Your CV and covering letter are your first chance to make a good first impression on Oliver Wyman - these two documents are your opportunity to present yourself as someone who both embodies the firm’s values and stands out.
After registering via Oliver Wyman’s careers website and selecting a vacancy, applicants need to submit personal and contact details, complete the form and attach transcripts, a CV and covering letter.
The importance of being interesting
At least three things suggest that this is an important character trait for Oliver Wyman:
- The firm asks for ‘evidence of leading an interesting and impactful life outside of studies/work’.
- It stresses: ‘One of the best things we can do for our clients and ourselves is to recruit a diverse group of people who bring a broad range of strengths and backgrounds to their roles.'
- It offers various types of opportunity to allow its employees to pursue their interests.
The point Oliver Wyman is making is that its clients appreciate and benefit from working with consultants who have a broad range of experiences, and that employees with broad talents are an asset to the firm, making for a more enjoyable work place. Your covering letter therefore needs to highlight your experiences and interests and show how you have actively furthered them. You could mention, for example, setting up a student society or taking part in a theatrical production.
There are two main themes your covering letter to Oliver Wyman should cover: why it should choose you, and why you are choosing it.
1. Why Oliver Wyman should choose you
This is about persuading recruiters why you are the best person for the job of consultant at Oliver Wyman. What does the firm say it's looking for? The job description says it seeks graduates with ‘initiative, intuition and creativity with a strong background in problem solving and analytics.’ It also says, ‘We value extracurricular activities and evidence of leading an interesting and impactful life outside of studies/work.’ So think of how you have demonstrated the aforementioned qualities (and the others that Oliver Wyman seeks), in particular through extracurricular activities. Don’t limit your train of thought to the most obvious places you can develop these qualities. Creativity, for instance, isn’t just shown through an artistic pursuit or dramatic performance: for example, if you have any experience of teaching, did you think creatively when planning how to teach a new concept? When you give examples of your activities, make sure you explain the impact they had. For example, how did your creative ideas help those you were teaching and what did you learn from the experience?
Oliver Wyman doesn’t require industry-related work experience, but you should still make the most of any work experience you have – whether or not it’s in consulting. If you’ve had part-time jobs, what skills have you developed that correspond with Oliver Wyman’s graduate role description, as described on its employer hub? This could include leadership responsibility (eg training new colleagues), for example. Similarly, if you have completed an internship at a consulting firm, did you ‘carry out essential research and analysis’, for instance?
2. Why you have chosen Oliver Wyman
This should reveal your reasons for wanting to work for Oliver Wyman in particular (but avoid comparing them directly with other consulting firms). It shows, firstly, that you have done your research, and, secondly, that it’s worth taking your application further as you’d be keen to commit to a job with the firm.
Think back to what initially attracted you to Oliver Wyman and do some further research. What is it about a consulting firm of that size, specialising in so many industries, that makes you want to work there, for example? Oliver Wyman says it offers significant international opportunities, such as its non-profit fellowship programme. Does this interest you? If so, why? Tell recruiters how such opportunities would help you fulfil your career ambitions. The firm offers career flexibility options to help employees progress or improve their work/life balance. Would this be something you’d particularly value?