So, you are applying for the investment banking job of your dreams and you’re just about ready to submit your resume. You stop for a moment and ask yourself: is a cover letter really necessary to complete my application? Some investment bankers skim the surface when it comes to cover letters. So, why do I need one?
In short? You should always include a cover letter with any job application.
This is especially true if you’re a recent graduate from a master’s program and received good grades throughout. Your cover letter is your opportunity to impress your future boss with tales of straight As and highlights of your experience that will give them the confidence they need to consider you as the perfect candidate for the job. There is a very particular formula to follow when writing a cover letter for a potential job in investment banking. If you haven’t considered this formula in your first draft, take a look at the following points and be sure to incorporate them into your final version.
One of the main components of your cover letter should be the introduction. While it might be a bit difficult to brag about yourself, this is your opportunity to let your best traits enter the spotlight. Your introduction should be a short, one-paragraph section that talks about who you are and why your future employers will care about you.
The key points to mention in this section include:
- Your school and your major
- Your total GPA
- What led you to apply for this specific position with this specific firm
Talk about yourself as genuinely as possible and let the firm know that you are passionate about this position and about this company in particular.
Experience and Activities
Next, you want the body of the cover letter to highlight your experiences and explain why it makes you the ideal candidate for the job. This should be two to three paragraphs long. Connect your experiences with relevant banking skills that will show your prospective how confident you are to start your career in the investment banking world.
Connect your previous work experience to how you have used valuation or financial modeling to solve a problem. Connect this to any previous college clubs and groups you’ve been a part of as well. Did you take a certification exam? Did you enter a program to earn you more experience or recognition in a certain skill? Make sure you let the investment banking firm know exactly where you got your experience and how it is connected to this particular job.
It’s time to tie your wonderfully written cover letter together with one final concluding paragraph. A simple paragraph of a few sentences will do. Wrap it up by reminding the firm how interested you are in working with them, how passionate you are about the field, and why you are best suited for the position. Make sure to let them know that you have attached your resume should they wish to inquire further about your experience and skills. Be sure to include your contact information and let them know that you are available at any time for an interview.
Writing a cover letter is a huge part of the overall hiring process. Once you’ve read, proofread, edited, and reread your letter, you are ready to send it out along with your resume. Not everyone writes a cover letter, so just having one already gives you a leg up on the competition. The key to a good investment banking firm interview is having plenty of preparation and confidence.