The phrase "honesty is the best policy" probably wasn't coined by someone trying to land a job on Wall Street.
But one finance major from an "average university" decided to give frankness a shot in his cover letter to a "boutique investment bank" where he was hoping to land a summer internship.
His letter is transcribed below, courtesy of Forbes:
My name is [redacted] and I am an undergraduate finance student at [redacted]. I met you the summer before last at Smith & Wollensky's in New York when I was touring the east coast with my uncle, [redacted]. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with me that night.
I am writing to inquire about a possible summer internship in your office. I am aware it is highly unusual for undergraduates from average universities like [redacted] to intern at [redacted], but nevertheless I was hoping you might make an exception. I am extremely interested in investment banking and would love nothing more than to learn under your tutelage. I have no qualms about fetching coffee, shining shoes or picking up laundry, and will work for next to nothing. In all honesty, I just want to be around professionals in the industry and gain as much knowledge as I can.
I won't waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crapp (sic) about how my past experiences and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking internship. The truth is I have no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities, but I do have a near perfect GPA and will work hard for you. I've interned for Merrill Lynch in the Wealth Management Division and taken an investment banking class at [redacted], for whatever that is worth.
I am currently awaiting admission results for [redacted] Masters of Science in Accountancy program, which I would begin this fall if admitted. I am also planning on attending law school after my master's program, which we spoke about in New York. I apologize for the blunt nature of my letter, but I hope you seriously consider taking me under your wing this summer. I have attached my resume for your review. Feel free to call me at [redacted] or email at [redacted]. Thank you for your time.
It probably bodes well for his future in the industry that his risk paid dividends.
Within minutes, the letter was blasted to entire listservs of Wall Street bigshots, garnering the would-be intern rave reviews for his bravery.
"This might be the best cover letter I've ever received," exclaimed one recipient. "THIS IS AWESOME," capslocked another.
Others weren't interested in wasting time on platitudes while someone else was snapping him up.
"No joke, I think we should consider this guy," said one investment banker who was two forwards deep. "I wouldn't be surprised if this guy gets at least a call from every bank out there."