Due to the number of applications management consulting recruiters receive each year, you must come up with a strategy that will bring you to the top of the pile. You can start making this possible by writing an effective cover letter that would pique the interes of the recruiter.
Preliminary screening is a wearisome job for recruiters. Evaluating piles of documents can be time-consuming. So what they usually do is just skim through your job application, and decide within 30 seconds if you deserve to be assessed further for the vacant position. With the number of months or years recruiters have been doing the same routine, they can easily distinguish excellent candidates from the good ones.
Establish a Connection with the Firm
You may use your cover letter to sell your good points, but it doesn't mean you should write everything. In fact, the information you enumerate will appear senseless if you fail to consider what the management consulting firm needs. If you mention your ability to speak and write well, include how this competence can help you write reports and build relationships with clients. If you point out your leadership skills, illustrate how you can convince other people with facts. The established link convinces recruiters you can contribute something to the firm.
Provide Sufficient Information
Use your cover letter as a means to explain things your resume can't convey. For instance, if you have decided to shift from teaching to management consulting, you can explain your valid reasons on your letter. It can also elaborate how your education groomed you for the position, or how your internship program developed your skills. If there's a one-year gap between your first and second job, you can explain what kept you busy in those days. Some people regard the resume is more important than the cover letter, but it should not be like that. Spend enough time writing for both documents.
Mention Key People
Networking doesn't guarantee a recommendation, but it can help you prepare an astounding cover letter. If you have spoken to a consultant of your target firm, mention how that person motivated you during your conversation. Explain concisely what impressed or inspired you. This incident is remarkable and noteworthy for the recruiter, especially if the person you've interacted with has established a good name in the industry. This will also distinguish you apart from other applicants as each encounter is a personal one.
Insert Some Keywords
As mentioned earlier, recruiters don't have the luxury of time to go through all cover letters word for word. Hence, they'd be jumping from one sentence to another in search of keywords. Did you attain a high GPA from a top-tier school? Did you have your internship program in McKinsey, Deloitte and other renowned firms? Do you have the ability to lead a group, resolve an ambiguous task and think logically? If you're an experienced applicant, how long have you been in the industry and what types of projects have you handled? If you have excellent answers to these questions, mention them in your cover letter to sway the recruiters to your side.
Proofread to Perfection
Before sending your application to consulting firms, proofread your cover letter a few times to ensure you're not committing any blunders that pull you down. Grammar and spelling errors are a major turnoff since they say something negative about your communication skills. They also imply conveys you're not meticulous enough to notice details. Check the name and address of the recipient, too. A letter for Bain with a BCG address is quite insulting for the firm. Lastly, enter your right contact information. Otherwise, the recruiters will never be able to call you for further screening.
Do not take your cover letter for granted as it can make or break your application. If it helps, conduct research before writing it and ask someone to proofread it for you. The ideas and feedback of other people can also guide you in the process. Some companies offer review services, too. You might want to take advantage of that.
For additional and detailed guidelines on how to produce a superior cover letter, check our Guide to Consulting Cover Letter and Resumes at http://www.consultingfact.com/guides/cover_letter/ ConsultingFact.com, an outstanding provider of resources for this industry, has written it based on the frequently asked questions of applicants.
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