Fleeting: Writing a Cover Letter or Essay for College Application

Recently one of my cousins was studying for the SATs and ACTs in hopes to scoring well so that he may be able to attend the university of his choice. During a conversation with him and another relative it came out that said cousin had yet (at that time) to figure out what to write for his college essay application and didn’t know where to start.

As those that have been through where he was five to fifteen years ago we naturally gave some advice to what and where he could start. But there was something else I told him… that in the end it isn’t what you have done that matters but what you can bring to the table.

Most students / kids / young adults would argue that by saying that it means what their GPA, standardized test scores, accolades, etc have to show for them. But in all reality they don’t always tell the whole story.

I remember when I was rather young there was one instance of a college application where the student wrote some of the most outlandish accomplishments that you know for a fact that couldn’t be true… However, because they wrote with such conviction and passion that the essay was thoroughly entertaining how would one ignore it?

Another such example has been making the rounds. A cover letter from a college student that is on the verge of completing their bachelor’s degree and is looking to pursue a masters. In the meantime they are looking for an internship and are hoping to be considered.

As the writers of the article have noted:

Sometimes we get forwarded applications for summer internships on Wall Street that are extremely embarrassing because the applicant is totally full of themselves or completely clueless.

What happens is the letters go viral and the Street passes them around in long email chains blasting the applicant. They’re always funny, but a little bit sad.

That’s exactly what we thought was going to happen today when we received this one in our inbox. It turns that the cover letter originally sent to a boutique investment bank is exactly the opposite.

The cover letter below is unapologetically honest and people on Wall Street are calling it one of the best letters they have seen. Everyone on the thread agrees the letter shows energy and pluck and honesty.

No kidding. Having gone through various college essays and applications during my time as an academic advisor… and sifting through countless transcripts as a credentials specialist, I believe I have a rough idea of how dull and boring seeing the same thing over and over again can be. So seeing something like that, that gets a chuckle out of me deserves to be put to the side, shared with others for entertainment purposes and perhaps just a little more than average consideration.

In today’s day and age where it is more than important to make a first impression… it is safe to say that sometimes making a great first impression isn’t in the accolades you have acquired but in the way that they are presented. First impressions aren’t always everything, but knowing how to present them does help.

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