Morgan Stanley CV and cover letter advice: telling your story

Morgan Stanley wants candidates at interview to clearly tell their story. TARGETjobs thinks that it will impress recruiters if you start to build this narrative in your CV and cover letter. As well as making you stand out from other candidates, this will also allow you to develop and hone your story before the interview.

Telling your story is important as it shows recruiters that you have:

  • made a careful and considered choice to apply for Morgan Stanley’s graduate and internship programmes
  • the skills and requirements necessary for the specific graduate and internship schemes
  • demonstrated skills that will be critical for the role that you are applying for. For example, Laurence Desmazieres, an analyst in global capital markets, told TARGETjobs Internships 2018 that, while helping with an initial public offering, ‘Morgan Stanley assists the company in pitching its story to potential investors’

Here are some pointers to make use of the experience you already have to tell a compelling and convincing story through your CV and cover letter.

How to tell a story in your CV for Morgan Stanley

Tell a convincing story by tweaking your CV to specifically suit Morgan Stanley, rather than submitting a generic CV. Look at the skills and requirements that the job or internship description asks for and build your CV around these. You can do this by grouping experiences together that demonstrate specific skills.

  • For example, a number of graduate roles at Morgan Stanley have asked for a ‘proven team player’. Highlight this skill by grouping instances from work, extracurricular activities and your education where you have worked successfully in a team.

For each, explain how your skills and qualities have been challenged and have developed. Show recruiters that there is a clear progression in your skills to the point where you are ready to apply to Morgan Stanley.

Do not neglect any extracurricular activities or hobbies that may also serve as evidence of your skills and values that align with what Morgan Stanley are looking for. Experiences from outside of university and ‘relevant’ work experience are helpful for incorporating these qualities into your story. For example:

  • Morgan Stanley specifically says that it is looking for candidates that ‘show that [they] have a life’. Recruiters look for this as it is an indicator of your time management skills, are you able to juggle university work with outside pursuits, for instance.

  • Morgan Stanley’s careers site emphasises the ‘collegial’ atmosphere of the workplace and how the organisation places a great deal of importance on ‘giving back’ and charitable pursuits.

Remember that clear and consistent CV formatting will always convey the best possible impression.

If you want to open your CV with a personal statement or profile, make sure to write a tailored profile for Morgan Stanley. Use it to set out the beginnings of your story and outline some of the experiences that have made you want to apply, which you can then build open later on in your CV.

Perfecting your Morgan Stanley cover letter: how to tell a story

Use your Morgan Stanley cover letter to expand on details from your CV and provide more detail and examples that will form the backbone of your story. In order to tell a convincing story make sure your cover letter follows a logical structure.

Elaborate on how you first encountered Morgan Stanley. If you have taken part in an internship or spring week or have attended a careers fair, for instance, use this as a starting point for your narrative. Talk about what stood out about this employer in particular, what you learned and what made you apply for the specific graduate or internship scheme in question. Another tack could be mentioning any news articles or interviews that you had read which featured Morgan Stanley.

It is crucial that every statement you make is backed up with an appropriate example. This will help evidence your story and reinforce your argument that you are the candidate that Morgan Stanley are looking for.

Many of Morgan Stanley’s graduate opportunities specifically ask for relevant experience in investment banking or finance. By bringing these up in your CV you can reflect on what you learned and how this informed why you particularly want to work for Morgan Stanley as opposed to other investment banks. If the graduate scheme or internship doesn’t specifically ask for relevant experience, you can still talk about experience from other fields. Make sure, however, that you relate these unrelated (but not irrelevant) experiences to why you are currently applying for the specific graduate programme.

When writing your cover letter avoid the urge to use complicated or overly elaborate language. Instead make clarity and concision your priorities, especially as you want to keep the letter brief. Vary the length of your sentences. Consider also having shorter, easy to read paragraphs. Morgan Stanley has previously specifically asked for the ‘ability to summarise complex business problems with clarity and brevity’, and a professional, legible and lucid cover letter is the ideal opportunity to show that you would be ready to interact with clients in a professional environment.

Our 'How to get hired' articles are written by TARGETjobs editors and writers with job candidates in mind, helping you research and understand employers. Copyright of all material written by TARGETjobs lies solely with GTI Media.
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