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Honest Cover Letter Charms Wall Street

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Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Summer internships on Wall Street can be difficult to snag, especially if you aren’t related to one of the firm’s senior executives.

But as an unnamed college student has proved, the really honest approach to job seeking can also work. His cover letter, in which he admits he has “no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities” and says he “no qualms about fetching coffee, shining shoes or picking up laundry,” was immediately passed around the boutique investment bank he had applied, where it was praised as an instant classic.

“This might be the best cover letter I’ve ever seen,” wrote the first person who forwarded it.

Despite his admittedly modest credentials, the young man has at least snagged himself an interview with the firm. Check out the entire letter — which quickly circulated Wall street — below

My name is [redacted] and I am an undergraduate finance student at [redacted]. I met you the summer before last at Smith & Wollensky’s in New York when I was touring the east coast with my uncle, [redacted]. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with me that night.

I am writing to inquire about a possible summer internship in your office. I am aware it is highly unusual for undergraduates from average universities like [redacted] to intern at [redacted], but nevertheless I was hoping you might make an exception. I am extremely interested in investment banking and would love nothing more than to learn under your tutelage. I have no qualms about fetching coffee, shining shoes or picking up laundry, and will work for next to nothing. In all honesty, I just want to be around professionals in the industry and gain as much knowledge as I can.

I won’t waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crapp (sic) about how my past experiences and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking internship. The truth is I have no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities, but I do have a near perfect GPA and will work hard for you. I’ve interned for Merrill Lynch in the Wealth Management Division and taken an investment banking class at [redacted], for whatever that is worth.

I am currently awaiting admission results for [redacted] Masters of Science in Accountancy program, which I would begin this fall if admitted. I am also planning on attending law school after my master’s program, which we spoke about in New York. I apologize for the blunt nature of my letter, but I hope you seriously consider taking me under your wing this summer. I have attached my resume for your review. Feel free to call me at [redacted] or email at [redacted]. Thank you for your time.

What do you think? Is his blunt approach a breath of fresh year? Or does the reaction to the letter just speak to how pompous and self-aggrandizing the typical cover letter for a Wall Street summer internship must be?

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