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Cover Letters

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

A cover letter for a banking, finance or accountancy firm is a professional document, which should, in essence, be a sales pitch to accompany your CV. It’s your chance to sell yourself as a strong candidate for the role. Since most employers in the banking, finance and accountancy sector will (most likely) only glance at your cover letter, you need to keep it short. In short, we mean one side of A4 maximum and certainly no more than 500 words.

Step-by-step guide:

1. Try to find out the name of a contact to address your application to – a speculative application addressed to Sir/Madam usually doesn’t fare too well! It may be necessary to make a phone call to find this information out – but LinkedIn can be a good first step to find a HR officer or head of department.

2. Research each organisation that you apply to! This will demonstrate to the recruiter that you have a genuine interest in the business and position. Best place to start is the company website. Read the ‘about us’ and ‘our values’ sections, as well as the recruitment page. It is also worth doing a Google search and checking social media platforms to see if they have been mentioned.

3. Get to writing! See below for further guidance on what to include.

4. Follow up the application with a phone call a couple of weeks later. You may find that you receive better results by phoning up the company before even making the application so that they remember you when they eventually receive your email!

To make things easier for you, we have attached a rough cover letter template below:

Introduction: Who am I?

Describe yourself and the purpose of the email.

First paragraph: Why them?

This is where your research will come in handy. Highlight reasons why you want to work for the company. This could be the size of the business, reputation, size of the team, expertise etc. Any facts about awards won or other business achievements should be mentioned. If possible, it is also great to touch on any testimonials you've read or received first-hand from people who work there; or perhaps gathered from any events you've attended by the employer.

Second paragraph: Why the role/ why me?

What is your motivation for applying for that role? Elaborate on your relevant qualifications, experience and skills – being succinct and only including two or three relevant examples. You do not need to go into too much detail as your CV is attached but ensure that you make reference to the specific skills and experience required for the role. For a role as a consultant for instance, you could prove that you’ve got good communication, research and customer for instance, you could prove that you’ve got good communication, research and customer facing skills by referencing an internship where you had those responsibilities.

Third paragraph: How and why the opportunity is a good fit

Why should the organisation hire you for the internship or graduate job? This is the time to mention what value you can add to the firm through your characteristics, as well as how this opportunity would benefit you e.g. how does it fit into your broader career aspirations?

Finish: Signing off

I would like to thank you very much for considering my application and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

[Insert Name]