I receive a beautiful summary essay recently. Let’s analysis what elements are good and how we can transfer these into an amazing cover letter and generate interviews.
I began my career in the finance industry 18 years ago as an intern at Goldman Sachs in New York. Since then, I honed my statistics and economics training at Stanford, implemented sophisticated quantitative strategies in emerging market currencies at ABC Partners, and helped bring my current employer, PQR, to the top of the industry in several areas from quantitative models to algorithmic trading. Over the past two years, I have been the Head of Sales and Trading in Asia ex-Japan for PQR, a global technology-focused broker-dealer. In this role, I have transformed PQR in Asia from a small outpost of an American company to a formidable brokerage with a large and growing footprint in the region. Throughout my career, I have developed strong relationships with clients and colleagues on the buyside and sellside of the finance industry in North America, Europe and Asia.
Experience: clear – 18 years in finance industry
Skills: implemented sophisticated quantitative strategies in emerging market currencies; sales & trading
Geographic knowledge: North America, Europe and Asia ex-Japan
Achievements: transformed PQR in Asia from a small outpost of an American company to a formidable brokerage with a large and growing footprint in the region
Value added: strong relationships with clients and colleagues on the buyside and sellside
Choice of powerful words: see my highlighting.
Usually when writing a cover letter, you would need a paragraph to describe yourself. Many failed in this section by writing too long which caused the hiring manager to give up reading.
If you are writing to apply for an entry role, you might have only 18 months of intern experience. Use the above sample, specified what experience you have and where you gained them, together with the appropriate choice of powerful words (make sure to avoid exaggeration). Of course you won’t have much achievement to describe but you can describe how you achieve or exceed your target.
From the 20-second point of view, the above sample paragraph is a bit too long. Try to make it short and precise and make sure it will take about 20 seconds to finish reading.
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