Viral Wall Street Application Cover Letter: ‘I Have No Special Skills’

A Wall Street applicant’s cover letter has gone viral for its frankness and unusual honesty. In it, the average joe proclaims that he possesses “no special skills.”

MSN reports that the letter comes from an undergraduate applicant for a summer intern position at an investment bank, and that the applicant confesses to possess “no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities.” The executive whose desk the cover letter landed on quickly forwarded it around to other Wall Street big-wigs, saying, “this might be the best cover letter I’ve ever received.”

Forbes reports that another Wall Street boss praised the letter, saying: “I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy gets at least a call from every bank out there.”

Of course, not everyone is embracing the viral cover letter. Fun-sucker Lex van Dam, former top trader at Goldman Sachs and head of hedge fund, Hampstead Capital, decried the letter, writing:

“The letter is well written and makes you have great sympathy for the applicant. However, it also feels as a call for charity. I would still prefer the candidate to have something special about them that they can tell me about , rather than a person who pretty much admits that he or she is pretty average.”

Below we’ve included the viral letter in its entirety. What do you say? Wall Street executive or no, would you hire this humble and honest applicant?


Sent: Monday, January 14, 2013 1:14PM


Subject: Summer Internship


My name is (BLOCKED) and I am an undergraduate finance student at (BLOCKED). I met you the summer before last at Smith & Wollensky’s in New York when I was touring the east coast with my uncle, (BLOCKED). 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. Iam aware it is highly unusual for undergraduates from average universities like (BLOCKED) to intern at (BLOCKED), 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 (BLOCKED), for whatever that is worth.

I am currently awaiting admission results for (BLOCKED) 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 (BLOCKED) or email at (BLOCKED). Thank you for your time.