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VANDERBILT INVESTMENT BANKING Meeting 3: Cover Letters. Pre-reading Discussion. Cover Letters Are cover letters important? Why do you write a cover letter? What makes a good cover letter?. Cover Letter vs. Resume.

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pre reading discussion
Pre-reading Discussion
  • Cover Letters
  • Are cover letters important?
  • Why do you write a cover letter?
  • What makes a good cover letter?
cover letter vs resume
Cover Letter vs. Resume
  • Cover Letter is about what you can do for a particular employer in a particular, known position
  • Resume is more about you, your experience and your skills in general
cover letter
Cover Letter
  • Who are you?
  • Why are you writing to me?
  • What do you want?
  • Why do you want it?
cover letter overview
Cover Letter Overview
  • Opening Paragraph
  • Middle Paragraph
  • Closing Paragraph
  • Keep it short
the first step
The First Step
  • What do you want?
    • to be on the interview list
  • Refer to the job description and/or other information you have about a particular company or position
  • Network, network, network!
  • Research, research, research!
opening paragraph
Opening Paragraph

I will graduate in May 2006 with a B.S. in Economics and Computer Science from Vanderbilt University. I am interested in applying for the Summer Analyst position at Drexel Burnham.

My interest in investment banking was developed from a previous internship doing equity research at UBS Financial Services. I would like to go into investment banking because I want to actually build companies as an investment banking analyst rather than just observe companies. I am particularly interested in Drexel Burnham because of their tremendous deal flow and the great future in the universal banking platform. In my experience talking with Chuck Roan, Drexel Burnham has a collegial atmosphere that will be conducive to my professional growth.

why you
Why you?
  • What skills, attributes, and experience are the firms looking to see in this position?
  • Are you highly qualified for the job, or are you taking a long shot?
  • Is the organization seeking someone with your background, or will you be “appearing” from out of the blue?
if you
If you…
  • Have specific background,
    • then argue from experience
  • Have right general background but haven’t done exactly same thing or have done it at a lower level,
    • then argue from skills and analogy
  • Have no previous experience and an unrelated background,
    • then argue from interests & transferable skills
answer these questions
Answer These Questions
  • How will your interest, skills, attributes, and experiences enable you to contribute to the position?
  • How do these illustrate your understanding of the role, the business, etc.?
  • How motivated & dedicated are you to working in investment banking?
what differentiates you
What differentiates you?
  • Unique feature of your candidacy
    • What makes you distinct from all others?
    • Is this a particular skill, attribute, or experience?
    • Is this a composite of your background?
    • Otherwise you will be forgotten
middle paragraph
Middle Paragraph
  • I can contribute to this position previous financial analysis experience, attention to detail, and strong analytical ability. At UBS, I was able to assess and value companies with DCF and comparable company modeling. I also wrote many research reports on many middle-market healthcare companies. From my analysis of various companies in the healthcare industry, I was able help institutional investors make investment decisions.
how will you be compelling
How will you be compelling?
  • Make it interesting/personal
  • What is interesting to the reader?
    • RESULTS!!!
    • How have you
      • Made/saved money or increased productivity
    • What have you learned
      • Skills useful for XYZ Bank
how will you be compelling1
How will you be compelling?
  • “From my experience at Vector Marketing, I was able to exhibit teamwork and communication skills. During that time, I led the region in sales and helped my district team lead the state in sales for three months straight.”
how will you be compelling2
How will you be compelling?
  • “My interest in the finance dates back to high school and college when I would manage my parent’s investment portfolio and gained solid returns when the market was down.”
what s not compelling
What’s not compelling?
  • Laundry lists of skill sets, attributes, etc.
    • “I have strong analytical skills that I continue to strengthen at an institution known for its academic rigor. I am very team-oriented, with leadership, oral, and written communication skills as well.”
what s not compelling1
What’s not compelling?
  • Letters that focus on the benefits that exist for the candidate.
    • “The world class reputation combined with the great opportunities that would be offered to me make your firm a great fit with my skills and aspirations.”
what s not compelling2
What’s not compelling?
  • Mass produced letters
  • The “I” phenomenon
  • Too long & too much
  • Poor writing with mistakes
  • Negativity/Apologetic tone
what s next
What’s Next?
  • Reiterate your interest
  • Outline next steps – be specific
  • Follow-up!!
closing paragraph
Closing Paragraph
  • I would enjoy speaking with you further about the possibility of a Summer Analyst position at Drexel Burnham. The opportunity to learn more about the firm, its structure, and your experiences would be tremendous. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your consideration.