In January of 2013, Matthew Ross penned a cover letter to a managing director at Wall Street firm Duff and Phelps, asking for an internship.
“I was reading through some cover letters, and they were all fluff to me, everyone was embellishing and lying,” Ross said. “I wanted to take a fresh approach, tell the truth, and be brutally honest.” Ross says his resume was not too different from the hundreds of others that Duff & Phelps received.
In the cover letter, he said he “won’t waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crap about how my past experiences and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking internship.”
Ross also claimed to “have no qualms about fetching coffee, shining shoes, or picking up laundry.” Within half an hour, Ross was fielding calls from reporters and multiple employers looking to interview him. A year and a half later, Ross had the job he wanted.
After just interning two months at Duff & Phelps, he was hired for an entry level position. He is now an investment banking analyst at the company. Company officials say the fact that Ross didn’t come from an elite university may have helped motivate him to succeed.
As for Ross, he tells investment banking hopefuls to stay resilient in their job search. He admits, he “probably got lucky that the cover letter exploded the way it did.”