I have written numerous articles and reports on writing resumes that both attract and keep the attention of the interviewers who have to read them. The resume by itself may be enough when you are following through with a job opportunity application. What do you do, however, when you are applying cold to a number of finance organizations or banks? It is always advisable to include a cover letter with your resume.
How do you go about writing an investment banking cover letter that gets read?
From my own experience in consulting with large blue chip organizations on recruitment and selection I know that these top companies receive lots of CV’s and accompanying letters on a daily basis. The finance sector is no different in this respect. The problem is that department heads and HR do not have the time to spend reading every word on every page on every CV and cover letter that is submitted. So what can you do to make sure that you at least stand a chance that yours is one of the ones that will be read?
Keep it short, relevant and logical.
If busy recruiters are put off by the sheer length of your cover letter or start to lose interest, it is highly unlikely that they will continue reading it or even look at your CV.
Remember, the person who opens your application doesn’t know you and can’t relate to you or the hundreds of other applications. Your objective quite simply is to concisely and succinctly tell the recruiter who you are, what you have accomplished, and why he or she will benefit from talking to you. You are encouraging them to take the time to read your resume or CV where you can expand on the important and salient points you have made in your investment banking cover letter.
Stay focused when writing your cover letter. Only include information that is relevant to the investment bank and your application. Anything else will be regarded as a distraction, irrelevant and, again, may put off the reader from reading anything else you have to say.
Likewise, the flow of your investment banking cover letter should be logical. The reader will not want to have to go back and reread part of it. Follow my suggested flow of who, what and why. As I have stated earlier, these are busy people and will have little patience especially when facing a pile of CV’s and investment banking cover letters.
So keep it short and relevant. And remember – Who, What and Why.