Urgent Cover letter help for Credit Suisse

jacksparrow992's picture
Rank: Monkey | 32

Hi guys, I've written a 1st draft for my cover letter need advice on how to improve it please tell me what I could change or improve. Many thanks.

See bottom of page for original letter.

Basic Guidelines For Your Cover Letter

Instead of focusing on you and your accomplishments, start off by presenting why you think you'd be a great fit for the company. What is it that attracted to them? Why do you want to work there? How do you see yourself there? Your cover letter should demonstrate that you've thought about these things. It should be thoughtful and thought-provoking if you want it to be read. Remember, you want them to want you.

We will use the user submitted cover letter as a reference point here.

Make Sure Your Work Intensions Are Clear

Make sure you are clear about what you are applying for or would like to be placed. An organization can't hire you if you yourself don't know what you want. Using the example above, it is unclear if they want to do trading or sales. Are you interested in micro or macro scale projects?


Even if you don't know either, you should still communicate that you are aware of the various roles and the rationale for going into either.

See content guidelines for a great cover letter from Arise Training Research Centre below.

Start with the roles and products you're interested in and build from that. Build your story with these goals in mind and use them to describe how you will be able to contribute.

Proofread Your Cover Letter And Eliminate Filler

This should go without saying but to reiterate, your cover letter is your first impression. There should be no spelling or grammar mistakes or typos of any kind. For most people, this would be an automatic deal breaker. The same goes for filler. Take for example 'commercially acute'. What does that even mean and who are you to determine this? 'Natural flair for numbers'? If you've done the work, your test scores will reflect this. The same goes for 'rigorous academic training'.

A good cover letter should reflect what your resume cannot. It is how a potential employer can get to know you without meeting you. Throwing together a bunch of meaningless words for dramatic effect will not have the effect you are hoping for.

Learn more about great cover letters from Career Cake

Further, be specific in your language choice, "... I was impressed by your culture and your growing position in the financial industry.". What are you impressed by? What aspects of their culture are you drawn to? Are they known to be great for mentoring? Are they kind? Is it a laid back work culture? What specifically makes you want to be part of it? Vague descriptors suggest you didn't do your research.

Don't Overstate Your Abilities

While you want to be forward about your abilities you also need to be realistic. As an intern, you aren't likely going to be making any significant contributions. You're there to learn so displaying some humility shows that you are honest about what you have to offer and that you're not going to over-sell and under-deliver.

Most employers can see through padded applications and are unimpressed by wordiness. They want you to get to the point and get a clear understanding of who you are before they decide whether or not they want to meet you. The 'extra stuff' serves more as a deterrent than a selling feature.

Original Post

Dear Recruiter,

After carefully researching your business and its growing position within the market, I am writing to outline my keen interest in the Fixed Income Sales & Trading summer internship program at Credit Suisse.

I am extremely commercially acute and a highly motivated person with a natural flair for numbers. Through my previous internship with [Company name] as an Analyst I acquired the ability to work in a very competitive and a highly pressured work environment. Furthermore, I worked with a team of senior Analysts to solve challenging problems such as production loss and accurately forecasted [Conutry's] domestic Oil and Gas demand that helped increase oil production by 10%.

The Sales & Trading summer program appeals to me due to my rigorous academic training and previous work experiences. These have provided me with a very strong background in the mathematical techniques required to successfully synthesise and analyse complex financial data. Whilst working in retail as sales associate I regularly interacted with clients and consistently gave excellent advice on products, which increased sales by 20%. As Credit Suisse aims to focus on client centric strategies I feel confident that my breadth of skills will enable me to contribute to the Sales & Trading team by strengthening its coverage of key clients and offering comprehensive financial solutions.

After Speaking to [employee name] a [Position in the bank] at Credit Suisse I was impressed by your culture and your growing position in the financial industry. I believe the recent transformation in your fixed income portfolio will generate attractive returns and help maintain greater financial stability in the future for Credit Suisse. Therefore I am keen to be part of the summer internship program in Sales & Trading, which will provide an ideal opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of fixed income and allow me to make a very significant contribution to the firm's growth.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours Faithfully
[My Name]

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Comments (7)

Best Response
Sep 8, 2013

TLDR: your focus/starting point in this CL is what YOU have done, which I am not necessarily interested in. What the person reading the CL wants to see is how you will fit into their organization, and your CL should demonstrate that you've given it some thought. Any details about your experiences should be included only if it backs up your pitch.

- Do you want to do trading or sales? Do you want to do a macro or micro product? Even if you don't know either, you should still communicate that you are aware of the various roles and the rationale for going into either.

- In terms of organizing your CL I would start with the roles/products you're interested in, and then craft the story of your previous experiences in a way that supports your specific interests.

- There is a lot of filler bullshit, e.g.
"commercially acute" - really? who are you to know this?
"natural flair for numbers" - your GPA and standardized test scores should reflect this. you shouldn't have to talk about it
"rigorous academic training" - again, really?

- What about their culture? Are they nice? Chill? Helpful? Willing to teach? Be specific

- "Transformation in your fixed income portfolio" - you mean the shift away from high-RWA business lines like FI? Sure, maybe RoE on the overall bank will improve, but if you want to go into FI S&T at CS, how is that a big plus factor for you?

- No, you are not going to "make a very significant contribution to the firm's growth" anytime soon. Your purpose as an intern is to learn, stay out of the way, and help out any way you can. Even if you don't explicitly say that, that humility should come across in your CL.

Might sound harsh, but take it from someone who received a double digit number of front-office offers throughout college. It will help.

    • 2
Sep 8, 2013

I would ding you in a minute. "Commercially acute"??? "Flair for numbers"??? Is English not your first language, or do you just not know what words mean?

Sep 8, 2013

"Commercially acute", "Flair for numbers" please change these to normal sounding English. You can't be flamboyant in your CL. It sounds like: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/tenacious-summer-ana...

Sep 8, 2013

Your letter is likely overestimating what you could contribute

Sep 8, 2013

I think it's a lot better than most, but I would emphasize more about why S&T and why FI and what you could contribute to that. Reading it, I'd be concerned that you'd want to switch into IB or AM. That's just how it reads.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

Jan 5, 2014

Do you think it's ok to mention an employee you talked with in a cover letter?

Aug 12, 2018