Finance Cover Letter Tips

Financial Analyst Cover Letter Sample 1:

I am writing to express my interest in the Financial Analyst position you have posted. My attached resume highlights my broad range of experience and qualifications that closely align with the position description.

My accumulated experiences focus on my ability to gather data from a range of sources and apply that information to developing plans for both the short and long term in a variety of business segments. My work has included interacting with all levels in an organization, providing timely updates on key trending data, anticipating changes that may be needed to accomplish goals and utilization of a variety of software tools that have included advanced use of Excel and proprietary report-writing software.

In my position as Senior Financial Analyst Modeling & Planning, Treasury & Risk Management, at Cardinal Red University I was responsible for the development and use of a ten-year financial model used to analyze “what if” scenarios. Additionally, I completed a complex analysis that integrated data from a variety of sources to analyze the financial performance of each major offered by the university. This work took advantage of my data analysis skills, my ability to interact with the senior managers of the university, my ability to think strategically and anticipate the future needs of the university, my ability to work with very detailed data while keeping an eye on the bigger picture and having the skill to develop and give succinct, informational and actionable presentations. Cardinal Red University is undergoing a need for staff reduction and my position has been included in those that are being eliminated.

The position of Financial Analyst is attractive to me because it does require excellent analytical and thinking skills, the ability to communicate and your advertised need of having the ability to “operate effectively in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment”.I would appreciate an opportunity to learn more about your organization and the position of Financial Analyst.

Financial Analyst Cover Letter Sample 2:

I read with great interest your advertisement for a Financial Analyst. This would be a great step forward in my career path as I have accumulated 20 years in the accounting arena. An extensive background as a key member for firms both regionally and nationally, I would be bringing high-level skills as well as the ability and willingness to travel as needed. Working within a high energy, dynamic environment would be a great fit for me as I have been in leadership positions with high visibility. I have attached my resume and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this placement. Consider the following as they relate to your industry:

  • Direct involvement with monthly management meetings and compilation of management dashboard analysis.
  • Capital project forecasting, detail revenue and expense planning.
  • Cost/benefit analysis, credit analysis, variance analysis, cash flow analysis, yearly budgeting and forecasting.
  • Extensive work with costing and overhead allocation as well as revenue recognition.
  • Audit coordination and compilation of schedules and work papers.
  • Reporting for internal and external clients.
  • Advanced command of Microsoft packages including Excel, Word, Power Point and Access, QuickBooks, as well as numerous ERP packages.

The attached resume is provided for your review. Excellent references are available upon request. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you during a personal interview.

Financial Analyst Cover Letter Sample 3:

Your posting for a Financial Analyst leads me to believe that you are looking for someone who is analytical and can handle multiple priorities and can demonstrate independent thinking and decision-making skills. For these reasons and more, I believe that I would make an excellent addition to your team.

As my resume indicates, I received my Bachelors Degree in Finance in August of 1999. I have working experience with all aspects of accounting, which include, but are not limited to, tax preparation, customer service & problem resolution, budgeting, financial analysis, general ledger, account reconciliations, payroll, accounts receivable and payable, and financial report creation. I have also performed bookkeeping duties for several business clients, and have an extensive working experience with a variety of accounting and business software programs. I strongly believe that my academic coursework and accounting experience would make me an outstanding candidate for the Financial Analyst opportunity with your organization!

Salary requirements are negotiable as I prefer a “quality of life” aspect that I feel that many others do not appreciate. I would be very much interested in setting up a time to speak with you personally to learn more about your business and objectives and discuss ways in which I feel that I could help you fulfill those objectives.

Financial Analyst Cover Letter Sample 4:

With nearly ten years of Financial Analyst experience and an educational background in Business Management and Corporate Finance, I am a strong problem solver and I know that I could deliver superior results as a Financial Analyst with your company. It is with great interest that I am submitting my resume in consideration for your Financial Analyst position.

The strategy, management, and collaboration skills gained through my MBA from the University of Southern California, combined with the problem solving, analytical, and project management skills acquired through my current employer will directly benefit my work as a Financial Analyst. The coursework has both deepened and broadened my skill set, and I’ve already begun leveraging it as an analyst managing multiple priorities against hard deadlines.

Ultimately, there are three things you can count on:

  • I will take the initiative and be forward-leaning. I am results oriented.
  • I consider risk carefully but am not risk averse.
  • I am highly motivated, hardworking, and high performing.

I place the utmost importance on high moral standards and upholding integrity. I have consistently received outstanding formal and informal feedback on my job performance and impact, from peers and management alike, and a recent evaluation of record stated that I was “arguably one of the highest performing analysts in the company.” My track record is a reflection of my ability to achieve measurable, high-quality results as a leader and teammate across varying assignments and in varying capacities, and I believe my resume reflects this. I am very enthusiastic about this opportunity and seek to continue my successful track record in this new capacity. I have a lot to offer to the clients of your team, and know that my employment with your company would be mutually beneficial. I can be reached at the email address and phone number listed above. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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A 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:

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.

Overall

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 johnsmith@fake.com. 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’s a slightly different but also good templates you could use:

More questions? Ask away.

Still Need More Help?

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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.

FIND OUT MORE

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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