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Banking on searing honesty

By Steve Colquhoun
Executive Style

Student's blunt cover letter has Wall Street buzzing.

Investment banks up and down New York's Wall Street and beyond are  clamouring to interview an unheralded undergraduate finance student  because he submitted a job application that included what its recipient  said "might be the best cover letter I've even seen".

The website obtained a copy of the student's letter, which includes a searingly blunt assessment of his own suitability for a summer internship.The UK Daily Mail newspaper has identified the student as 22-year-old Matthew Ross, an undergraduate at San Diego State University.

"I won't waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around  exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crap about how my past  experiences and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking  partnership," Ross wrote.

"The truth is, I have no unbelievably special skills or genius  eccentricities but I do have a near perfect GPA (grade point average)  and will work hard for you."

He also said he would "have no qualms about fetching coffee, shining  shoes or picking up laundry, and will work for next to nothing".

The letter, sent at 1pm on January 14, resulted in an instant  reaction as it was forwarded from one firm to the next. "That's amazing,  tell me you are considering at least a phone interview," the first  recipient replied. Other replies to the forwarded email included  "hilarious but bold", "instant classic" and "this is awesome".

By 3pm at least one firm, in Houston, had responded. "We called him,"  it said, while another the following day added: "No joke, I think we  should consider this guy. I wouldn't be surprised if this guy gets at  least a call from every bank out there."

The moral of the story, it seems, is that a little bit of unvarnished honesty can get you a long way.


Published: 17 January 2013

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