Are Big Banks Laughing at Job Applicants?

On Thursday, new data from the Labor Department showed Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance declined to 358,000, bringing the four-week average to 366,250, the lowest since April 2008.  However, the number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits increased by 64,000 to 3.52 million.  Applicants applying for jobs continue to face a seemingly endless supply of headwinds.  Adding insult to injury, major banks are having a good laugh at the expense of one applicant seeking a summer analyst position.

In an effort to stand out from the crowd, which is usually recommended when applying for a job, a New York University applicant sent a cover letter that high-lighted a wide range of attributes to J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM).

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According to a copy of the letter obtained by Business Insider, the applicant wrote, “I am unequivocally the most unflaggingly hard worker I know, and I love self-improvement.  I have always felt that my time should be spent wisely, so I continuously challenge myself; I left…because the work was too easy.  Once I realized I could achieve a perfect GPA while holding a part-time job at NYU, I decided to redouble my effort by placing out of two classes, taking two honors classes, and holding two part-time jobs.  That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups.”

The letter goes on to call J.P Morgan a firm with “employees who represent only the best and brightest of those in finance.”  Since then, the letter has gone viral among the internet and big banks including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and Barclays Capital (NYSE:BCS).  Bank of America, which received a $45 billion bailout during the credit crisis, had a director that even forwarded the letter to his entire team and offered drinks to summarize everything wrong with the letter.

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While major banks may not have shown humility towards the cover letter, the applicant did by finishing the letter with, “Please realize that I am not a braggart or conceited, I just want to outline my usefulness.  Egos can be a huge liability, and I try not to have one.  Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at