7 Tips for Investment Banking Cover Letters

Want to write a good investment banking cover letter in no time? Here are 7 tips for you.

First of all, consider the readers – bankers. They are short of time, short on attention and not in the mood to find out details of your life, as what they want to see are supposed to be listed on your resume…your school, your GPA, your internship. So what should be written on a cover letter and how?

1. Short Strategy. Short cover letters immediately command attention, because bankers can read them in seconds. If you want your investment banking cover letter read, make it readable…make it short.

2. Be Personal. Start with the recruiter’s name (if you have it). Absent that just write “[Bank Name] Recruiting”. Never write “to whom it may concern”.

3. 2-P Strategy (2 paragraphs only). Sounds crazy, but true! Paragraph 1 – “role you are applying” + “Why that bank”. Paragraph 2 is all “About you”. “Short Strategy” again, no lengthy paragraphs and no non-sense please. Finally a “Warm Regards” sign off with your name. And these are all you need.

4. A killer first paragraph. You want to cover who you are, what you’re studying (including school, year, and possibly major), any relevant experience (e.g. IB internship) and what you’re applying for specifically. Wrap up with a mention of a person you know from the bank and why they’ve convinced you this is the bank for you.

5. “Why You” Second (and final!) paragraph. Mention education achievements and any leadership position at college (e.g. IB club leader). Follow up with your major work achievement/experience. Relate both achievements to how they’ve readied you and increased your passion for banking.

6. Make No Mistakes. Bankers love mistakes on your investment banking cover letter, because it means they don’t need to bother scheduling you in for an interview…you’re out. They’ll simply move on to another cover letter, as they have too many letters to read. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you. A fresh set of eyes will always find new problems. You can get your friends, and ideally an actual banker to review your cover letter.

7. No-nonsense Strategy. Avoid “I can start…”, “I want to do IB to learn…” and “I’ll ring you on Thursday to discuss further” …

If you’ve been sending cover letters to investment banks without many responses, imply these 7 strategies and see the results.