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Career Change (Investment Banking) - Please critique my cover letter.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
1/23/2012

J.P. Morgan

Dear Sir or Madame:

I am an ambitious undergraduate at NYU triple majoring in Mathematics, Economics, and Computer Science. I am a punctual, personable, and shrewd individual, yet I have a quality which I pride myself on more than any of these.

I am unequivocally the most unflaggingly hard worker I know, and I love self-improvement. I have always felt that my time should be spent wisely, so I continuously challenge myself; I left Villanova because the work was too easy. Once I realized I could achieve a perfect GPA while holding a part-time job at NYU, I decided to redouble my effort by placing out of two classes, taking two honors classes, and holding two part-time jobs. That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups.

I say these things only because solid evidence is more convincing than unverifiable statements, and I want to demonstrate that I am a hard worker. J.P. Morgan is a firm with a reputation that precedes itself and employees who represent only the best and rightest in finance. I know that the employees in this firm will push me to excellence, especially within the Investment Banking division. In fact, one of the supporting reasons I chose Investment Banking over any other division was that I know it is difficult. I hope to augment my character by diligently working for the professionals at Morgan Stanley, and I feel I have much to offer in return.

I am proficient in several programming languages, and I can pick up a new one very quickly. For instance, I learned a years worth of Java from NYU in 27 days on my own; this is how I placed out of two including: Money and Banking, Analysis, Game Theory, Probability and Statistics. Even further, I am taking Machine Learning and Probabilistic Graphical Modeling currently, two programming courses offered by Stanford, so that I may truly offer the most if I am accepted. I am proficient with Bloomberg terminals, excellent with excel, and can perform basic office functions with terrifying efficiency. I have plenty of experience in the professional world through my internship at Merrill Lynch, and my research assistant position at NYU. In fact, my most recent employer has found me so useful that he promoted me to a Research Assistant and an official CTED intern. This role is usually reserved for Masters students, but my employer gave the title to me so that he could give me more work.

Please realize that I am not a braggart or conceited, I just want to outline my usefulness. Egos can be a huge liability, and I try not to have one.

Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

OK not really my cover letter - look here for the real story: http://gawker.com/5883684/the-awful-cover-letter-all-of-wall-street-is-laughing-about
post #2 of 21
Fake
post #3 of 21
laugh.gif

It's like he wrote it and then went through the whole thing right-clicking and using the first synonym that popped up. Also, I counted four rather egregious typos, and I wasn't even looking for them.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think it's funny that the version (allegedly) submitted to JP Morgan has down in the text that he hopes to work at Morgan Stanley. Whoops. Not working hard enough there, bub.

It only just occurred to me that "best and rightest" was supposed to be best and brightest. I was all WTF is rightest?
post #5 of 21
meh hypothetically I'd give that person an interview. Sure he has a mistakes in his cover letter, but I'd overlook it.

In my opinion interviews, resumes, and cover letters aren't a great way to determine anything. Hiring a bunch of HR analysts costs money, then having analysts and managers take time out of their day to interview prospective people and buying them lunch costs money too. Have computer simulations that prospective employees/interns can do, doing analysis on blah, and have some online tests and screen people out that way.

I think the problem is one could infer too much from typos, grammar mistakes and other things, and think that person is careless, no attention to detail and whatnot. What ends up happening is eventually companies with pretty much the same interviews, and similarly trained hr/recruiters looking for the same thing all end up wanting the same people. If you are paying them, they can negotiate higher salaries since they have multiple offers. There's plenty of value in those that were too over eagerly tossed in the discard pile.
post #6 of 21

Amen to that. Take a look at their grades to see if they are smart, then interview them to make sure they aren't totally weird. They'll be fired if it's not working out. Corporations overthink hiring at the entry level by way too much.

 

That said, when there are 100 students vying for 1 spot like at an investment bank, they can afford to be picky.

post #7 of 21
I stopped reading at NYU.

FAIL!
post #8 of 21
this is bad real bad michael jackson.

the grammar isn't what gets me the most... it's the command of the english language.

terrifying efficiency. really? terrifying? how is binding a booklet for me going to be terrifyingly efficient?

also, you wrote all this shit that explains how awesome your accomplishments are but you offer no depth.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post

this is bad real bad michael jackson.
the grammar isn't what gets me the most... it's the command of the english language.
terrifying efficiency. really? terrifying? how is binding a booklet for me going to be terrifyingly efficient?
also, you wrote all this shit that explains how awesome your accomplishments are but you offer no depth.

Well honestly 99.99% of people who are still a junior in college has not really had any "real accomplishments". Pretty much everyone's in the same boat, no real experience, no opportunity for the experience, so they gotta really inflate and fluff up their other internships, volunteer and work experience.

Look at HR douchebags who do similar things: People at subway are sandwich artists or janitors are now Sanitation Engineers
post #10 of 21
The "Dear Sir or Madame" thing is old and is not used anymore.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CYstyle View Post

Well honestly 99.99% of people who are still a junior in college has not really had any "real accomplishments". Pretty much everyone's in the same boat, no real experience, no opportunity for the experience, so they gotta really inflate and fluff up their other internships, volunteer and work experience.
Look at HR douchebags who do similar things: People at subway are sandwich artists or janitors are now Sanitation Engineers

right, what i'm saying is... pick one fluff and give it more depth to make it look more "accomplished." i don't need a list of all the shit you've done that's what your resume is for isn't it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon8 View Post

The "Dear Sir or Madame" thing is old and is not used anymore.

just curious, what do most people use now if you don't know who's going to be reviewing your letter?
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post

right, what i'm saying is... pick one fluff and give it more depth to make it look more "accomplished." i don't need a list of all the shit you've done that's what your resume is for isn't it?
just curious, what do most people use now if you don't know who's going to be reviewing your letter?

True, shoulda expanded on the bench double his body weight. In case of a major earthquake and I get injured, he can lift the rubble off me and carry me to safety biggrin.gif

dunno, I put hiring manager but I don't think it really matters.
post #13 of 21
This letter is just screaming "I drive a Dodge Stratus!!"
post #14 of 21
i like that he writes that he is "shrewd", i would personally write madoff-like
post #15 of 21
all those I-bankers laughing at this forwarded cover letter should stop and reflect on why other people think they have to act like utter jackasses to impress them.
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