How to write an investment banking cover letter

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 6 October 2022

Published 30 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Cover letters are an opportunity to give context to your CV as part of your application. Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter that explains how your experience is a good fit for the company. A well-written investment banking cover letter can help your application stand out. In this article, we'll explain why a cover letter is important for investment banking roles, how to write one and provide you with a template and examples.

Is an investment banking cover letter important?

An investment banking cover letter is important because it's a competitive field and provides an important opportunity to help your application get noticed. Cover letters are particularly important if you're returning to the field after a period of time away or if you're looking to enter the industry for the first time.

Your investment banking cover letter can also help to provide context if the company you're currently working in is very different or if you're applying from another country. In these cases, the recruiter is likely to want to know what your motivation is for making a change in career direction, so your cover letter is your opportunity to explain this.

Related: How to apply for overseas jobs: a comprehensive guide

How to write a cover letter for an investment banking role

Here are the key steps to follow:

1. Start with a greeting

Use the recruiter's name if you can. You can often find the recruiter's name in the job ad, or you can call a contact number if one is provided and ask who you should address the letter to. If you can't obtain a name to address it to, you can use 'Dear hiring manager' instead.

2. Decide on a structure

Planning out what you want to say and how you want to say it helps you to keep focused. Collate the information you want to include, such as the recruiter's name and title and a list of your achievements chosen for their relevance to this particular role. Once you have the list, consider which achievement you're most proud of and lead with that.

Related: How To Structure a Cover Letter

3. Use data to showcase your achievements

Delivering tangible results is one of the most important elements of a role in investment banking. Here, more than in many other roles, it's a good idea to include data that demonstrates your past achievements. If you're entering investment banking for the first time, try to describe your related experience and education and use data to illustrate your achievements where possible.

4. Match your experience with the job description

The role and person descriptions in the job ad usually have a list of responsibilities and skills that the employer is looking for. Your cover letter is your opportunity to explain clearly how the experience on your CV is a good fit for the role. This is where cover letters can add value because you have an opportunity to describe in more detail what you did and why you enjoyed it, so spend time choosing the right examples.

Related: Common Investment Banking Interview Questions

5. Explain how you're a good fit for the company

Recruiters are looking to hire someone who is a good fit for the company's culture. This is the place to explain how your values align with the company. If you don't know the company's reputation, vision, mission or values, take the time to research online. Most companies have this information readily available on their websites.

Related: Types of organisational culture (with definitions)

6. Explain your motivation for applying (optional)

This paragraph is where you can explain your motivation for applying for the role. This is especially helpful if you've been out of the industry for a while or are applying for your first role in investment banking. You don't necessarily need to include this if you have experience in investment banking.

Related: 10 tips for getting back into work after a career break

7. End with a positive message

Use your closing paragraph to convey an upbeat, positive tone and highlight your interest in attending an interview. Doing this may help to leave a good impression on the recruiter. It also demonstrates your enthusiasm for the role.

Related: Business CV samples (and tips for writing a corporate CV)

Investment banking cover letter template

Here is a template you can use to help shape your investment banking cover letter:

[Your name]
[Street address]
[City]
[Postcode]
[Phone number]
[Email address]

[Hiring manager's name]
[Hiring manager's title]
[Company name]
[Company's street address]
[City]
[Postcode]

[Date]

Dear [Hiring manager's name],

Re: Open [job title] role at [company]

With [number of years] experience in investment banking, most recently as [current or most recent job title] at [current or most recent employer's name], I believe I'm an excellent fit for the position of [role you're applying for] at [company you're applying to].

In my current role, I have [enter a major achievement]. Additionally, I have delivered [achievements 1, 2, and 3, choose examples relevant to the role]. As you're looking for someone to [select a key point from the ad], my experience positions me perfectly to deliver this for [company you're applying to].

I have strong [enter skills], coupled with sound [enter more skills] mean I'm confident that I can [deliver achievement].

[Company name] is known in the industry for [specify], and my experience in [specify] aligns neatly with these values.

I would enjoy the opportunity to further discuss how my skills and experience could help [company name] in an interview, and I very much hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

[your name]

Related: How to write an open cover letter (with a template)

Example of an investment banking cover letter with experience

Here's an example of a cover letter for someone with experience in investment banking:

Joe Bloggs
14 Random Street
London
W12 3AB
012 3456 7890
Joe.bloggs@email.com

Jane Belafonte
Recruitment manager
ABC Bank
21 Chancery Lane
London
EC1A 1AB

23 July 2022

Dear Jane,

Re: Open Investment Associate role at ABC Bank

With five years' experience in investment banking, most recently as an associate at XYZ bank, I believe I'm an excellent fit for the open role at ABC Bank.

In the past two years, I have delivered an investment strategy for a FTSE 100 company, managing 3bn in assets and delivering returns greater than 11%. Additionally, during my time at XYZ Bank, I have played a lead role in delivering four M&A deals, delivered monthly reports on portfolio performance for the executive committee, and led a team of three analysts. As you're looking for someone to hit the ground running with a focus on M&A, I feel my experience positions me perfectly to deliver this for ABC Bank.

My strong understanding of financial analysis software and proven track record, coupled with my sound people and managerial skills, means I'm confident that I can work with your sales and trading teams brilliantly on live deal executions.

ABC Bank is known in the industry for its culture of diversity, collaboration, and respect, values which I have worked to embed in my team. Meanwhile, my experience as a champion of several diversity groups is something I've enjoyed immensely and would be keen to continue.

I would enjoy the opportunity to further discuss how my skills and experience could help ABC Bank in an interview, and I very much hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Bloggs

Example of a cover letter for an investment banking internship

Here's an example of a cover letter for someone who is applying for an investment banking internship:

Joe Bloggs
14 Random Street
London
W12 3AB
012 3456 7890
Joe.bloggs@email.com

Jane Belafonte
Recruitment manager
ABC Bank
21 Chancery Lane
London
EC1A 1AB

23 July 2022

Dear Jane,

Re: Open Investment Analyst Intern role at ABC Bank

As a final year economics student, I recently attended your stall at the University of Portsmouth careers fair. I very much enjoyed meeting the team and would love to build my career at ABC Bank.

I have known from a young age that I wanted a career in investment banking and have explored various options, completing an insights programme for first-year students at Blaze Bank, and a secondary school work experience placement at John Soanes Investors. Having gained this experience, I would now like to take the next step in a larger organisation.

I am predicted to graduate with first-class honours and have an excellent record of academic achievement, with four A* A-levels and 8 A* and 2 A grades at GCSE level. Throughout my time at Portsmouth University, I have worked in the Office of the Treasurer for the Students' Union, providing financial guidance for various student bodies.

I'm an active participant in many groups and particularly enjoy participating in the students' choir, demonstrating the team player skills you are looking for.

An opportunity to complete the intern programme at ABC Bank would be a dream come true for me, and I am confident that my outstanding financial and economic analysis skills, as evidenced throughout my academic career, would be an asset to your company.

I very much hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Bloggs

Disclaimer: Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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