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How Not to Write a Cover Letter When Applying to an Investment Bank

The Web site Business Insider has availed itself of a cover letter sent by a student at New York University to J.P. Morgan. The letter is part of the student’s effort to gain a place on J.P. Morgan’s summer intern program and is a perfect example of how not to write a cover letter, which is why we've reproduced it for your perusal. Some of its more notable errors include:

  • Referring to Morgan Stanley while applying to J.P. Morgan
  • Hoping to "augment one’s character" while at work
  • Quantifying an ability to bench press and do pull ups
  • Describing oneself as “unequivocally the most unflaggingly hard worker I know”

If you are a student wondering how to write a cover letter, we have some practical advice here, or here. Do not take the letter below as a template.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • No
    26 March 2014

    I think he's cute. The Morgan Stanley references kills him. Otherwise, I would cut him some slack. I always think these articles holding up these poor kids to ridicule are cruel.

  • ba
    26 March 2013

    I would've given this kid serious consideration.

  • se
    sera jacks
    14 January 2013

    i really think it is good and over achieved. i agree with both comments above. i think you did your best.

  • bu
    16 February 2012

    He is not showing how he can assist JP Morgan Chase. He is only proving himself as a hard-worker. The point of business is to help a company make revenues, meet it's company's mission and objectives, and help management meet whatever goals necessary. I do admit at an Ivy League school, you should be guaranteed a job because of the value of the education over every institution in America, but the point of the cover letter is to sell your skills to the employer illustrating how you can potentially benefit them.

    Marlin Jon Keith DeBramaletta

  • da
    16 February 2012

    its not that bad a letter, cut the kid a break. Yes the Morgan Stanley thing is a screw up but otherwise really not that bad. He's trying hard.

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