"We read them because at times they will contain information that actually gives us insight into the person," Edith Cooper, executive vice president and global head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, tells Business Insider.
The key to a good cover letter, she says, is to keep it new and interesting.
A colleague recently told Cooper about a job candidate who submitted a unique cover letter that, strangely enough, touched on astrophysics.
"It was so, so unusual that the recruiter said, 'You know what? I really want to talk to this person.'"
Cooper says the lesson isn't that every candidate should write about something unusual for the sake of standing out.
"The truth is, if it's interesting and content-rich, it's like a good book: If you open the book and the first few chapters are interesting, you'll keep reading. If you open the book and it's really just saying, 'I'd really like to work at Goldman Sachs. It's the best firm in the world,' and talk about all the attributes of Goldman Sachs, it's interesting, but we know about Goldman Sachs. How about you? That's what we're looking for. We want to learn about you," she says.
Check out the full interview below:
Get the latest Goldman Sachs stock price here.
While your resume is important, nothing makes you stand out more than a well-written cover letter. A strong one can highlight your attention to detail, work ethic and passion for the industry. And while most job postings request a resume and cover letter, many candidates skip sending one because they seem too complicated; this is a mistake. A cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself as a great candidate.
It's important to tailor your cover letter to each job opportunity. A hiring manager will quickly recognize if you've used a form template; taking the time to write a unique letter shows dedication and real interest in the role.
Include details from the job description and use examples from your coursework or other work experience to show how you would succeed in the position's responsibilities. That is a level of detail most candidates will skip and will impress hiring managers.
32 Willow Street
Willow Creek, NY 12900
(Home) (232) 456 - 3425
(Cell) (971) 567 - 3421
Mr. George Gray
Assistant Vice President Asset Management Division
120 Spring Street
Rochester, NY 12900
Dear Mr. Gray:
I am very excited about applying for the summer analyst internship program with Goldman Sachs that was advertised in Sunday’s Rochester Herald. Bill Hershey recommended that I apply for the internship since the qualifications directly match my educational experience, interest, and skills.
I am currently a junior at the University of Rochester majoring in business with a concentration in finance. Throughout my college career, I have excelled in all of my finance courses and my professors have recommended that I serve as a tutor for students requiring assistance with class assignments. My courses have provided me with a strong background in the methodologies required for successfully analyzing and synthesizing important financial information and in preparing documentation to assist management when making critical business decisions. I am a quick learner and enjoy the challenges of doing comparative, quantitative, and cash - flow analysis in addition to portfolio and asset management and financial modeling and asset valuation. I believe my strengths in these areas would serve me well as an intern in Goldman Sach’s summer program.
In addition to my relevant coursework, my internship with Merrill Lynch provided me with a great opportunity to use my knowledge and skills and apply them to the real world. I very much enjoyed assisting customers with their financial decision - making and I found that my excellent interpersonal skills served me well when dealing with challenging clients. I was invited to return this summer as an intern but I am especially excited about the summer program that Goldman Sachs offers students and I feel that this opportunity would provide me with additional knowledge and skills that will add to my abilities to positively serve clients in the field.
Thank you for your time and interest and I look forward to hearing from you. I will call in one week to discuss my qualifications and see if you have any questions for me at that time.