Why Your Cover Letter Makes a Difference

October 20, 2015

Finance professionals and graduates know that their resume is important. However, an application is more than just a resume. Very often, recruiters want to see a cover letter as well.

However, 78% of employers don’t consider it a mistake when candidates leave out a cover letter, says a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). But let’s face it, if you just started your career, it will be hard to differentiate yourself from other candidates with just your resume.

Most people who apply for hedge fund jobs have an impressive resume as well. They studied at prestigious business schools and gained work experience in well-known companies.

Sell Yourself to Potential Employers on No More Than a Page

In a hedge fund you will work in a team and you will work long hours. Therefore, personal fit is crucial. In a cover letter, you can express your personality. Potential employers read the letter to find out:
• Who you are
• What you can offer the firm

The whole letter shouldn’t be longer than a page.

Tackling the Sections
Who Are You?

A good way to start is with your unique selling proposition, also known as an elevator speech. This is a brief statement such as: “A finance professional with over 20 years’ experience in forex trading…” Moreover, you can tell potential employers how you are connected to their company. If you know an employee or have a recommendation, mention it right up front.

What do You Bring to the Table?

This is not the place to write the story of your life. Think about the specific needs of the company. Often the job ad tells you what they are looking for. Explain how the skills you have fit their needs and how you can contribute to their success. Here you can point to relevant experience you have and connect it to the position you’re applying for.

Wrapping It Up

Remember, the cover letter is your sales pitch. If you can’t sell yourself, you most likely can’t sell anything else either. Get to the point, don’t include meaningless fluff. Write in brief, understandable sentences and don’t make grammar/spelling mistakes.

Most employers spend less than one minute going over your cover letter, says SHRM . That means you don’t have much time to show and shine. Make it easy to scan; nobody will read it in detail.

In the end, you can close with a call to action. Ask for a meeting and thank them for their time and consideration.

Hedge fund jobs are competitive, don’t miss your chance. Write an outstanding cover letter and make sure your employer gets a good impression. Once you have an invitation for a job interview, you have passed the first hurdle.

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