The first step to becoming a management consultant of a huge firm, such as Bain, BCG and McKinsey, is to write an excellent cover letter and resume. As part of weeding out applicants, recruiters review these documents and choose those who they think possess the potential to deliver expectations. The selected ones are then assessed further through testing and a few interview rounds.
The competition in this industry is quite tough. Applicants are aplenty and highly qualified. Everyone has a degree and many have even taken further studies. Only about 5% are considered for further screening, and this 5% is determined during job application evaluation. This is how critical and powerful your cover letter and resume are. They should market your skills, knowledge and abilities. If these documents fail to market yourself successfully, then you won't be able to move your candidacy forward.
To be able to convince the recruiters that you are the right person for the management consulting vacancy, establish a link between your competence and the firm's goals. This way, recruiters would feel that there's something you can contribute to their needs. However, you can't do this if you don't research about the firm. Good thing, accessing information isn't a hard task nowadays. You can simply visit the firm's website and learn about their mission, values and culture. You can also follow them on various social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for updated details.
Once you're done with your research, you would know what information is relevant, and therefore interesting, for recruiters. Does the firm favor applicants with great achievements? Then write about your accomplishments at school or in your previous workplace. Does the firm value teamwork and interpersonal skills? Then indicate how well you utilize your communication skills to get things done. Does the firm have offices across the globe? Then say that going on business trips and being assigned in another city or country isn't a problem. Expound your motivation and capabilities in a manner that appears essential for the firm.
Using a comprehensive structure can guide you in presenting information in an organized way. You can divide the information into categories and arrange them according to importance. When writing cover letters, recent graduates usually highlight their training and involvement at school while experienced applicants talk about their professional work experience since it has more bearing. When writing resumes, personal interests usually come in the last part because this section, though fascinating, may be omitted. Don't forget to place a white space in between two categories for the document to look reader-friendly.
After drafting your cover letter and resume, review them in detail for accuracy. Have you addressed your letter to the right person? Have you indicated the right position and address? Never commit this blunder for the recruiters might assume you've just mistakenly sent it to them. How about your contact information? Have you placed your active email address and mobile number? If you've given incorrect details, recruiters will have no way of getting in touch with you. Also, review your dates of employment and other information to ensure consistency and accuracy.
You should also proofread your job application for common grammatical errors and misspellings. Remember that management consultants need to have outstanding communication skills. If given the chance, you will be writing presentation and reports for client and team meetings. Not paying attention to details can be very embarrassing. You can consult a professional editor or an industry expert who can offer you fresh ideas about your documents. They can give objective feedback about the content, the personal brand you're trying to convey, the style and the structure you're using. Don't be shy to ask for assistance. After all, your career is at stake here.
Before submitting your resume and cover leter, review it for the last time. If you believe that you haven't missed anything, then submit them along with the other requirements the firm is asking. Keep a copy in your file because recruiters will base their questions on these documents during your interview. However, if you decide to apply for another position in a different firm, do not submit the same job application. A generic cover letter never makes an impact to recruiters.
If you need more specific guidelines on the best practices for management consulting resume and cover letter, download our Guide to Consulting Cover Letters and Resumes at http://www.consultingfact.com/guides/cover_letter/
This is ConsultingFact.com's answer to the applicants' quest for effective recruitment strategies in the industry.
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