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It happens again... a student has his cover letter forwarded all over - for all the wrong reasons

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation
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I got forwarded this e-mail from a friend at another consulting firm - a student at NYU applying for an internship sent out an e-mail to JPMorgan and despite a very strong CV, has essentially destroyed his chances of ever working in banking or consulting. A few words of advice, as well as a link to an article with the full text below -

Curious to read the whole thing?

Check out http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-tenacious-summer-analyst-applicant-got-laughed-at-by-goldman-morgan-and-everyone-else-on-wall-street-2012-2 for the chain of forwarded e-mails, and http://hereisthecity.com/2012/02/09/another-would-be-wall-street-intern-email-goes-viral/ for the cover letter.

So what was wrong?

Here's what went wrong: banks and consulting firms want students who are smart, socially savvy, and hungry - students who will grind through the long hours and do good work. Students who are willing to "pay their dues" in order to advance within the firm.

What this guy (whose name I'll keep anonymous) is missing is humbleness. Read through his cover letter - beyond the fact that he broke the cardinal rule of cover letters (always refer to the right firm!!!) here are a few key quotes I enjoyed:

1. "I am a punctual, personal, and shrewd individual"

2. "I am unequivocally the most unflaggingly hard worker I know"

3. "...I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups"

4. "I have a fantastic background in..."

5. "Can perform basic office functions with terrifying efficiency"

What firms do not want is a student who comes in on day one thinking that they're better than their job, the firm, or the people around them. It's tempting to sell yourself hard in a cover letter, but you HAVE to balance it with showing a firm that you're willing to come in, be humble, and work hard for your success.

The solution? Get someone else to read over your cover letter before you send it in. Hopefully they can read it over and get back to you with terrifying efficiency.


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Guest Jul 20, 2019