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Investment Banking Cover Letter Example

Do you have a mind for numbers? If you want to get into the world of finance, you need a well-written investment banking cover letter. Read our guide to get it right.
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Investment Banking Cover Letter Example
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You’re the person in the know — the Big Cheese. As an investment banker, you let your analytical mind and strong expertise lead the way. You’re confident when it comes to helping clients raise the capital they need to expand their businesses. You have a way with numbers, and you’re not afraid to share it with the right people. If that sounds right, you might need an investment banking cover letter to take your next step on the career ladder. 

Chances are, you have a wealth of experience and skills you’re ready to shout about. However, cover letter real estate is limited. You need to keep this letter to one page, or around 300 words. That can be a tall order, especially when you’ve got a lot to say. 

Here at Resume.io, we have everything you need to help accelerate your job search. We offer expert-backed writing guides, 180+ cover letter examples, and a whole host of templates too. Within this writing guide, and the cover letter example, we will break down: 

  • How to select the best format for your investment banking cover letter
  • How to boost the impact of each section (header, greeting, intro, body, and conclusion)
  • What approach and tone you should take when writing your cover letter
  • The basic mistakes you need to know about and avoid here.

Best format for an investment banking cover letter

Before you can start working on your investment banking cover letter, you need to know how the structure works. Luckily, there are some key sections that it should include. The format of an investment banking cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting/salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

Sticking to this cover letter format is the best way to go. Put simply, it stops you from writing a rambling letter that seems to have no point. As you work your way through the cover letter, tick off each of the parts we have highlighted. In the next part of this guide, we will offer expert advice on what you can include in each of the above sections too. 

Of course, should you want more in-depth details on how to perfectly pitch your application, you can read our comprehensive cover letter guide now. Making sure that your letter captures the interest and imagination of a hiring manager has never been easier. 

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Mr. East, 

 

My early career as an investment banking analyst has taught me the essentials of value investing, equity research, and financial modeling of positions. I have worked on 20 accounts over the past three years. My work on the Jenkins valuation concluded that it was 45% undervalued and we made $12.5m on the resultant trade. 

 

Following my degree in computer science, I have embraced the latest AI predictive technologies in my work and collaborated on the award-winning Lastwell project. My extensive input on the $750m Killigan M&A was centered around AI analysis of business synergies that resulted in up to 20% efficiency savings in some areas. 

 

I have significant experience with IPOs, supporting initializations for 10+ technology companies to varying degrees. I was mainly involved with the risk management desk, creating models that underpinned their strategy propositions. I completed my MBA whilst working on the HalTech IPO, with my dissertation written in collaboration with their Financial Director. 

 

I am excited at the prospect of joining the Mulling team as you have an excellent reputation for developing your analysts – particularly in the international area. I speak fluent Arabic and would love to work on your growing Middle East desk. Cultural appreciation is vital to building lasting relationships and I know that my background will prove an asset to you. 

 

I look forward to the potential of an interview to hear more about your analyst program. Your head of L&D Sarah Fuller is a previous colleague and has been encouraging me to apply for a while. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Mark Braceton

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Cover letter header

The cover letter heading sits at the top of the page when you’re writing your application. It should include your name, email, and phone number. While this is hardly the most enthralling part of the document, it plays an important role. If a hiring manager is wowed by your application (and they should be!), they will want to get in touch with you quickly. 

Displaying your contact details front and center makes that simple for them. Ensure that this information is clear and easy to read. As a golden rule, you should use a plain font in a legible size. That way, the reader should have no problem gaining the details they need. 

Cover letter greeting 

If you’re applying for a role in the world of investment banking, you should know your stuff. When it comes to the cover letter greeting, it’s best practice to use the hiring manager’s full name. You may already know who is recruiting for the position. If that is not clear on the job advert or LinkedIn post, you might need to grab your detective’s hat and get to work. When you have the name, write it as follows in the letter: “Dear Mr. Smittons.”

Of course, there will be some cases when the hiring manager’s name remains a mystery. Should that happen, you need to avoid the cliche of “To whom it may concern.” That won’t do you any favors.  Instead, go for a more specialized approach, e.g. “Dear [company] team.” You want to make it clear that this is a tailored cover letter, not just a generic one.

Cover letter introduction 

Once you have greeted the hiring manager, the next step is to write your hook. The introduction of your cover letter should pique the reader’s interest. So, what is it that sets you apart from other candidates? Put your best foot forward. Take a moment to consider what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is and highlight it in your opening lines. 

There are a few routes you can choose here. For example, you may want to focus on the fact that you have experience working in a similar setting. Alternatively, you could switch your attention to the expert training you have received or any specialist qualifications. 

If possible, you should quantify your experiences. For instance, you might say that you “deliver client results with 99.9% accuracy” — rather than just saying you “deliver results.” You will be going up against a wide array of eligible candidates. For that reason, you should do everything you can to differentiate yourself from the rest of the talent pool. For inspiration, check out our investment banking cover letter example.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mr. East, 

 

My early career as an investment banking analyst has taught me the essentials of value investing, equity research, and financial modeling of positions. I have worked on 20 accounts over the past three years. My work on the Jenkins valuation concluded that it was 45% undervalued and we made $12.5m on the resultant trade. 

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Cover letter middle part (body) 

The middle paragraphs of cover letters are where the magic happens. By now, you should have already sparked interest in the reader’s mind. It’s time to use your best storytelling to explain why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Since you are applying for a highly professional and sought-after role, be sure to use a formal and mature tone throughout. 

Don’t make the mistake of simply regurgitating your resume — the hiring manager will have access to that. Instead, in these paragraphs, use the opportunity to state your case. You may choose to expand upon the experience listed in your resume or focus on the achievements you have gained over the years. You may choose to share work-based anecdotes that add color to your experience while also demonstrating your core abilities. 

When you have covered the above, you may also want to delve into what drives you. What made you decide to become an investment banker? What aspirations do you have for the future? Showing the reader that you are passionate about this sector may win you points.

On a fundamental level, you need to make it clear that you would fit right into the business. If you have done your research — about both the opening and the bank — you will be able to tailor your cover letter accordingly. Be crystal clear about what it is you have to bring to the business and how you envision that working out. Go ahead and paint a picture. 

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

Following my degree in computer science, I have embraced the latest AI predictive technologies in my work and collaborated on the award-winning Lastwell project. My extensive input on the $750m Killigan M&A was centered around AI analysis of business synergies that resulted in up to 20% efficiency savings in some areas. 

 

I have significant experience with IPOs, supporting initializations for 10+ technology companies to varying degrees. I was mainly involved with the risk management desk, creating models that underpinned their strategy propositions. I completed my MBA whilst working on the HalTech IPO, with my dissertation written in collaboration with their Financial Director. 

 

I am excited at the prospect of joining the Mulling team as you have an excellent reputation for developing your analysts – particularly in the international area. I speak fluent Arabic and would love to work on your growing Middle East desk. Cultural appreciation is vital to building lasting relationships and I know that my background will prove an asset to you. 

Copied!

How to close an investment banking cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

When you’ve clearly explained why you’re the right candidate for the job, all that there’s left to do is sign off. You can conclude your cover letter in one or two sentences. These should be strong, confident, and have an air of enthusiasm about them. After all, this is your last chance to show the hiring manager that you are worth a second look. 

Start by affirming that you have the appropriate experience and skills to hit the ground running in this position. You can also include a Call to Action (CTA) directed toward the hiring manager. For example, you may say “I look forward to the prospect of sharing my thoughts with you in a formal interview.” That message shows that you are optimistic about your chances of getting to the next stage while avoiding making any presumptions. 

Another angle is to leave the hiring manager wanting more. For instance, you might say that you can expand on certain ideas during the interview. Keep your sign-off short and succinct. The clearer the message is here, the more likely you are to get an interview.  

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I look forward to the potential of an interview to hear more about your analyst program. Your head of L&D Sarah Fuller is a previous colleague and has been encouraging me to apply for a while. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Mark Braceton

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Investment banking cover letter with no experience

New to investment banking? If you want to dip your toes into this pool, you may worry that you lack experience. While there’s no space to expand upon this on your resume, your cover letter gives you some creative freedom. Here are some tips to consider: 

  • Focus on your education and any training you have undertaken
  • Delve into why you want to become an investment banker
  • Touch upon your transferable skills from prior work positions
  • Include anecdotes that demonstrate your understanding of finances
  • Stress that you have a willingness to learn and develop yourself
  • Mention any extracurricular activities that align with the sector

Breaking into this sector can be tough. However, you can use your cover letter to persuade a hiring manager to take a chance on you, despite your lack of experience.  

Basic mistakes in an investment banking application letter (and how to avoid them)

If you’ve read the rest of our writing guide, you should be in a decent position to start working on your cover letter. Nothing should hold you back — least of all silly mistakes. Let’s take a look at some of the basic cover letter errors you need to avoid: 

  • Grammar and spelling mistakes. Before you hit that “send” button, you need to make sure you have proofread the letter. You can also use free software, such as Grammarly, to double-check the document.
  • Using too much jargon! While the hiring manager may be comfortable with the industry terminology, you shouldn’t take this for granted. Whenever possible, ensure that you use plain, clear language to get your message across.
  • Pitching the tone incorrectly. There’s no room for colloquial language or slang here. When you’re writing your cover letter, make sure you are professional at all times.
Ideal length of a cover letter
Ideal length of a cover letter

Key takeaways

  1. Your investment banking cover letter should be no more than one page long. Aim for roughly 300 words and edit down if you have to.
  2. Show the hiring manager that you are a real professional by using formal language.
  3. Wherever possible, highlight examples and anecdotes that highlight your talents.
  4. Optimize your cover letter for the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and beat the bots. Pepper your cover letter with keywords from the original job specification.

Want to give yourself a competitive edge? Getting the look of your application just right is a smart place to start. Take all of the hassle out of this task by using one of our field-tested cover letter templates. The next step on the career ladder could be just a click away. 

If you’re looking for some more inspiration on how to position your application, take a look at our related cover letter examples here: 

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