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Banking Cover Letter Example

Use this Banking cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Banking positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Banking Cover Letter Example
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Sometimes it’s bad news when you get a letter from the bank. But let’s talk about writing a letter to the bank. Because if you’re a banker looking for work, you’re going to need to write one — a persuasive banker cover letter.

Even if you’ve already created the perfect resume, you’re only half done. This article will discuss the crucial other half of your banker application, the cover letter. Resume.io is a leading provider of job search advice and tools, with resources that include more than 180 occupation-specific writing guides and corresponding cover letter examples.

The guide you're reading now is backed by a banking cover letter example that you can adapt for your own use.

What we’ll discuss here:

  1. Why a banking cover letter is a critical component of your job application
  2. How a cover letter is structured and what each component should contain for optimal impact: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  3. Proper design for a banker cover letter and why looks matter
  4. The psychology of persuasive writing
  5. Mistakes to avoid
  6. Tips for writing a banking cover letter when you lack experience

The job outlook for banking

“Banking” is a blanket term for a wide variety of finance-related occupations, everything from investment banking to starting out as a bank teller, but in general bankers are well-paid and in demand. For example, loan officers earned a median annual salary of $63,960 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth of 1% was anticipated for this profession from 2020 through 2030, much slower than the occupational average.

The banking industry grows a bit more complicated every year as new financial products are designed and new technologies develop to manage and move money globally. Banks also have to guard against the increasingly sophisticated cybercrimes that banking activity inevitably attracts. 

The good news is, if you’re a banker seeking a job, all you need are two pieces of paper. Just two! Imagine a business loan application that was so simple.

The two documents you need are an outstanding resume and an irresistible cover letter. The resume covers your employment history, education and skills. But the cover letter is how you get your foot in the door.

Why a banker needs a cover letter

Imagine you’ve been working at a bank for six years and you’d like to be considered for promotion to a new position. Would you just stick your resume under your boss’s door and wait to hear back? 

Hopefully, you would approach your boss in person, ask if s/he had a moment to talk, and then make a brief but persuasive pitch, emphasizing your previous achievements on the job and explaining why you’re ready to embrace some new challenge. Then you can hand the boss your resume. Which of these strategies do you think would be more successful — the resume stuck under the door or the personal approach?

The whole point of a cover letter is to make a personal approach to someone who has the power to offer you a job. While your job application may be subjected to all kinds of electronic filters, ultimately you’ll need a human being to offer you a job. This is your chance to introduce yourself to that person. 

Expert tip

There may be debate about whether or not to write a cover letter, but according to LinkedIn, you’re always better off making the extra effort.

Surveys of hiring managers have found that one of the top reasons resumes are rejected is because they aren’t accompanied by cover letters. A resume without a cover letter is like a flyer stuck under a windshield wiper: People usually throw them away.

Getting the tone right for your banker cover letter

Banking is among the most traditional and buttoned-down professions. Investment bankers don’t go to their jobs on Wall Street wearing tank tops. There’s a formality that pervades the industry, and it’s reflected in the way letters are written. Unless you belong to an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon, you’ve probably received a letter from a bank. Letters from banks tend to be friendly but professional, getting to the point quickly and informatively, and then inviting you to contact the bank if you have any questions or need any help.

Your cover letter should hit all the same notes. Keep it short, friendly and professional, yet use this space to make an irresistible pitch, and close with a call to action. The whole point of a cover letter is to establish a personal connection to a hiring manager. So while you’re writing a formal business letter, it should also be written with a personal touch.

Hold your cover letter to one page, with a maximum of 400 words, and put some thought into writing it. You need to find the right tone, and use that voice to highlight your experience, training and other qualifications for the job.

Always include a cover letter with a resume unless you are specifically asked not to. A few employers prefer that you send a resume only, and of course you have to respect their wishes. But it’s their loss, because a cover letter is a better vehicle than a resume to convey a candidate’s personality, enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism.

How to write a cover letter - expert guide [2022]
Related article
How to write a cover letter - expert guide [2022]

Here is exactly how you can write a cover letter that will stand out from the crowd, and help you land that interview.

Best format for a banking cover letter

While your bank cover letter offers a lot of latitude when it comes to the tone and content, most cover letters should follow the same basic structure:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting
  • The introduction
  • The letter body
  • The conclusion
  • The signature.

Below is a banker cover letter example that you can customize for the position and hiring organization.

Adaptable cover letter example

17 August, 2020

Dear Mr. Looker,

As a fluent Arabic speaker with four years of investment banking experience in the US/MEA markets, the analyst position at Borton would offer a fascinating next step in my international investment banking career.

After my bachelor’s degree in Finance, I spent three years working in corporate finance, but after my online MBA from Wharton, I started an analyst role in the M&A team at Flux Capital. Over the past four years at Max, I have been the lead analyst for six deals totalling $1.8 billion and have collaborated closely on dozens of others. I have considerable experience in accounting and risk analysis in international markets, with FDI experience concentrated around the Middle East.

As well as working on the valuations and financial viability assessments, I created and updated pitch books and became proficient in writing executive summaries. I enclose non-confidential examples of my best writing work — words make a difference when you are building trust. Giving the right data to the right person gets any deal across the line.

Given that Flux Capital was a boutique firm, I was tasked with raising our profile at networking events and conferences, allowing me to finesse my influencing skills. I am applying to Borton because your scale offers a broader range of opportunities, but I am certain that my “small guy” business development mentality will nevertheless prove useful.

  • Lead analyst on $850 million M&A of US/Saudi natural resources acquisition.
  • Supported the IPO process for eight start-ups onto the NYSE over a four-year period.
  • Used my programming experience to update our in-house financial viability tools.

I am familiar with the culture and reputation of Borton as my uncle is a client and it has been a long-held ambition to work for you. When a role became available, I simply had to put my name in the running for an interview.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Torres

Copied!

Let’s explore what each cover letter component should contain.

Cover letter header

The header of your letter should be an attractively designed section at the top that contains your name, address, phone number and email. Often it will also mention your occupation — for instance, “Investment Banker”.

Other than letting the company know how to reach you, the header is a design element that provides some visual relief from what would otherwise be solid paragraphs of black text.

Expert tip

Your banker resume and cover letter should be designed in the same style — fonts, font sizes and formatting. This gives you a “visual brand” and shows that you’re organized and you pay attention to detail.

Mixing several different fonts and styles will make your resume and cover letter look like Frankenstein’s monster — random parts badly stitched together. Strive for a coherent and consistent design.

Goal of the cover letter header: Distinguish yourself from other job applicants with a visually distinctive style that makes your letter inviting to read. Prominently displaying your contact information makes it easy for impressed recruiters to get in touch.

Greeting for a banker cover letter 

This is the line that says, “Dear Mr. (or Ms.),” followed by the last name of the hiring manager. 

You should almost always try to address your letter to a specific individual rather than the entire company. People like to read their own names, and letters that are addressed to an individual rather than an entire company are more likely to get a reply. Also, it shows your attention to detail if you’ve gone to the trouble of finding out the name of the appropriate person to address.

If you’re responding to a job listing that doesn’t mention the name of the hiring manager, it may be worthwhile to call the company and inquire. But if the company prefers that letters be addressed more generically, follow its wishes. Sometimes you have to use a greeting that says something like “Dear (Employer) Hiring Team.”

Goal of the cover letter greeting: Start off on a professional note while making a direct personal connection with the hiring manager.

Here’s the greeting from our banking cover letter sample.

Adaptable cover letter greeting

Dear Mr. Looker,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

Your intro should be an attention-grabbing paragraph that identifies your job objective and briefly previews your qualifications for the job. Use energetic, lively language that shows enthusiasm and confidence, but beware of crossing a line into arrogance or excessive familiarity. Set the right tone from the beginning, and write an opening paragraph that will make your correspondent want to read more.

Goal of the cover letter introduction: Capture the hiring manager’s attention with an intriguing preview of your qualifications that motivates further reading..

Here’s an introduction idea from our banking cover letter sample.

Adaptable cover letter introduction

As a fluent Arabic speaker with four years of investment banking experience in the US/MEA markets, the analyst position at Borton would offer a fascinating next step in my international investment banking career.

Copied!

Sample of a cover letter body 

In the central two or three paragraphs of your letter, you have to make your primary case. This is where you describe your work experience, your past achievements in banking and any other qualifications that make you a good fit for the job you’re seeking.

Be specific in describing your accomplishments at past jobs, using facts and figures wherever possible (think numbers, dollar figures, percentages, etc.). Also, try to use an anecdote or two to describe a specific challenge you faced in the past as a banker and how you resolved it.

You may also choose to use the body of your letter to discuss your education, any special certifications or credentialing, and perhaps the reasons for your interest in this particular company. Compare your cover letter to your resume, and while some cross-over is inevitable, try to use the valuable space in your letter to say something your resume doesn’t.

Remember that your letter should not be about why you deserve a job, but about how you can help this company solve its problems, save money or increase efficiency. Emphasize how you can help them, not how they can help you.

Goal of the cover letter body: Persuade this employer that your contributions as a banker would be beneficial..

Our banker cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part.

Adaptable cover letter body sample

After my bachelor’s degree in Finance, I spent three years working in corporate finance, but after my online MBA from Wharton, I started an analyst role in the M&A team at Flux Capital. Over the past four years at Max, I have been the lead analyst for six deals totalling $1.8 billion and have collaborated closely on dozens of others. I have considerable experience in accounting and risk analysis in international markets, with FDI experience concentrated around the Middle East.

As well as working on the valuations and financial viability assessments, I created and updated pitch books and became proficient in writing executive summaries. I enclose non-confidential examples of my best writing work — words make a difference when you are building trust. Giving the right data to the right person gets any deal across the line.

Given that Flux Capital was a boutique firm, I was tasked with raising our profile at networking events and conferences, allowing me to finesse my influencing skills. I am applying to Borton because your scale offers a broader range of opportunities, but I am certain that my “small guy” business development mentality will nevertheless prove useful.

  • Lead analyst on $850 million M&A of US/Saudi natural resources acquisition.
  • Supported the IPO process for eight start-ups onto the NYSE over a four-year period.
  • Used my programming experience to update our in-house financial viability tools.
Copied!

Cover letter conclusion and signature

Your last paragraph should contain some kind of call to action —you are looking forward to a reply, you would be delighted to schedule an interview, etc. 

You may even wish to ask if you could call in a week or so to follow up. This shows that you’re serious about this particular job and not just mailing letters at random. Put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re writing to — wouldn’t you pay just a bit more attention if you knew that this letter writer would be calling you soon?

However, it’s possible that some employers might find such a suggestion a bit pushy. Study your target, and write your pitch accordingly.

Your sign-off should generally be a simple “Sincerely” or the equivalent, followed by a space and your typed name. You can also insert your actual scanned signature if you like, though this is not considered essential in electronic correspondence.

Goal of the cover letter closing: End on a positive, self-assured note that suggests you expect the hiring manager will get in touch.

Below is the closing section of our banker cover letter example.

Adaptable cover letter sample closing

I am familiar with the culture and reputation of Borton as my uncle is a client and it has been a long-held ambition to work for you. When a role became available, I simply had to put my name in the running for an interview.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Torres

Copied!

Layout, design and formatting of your banker cover letter

Your letter should look as good as it reads, and that’s why it’s important to follow some basic rules for good design and formatting.

  • Fonts: Choose a modern, easy-to-read font that looks attractive but doesn’t call attention to itself. Beware of exotic fonts that may turn to garble on someone else’s computer.
     
  • Font size: Use a font size of 10 to 12 points. If you’re having trouble holding your letter to one page, trim your text before you try to solve the problem by reducing the font size.
     
  • Margins: Include one-inch margins on the left, right, bottom and top.
     
  • Alignment: Body text should be aligned left, not justified from margin to margin. Leave a space between paragraphs, and keep the paragraphs short.
     
  • White space: Don’t overlook the importance of leaving space on your page that contains nothing at all. Good design always includes an appropriate amount of white space to give the eye a break.
     
  • File format: Unless you’re specifically asked for a Word file, save your cover letter as a PDF. The main advantage of a PDF is that it will preserve the formatting of your letter so that it looks the same on any computer. With other file types, you run the risk that some of your text may become unreadable, and it may jump all over the page in places where you didn’t put it.
     
  • Use a professional template: To sidestep all of these potential pitfalls, use a professionally designed cover letter template from resume.io. We’ve taken care of all the formatting for you, so all you have to do is fill in your own content.

The psychology of writing a cover letter for a banker job

Never forget that you are writing a letter to a human being, and you need to think about how it will be received. Put yourself in the shoes of your correspondent, and write in a human voice that is professional but personable.

Psychologists say we all react to different stimuli with a combination of emotional and rational responses. Emotional responses are quicker and more automatic, but more deeply felt. Rational responses are slower and more deliberative. An ideal cover letter should inspire both.

So while this is a professional business letter, don’t hesitate to include language that appeals to the heart as well as the head. “Emotional language” might include some reference to your passions and desires, while “rational language” could be a more factual recitation of your employment history and banking career achievements.

Expert tip

Try using the AIDA model to inject your letter with emotional appeal:

  • Grab the reader’s attention by telling a story about yourself related to the job
  • Increase interest level by appealing to the hiring manager’s needs
  • Create a desire to hire you by detailing how you satisfy the job requirements
  • Close with a call to action.

It’s important to study each employer carefully to determine the best approach. If you’re aware of specific needs or problems the company has, and if you have your own strategy for resolving them, say so. It’s always a good idea to include something in a cover letter that shows you’re writing to a specific employer and not mass-mailing a letter to all.

You should also look at the tone of voice the company uses in addressing the public. Most banks use a friendly but formal voice on their websites and in communications with customers. You should endeavor to match the style and tone used by your prospective employer.

You should also consider your position as a banker relative to the employer. If a bank is seeking a new CEO and you’re eminently qualified, you would probably write in a more authoritative voice than a college student looking for her first internship.

Mistakes to avoid in a banking cover letter

Here are some of the common mistakes people make in writing cover letters:

  1. Writing errors: These include typos, misspellings and errors in grammar, punctuation and capitalization. Surveys have found that simple writing mistakes are the most common reason job applications are rejected.
     
  2. Clichés: “I am writing to….” Stop there! We already know you’re writing, because we’re reading your letter. “Please consider this letter my application for….” Ditto! Other clichés include describing yourself as a “self-starter” or a “team player” who “thinks outside the box. Avoid using stock phrases that every recruiter has read a thousand times before, and strive for fresh, original language.
     
  3. Non-customized letters: If your letter says nothing specific about the company you’re writing to, most hiring managers will assume it’s the same copy-and-paste letter that you’re also sending to all their competitors. Make every cover letter unique, targeted to a specific employer.
     
  4. Irrelevant info: Avoid discussing your hobbies or other aspects of your life that aren’t relevant to the job you’re seeking.
     
  5. Design errors: Strange fonts, tiny margins, huge blocks of text, zero white space and other formatting errors can disqualify your letter at a glance.

Banking cover letter sample with no experience

You may feel that you are stuck in a circular situation: You can’t get a banking job without experience and you can’t get experience without a banking job. That’s a frustration every worker has felt, yet they all got their first job somehow. 

The key is to start with the skills you do have. If you are new to the banking industry, but not to the workforce, explain in your banker cover letter why you want to move into banking. Then, highlight the skills you used in your previous jobs that will transfer to banking. 

Any business or project manager work ranks high, so check out resume.io cover letter examples for those fields, too. Emphasize your communication, organization and problem-solving skills — all abilities that will stand you in good stead in any career.

Expert tip

Consider mentioning your emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ, because, according to Forbes, hiring managers know that a vast majority of their high performers also rank high in this area.

Key takeaways for a banking cover letter

  1. Bankers who are seeking employment need an excellent resume and an outstanding cover letter, the latter in order to make a personal appeal to a hiring manager.
  2. A cover letter is your way of introducing yourself personally to a prospective employer. You should always include a cover letter in a job application unless you’re specifically asked not to.
  3. Cover letters have a formal structure that you should adhere to, and each component of your letter should serve a specific function.
  4. Design can be as important as content, and you must ensure that your letter adheres to basic rules about fonts, formatting and the overall look.
  5. Every cover letter should be unique and targeted to a specific employer.
  6. A professionally designed template can save you from a multitude of errors. The quickest and safest way to write a cover letter is to start with a proven structure where all you have to do is add your own information.

For more ideas, take a look at some other cover letter writing guides and examples in our accounting & finance category.

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Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
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