How to write a finance intern cover letter (with example)

Updated 23 January 2023

If you're entering a career in finance, a good place to start is to complete a finance internship to increase your experience and knowledge in this field. Internships can be an excellent way of experiencing the work you can expect in a full-time role and can highlight a commitment to working in that particular industry. Understanding what makes a successful cover letter can help you to secure an internship. In this article, we explain why cover letters are important when applying for an internship, outline how to write a cover letter for a finance internship and look at an example.

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Why are cover letters important when applying for an internship?

Cover letters are an important part of the internship application process as they provide a tailored explanation of why you're the ideal candidate for a particular role. A cover letter provides you with the opportunity to expand on the skills mentioned in your CV while also providing context to your work history. If an internship receives a high volume of applications, a cover letter can be your opportunity to highlight why you're unique and the value you can bring to the organisation.

How to write a finance intern cover letter

If you're looking to write a finance intern cover letter, follow the steps below:

1. Use the recipient's name

In most cases, internships receive a high volume of applications. This means that it's vital to do whatever you can to stand out during the initial screening process. One important thing you can do to boost your chances of success is to use an appropriate greeting.

Many internship applicants use a generic greeting, such as 'Dear Sir/Madam', especially if these individuals are applying for multiple internships. By addressing the recipient of the cover letter by name, you can demonstrate your diligence and a personable approach. You can usually work out who receives the letter by seeing if they're mentioned in the job listing or by looking on the organisation's website.

Related: How to write an internship cover letter (with examples)

2. Introduce yourself

A great way to quickly highlight some of your positives is to introduce yourself with a brief overview. This provides the person that's screening the applications with an idea of who you are, the position you're applying for and any experience you have. The easiest way to do this is to state your name and the position for which you're applying. At this stage, it's worth mentioning either your educational history or current position.

Example: My name is Lucy Smith, a 2:1 finance graduate from Aston University in Birmingham. I'm writing to you regarding the internship vacancy that this business currently has in its finance department. I believe I'd be an excellent choice for this internship.

3. Mention the position

It's also vital to mention the position you're applying for in your cover letter. Large organisations may have multiple internship opportunities, alongside full-time vacancies, and can receive a high volume of cover letters daily. Mentioning the position early can save the recipient time and improve your chances of making it past the initial screening process as you've instantly taken their schedule into account. Taking this approach also shows that you've tailored the cover letter specifically to the role and you're not simply sending a standard template to as many businesses as possible.

4. Outline your skills

The ideal cover letter supports your CV by persuading the recipient that you're suitable for the role. Your skills play an important role in this persuasion and represent what makes you stand out in a competitive job market. The nature of a cover letter means it's much more suited to longer explanations of how your skills can provide value to the organisation during an internship. Remember, there may be other finance professionals with similar backgrounds or qualifications applying for the internship, so detail any unique characteristics you have.

Highlighting your soft skills in the cover letter is a way of demonstrating your strengths over other candidates. Transferable skills, such as communication and organisation, can be important in the finance industry, as these roles typically involve managing high volumes of client interaction and engagement. You may also wish to highlight previous work experience where you demonstrated your critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Example: I've consistently demonstrated a high level of motivation and analytical and critical thinking skills during my education. In my last year of university, my research project on foreign investment in the finance sector received high praise from my tutors as an insightful look into a broad subject. By presenting this project to my peers, I demonstrated my skills as a capable communicator by discussing a complex subject in simple terms.

Related: 10 best skills to include on a CV

5. Tailor your cover letter to the company you're applying for

While your cover letter is important for highlighting your personal skills, it's also vital to mention the organisation and the position that you're applying for in more detail. By interlinking the two subjects, you can give context to why your skills are ideal for this particular role. Before writing your cover letter, make sure that you carefully read the job description to determine an ideal candidate's desirable traits and experiences. If you have these skills, mention them in the cover letter directly.

It can also be a good idea to check the company's website before applying. This way, you can learn more about the organisation's values and what they expect from their employees. If you notice that the company has hit certain milestones, such as large acquisitions or office moves, you can mention this in the cover letter to show a genuine interest.

Example: As per the job description requirements, I graduated with a finance degree and have completed modules on financial modelling and investment banking with top grades. I'm very excited about the prospect of joining [name of company] at a time of growth, which I discovered after reading about your offices moving to a new commercial space in the city centre. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for [name of company] and everyone that works there.

6. Mention what you'd like to gain from the internship

Some internships aren't paid and instead provide the opportunity to gain work experience and develop industry knowledge. This means that it's helpful to highlight what you're looking to gain from the position. You can use the job description or advertisement to offer more detail about this, particularly how the responsibilities mentioned may help you further your career.

Example: I'm excited at the potential to learn more about investment banking and how the sector operates daily. I enjoyed the investment banking module at university and I'm keen to see how market challenges, client demands and risk modelling affects the industry in the real world. I feel that [name of company] can provide me with this experience in an exciting and fast-growing environment.

Related: 13 key internship benefits (including useful skills)

7. End the letter on a polite note

Once your cover letter is complete, thank the recipient for considering you and include some contact details to reiterate how they can reach you. You may also decide to reinforce why you're the ideal candidate for the role, but this is best done on a discretionary basis. When ending your letter, determine whether this is appropriate or if your previous writing is compelling enough.

Example: Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Lucy Smith

8. Proofread your cover letter

This is a very key part of the process. Before you send a cover letter, read the entire contents to ensure that you haven't missed any vital points you initially wanted to provide. Consider how persuasive your cover letter is and whether the tone you've used is appropriate for the company or position for which you're applying.

Once you're happy with the overall structure of the letter, check it for spelling and grammar errors. It's recommended that a cover letter is, at most, one page in length and contains concise paragraphs. Additionally, ensure that it's properly formatted and your contact details are correct. It can be a good idea to wait a while after you finish writing before proofreading so you can look at it with a fresh perspective.

Finance intern cover letter example

Below is an example of a cover letter for a finance internship:

Dear Mr Nightingale,

My name is Lucy Smith and I'm a finance graduate from Aston University in Birmingham. I'm writing to you to express my interest in the investment banking internship at [name of organisation] as I believe I'm an ideal candidate for the position.

After passing my undergraduate degree with a 2:1, I'm confident in the skills that I've developed, which include my technical understanding and interpersonal abilities. As per the job requirements, I've completed both my financial modelling and investment banking modules with top grades. I'm particularly interested to learn more about investment banking in the real world and how your recent headquarters expansion into the city centre can accelerate the growth of your investment department. I'm also eager to understand how risk, client demands and market factors play a part in investment banking, alongside how my education applies to real-life scenarios.

The prospect of this internship is very exciting and I'd like to thank you in advance for considering my application.

Kind regards,
Lucy Smith


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