Credit Suisse requests a cover/motivation letter to accompany its application form. This additional procedure is intended to weed out the motivated candidates from the unmotivated; the well-researched from the uninformed; and those who genuinely want to join the team from those who just want a job. There is a big clue in the fact that Credit Suisse calls the document it wants a ‘cover/motivation’ letter: make sure you explain your motivation to Credit Suisse when you apply to the bank.
Therefore, it could be wise to structure your letter by explaining your motivation first and then matching your skills and experience to the requirements of the job. If you leave the part about your motivation to the end you run the risk of not grabbing the reader and distinguishing yourself.
When writing your letter, if you can, highlight information that makes you stand out. Credit Suisse says your covering letter is an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from your peers.
In your Credit Suisse motivation letter, say why you should get the job
Credit Suisse asks you to specify a reason why you believe you’re qualified for a job at the bank. The reason you choose must be underpinned by a solid example that demonstrates how you have employed the specific skills, qualities, experience or attitude Credit Suisse is looking for.
Choose an example from the practical experience, qualifications or knowledge you’ve gained through your academic life, work experience or extracurricular pursuits. Your relevant experiences will already be summarised in your CV, but the covering letter is an opportunity to elaborate on the best and most suitable example. To do that, you’ve to know what Credit Suisse wants in an employee: the job and profiles on this employer hub are good places to start finding out.
Most applicants detail their skills, knowledge and experience (which are all relevant and desirable) in their covering letters, but fail to convey how they want to use them to the betterment of the employer. You’ll be hired by Credit Suisse because you meet the requirements in the job description and can identify where you can add value to the bank. Remember there are those who genuinely want to join the team and those who just want a job. You could explain that you want to use your attributes to strengthen Credit Suisse’s operation, client relations, or another aspect of its operation.
In your Credit Suisse motivation letter, provide evidence of your motivation for applying
A formal internship with a finance firm or a particular module you’ve excelled in during your degree are excellent examples to use in your covering letter. The experience doesn’t have to be obscure or novel (eg work experience on a safari), nor does it have to be finance-related (although it would help if it were finance-related). What it must be, however, is a clear demonstration of how you have displayed the qualities the bank is looking for.
In your Credit Suisse motivation letter, demonstrate your knowledge
Your reason, supported by your concrete example, will convey why you should be considered for the job, but not necessarily why you should get it. Don’t leave it to Credit Suisse to draw the links between your interest, experience and the job you’re applying for. Spell out succinctly how what you’ve described tallies with the requirements of the job, and why you’re the best fit.
This is where your knowledge of the position, Credit Suisse and the industry comes in. Mentioning something insightful that connects your reason for applying for the job and your example to the job role, bank or industry demonstrates that you’re a conscientious candidate who’s serious about a career with the Swiss lender. It also shows that you’ve done your research, which won’t go unnoticed by the company.
You could, for instance, focus on the bank’s equity research division and how the quantitative and thematic research and analysis work you did at university prepared you for a role within it.
In your Credit Suisse motivation letter, ensure your motivation letter is personal
You should stress that Credit Suisse is a place where you really want to work, but avoid regurgitating corporate spiel while you do so. Writing the following is a big mistake: ‘I wish to work for a leading global investment bank and Credit Suisse in particular because of the way you help clients achieve their growth ambitions, build and expand their businesses, and meet their objectives.’ This has been copied directly from the Credit Suisse website. Doing this is rather lazy, does not show the critical thinking Credit Suisse seeks and does not say anything personal about you.
It is great for the opening of the letter, in particular, to be personal (but not chatty). For instance, explain you are motivated by intellectual and strategic challenge and then go on to write how that’s demonstrated in your love of playing chess, particularly when visualising future moves and narrowing them down to those that really work for you. These are all things that are useful in investment banking and reflect well upon you as an individual.
For more tips on writing a covering letter, see our investment banking covering letter advice feature.
*** Contributed by a Cover Letter Library member from Vietnam. Please see the associated final round interview experience here ***
November 8, 2015
Dear HR Officer,
My name is <redacted> and I’m currently a junior at Dartmouth College pursuing a major in Computer Science and a minor in Economics. I have had the opportunity to attend Credit Suisse’s INSPIRE event in Boston last October and was very impressed with the firm’s strong presence in Asia and its emphasis on learning for incoming analysts. As someone originally from Vietnam, I am interested in the Summer Analyst position for the Investment Banking team in the Singapore office, and have enclosed my information below for your consideration.
I have previously completed a summer internship with Horizon Capital Group, a $200M private equity fund based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This internship entailed performing financial modeling to value companies and compiling market news to update the Managing Partner and Vice Presidents. My work culminated in an independent project to identify a company for an investment recommendation. In 2 weeks, I looked into 50 Vietnamese companies with market caps of over $80M and finally selected a jewelry company for investment recommendation. I then evaluated the company by building a three-statement operating model and comps analyses considering other leading jewelry companies in Asia and the world.
Despite my previous background in finance, I am well aware that an internship with Credit Suisse will entail a steep learning curve. I greatly enjoyed the investment banking and sales & trading workshops at INSPIRE, and I believe that I have both the drive to succeed and the humility to appreciate and take advantage of the learning opportunities that the job can offer. Given my experience, I believe I am a particularly good fit for your Summer Analyst position. I hope you will find me well qualified for this position and I would like to reiterate my strong interest to discuss my qualifications with you further.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
About Credit Suisse
Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland
Size: 10000+ employees
Type: Company – Public (CS)
Revenue: £5 to £10 billion (GBP) per year
Credit Suisse is a leading global wealth manager with strong investment banking and asset management capabilities. Founded in 1856, Credit Suisse has expanded to be a global force employing over 45,000 people in 50 countries. With new leadership, a new strategy and a streamlined global organization, we are set for growth. We partner across businesses, divisions and regions to create innovative solutions to meet the needs of our clients—and to help our employees grow. It is a high priority for us to continually invest in our employees by providing ongoing opportunities for training, networking and mobility. Join us and let’s shape the future of Credit Suisse together.
Mission: Credit Suisse is one of the world’s premier banks, with a successful business, a rich history, a diverse culture and a commitment to help you build your career. We offer clients a 159-year private banking heritage, combined with the power and presence of a global investment bank. We continually look ahead; we have been among the most advanced banks in adapting to and shaping the new financial industry regulations. This is an opportune time to build our bank’s future success, and your own.