Average Student gets Finance Interviews with Killer Cover Letter

Imagine you attend an average college, make average grades, and your extracurricular activities are as normal as the next Joe who sits by you in accounting class. This scenario probably sounds familiar to many students around the country who are trying to ensure they leave college with a string of internships and a good job. But when you’re facing competition from every other person who you consider to be your equal as well as those who attend Ivy League schools with perfect GPAs, scoring your dream job or internship sounds daunting, doesn’t it?

If this sounds familiar, don’t start counting yourself out of the game.

This week the internet has been buzzing about one college student’s cover letter to Finance and Investment company Duff and Phelps. Matthew Ross, undergrad and finance student at San Diego State University is being credited to penning the “best cover letter ever” that has been making the rounds on Wall Street and finance companies all across the country.

So who is Mathew Ross and what makes him and his cover letter so special?  Well if you ask him, he’d say nothing. According to his letter, he claims to be a fairly average student who has “no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities.”

But as it turns out, reports are surfacing that Ross has very much undersold himself as many students do in these instances. As a skilled athlete with a great work ethic, those who know Ross and those who have read his cover letter are well aware that he has many valuable qualities companies would be thrilled to acquire in an intern including humility and a willingness to do menial tasks (fetch coffee and shine shoes) that most interns avoid at all costs.

His cover letter really does shine light on the saying “honesty is the best policy” as the Daily Mail reports an employee from Duff and Phelps said, “if someone with Matthew’s qualities were to come on board, he certainly would not be shining shoes and said he is just the type of person the company are looking for.”

Check out his cover letter below and tell us if you think this qualifies as the best cover letter.



  1. Rona says

    Loved his letter. Open, direct, honest (liked his humility), and engaging. I hope he got the job.

  2. Jim says

    This letter might work for a college kid seeking an internship, or for someone who knows a hiring manager personally, but for the average person who is looking for the second or third job in their career this letter is anything but the best cover letter ever. I hire people in finance, but I wouldn’t hire him . . . even for an internship. He lost my interest with the phrase “line of crap,” not because I’m a prude, but because I think it’s unprofessional to use those words with someone who may not even remember the one time they met you. I also think he’ll be eating those words in about ten years, when he’s not a student anymore and is trying to land a real job that involves more than shining shoes and working for next to nothing. Definitely NOT the best cover letter ever.

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