The purpose of a cover letter can be compared to that of a key: It opens the door. However, in management consulting, recruiters have hundreds of cover letters and they must select those which “fit.” To ensure that your cover letter opens doors for you, it must stand out from the crowd.
The best practices for a management consulting cover letter are tried and true methods which will help you create a cover letter that grabs the attention of management consulting recruiters. By following the strategies below, you will be a step ahead of the competition.
Think before Writing
Before you turn on your computer and start listing your qualifications, decide on which qualifications to include and how to write them so recruiters will take notice. To do this, you might want to try the following:
|Online Research||Visit the management consulting firm’s website and learn about their humble beginnings, values, goals, and corporate culture.|
|Ideal Characteristics||Identify the characteristics recruiters look for in applicants. Are they inclined to hire academic achievers or people-oriented candidates?|
|Social Media||Follow the firm’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) for relevant details and keep updated with recent announcements and notices.|
|Networking||Network with people who have substantial knowledge about the firm. Nothing beats an insider’s tips and feedback.|
At this stage, gather as much information as you can; it will guide you in tailoring your cover letter according to what the firm is looking for in an applicant and what they need as an organization.
Supply the Right Information
Your management consulting cover letter should not rehash your resume. It should be used as an opportunity to highlight information not included in your resume. Consider adding the following:
|Name Calling||Mention an expert you’ve met at an event and explain how that encounter has inspired you to pursue a consulting career at Bain, McKinsey, or other firms.|
|Work Gap Explanation||Explain obvious gaps in your work history. You should provide the reasons why you were not employed for a certain period.|
|Motivation and Soft Skills||Elaborate on your motivation for transitioning into management consulting and how your soft skills will help you acclimate to and perform well in the workplace.|
|Accomplishment Driven||Emphasize a significant accomplishment you achieved at school or work that earned you honors, distinction, or a promotion.|
Check the Grammar and Layout
Before sending out your management consulting cover letter, review it more than once to make sure it conforms to the following:
|Sentence Construction||It must be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Because excellent written communication skills are an important requirement in this industry, these blunders are a big no-no.|
|Language||Keep the language simple and concise. Cover letters that are too wordy are exhausting and boring to read.|
|Margins||Use correct margins and double space between paragraphs.|
|Accuracy||Does it contain the right information? Check the name, position, and address of the recipient and verify it is addressed to the correct firm.|
|Font||Font style and size must be legible. Conventional fonts such as Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Arial are preferred.|
|Signature||Include your handwritten signature; it adds more credibility and sincerity.|
One final thing: Never follow the one-size-fits-all technique for management consulting cover letters. It must be personalized to convey your utmost interest in the position.