B School Recruitment: Writing cover letters for resumes that work

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Here is one of the many one page cover letters I wrote post the 2001 meltdown to go with my resume. While it was tough market then, conditions now are even tougher. For a cover letter to stand out it was important that you had researched your fit with the role and wrote a letter highlighting the fit of your experience with the requirements specified for the position. The sample cover letter reproduced here was written for a position requiring an entrepreneurial, can do attitude within the insurance industry.

Dear Mr. X

I am a near FSA with a MBA from Columbia Business School and Bachelors in computer science.   During business school I took advanced courses on Continuous Time Finance (PhD), Advance Derivatives, Security Pricing, Valuation & Financial Reporting that covered derivative instruments, option pricing, Black-Scholes analysis, stochastic calculus, trading strategies, risk management, portfolio selection & optimization, contingent cash flows, simulations and spread sheet models.  I rounded off the program with general management courses on Strategy, Product Development, Brand Management, International Marketing & Advertising.

Before the MBA, the first 6 years of my career were spent in developing & implementing custom financial accounting solutions for insurance, actuarial, employee benefits, brokerage, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, distribution, manufacturing, trading & advertising businesses. My day-to-day contacts were head of operations, technology, accounting, finance & planning. The role was that of a project manager/consultant responsible for pre and post sales support, planning, pricing, budgeting & managing aggressive schedules & tight deadlines on fixed term or fixed price technology contracts.

The next step up was to startup mode as the CEO of an e-education venture for 22 months. Here the roles broadened to being responsible for product development, marketing, business plans, venture capital conversations, alliances, budgeting, financial statements preparation & analysis, operations, strategic planning, cash flow planning & execution. I also drove the technical architecture & co-authored four courses on corporate finance, ratio analysis, credit analysis and operational leverage.

My interest is in a position that uses my actuarial, technology and business background. Your firm and the role advertised by you is an instance where such a role is a distinct possibility. A short summary of my profile follows:

Requirements Fit
Education Near FSA, MBA, BCS. 8 Years experience
New business /product development Three finance/technology product launches – E-Education/E-Payments/Financial Accounting)Multiple market assessments, marketing collateral, entry & information systems strategies assignments


Engagement management, relationship /alliances development, maintenances & growth experience

Derivatives / Risk / Capital Markets Very comfortable with derivative theory, pricing, hedging, applications & practices. Active equity trader for 15 months (26%+ for the period 02/00 – 05/01)
Life Insurance / Risk Experience Back office systems for Commercial Union Life & Dickson Insurance Brokers, UKValue at Risk for Prime Brokerage, Goldman Sachs, London


Actuarial Valuations for employee benefits plans, Rate generation spreadsheets, macros, quotation & group rating systems

Requirements Fit
Technology Hands on Hands on with programming, architecture, databases, systems, spreadsheets, simulation tools & models
Delivery & Implementation 6 years of consulting, implementation & technology exposure
Growth Prospects Extremely strong execution, problem solving, communications, presentation & peoples skills

A copy of my resume is attached for your reference. I will look forward to your feedback

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