What's wrong with my application?

boy09's picture
Rank: Chimp | 8

I've applied to a bunch of companies (over 25). Most were non-target, but many were target. Why haven't I gotten any interviews? Since my resume and cover letter are the only way for my present myself, could you guys tell me how I could improve either of them? The cover letter is the general letter I use, with a few adjustments depending on the company. I think my cover letter sounds artificial, but I don't know. Any feedback would be awesome.

Economics and Mathematics
aEUC/ Cumulative GPA: 3.21/4
aEUC/ SAT Cumulative: 1540 Math: 780 Verbal: 760

[Name Omitted]
Summer 2006 Corporate Strategy
aEUC/ Developed an electronic client management system for India's 3rd largest IT banking
firm with annual revenue of over $5 million
aEUC/ Performed targeted marketing analysis to streamline prospecting contacts and clientele
aEUC/ Organized recruiting efforts for over 1000 qualified candidates to meet the firm's
growing needs in human capital
aEUC/ Assisted executive management in presenting and demonstrating software to large
financial institutions and corporations

[Name Omitted]
Summer 2005
Investor Relations
aEUC/ Provided correspondence between the client and media services
aEUC/ Maintained documentation of the coverage provided to clients through marketing

2005-Present [Investment Club]
Hedge Fund Analyst
aEUC/ $10,000 in the Michigan intercollegiate investment competition, Simumarket. $2500 in
the Carnegie Mellon investment competition. 16th place in UBS investment
aEUC/ Quantitative research and trading for Barron's Portfolio Challenge, Investopedia
Portfolio Challenge, and Marketocracy.
aEUC/ Developed corporate relations and sponsorship for MII hosted Michigan Economic

aEUC/ Computer Skills: FactSet; Bloomberg; SPSS; Proficiency in MS Office; Basic knowledge
of C++, C#, VB, PHP.
aEUC/ Languages: Spanish (moderate)
aEUC/ Personal investing website, [name omitted] (2007-current)
aEUC/ [Cultural Board] executive board member and Residence Hall
Association representative (2005-2006).
aEUC/ [Cultural club member] (2006-current).

I am a 2nd year student with junior standing at the University of Michigan studying
economics and mathematics. I hope that you would please consider me for a summer
internship at [Company]. I believe that I can gain invaluable experience at [Company] during the summer in equity research. At the University of Michigan, in addition to pursuing a double major in mathematics and economics, I am also actively involved in the investment club, which has won
intercollegiate investing competitions. I am also working with [Dr. Strangelove], post-doctoral research fellow, researching the psychology of economic preferences. I believe my academic strengths, practical experience, and strong interest in quantitative investing will make me an ideal candidate for an internship at [Company].

During the past two summers, I worked abroad at [Company 2] and [Company 3]. Both experiences have helped me grow professionally. At [Company 2], IndiaaEU(tm)s 3rd largest banking IT company, I developed a database plan to decrease the time spent on administrative activities in the marketing department. These improvements helped the company improve the effectiveness of marketing and decrease response time.

I would like the opportunity to develop my skills as an equity analyst and potentially
contribute to [Company]. I request your favorable consideration of
my application for a summer internship beginning in May 2007.

Comments (11)

Mar 2, 2007

You need a higher GPA champ

Mar 2, 2007

If anything it's your GPA (and perhaps being only a Soph). Everything else you've been involved with seems to place you ahead of most people in your class.

Mar 2, 2007

Are you a student at UMich Ann Arbor or Flint/Dearborn... If your at Ann Arbor you might want to add that to your resume since there is a considerable difference

Mar 2, 2007

Yea, it's Ann Arbor. I figured it was my GPA. i guess I'll just have to take more credits to bump it up. My first year GPA was a 3.0, so would it help if I mentioned that somewhere?

Another question:
Should I take an internship at a decent finance company or any position I want at the United Nations? Looking to go into IB or s&t.

Mar 2, 2007

ditto on the GPA. it isn't in line with your SAT score/potential. It brings them to conclude that you may be stretching yourself too thin with everything you're involved in.
some suggestions:
1st bullet point: instead of describing the company in your most recent experience, describe how the software you developed contributed to the revenue.
Also, eliminate these phrases from your cover letter: I hope, I believe, I feel. "My academic strengths, practical experience, and strong interest in quantitative investing make me an ideal candidate for an internship at your Company," is much stronger than with the warm and fuzzy words around it. You're already qualified, let them know that.
Your cover letter is the chance to sell you, not to plead your case, so tell them what you will do for the company with conviction, not with the sweetness of Miss America.

Mar 2, 2007

I know it sounds simple but I would honestly add Ann Arbor next to U of Mich. I can guarentee you that is the first thing they are going to look at and the last thing you want them to do is guess. Take what you can get for now. There are tons of options in Chicago which you will prob have a better shot. Network too, im sure there are hundreds of UMich alums that did internships at BB's there sophmore year. Tap into that resource.

Mar 2, 2007

i'd say its more so because your a soph than your gpa. granted you gpa is on the lower end but its in math which is more inline with engeneering. just keep raising the grades get something that might not be name brand over the summer and you should be fine for a summer analyst as a jr

Mar 3, 2007

four things
1) gpa needs to be bumped up to at least 3.5
2) do not say you are a second year, say you are a junior, since that's your title
3) experience is not exactly relevant - may want to frame it a bit better so you do not sound like you did administrative work
4) cover letter is repetitive (I study economics and math and besides double majoring in economics and math; I hope that you would consider me for X position, I think I can gain much from X position, this makes me an ideal candidate for X position; I am also I am also I am also) and and should be more about impact than about how you hope and believe

Mar 3, 2007

Hey, I'm a sophomore at Michigan as well. I don't know everything about the job application process, but here's a few things I learned from my business professors.

Most people said it's your GPA, and I'll have to agree that it could be better. Also, I don't think your SAT score should be in your college education section. That's just a minor detail. Usually, companies are looking for juniors. Even if they say they take sophomores, a junior, if applying, will be preferred. So you are still competing with juniors. If you are just filling out apps without knowing anyone, you'll most likely not get an interview.

Also, you can talk more about the company's needs in your cover letter. Count the number of "I's" you have. Though inevitable, you don't want to say too much of "I this" and "I that." Ideally, the cover letter would not just be about you but have the reader in mind as well. And if you have any contacts, mention them.

Too many cover letters begin like "I'm a sophomore at ___, and I'm interested in ___." You want to grab the reader's attention and show how you are better than another comparable applicant. In other words, try to say something that stands out.

Hope things work out for you.

Mar 3, 2007

I don't think some banks even care about cover-letters. I really doubt they read it. At least for my successful application, they did not require a cover letter.

Specific advise on CV though.
Instead of saying just "developped" this and that, say how this relate to costs. For example, say "which resulted in 50% increase in sales" or "additional xxmillion revenue" or "expanded customer base 80%"... they like to see numbers, not flowerly words.

Mar 3, 2007