Financial Analyst: Cover Letter Writing Guide & Template

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Congratulations! You have finished writing your resume and are ready to apply for the position of a financial analyst.


Your resume demonstrates all the skills an expert financial analyst should have, such as outstanding analytic and problem-solving skills, good technical skills, proficiency in spreadsheets, databases, and financial software applications, as well as strong communication and presentation skills.


You can’t wait to send out your resume!


We get it. But don't send it yet - your job application isn't ready yet.


Your perfect financial analyst resume needs an equally impressive cover letter.


Let us help. Here you are going to learn:


how to write a perfect financial analyst cover letter that actually gets read by employers

how to format a cover letter to stand out among the rest

what to do before you send your cover letter


Additionally, you’ll get a word-for-word cover letter template. Just replace some of the keywords, and your cover letter will be ready in no time.

>> Download a resume pack for your next job application. Cover letter template included! <<



How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter?


A cover letter should complement the content of your resume.


In a concise, straightforward way, you should put your skills and experience in the context of the job you’d like to apply for and convince the employer that you are the best candidate out there. But be careful, you'll only have 250 to 300 words to do so.


Considering the limited space, a cover letter is not just a place to duplicate content from your resume.


Instead, you should:

  • build your brand and position yourself as an expert in the field to add value to your application

  • express things that cannot be added to a resume, such as your motivation for the application, the story behind your most impressive achievements or the reasons why you want to work for this company.


A cover letter allows you to build your brand, position yourself as an expert, add value to your application and express things that cannot be added to a resume, such as your motivation for applying, the story behind your most impressive achievements or the reasons why you want to work for this company.

To do so, here is a proven structure that should be followed:



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1. Greeting


Start with a greeting.


It may look like a minor detail, but this part sets the tone of your cover letter. Hence, it can easily be a deal-breaker. Make sure you do it right.


  • Greetings to avoid: Do not use obsolete, unnatural and over-used greetings such as ‘To Whom It May Concern’ or ‘Dear Sir or Madam’. Some hiring managers immediately stop reading a cover letter if they see one of those two phrases, so avoid them.

  • Address personally: Try to address your letter to the hiring manager directly. If no name is listed with the posting, use LinkedIn to find out the department director, recruiter, or other contact associated with the position.

  • Or: If you can't find a name, start the letter with ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ or ‘Dear XYZ Team’. (Insert the department you'd work at instead of the XYZ.)

  • But don’t: Don’t combine too many options starting your cover letter with ‘Dear Sir/Madam/Hiring Manager/Mister/Miss’. It makes you look unconfident and indecisive.


 

2. Opening paragraph

Grab the reader's attention with your opening paragraph. This sentence should provide immediate insight into the value you can bring to the company.


To make it right, in one or two sentences:

  • tell them who you are

  • summarize your experience

  • and express your enthusiasm for the role.

For example, you could start by saying:

As a financial analyst with four years of experience in financial planning and corporate finance, I was excited to see your advertisement for a financial analyst position in your company.

The sentence above is more informative and grabs attention more effectively than:


I am writing to apply for the financial analyst role advertised on the XYZ job board.


Writing an informative and specific opening sentence will set you apart from other applicants.

 

3. Body


Spoiler alert: This is where you win employers over!


This is the most important part of your cover letter.

It consists of two to three short paragraphs where you answer two main questions:

  • What experience, skills and knowledge do you have that is, of course, relevant to the job?

  • How do your experience, skills and knowledge add value to the company you want to work for and to the job you are applying for?

Showing that you have researched the company is vital in this section.

Demonstrate your knowledge of the organization's current situation and how your background, interests, and experience can contribute or help them resolve problems. The best way to do this is by highlighting your achievements, as they are the best proof of your abilities.

When describing achievements, do the following

  • Include numbers. Metrics effectively grab attention and make it easier for readers to understand the impact of your actions. So, let the numbers speak for themselves.

  • Put the spotlight on your achievements by creating a short, bulleted list of two to three key achievements. Visually, this will draw attention to this part of your cover letter.

So, instead of this:


I have identified opportunities for financial status improvement in all my previous roles, which in turn has increased the revenues and profits of my employers. I want to bring the same success to the financial analyst position you have posted on your Website.

Write this:


As a Financial Analyst, I have recommended and implemented new systems and policies and identified cost reduction opportunities resulting in:

  • Improved competitive position and increased profit by 21%, from $2 million in 2018 to $2.42 million in 2019

  • Reduced material costs by 17%, from $1.1 million in 2018 to $913 thousand in 2019

Considering that XYZ company is currently looking for an experienced financial analyst to support the future expansion, based on my previous experience, I am confident that I can contribute to the future growth of XYZ as a financial analyst.

And that's how you create an exciting cover letter that employers actually read.


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4. Closing paragraph

In the closing paragraph, summarize what you've written.

Restate your interest in the position and interview. Finish on a positive note. For example, write:


I am confident that my skills and experience would make me a great fit for the financial analyst role. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my application in more detail.


Additionally, express your appreciation for the hiring manager's time and consideration. The final greeting can be “Sincerely”, “Best”, or “Best regards”.



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How to Format a Cover Letter?

Unlike resumes where the perfect length is not set in stone and depends on different factors, a cover letter shouldn’t be longer than one page.


If you aimed at 300-350 words of tailored content, this shouldn’t be a problem.


In terms of layout, resumes and cover letters both need to be visually appealing. A cover letter must look like a polished, carefully crafted and well-structured professional document as well.


To wow employers and come across as a motivated, professional and detail-oriented candidate, make the formatting consistent throughout all job application documents.


Since cover letters are typically sent along with resumes, it means those two documents should have a matching format.


If your resume is already aligned with resume-formatting best practices, simply copy the same style.


Copy the same header and footer.


Apply the same font style and size in both documents – both for the body text and headings.


The same works for the white space – apply the same spacing between rows and margins as you have used in your resume. Make sure you have enough white space so that the document is easy on the eye.


If your cover letter looks cluttered and you need to change the font style or other formatting elements, go back to your resume and do the same to have complementary documents.


In case you need to re-format both documents, here are some actionable tips that can help:


 


A. Font style


Select a professional, readable font. Avoid too complex, unprofessional or hard-to-read fonts.


Here is a short list of the best and worst resume fonts:

  • Best resume fonts: Calibri, Arial, Corbel, Cambria, Georgia, Source Sans Pro/Light

  • Worst resume fonts: Comic Sans, Book Antiqua, or any cartoonish or handwriting font styles


Another factor in making your words highly readable is setting an appropriate font size. Generally, you should stay between 10 and 12 points.


Additionally, if you want to highlight some information, apply the bold font. Don’t underline it, as underlining hurts the readability of the text.



B. Bullet points To break the monotony of the text, include two or three bullet points to describe and highlight your achievements.


It’s a visual trick that will make the most impressive part of your cover letter more eye-catching.


C. White space

Last but not least, the element that contributes to the readability of your cover letter is the amount of white space - an area of your document that remains unused when separating sections and paragraphs of text.


Lack of sufficient white space can make your cover letter look cluttered and disorganized, whereas too much can leave it feeling bare and lacking in content.

So, to make a cover letter easy on the eye, it’s important to achieve the right balance between white space and content.

Pay attention to:

  • Spacing between rows: If your cover letter looks packed, increase the spacing between lines from 1.0 pt to at least 1.15 pt. The latter makes it less cluttered without taking up too much valuable space.

  • Spacing between paragraphs: Instead of having a jammed-packed block of text, cover letters should have a clear structure with four to five distinctive paragraphs. The easiest way to create it is to increase spacing between the paragraphs to 1.5. Or you can simply add an empty row between two sections.

  • Margins: Margins (white space around the content) will depend on the amount of text you have. It should be between 0.5’’ to 1’’. Play around with it until you get a layout that looks the best.

  • Alignment: The most common recommendation is to align your text to the left. An alternative solution is to justify it (align both to the left and right, distributing your text evenly in a line between margins). This depends on your preferences. The only option that needs to be ruled out is centering the entire content – it’s OK for headings but not for the body of a cover letter.



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What to do before sending a cover letter?

  1. Read your resume out loud. Cover letters may require a lot of editing, copy-pasting and re-organizing sentences a million times. This can inevitably lead to some oversights. Reading your cover letter aloud helps you ensure that the content is correct and that it flows smoothly and sounds natural.

  2. Let someone proofread it. Give your cover letter to someone else who can proofread it for you. A proofreading buddy is your 2-factor authentication for job applications. After working on your cover letter for a while, you may not see your own mistakes anymore. Since spelling, grammar or punctuation errors are not acceptable, you need to share it with someone to make sure your cover letter is safe to send.

  3. Save in the proper format. Make sure you have saved your cover letter in a format requested by the employer. The most common formats are .docx or .pdf. If the employer hasn’t specified the format, save your cover letter as a PDF file to preserve the formatting, regardless of the operating system someone is using.

  4. Name appropriately. Name your cover letter professionally. Don’t send it as ‘Cover letter - final Company X FINAL v7’. They don’t need to know how many times you edited it. Instead, save it as ‘Name Surname_cover letter’.

Now, let's see how these tips work in practice.

 

Financial Analyst: Cover Letter Template


Just replace the underlined keywords, and you'll have a cover letter that works for you!


Dear Mrs Smith,


As a Financial Analyst with four years of experience in financial planning and corporate finance, I was excited to see the advertisement for a Financial Analyst position within Company X. Being well-experienced in creating financial models, as well as evaluating revenue concentration, I believe that my expertise in financial planning and analysis, as well as my personal characteristics, make me a strong candidate for this position.


In my current position, I am responsible for all financial planning, data analysis and financial forecasts. This includes analyzing financial data, evaluating performance, preparing financial models, and forecasting future trends.


During my employment with Company XYZ, I have achieved exceptional results, including:

  • Reducing material costs by 17%, from $1.1 million in 2018 to $913 thousand in 2019

  • Improving competitive position and increasing the profit by 21%, from $2 million in 2018 to $2.42 million in 2019


On top of that, I write monthly financial reports, present them to senior management, and give my recommendations based on the findings.


Considering that XYZ company is currently looking for an experienced financial analyst to support the future expansion, based on my previous experience, I am confident that I can contribute to the future growth of XYZ as a financial analyst.


On a personal level, I pride myself on being diligent in my approach to work. At the same time, by having strong communication skills and being used to explaining the financial analysis’ findings in an easily understandable language, I am able to adapt and efficiently collaborate with different departments and stakeholders.


I am confident that my skills and experience would make me an excellent fit for the Financial Analyst position. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my application in more detail.


Thank you for your time and consideration.


Yours sincerely,

Name Surname


And that’s it! Your cover letter is done and ready to impress employers.

 

LET'S RECAP:


A well-crafted cover letter sent with your resume can give you a competitive advantage. When done correctly, a cover letter shows the employer that you're the right person for the job.

  • Your cover letter should have four main parts: greeting, opening paragraph, body and closing section.

  • In a cover letter, showcase your expertise by describing and quantifying relevant achievements. Connect them with the company’s current situation to show you have done your research on them, and that you understand how you can add value.

  • Match the formatting with the style of your resume. Make sure that the fonts are professional and readable, that you have enough white space, and that achievements are highlighted in a short bulleted list.

  • Let someone proofread your cover letter. Once approved, save it in the right format, name it professionally and send it along with your resume.

 

Do you have any questions about writing a perfect cover letter for a job in finance? We’d love to help! Book a FREE coaching call with our job search experts and have all your questions answered in 30 minutes.