’re such a hot catch. Don’t use bland and empty phrases like, “I am a determined, motivated person.” Do look at the key words and skills used to describe the job you’re applying for and (without too obviously reiterating the ad) explain how you match them. Focus on the results and on outcomes you’ve achieved in similar situations in the past. You need to be specific and you need to bring yourself to life.
If you’re writing a cover letter to accompany a graduate application, McLean says you can use the second paragraph to talk about what you’ve studied and how it’s relevant. If you’ve studied finance and know how to do a DCF, now’s the time to mention that. If you haven’t studied finance but have good relationship management skills and you want to work in M&A (a relationship-focused business), say that here. Provide EVIDENCE for the skills you’re claiming to have.- List any awards you’ve won. Never, ever, make empty statements.
Banking cover letter template – the motivational third paragraph. ‘Why this job (in this sector?)’
If you’re an experienced hire applying through a recruiter or applying directly to a bank, this is where you explain why you want the job you’re applying for. If you’re a student applying for a first job, this is why you need to explain why you want this job and why you want to work in this sector. Be specific – you’ll need to know about the job and the sector before you start this section.
As a student, you’ll need to link your skills back to your motivation for working in that area of banking above others, says McLean. Why M&A? Why not sales and trading? Why not compliance? – If you want to work in operations, for example, explain how you have a passion for building systems and improving efficiency, as evidenced by your system for serving customers in your weekend job…
Banking cover letter template – the flattering fourth paragraph. ‘Why this bank?’
The fourth paragraph is all about explaining why you want to work for that particular bank. Again, you need to be specific. McLean says graduates often copy and paste from banks’ own websites. For example, it’s not unheard of for them to write, “I want to work for Goldman Sachs because you have 170 locations across 90 cities in over 30 countries.” This will get you nowhere.
The other ex-Goldman Sachs recruiter we spoke to said she particularly looked for, “creativity and effort and writing about Goldman Sachs,” when running through students’ cover letters. People were expected to say exactly why they wanted to work for Goldman rather than, say, J.P. Morgan.
Instead of just reiterating what you’ve read on banks’ websites, therefore, you need to cite some unusual reasons for choosing that bank that will make you stand out. If you’re a student, it helps to say that you’ve met some of the banks’ staff and were impressed by them. Citigroup, for example, suggests that student cover letters reference encounters with the bank’s staff at recruitment events. – Make a note of the staff you meet and explain what they said or did that impressed you, and what made you think you’d like to work with them.
Mark Hatz, a former M&A associate at Goldman Sachs and Perella Weinberg Partners who now helps people get jobs in banking, says stressing your rapport with people you’ve met from the firm is particularly important when you’re applying for a job in M&A or capital markets: “These are advisory businesses and they want to see that you can build a rapport and work in a team. If you get the job, you’ll also be spending a lot of hours in the office with these people, so showing you like them is very important.”
It also helps to reference the bank’s strategy, to mention any awards the bank won, and to cite any conversations you’ve had with or comments you’ve read from other industry professionals and analysts who’ve given concrete reasons why it’s good place to work. Everything in this section needs to be positive. – You need to explain why you want to work for Deutsche Bank specifically without writing anything that denigrates its rivals. The more senior you are, the more you will need to reference solid strategy points at this stage.
“Show a grasp of where they are going, what the plan is and why this appeals to you,” says McLean. Show that you know their strategy and that you agree with the way they’re addressing challenges.
Banking cover letter template – the call to action
Finally, you need to end the cover letter with a call to action. McLean suggests completing the letter with the following sentence: “I really look forward to hearing from you. I am available for interview and contactable by X.’
Simple. Except all of this has to be written in 750 words – or just 300 if you’re a student applying to Goldman Sachs. It’s not so easy after all.
by Sarah Butcher- This article first appeared on eFinancialCareers.
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