If you want to have a successful career in banking but still haven’t found the way to get in the industry per se, you should know that adding a cover letter to your job application is important, but knowing if you should write one or not depends on your seniority.
Logan Naidu, the CEO of a London-based financial services recruitment firm, says that writing a cover letter to your application for a job in banking depends on if you are aiming for a graduate or experienced job. “For experienced roles, we rarely look at cover letters. For graduate hires, however, cover letters are very important.”
Obviously, the importance of writing a cover letter in an investment bank can be determined if they request you to submit one. If you’re an experienced banker writing a letter to accompany an application through a recruitment firm, the cover letter will be less important than the CV. But in an industry where the top banks receive so many applications for their graduate jobs, cover letters are a crucial differentiator.
So what makes a cover letter good? The ones that show who you really are! Naidu says: “Which are the personal characteristics that make you particularly suited to this position? You need to show you’re engaged and engaging.”
When you write your cover letter try following this format: Introduction. Why me? Why you? Why this job? In total, the text within the template should be no more than 750 words, or one A4 page, long.
First paragraph: Introduction
The first paragraph is all about explaining why you’re writing. It needs to be short: no more than 35 words in length.
Second Paragraph: Promote yourself – why you?
Focus on results and outcomes. This is where you need to start selling yourself and explaining why you’re such a hot catch for the bank you’re applying to.
Third Paragraph: Motivation – Why this job?
Here you need to explain why exactly you want to do that job. Hint: link your skills back to your motivation. This paragraph is crucial for students or recent graduates.
Fourth Paragraph: Flatter – Why this bank?
The fourth paragraph is all about explaining why you want to work for that particular bank. And again, here you need to be specific. It’s not about copy and pasting what you read in the “about us” section of the bank’s website because that will get you nowhere.
Final Paragraph: Call to action
Conclude your letter expressing that you are looking forward to hear from them (Bank) soon and make sure to add your contact information
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