Crafting an investment banking cover letter is the first transaction with a potential employer. This is your chance to showcase your expertise in handling complex financial transactions, such as IPOs, mergers, and acquisitions.
In fact, your cover letter serves as your initial “IPO,” showcasing the unique value you bring to the fast-paced world of high finance. It’s not just a box to check; it’s your chance to rise above the noise in a competitive field.
Stay with us as we walk you through crafting an investment banking cover letter that gets you in the door for an interview.
Limit your cover letter to one concise page, prioritizing readability with a straightforward design.
Begin with an engaging introduction that sparks interest and conclude with a compelling call to action for the hiring manager.
Adapt your investment banking cover letter to emphasize how your skills and experience specifically fulfill the job description.
Scrutinize your letter for typos or inaccuracies, ensuring that it’s as polished as a professional portfolio.
Investment Banking Cover Letter Format
To make a solid impression, you must use a suitable format when crafting an investment banking cover letter with no experience. Just like how investment bankers pay meticulous attention to every financial detail in an IPO or a merger, your cover letter should also reflect an organized, thoughtful approach.
With that in mind, here is a short overview of all the things your investment banking cover letter should contain:
Cover Letter Format
Place your personal details in the cover letter heading for easy identification.
Start with a formal greeting to establish a professional tone.
Divide the main body of your cover letter into three sections: an introduction, a qualifications and experience section, and a closing section with a call to action.
Conclude your letter with a formal sign-off and farewell.
(optional) Add a postscript to spotlight a standout skill or achievement, especially if you’re writing an entry-level investment banking cover letter.
Hiring managers in the investment banking sector get a lot of cover letters, which is why most of them just skim through a lot of these. So, to ensure you stand out, keep it short—limit your document to a single page.
The optimal length of your cover letter should be between 250 and 400 words, encompassing around 3 to 5 well-crafted paragraphs.
Additionally, you should use a readable font, such as Arial or Calibri, a font size of 10-12pts, and 1-inch margins on all sides with line spacing of 1.0. This is going to ensure that your cover letter is formatted professionally.
Investment Banking Cover Letter Structure
Now that you are familiar with the intricacies of formatting and layout of your investment banking cover letter, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of it!
The heading of your cover letter serves as your introduction to the hiring manager. It should contain essential contact information such as your name, professional designation, phone number, and email address.
Additional but optional elements include social media handles (such as your LinkedIn profile), your mailing address, or your business website.
You should also place the recipient’s information, including their name, role, and the investment banking firm they represent, into the header. Whenever possible, directly address the hiring manager to demonstrate your attention to detail.
Rounding out your heading, make sure to place the date you sent the letter.
Here’s a quick illustration of what this section should look like:
Jessica Williams Investment banker 123 Wall Street New York, NY 10005 555-555-5555 email@example.com
New York, 09/15/2023 Jack Quaid Head of Recruitment Goldman Sachs 200 West Street New York, NY 10282
The greeting in your cover letter should be both concise and courteous. Typically, “Dear [Hiring manager’s name] will suffice. If, however, you’re unable to determine the hiring manager’s name, using their title is an acceptable alternative.
The introduction section is probably the most important part of your cover letter. It sets the stage for what’s to come and serves as an opportunity to convey why you are the right person for the job quickly.
In this section, you can quickly mention a few of your most compelling attributes that directly relate to the demands of an investment banker position, as well as a few soft skills. If you navigate this section correctly, you will give the hiring manager a reason to continue reading.
A good example of an introduction looks like this:
Dear [Hiring Manager]
I’m writing with great enthusiasm to apply for the Junior Investment Banker position at [Company Name]. I believe that my experience as an intern focusing on mergers and acquisitions at [Previous Company Name] has provided me with a deep understanding of the deal structure, due diligence processes, and financial modeling, making me an excellent choice for this position.
#4. Skills, Qualifications, & Experiences
This section is most likely going to be the longest in your cover letter. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stuff it with everything you’ve ever done and learned. This section should expand upon your qualifications in a manner that complements—rather than duplicates—your banker resume.
Begin by outlining your most significant and relevant accomplishments. Did you assist in a major transaction or maybe excel in risk analysis? If you can, provide specific examples that demonstrate your expertise and abilities.
Next, you want to delve into the skills that align directly with the job description. If the role requires proficiency in specific platforms or hard skills such as using Bloomberg Terminals or financial modeling programs, you should mention your experience with these.
This approach will illustrate both your knowledge and your enthusiasm about the role you’re applying for.
Here’s what it can look like:
During my position at Company XYZ, I have managed projects ranging from multi-million-dollar mergers to advising startups on going public. Furthermore, my background in navigating complex financial transactions and advising clients on investment strategy, including risk assessment, makes me well-suited for this role.
Moreover, I am skilled at using a variety of analytical tools and financial models to advise clients on financial strategies and IPO launches.
#5. Why You’re Applying For This Position
Mentioning what drew you to the company in your cover letter shows you’ve done your research and that you realized that the company’s goals align with your goals. This small detail can make your application stand out to hiring managers.
Here’s an example:
I am drawn to the Investment Banker role at Golden Sachs due to the firm’s unparalleled reputation for innovation and leadership within the financial industry. The opportunity to contribute to such a high-caliber team would be a significant career milestone for me.
#6. Call to Action
A compelling call to action should convey your genuine enthusiasm about the position to the hiring manager, as well as let them know you are available for discussion. Therefore, in this section, you should thank the hiring manager for considering your application and make it clear you’re eager to further discuss the matter with them.
An example of a call to action for an investment banking cover letter should sound like this:
I appreciate your consideration of my application and look forward to the chance to delve deeper into how my skills and experience can contribute to your company’s objective. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.
#7. Closure & Sign Off
The closure and sign-off sections should be short and sweet. Simply saying Best regards, followed by your name, is going to suffice.
However, following your sign-off, you may want to consider adding an optional postscript. We must note that this is only appropriate if you have enough space and if you have something really important to mention, so choose what you write carefully.
Investment Banking Cover Letter Example
Now that we’ve explained everything there is about writing an investment banking cover letter, it’s time to show a specific example:
6 Pro Tips for Creating an Investment Banking Cover Letter
Now, we are going to give you a few tips that can help you optimize your cover letter to perfection:
Tips to Write an Investment Banking Cover Letter
Showcase industry-specific skills: Given the competitive nature of investment banking, use your cover letter to highlight specific skills like financial modeling, deal structuring, or risk analysis.
Mention relevant transactions: If you have experience with IPOs, M&As, or any other key investment banking transactions, make sure to mention it. It will demonstrate your hands-on experience in the field.
Polish and proofread: Always triple-check your cover letter for grammatical errors, typos, or inconsistencies. A polished cover letter indicates attention to detail, which is crucial in investment banking.
Tailor the document to the company’s culture: Goldman Sachs and other leading investment banks often have specific work cultures and sets of values. Adapting your letter so that it reflects that you fit well within this culture can be a subtle yet effective strategy to get in.
Be concise but impactful: Keep your cover letter brief, but pack it with substance. Use quantitative metrics if possible.
Avoid sensitive information: It’s unprofessional to include salary expectations or reasons for leaving your last job unless explicitly asked to do so.
A great investment banking cover letter needs to be well-balanced, showcasing a diverse set of skills and experiences while targeting the specific opportunities that the employer is presenting. If you design it with precision, it will serve as your strategic roadmap to not just meet but exceed the marketing expectations of your potential employer.
Creating an impactful investment banking cover letter doesn’t have to be a gamble. By using this guide, you’re setting yourself up for long-term career growth with high-yield results in the near term.
Best of luck in your career pursuits, and may you continue to strategize, optimize, and capitalize in the fast-paced world of investment banking for years to come.