by Brian DeChesare Comments (242)

The Investment Banking Cover Letter Template You’ve Been Waiting For

the_investment_banking_cover_letterA 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]

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.

Contact Information

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 Thank you very much for your time and consideration.”

Unusual Backgrounds

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.

More Examples

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 are a few examples of slightly different but also good templates you could use:

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.


M&I - Brian

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. Hi,

    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!


    1. We don’t have alternate links, sorry. But the template there wasn’t much different anyway.

  2. 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!

    1. 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.

  3. Thanks for the template. Is it correct to include in the cover letter an entreprise which I am auditing or not?

    1. Sure, you could, but you have to be able to tie that to whatever role(s) you’re applying for.

  4. 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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes this template works for UK applications.

  5. 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!

  6. Hi there,

    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?

    Many thanks!

    1. You can mention them briefly, but you should focus on your current role.

  7. 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!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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]

      1. Thank you Nicole. Should I be putting this explanation in paragraph 2? Or later on in the letter?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          I’d probably list this later in the letter.

  8. 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!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d say Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom It May Concern

  9. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      M&A is fine I believe

  10. 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?

    Thank you!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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”

  11. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  12. What should you do in [Signature]?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’m not sure I understand your question. I’d just insert your signature there.

      1. Upload an image of your handwritten signature?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Yes you can do that. Copy and paste it below “Yours sincerely/Best Regards”

  13. Hi Nicole,

    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?

    Thank you!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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.

  14. King Kong

    Hi Nicole,

    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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes you need to address why you’re switching

      1. King Kong

        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…

        Thank you!

        1. M&I - Nicole

          I’d focus on the positives on why you prefer the other division versus your current one; not what you’re lacking.

  15. 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


    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  16. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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.

  17. Hi,

    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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  18. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  19. 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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      First paragraph – you can just say that you are working at XX bank and have recently graduated from XX school

  20. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d be generic and focus on why finance and how you can make an impact to the firm

  21. How about adding the recommendations from the previous job? Is it worth? Should we add it even if they do not menton about that?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      You can provide recommendations upon request

  22. 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!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes you can include it. Both works.

      1. Thanks!

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Yo’re welcome.

      2. 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.

        1. M&I - Nicole

          Sure I think this shouldn’t be a problem. Yes the HK one should be slightly different – i.e. why HK, why Chinese market

  23. 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

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes it does, or Dear Sir/Madam.

      First paragraph – I’d follow the template on the post

      1. 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?

        1. M&I - Nicole

          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].

  24. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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.”

  25. Wild bill

    Thank you

  26. 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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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)

  27. Harbhajan Singh


    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”)

    ThankX Guys!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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]

      1. Harbhajan Singh

        Hey Nicole,

        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”?

        Thank you.

        1. M&I - Nicole

          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.

  28. 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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Please see

      No, I don’t think you need to include your DOB and list of referees. Maximum length of your resume would be 1 page.

  29. 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,

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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.

  30. 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!

    1. 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.

  31. Hi,

    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

    1. 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):

      1. Thanks Brian,

        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?



        1. I would probably do an even split in that case.

  32. Hi,

    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?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Sure though having this line may be more convincing.

  33. Hi,

    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?

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Dear Sir or Madam / [Name of Recruiter if you have it]

      1. Dear Nicole,

        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?

        Much thanks

        1. M&I - Nicole

          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.

  34. 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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes you can still apply online.

      1. Hi Nicole/Brian,

        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.


        1. 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.

          1. Thanks Brian!

  35. 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?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  36. Hi,

    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. M&I - Nicole

      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

  37. Hi,

    Thanks for the useful resources.

    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.

    This year I’m applying again (I’m currently doing an off cycle M&A internship)

    — Shall I mention I applied last year, and why I like the firm so much

  38. 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!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      Yes, please do that!

  39. Hi!

    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. M&I - Nicole

      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.

  40. 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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  41. 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

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I’d keep your email short, sweet and succinct. Anything longer than that is too much.

  42. 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?

    Thank you.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  43. ErrorFree?

    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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      It depends on whether your reviewer is attentive to details or not!

  44. Hi,

    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!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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

  45. Hi,

    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!

    1. Yes I would explain why you changed your mind in your cover letter and point to a specific person/incident

  46. FrankTheTank

    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…)?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      No, I think you should still use the university where you’ll be graduating

    2. lil'blankfein

      ha frontier market. I am putting where I am an exchange student with the frontier school I attend.

  47. Hi,

    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!

    1. M&I - Nicole

      I don’t think it makes a difference. You could try but reviewers might not necessarily care too much re that

  48. 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?

  49. 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? 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?


    1. M&I - Nicole

      Not necessarily.


  50. Hi,

    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.

    1. M&I - Nicole

      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.

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