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Tips on resumes and cover letters

Résumés

Successful résumés serve only one function: to get you an interview. Creating a résumé that accomplishes this requires a lot of thought. Your résumé is an introduction to us or to any potential employer; make sure it presents you in the best possible light.

If you don't have prior financial work experience, think of other ways you can demonstrate your aptitude: other jobs or experiences that required leadership and quantitative ability, or roles in which you worked with your company's senior clients.

A few tips:

  • Almost without exception, your résumé should be no longer than one page.
  • Prioritize the points you want to get across, such as summer internships and other quantitative work experience, and structure your résumé to highlight skills that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  • Proofread. Typos tell us that either you're careless, or not that interested in a job with J.P. Morgan.
  • Keep your statements concise and quantify where possible.
  • Make sure you can support and talk intelligently about everything on your résumé and how it will contribute to your success.
  • For MBAs, be sure the format of your résumé is consistent with your school’s requirements.
  • For PhD’s, emphasize your research, coursework and teaching experience in finance, economics, quantitative modeling, engineering and mathematics.
  • Additionally, be sure you can support and talk intelligently about everything on your Curricula Vitae (CV), including how your previous work and research will contribute to your success in investment banking.

Cover letters

Cover letters, on the other hand, give you an opening to sell yourself – but briefly. This is the place to say why you want to work for J.P. Morgan and how your background has prepared you for that challenge.

Remember that one size does not fit all; a form letter will always look like a generic form letter. We want to know that you've done some research on J.P. Morgan, and that you've thought through why you want to join our team. What do you have to offer and why do you think you would be a good fit? How can you distinguish yourself from the hundreds of others we interview?

Use the cover letter to demonstrate compelling evidence of your candidacy that may not be obvious in your résumé. Your résumé gives us a static view of your academic and work background, but your cover letter gives you an opportunity to discuss how you will apply it to a role in this field. Organization and brevity are just as important here as in your résumé. Put yourself in the recruiters' shoes: they will see hundreds of cover letters. Prioritize your points, cover each one in order, and do not dwell on any of them.


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