What to Include in a Consulting Resume

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Writing your consulting resume? Not sure what to include to make it more impressive? Although you may be tempted to follow the common structure of international CVs, keep in mind that it is generally recommended to omit certain sections from a consulting application. Why? Because the most relevant details should be clearly conveyed in the achievements and skills section as resume screeners spend only a few minutes on each resume.

In fact, in 2012, a study was conducted which examined specific behaviors of recruiters as they screened applications, both paper and online, over a 10-week period. The research focused on what caught their attention and what was overlooked. The study’s eye-tracking technology revealed that recruiters spent almost 80% of their review time looking at just a few critical elements: the candidate’s name, current title and company, previous work and employer, and education. And they only spend around six seconds reviewing each element. “Beyond these data points, recruiters did little more than scan for keywords to match the open position, which amounted to a very cursory pattern-matching activity,” the researchers said.

So you see, every single part of your resume should serve your ultimate purpose, which is to impress the screener and land an interview. Incorporating details that add little to no additional value to your candidacy will only derail your success in the initial screening stage.

While some sections of a consulting resume are optional, the following sections are indispensable to crafting a winning consulting application:

Education

This section of your resume is critical. Resume screeners prefer to see details about postgraduate and college education first. Don’t forget to include your degree(s), university, grades, or GPA. Also, it is recommended to mention any major milestone such as achieving magna cum laude status and/or receiving awards for academic excellence and outstanding social involvement. You may also include relevant academic projects like your senior thesis and other notable research, which will serve to demonstrate your academic prowess.

Many firms place emphasis on standardized test scores (GMAT, LSAT, SAT, etc) as well, so if you have taken such tests it is wise to include your results. If you don’t think your score is impressive, you can compensate by providing a remarkable track record in the next section.

Work Experience / Accomplishments

Resume screeners are greatly impressed with a results-oriented track record. That’s why this section is undeniably an essential part of your application. This is your opportunity to provide a synopsis of your relevant work achievements and advertise yourself and what you can bring to the table. Thus, it’s suggested to mention your accomplishments in a detailed yet concise manner.

Although this section is for work experience, do not make the common mistake of simply mentioning the title, company, and responsibilities of your previous jobs. Consulting resume screeners want quantifiable achievements not job descriptions. Emphasize what you have achieved in each major role that went beyond your daily responsibilities. Firms are more interested in the impact you made in your previous positions, the positive changes brought about through your direct involvement. It’s not enough that you complete your daily tasks, you need to show that your work will generate profitable results for your target employer.

Use this section to demonstrate your unique skills and experiences that will help employers understand your strengths—lack of self-promotion will hurt your candidacy. Sell yourself loud and clear. Aside from your consulting cover letter, your resume is the only way you can make a positive impression and land the highly-anticipated interview. Yes, it’s great that you were a marketing manager for five years, but this information will not be enough to attract McKinsey, Bain, and BCG recruiters.

Highlight your most impressive achievements and back them up with quantifiable results. (You may exaggerate a little with regard to quantifying impact.) Although not every positive impact has to be quantified, be consistently focused on the impact of your work and don’t fixate on the particular steps you’ve taken. For instance, instead of saying, “Devised a marketing plan for ABC Company,” say: “Developed a marketing plan for ABC company, resulting in a 30% increase in revenue in two months.”

Also, it’s recommended that you use actionable words like “managed,” “developed,” etc. You can also include key phrases such as managed clients, managed teams, proposed and implemented, increased performance by, reduced costs by, and the likes. Remember, top firms are likely to be looking for similar attributes in your application.

Skills

In addition to the work experience section, you may also take advantage of this part of your application to demonstrate your suitability to daily consulting duties. But take note that the skills you list must be relevant and proven.

It’s important that you’re aware of precisely which skills consultants are looking for so that you can highlight them in your resume. Reviewers generally look for solid proof of skills in these key areas: analysis and problem-solving, quantitative, achieving, social and leadership, and communication.

Problem-solving List specific roles you have taken that clearly show your ability to devise efficient and practical solutions. A consultant’s daily tasks primarily revolve around gathering information, assessing the situation, and developing a sound solution. Thus, it’s critical for a candidate to exhibit strong analysis and problem-solving skills.
Quantitative Include evidence of your strong quantitative skills. Consultants deal with quantitative data on a regular basis, so as an aspiring consultant, you need to show that you’re comfortable analyzing large sets of numbers.
Achieving Actually, if you’ve efficiently written your work experience section, this skill is already proven. As mentioned earlier, consultancy firms are attracted to results-oriented individuals. In other words, they want achievers on their team—those with a genuine passion for effecting positive change.
Social and leadership Firms are also looking for candidates who can effectively handle different types of interpersonal situations. Ensure to provide proof of your strong leadership and people skills. Key duties of a consultant include people management and team leadership. Constant client interaction is also an integral part of consultancy. As consultants work with diverse people, you definitely need to establish that you’re personable as well as an effective leader.
Communication Establish your strong communication skills in this section. Aspiring consultants are expected to be excellent communicators as they have to convey their insights to clients in a clear and concise manner. Actually, crafting a well-written resume is solid proof of your communication abilities.

Extracurricular

This section can add value to your application because firms are  interested in volunteer work or positions you’ve taken which demonstrate your leadership, initiative, and commitment. That’s why it’s recommended to include leadership positions, involvement in extracurricular activities, and any other significant participation in sports or societies. In general, you should only include information that will help your target firm understand your strengths.

References

Although this section may not be as critical as your work experience and skills, it could add great value to your application. If you have credible business references and former or current consultancy clients, it could push your application forward. These references will provide your target firm with first-hand information that will strongly support the information you provided.

In order to further improve the sections listed above, follow these valuable tips:

Jargon Avoid using too much technical jargon. Doing so may give the screener the impression that you’re over exaggerating your credentials.
Position Eliminate older positions in order to keep your resume to a single page or two maximum. Many candidates opt not to include a consulting resume summary section because they want to allot more space for highlighting accomplishments in their most recent positions. It’s recommended to leave off work experience beyond the last ten years. Remember, if you can’t keep your resume  concise, the recruiters will get the impression that you have poor writing and communication skills.
Space Leave enough white space so that your resume doesn’t appear too text-heavy and turn off screeners. A crowded resume may also cause the screener to overlook relevant information. Moreover, space everything equally. Proper spacing and alignment not only make your application more visually appealing, but are indicative of your keen attention to detail, which is a common quality of successful consultants.
Language Check your choice and use of language. Ensure you use terms and phrases that are professional and appropriate. Also, avoid using obscure expressions and complex sentences. As your resume may reflect your personality, follow a formal business writing style.
Readability Consider readability when structuring your consulting resume. Layout the information in a way that makes it easy for the reader to pinpoint important details. It’s suggested to use the bulleted approach for points you want to highlight, particularly your relevant accomplishments.
Font Use a larger font for your name—this tip is so simple but often overlooked. Never use the same font size for your name as the rest of the text in your application. You don’t want the screener to deem you as qualified and move on to the next application only to forget your name.
Proofreading Proofread your resume before submitting it for typos and other common errors, then have somebody else read it, then read it again. The competition for a consultancy position is steep, so you don’t want to commit any mistakes.
Contact Information Double check your provided contact info—is it correct and updated. All the effort you put into writing a winning application will be wasted if the contact details you provide are not accurate. Include your primary email address and a working phone number, and check your email regularly. You don’t want to be selected as one of the top candidates and miss your chance to interview because your email bounces or your phone number is no longer active.

Reference

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BCG Resume that Creates an Impact

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) receives thousands of resumes each year, but only a very small percentage are included on the short list. The abundant supply of applicants creates tough competition—a challenge you will face if you dream of breaking into this firm.

Below are some tips on how to craft a BCG resume that creates a positive impact on recruiters:

Think Before Writing

Some applicants get confused when crafting a resume because they skip the most important part—thinking. When you turn on the computer and begin writing, you won’t be able to properly summarize your qualifications if you haven’t done the following:

Research Research the requirements of the vacant position. Visit BCG’s website and network with some of the firm’s consultants.
Self-assessment Think about your experience and qualifications that relate to the job and firm. Without self-assessment, you won’t be able to see yourself as a BCG consultant.
Brainstorming List your accomplishments at school or in your previous jobs.

Without the information above, it’s impossible to create an effective resume structure that will catch the recruiter’s attention.

Look at Examples of Consulting Resumes

The Internet is a great resource of job application materials. If you are clueless on how to begin the resume writing process, refer to examples published on career websites. Read about the best practices for tailoring your BCG resume according to the job specifications and recommended formats and designs. Notice how achievements, skills, and qualifications are presented and follow the format.

However, never copy-paste a generic example into your resume. They may serve as a reference, but you have to write your own.based on your different competencies and credentials. If you commit this mistake, your resume will seem impersonal and won’t create an impact with the reader.

Attend BCG Resume Workshops

BCG representatives sometimes visit universities to conduct workshops. If they visit your school, take the time to attend and network with company officials. When BCG conducted a seminar with the Yale Graduate Student Consulting Club in April 2013, they discussed what they expect to read in resumes, walked through a sample resume, and presented good and bad examples. What strategies could be more practical than those presented by BCG employees themselves?

Integrate What BCG Looks for In Applicants

BCG prefers to hire candidates who possess the following qualities:

Path Finding Ability to deconstruct an ambiguous business situation. Candidates should be decisive, observant, and exercise good business judgment.
Curiosity Adept in asking sensible questions to understand the client’s problem. Candidates should recognize patterns in the challenges that businesses and organizations face.
Leadership Capability to persuasively present facts to others. Candidates should know how to interact with colleagues and clients.
Impact Ability to create an impact on other people. Candidates should have the passion to bring positive change to an organization.

Your qualifications should be presented according to what BCG is looking for. If you were once a student officer, enumerate what you accomplished while in the position. If you conducted an intensive market research in your previous job, highlight this in your experience section because it indicates that you are curious, analytical, and capable of using objective judgment. If you once volunteered for a charitable activity or if you advocate for a good cause, emphasize this on your BCG resume.

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Consulting Resume Skills

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Skills

The employment opportunities for an aspiring consultant are increasing as more and more organizations are becoming aware of the benefits of consulting. However, landing a job in this industry isn’t easy. You need to possess certain skills that go beyond technical abilities and effectively convey them in your resume.

To successfully convince your target firm that you’re the best candidate for the job, ensure that your application clearly establishes the qualities and skills listed below:

Business Judgment

Industry knowledge does count. In order to be considered for a consulting position, your application should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of strategic planning, market analysis, and other business processes. Top-tier firms also consider candidates with specific industry expertise, so ensure your consulting resume skills section provides solid proof of this.

Financial Skills

Business schools are known for providing a solid foundation of the essential financial skills; however, you will need to include more than your financial knowledge on your resume. As an aspiring consultant, you must establish your ability to precisely articulate how a specific strategy would save the client money and how a consulting engagement can benefit a company. It’s not just about creating assumptions and projections; you must be able to translate your financial expertise into practical and effective solutions.

Math Skills

One of the most important consulting resume capabilities is strong math skills. Actually it’s essential to the entire consulting application. The ability to calculate quickly and accurately in your head is extremely valuable in the consulting world. You need to show the recruiters that you’re comfortable with numbers as consultants deal with a massive amount of figures on a regular basis. You must display confidence in calculating numbers without having to rely on a calculator. If you pass the initial screening, be prepared to answer questions that will test your quantitative skills during the case interview, without the use of a calculator.

Problem-solving Skills

Consultants are problem solvers. That’s why it’s critical that you demonstrate this ability in your consulting resume skills section. Make sure the skills and extracurricular section of your resume include specific roles you have taken on that exhibit your competencies to devise efficient solutions.

Analytical and Creative Skills

A great management consultant must possess exceptional analytical and creative skills. There are times in which a consultant is required to develop out-of-the-box yet practical solutions. These skills go hand-in-hand with problem solving capabilities. As the daily tasks of a consultant revolve around gathering information, assessing the situation, and offering a solution, you need to prove that you have strong logical skills to implement sound solutions.

Leadership and People Skills

Proven leadership skills are also a necessary quality of successful consultants as they  deal with diverse individuals from different industries. It’s not enough that you know how to solve complex problems; top firms are looking for someone who can effectively handle interpersonal situations. Good consultants enjoy being around people and making strong connections with colleagues and clients. Ensure to include some of your activities or roles that will establish you as a personable leader in your consulting resume skills section.

Communication Skills

Your consulting resume skills should also include activities that will further establish your strong communication skills. Consultants are expected to be excellent communicators as they have to convey their strategic insights in a clear and concise manner. Actually, having a properly structured and well-written resume is solid proof of your communication ability, therefore you need to ensure it’s written perfectly.

Presentation Skills

This skill goes hand-in-hand with communication capabilities. You must be able to understand what a client needs, formulate a sound solution, and effectively present your findings and recommendations. Your resume should appear professional and well-structured as this will reflect your presentation skills. As an aspiring consultant, you must also be able to display that you’re comfortable with presenting to diverse clients  using the latest multimedia technology such as Powerpoint, particularly if you’re applying to top firms like Bain and McKinsey.

Idea-driven Personality

Consultants are hired to generate ideas. Their capital is not money but ideas and intellect. Thus, you need to demonstrate that you have genuine passion for generating fresh and creative solutions. Consultants are expected to find innovative ways of doing things.

Service-oriented

Consulting is considered a service industry, as consultants generally spend their time helping clients solve complex business problems. Good consultants are committed to meeting their clients’ needs, and top-tier firms look for this trait when hiring candidates. In order to benefit from the rewards of this career, personal excellence, intellectual leadership, and dedication are required. Being committed to affecting change is what makes consulting a fulfilling career path.

Consulting can be a very demanding job and it requires certain traits and skills to achieve  success in this field. If you are smart, friendly, and enjoy solving problems for others, you are likely to excel as a management consultant.

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Consulting Resume Format: What Top-Tier Firms Are Looking For

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Many aspiring consultants are obsessed with how their resumes should be formatted. An effective consulting resume format is an attribute of a credible resume. However, there is more to it than font size, columns, and margins; how you present your content is the most critical aspect of formatting your resume.

Many different resume formats will work for a consulting resume, but the most important thing to consider is how you can effectively highlight your major accomplishments. As an aspiring consultant, you need to ensure that the format of your application is focused on showcasing your relevant qualifications such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills. The format of your resume should also communicate your personal brand consistently.

In constructing your consulting resume format, you need to know what top-tier firms are looking for. Recruiters check your resume for the following:

Complete Contact Information

Make it easy for screeners to find your contact details by placing them at the top of the page,  right below your name.  Include all relevant details that your target employer will need: your complete name, home address, email address, and contact numbers. It is also suggested to include the URL to your online portfolio or website, if you have one. Also, use a larger font for your name, and most importantly, make sure that the contact details you provide are accurate and functional.

Education Details

When listing your educational achievements, start with your most recent accomplishment. It is not necessary to include your high school honors and awards. Consulting resume screeners usually look for three important elements in this section of your application.

1. Renowned academic institutions

Top consulting firms give preference to applicants who graduated from an Ivy League or prestigious university because these credentials impresses their clients. However, candidates who did not graduate from Harvard or other reputable institution do receive offers from top consulting firms. But if you got it, make sure you flaunt it, as it will definitely help your candidacy.

2. Great academic performance

Top-tier firms want to know how you did in school. In other words, they are interested in how smart you are. If you don’t include your GPA on your resume, the recruiter will either ask you for it or assume that your GPA is low and assess your application accordingly. It is also important that you explain the grading system your school used if it’s not standard. You don’t want your target firm to interpret your grades incorrectly, particularly if your marks were high. In addition, many firms will ask fresh graduates for their transcript in order to see which quantitative classes the applicant has taken.

3. Impressive standardized test scores

Many consulting firms also want to see your standardized test scores—SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, and MCAT. They use this information to gauge your mathematical ability. And as you probably know, strong math skills are critical to becoming a good consultant. Moreover, great math skills have been linked to the ability to think logically and analytically. Top consulting firms favor candidates with high standardized test scores, and although it’s not necessary to have a perfect score, including your high scores will impress recruiters, whether you’re a fresh graduate or an experienced professional.

Professional Experience

When finalizing your consulting resume format, take into consideration that resume screeners are basically looking for two things: quantifiable achievements and recognizable employer names. Yes, they value big brand names. (Think of McKinsey, Bain, or Boston Consulting Group). With these two things in mind, you should list your work experience in the following manner:

 Experience List your career experience in reverse chronological order or put the most recent job at the top, following the education section.
 Relevance Make sure employer details are easy to read. It is also best not to include work history that is beyond 10 years. Consider eliminating older positions and emphasizing your achievements in your latest employment positions. Most importantly, focus on the roles that are most relevant to consulting.
 Results Emphasize results, not just responsibilities. Responsibility doesn’t necessarily imply  accomplishment. Quantify your accomplishments by using numbers whenever possible. For instance, you should say, “Designed a marketing strategy for Client Z website, resulting in an increase of 20% in monthly revenue and generating 15,000 unique hits in one month.”

Skills and Extracurricular Activities

When discussing your skills and extracurricular experience, make sure you emphasize the roles and activities that highlight your leadership, communication, and problem solving skills. Consulting firms are not just looking for smart candidates; they are after well-rounded and driven individuals.

General Formatting Tips

Here are more tips on finalizing your consulting resume format:

Keep it short Your resume should be as concise as possible. Keep it to a single page if you’re a fresh graduate and a maximum of two pages if you are an experienced professional.
Use bullets These serve to effectively highlight important details as well as save space. The ideal number of bullets per job is two–four and one line long.
Use readable font style and size Recommended fonts are Arial and Times New Roman. Never use fancy fonts and keep the size to 11 or 12.
Boldface school names and employer names You don’t have to bold your job titles as most recruiters will look at the employer name first.
Emphasize impressive things Draw the recruiter’s attention to the most relevant and impressive parts of your resume. The point of a resume is to sell your abilities.
Use enough white space Don’t make it hard for the screener to read your resume. Avoid narratives and use as much white space as possible.
Employ proper margins Your resume’s margins should not be less than 0.5″, both vertical and horizontal. Anything less can be hard on the eyes. The standard layout is 1” margins.
Observe proper tenses Aside from using active words in your resume, use the proper verb tense—this type of mistake could negatively affect your candidacy.
Use suitable alignment Left alignment is best for a consulting resume. Using justify as alignment often leads to irregular spacing and uncomfortable reading.
Be consistent From line spaces between sections to bold texts and bullets, ensure you use uniform formatting throughout your resume. Also, make sure your resume is organized  and that the sections are clearly delineated.

The best consulting resume format is one that is geared towards highlighting relevant details. Tailor your resume using the guidelines above and you’ll be sure to catch the eye of any consulting resume screener.

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Consulting Resume Editing

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Correction of the letter.

After you write your cover letter and resume, you will need to review them. The competition among aspiring consultants is tough and the recruitment process is intense. You must ensure that your application is crafted to perfection.

You should never underestimate the power of a well-written and thoroughly reviewed resume. You need to edit your consulting resume with a fine-toothed comb before submitting it to your target firm. As hiring managers receive thousands of applications, yours needs to stand out among those of the other candidates’.

Review Your Application

The most challenging part of consulting resume editing is making it interesting enough to get you to the interview stage. As your resume and cover letter will allow recruiters to get a glimpse of who you are and what you have to offer, you need to make a lasting impression. Below are some tips on how you can review and edit your cover letter and resume.

Incorporate keywords Hiring consultants spend approximately 30 seconds reviewing each application. When doing consulting resume editing, ensure to  sprinkle your application with enough relevant keywords to pass the skim-read test.
Keep it short When reviewing your resume, make sure you have written concise sentences. Structure your application so that recruiters can easily identify the most pertinent information.
Proofread In consulting resume editing, carefully read your application for typos and grammatical errors. Such errors can leave an impression, albeit a negative one.
Professional and clean look Your consulting application documents need to be clean and clutter free. Review the look and feel of your resume to ensure you utilized enough white space and incorporated a simple font.
Demonstrate your success with details A critical element of a compelling consulting application is results-oriented achievements. Review the details you included in your application to ensure that they clearly illustrate the value you can bring to your target firm and provide specific examples of the measurable success you’ve achieved.

Ask a Friend to Review Your Application

A trusted friend or colleague from your network can help you with consulting resume editing and ultimately increase the effectiveness of your application. Although you may have reviewed your resume a hundred times, a fresh set of eyes may catch a detrimental error. Ask someone who has editing experience or who works in the consulting industry.

Having someone else review your application is not only a good way to spot typos and grammar errors; it is likely that the person will have suggestions on how to rephrase your statements to make them more effective. Be open to their feedback and edit your resume based on their comments.

Ask a Professional to Review Your Application

Having professional consulting resume editing will give you an advantage over the competition. Applicants are inclined to highlight details that they feel are important, but   omit relevant qualifications which demonstrate their fit with the target firm.

Consulting firms receive thousands of applications. There is definitely no room for error. Candidates don’t always realize that they have made more mistakes than typos and grammatical errors such as failing to emphasize their consulting qualities, including irrelevant information, faulty structure, and an unprofessional design, to name a few.

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Consulting Cover Letter and Resume Tips

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resume or cv job application

More and more people are considering the idea of pursuing a management consulting career. It is a high-paying, high-profile industry that offers diverse business opportunities.

World-renowned consulting firms such as Bain & Co., the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and McKinsey & Co. receive thousands of applications each year but only a few candidates are called for interviews.

Both a consulting cover letter and resume play an important role in the preliminary screening stage. Aspiring consultants need to submit polished applications in order to get an interview. When crafting a consulting cover letter and resume, try to put yourself into the recruiter’s shoes. They normally spend a minute or less reviewing an application before  making the decision about whether the candidate is qualified to sit for an interview. What credentials would you consider?

In order to determine whether or not a candidate deserves to proceed to the next stage of the hiring process, employers look for three things:

  1. Specific consulting skills and achievements.
  2. Keywords or phrases.
  3. Overall professionalism.

What Information Do you Need to Include in Your Consulting Application?

Your application must clearly demonstrate your skills, achievements, and other characteristics relevant to the consulting position. These include:

Logical Thinking

A great consultant applies logic when solving diverse problems.  Consultants are expected to come up with innovative yet practical new strategies that will benefit clients. However, sometimes there is a need for out-of-the-box solutions. As an aspiring consultant, you should display both creativity and practicality in your thought processes.

Problem-solving

As an aspiring consultant, you have to display both theoretical and practical knowledge. Great consultants perceive more than one solution to any problem and learn how to improvise on their feet. So in order to be successful in this field, you need to be passionate about solving problems, as this is what you’ll be doing most of the time. Analytical and problem-solving skills are crucial in consulting.

Communication Skills

Consultants have to be articulate. Consulting is not just about solving problems, a consultant also needs to simplify and explain the problem. In order to convey ideas, you have to possess excellent communication skills. In addition, your application should be written in a confident, professional tone.

Confidence

Your consulting cover letter and resume can reveal your personality as well as your credentials so you want to make sure you project confidence in your application. Great consultants remain calm and confident in even the most complex situation. They are go-getters and see challenges as learning opportunities.

Sociability

Aspiring consultants have to be personable. As a consultant, you’ll be working with diverse companies and you’ll need to win the confidence and trust of strangers. This takes people skills. Great consultants interact with different people in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

Leadership Skills

As an aspiring consultant, you need to demonstrate your skills in managing and motivating people. In order to be a good leader, you need to be assertive, knowledgeable, and understanding.

Flexibility

Consultants are flexible as they need to accommodate the different schedules of a variety of clients. In order to be successful in this field, you need to handle multiple priorities of multiple clients.

Achievements

Firms are looking for achievements, particularly quantifiable results because great consultants are results-oriented. A proven-track record is an asset to your consulting cover letter and resume. Clearly demonstrate the value or contribution you can offer your target firm. Also, remember to put quantitative accomplishments into context. For instance, you could say, “Increased profits by 15% in a highly competitive setting.”

Including these skills and characteristics on your application will demonstrate your ability to effectively fill the role of a consultant.

Optimize Your Job Application through Keywords and Phrases

Most employers don’t spend a lot of time reviewing applications; they simply browse through your credentials. Make it easy for them to recognize your eligibility by sprinkling your resume and cover letter with the terms they are looking for. You can use some of the phrases from the section above.

Moreover, remove any work information that is not directly relevant to management  consulting. Choose three to five of your credentials, and create a professional summary that will highlight these achievements and qualifications. Tailor your application to what the firm is looking for. Do your homework and research the organization. Use the information to demonstrate your suitability for the position.

Proofreading Your Application Reflects Professionalism

Make sure your consulting cover letter and resume is free from typos and grammatical errors. This indicates that you have excellent written communication skills, which is critical when presenting written proposals or recommendations to various client organizations. Your written communication skills must be polished enough to persuade senior management.
It is critical that you submit an impeccable cover letter and resume. Before you send your application to consulting firms, proofread it more than once. It is even suggested to have someone else read it in order to catch any errors you may have missed. In addition, use professional formatting as a visually appealing application demonstrates your attention to detail. These fine points are critical to any consultant’s success.

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Bain Resume Sample

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Bain logo

Crafting a great management consultant resume is probably one of the biggest challenges applicants face. As the consultancy employment market is extremely competitive, most aspiring consultants are qualified for the vacant position. With such steep competition, your job application must reflect outstanding professional experience, skills, and achievements.

Most aspiring consultants dream of working at global management consulting firms such as Bain & Co. And like other world renowned firms, Bain utilizes a rigorous and competitive screening process. Candidates who wish to work at this reputable company must be able to devise an interesting and relevant application.

This means you have to submit a customized resume in order to pass Bain’s initial screening process. When crafting your application, keep in mind that only a small percentage of applicants get an interview at Bain.

What Bain Looks For

To determine which candidates are eligible to move on to the interview stage, Bain developed a points system to evaluate their applicants’ educational attainment, work experience, and related extracurricular activities. Recruiters look for individuals who possess the following:

Excellent problem-solving skills Bain searches for aspiring consultants who have the ability to frame complex problems while using creative analytics to generate a pragmatic solution.
Proven leadership experience Whether work or school related, Bain places a great deal of importance on strong leadership skills and experience.
Passionate about consulting You can’t teach anyone to be passionate about something they don’t really like. In order to excel at Bain, you need to be enthusiastic and driven in solving client problems. Passion means energy and energy means achievement.
Results-oriented Bain also looks for candidates with a results-oriented track record. Regardless of your background, the firm will be impressed by the quantifiable impact you had within an organization.

Bain recruits talented and experienced professionals to fill their Associate Consultant positions from a variety of places—from colleges and universities and top graduate schools to meet-ups and networking events.

Know Your Target Firm

Before you start creating your consulting resume, allot some time to researching your target firm. Acquiring knowledge about Bain will guide you in writing your application. As your resume has to be targeted to the company and the position, obtaining information will help you build a connection with them as a potential employer. You can find relevant information on their company website including their goals, values, and other essential details.

You can also follow their social media accounts in order to stay updated on recent activities and events. You won’t be able to include all the information you find on your resume, but you will definitely benefit from the knowledge, particularly if you are selected to be interviewed.

Moreover, seek the advice of colleagues who have worked or are currently working for Bain. You may just learn relevant information about what the company is currently looking for, preferred methodology, skills, etc.

Crafting Your Bain Resume

In general, the format of a resume includes the following categories:

  • Header with personal information
  • Summary and objective
  • Work experience and achievements
  • Educational background
  • Interests/activities

However, most consulting resumes do not include a summary or objectives section. This is because as an aspiring consultant, your summary and career objectives must be clearly demonstrated through your achievements. Besides, recruiters at top-tier consulting firms like Bain are busy people; they don’t want to see any irrelevant information.

Also, remember to structure your resume to address the needs of the recruitment consultant. Place your name at the top of the page and mention your employment history in reverse chronological order, or starting with the most recent position.

Personal Information Section

In this section, mention all relevant personal details: your name, home address, email address, and contact numbers. To convey a more professional feel you can add the URL to your online portfolio or website. It is also recommended to use a larger font for your name.

In addition, make sure you provide a simple and professional email address. Using a funny  email address will not help you get a job at Bain. In fact, according to a survey titled “Confession of the Recruitment Agency,” 76% of applications that contain an unprofessional email address are rejected. It is recommended to use your first and last name when setting up an email account for business and professional use as in the example below. Lastly, ensure the contact numbers you provide are accurate and functional.

Example:

John Doe
123 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys, CA 91405 | (+145) 987-6543 | john.doe@gmail.com

Professional Experience and Achievements

When developing this section of your Bain resume, remember to include your accomplishments in addition to your responsibilities. Under each job heading, you may use bullet points to detail your achievements; make sure you mention the most impressive ones first.

Simply listing your previous position titles and role descriptions will not suffice. Bain wants to know about your tangible contributions. You can also include major projects that you’ve worked on in which you demonstrated key skills. Top-tier firms are interested in quantifiable achievements, not responsibilities.

When conveying your accomplishments, use numbers and statistics. Your prospective firm will translate these numbers into a solid record of quantifiable success.

Example:

Business Product Manager, US Telecommunications, CA

  • Planned and implemented a sales campaign that yielded a 23% response rate and 20% increase in target sales.

Educational Background

If you are a fresh graduate, this section should follow your personal details. Your educational training will help Bain assess how equipped you are for the available consulting role. If you already have relevant working experience, it is suggested to place  this section after your work experience.

Some of the most vital information to include is the name of your college/university, your degree, the years attended, and relevant coursework. Moreover, you may include your GPA, LSAT scores, and other relevant tests you have taken. It is also recommended to list any awards you received either for academic excellence or social involvement. If you feel you have an impressive transcript, you can attach it to your application.

Example:

University of California, Berkeley, Marketing Degree, 2009-2012
Cum laude, Notable Achievement Undergraduate Award 2012
GPA: 3.9

Extracurricular Activities

It is also recommended to include this section if you recently graduated as it can effectively demonstrate the qualities Bain looks for in applicants. However, if you already have plenty of professional experience, this section may be unnecessary.

In this section of you can highlight any of the following:

Leadership Experience Bain’s website alludes to their interest in candidates with proven leadership skills. Applicants with innate leadership skills typically have strong character, a quality essential to succeed in this industry.
Writing Skills If you wrote articles or editorials for your school magazine or weekly publication, include this in your Bain application. Management consultants write a tremendous amount of reports and recommendations, thus excellent writing skills are a valuable asset.
Volunteer Work Volunteerism is a strong indicator of genuine passion and commitment. To be successful in management consulting, you must be committed.

Example:

Associate Editor, Veritas Publication, SY 2009 – 2010
Wrote news and feature articles; edited articles to ensure high quality and original content.

Additional Skills and Interests

If you have other relevant qualifications, you may include them in this section of your Bain resume. For example, you could include the following credentials: foreign languages, software expertise, professional group involvement, and certificates and licenses.

Common Consulting Resume Mistakes

To ensure that your Bain resume is impeccably written, avoid committing the following mistakes:

Inadequate spacing or poor formatting Appearance definitely matters. Use adequate white space and avoid bulk text. Spacing is critical as recruiters tend to ignore applications that tire the eyes. Make sure your Bain resume is reader-friendly with a consistent and clean  format.
Lack of numbers Include quantifiable attainments. Numbers seem to be the most eye-catching part of a consulting resume as they indicate a quantitative reflection of your skills.
Insignificant awards Only mention honors or awards that are relevant to consulting: academic excellence and notable social involvement. Bain is not interested in your other personal accomplishments.
Stating the obvious This common mistake is usually made in the professional experience section. Many aspiring consultants fail to demonstrate the qualities the firm is looking for in describing their previous roles. Instead of simply stating your contribution, explain how you achieved the results.
Lengthy Keep your Bain resume short and concise. Hiring managers don’t have the time or patience to read lengthy applications. Include only the relevant highlights of your career and keep it to one page if possible.
Texty syndrome Do not use two words when one will do. For example, “led and managed” or “completed and processed.” If you can efficiently describe the action taken in a single word, don’t use two.
Adding a photo Attaching a photo can distract hiring managers from your qualifications. Unless Bain asks for a photo, your application is better off without it.
Incorrect tense Whenever you describe your past work experience, activities, and educational background, always use the past tense. Don’t write, “Managing 30 employees…” if you left the company a few years ago.
Information discrepancies According to a report by Accu-Screen, Inc., ADP, The Society of Human Resource Managers, approximately 46% of applications contain discrepancies in what the candidate provided and what the source stated. As everything can be easily verified in this age of technology, only include accurate information in your Bain resume.
Not using power words Incorporating action words in your Bain application is a must. Like keywords, managers tend to look for power words when screening resumes. Some of these words include “managed,” “supervised,” “exceeded,” “implemented,” and “developed.”
Failing to use keywords As recruiters don’t spend a lot of time reviewing your Bain resume, use keywords and phrases in order to make the interview shortlist. Some of the critical words that consulting firms like Bain look for include “business judgment,” “problem-solving,” and “leadership.” To identify relevant keywords, read the job advertisement and research the target position.

Landing a job at Bain can be a painstaking process. However, if you are thoroughly prepared for their application and screening process, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job at this prestigious firm.

References

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New Ebook for Consulting Resumes and Cover Letters

Written by . Posted in Cover Letter, Resume/CV

Resume

To say that the number of inquiries we get about how to write winning consulting applications is numerous is an understatement. As top-tier consulting companies immediately reject poorly constructed applications, many aspiring consultants are trying to unearth the best possible ways to impress their prospective firms.

Your resume and cover letter are undeniably the most significant and potentially lucrative tools you can use to market yourself. If crafted well, they can open doors to numerous opportunities, including the one that leads to your much anticipated interview. Recruiters use your consulting application as the main basis for making decisions during preliminary screening. Your resume and cover letter will determine if you make it through the first round of candidate selection.

The successful applicant who can present his or her work and educational experiences in a clear and interesting way will likely move on to the next round of screening. The importance of a well-written resume and cover letter is inestimable. Below are some reasons why you need to submit a winning consulting application:

It Conveys Your Readiness for the Vacant Position

A well designed application will demonstrate to recruiters that you are the best person for the job. By effectively identifying your relevant educational achievements and highlighting your significant work experience and credentials, you will demonstrate your qualifications in a way that will impress your potential employer.

It Summarizes Your Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude

An effective management consulting application is concise yet comprehensive. A well-written resume contains necessary details about you and is structured in a simple and organized manner to facilitate easy reading. It clearly summarizes your major academic accomplishments, work expertise, core competencies, set of skills, and recognitions and awards. Remember, consulting firms only review your application for 30 to 60 seconds, especially if they are screening many other applications. Therefore, it is essential that you prove your value up front.

Your resume and cover letter can also reveal a lot about your character. The way you have prepared your application can reflect your personality. As your application automatically makes an impression to your prospective employer, you don’t want to hurt your candidacy  by submitting a sloppy resume.

It Presents Your Accomplishments

Graduating from a prestigious university or previous experience at one of the world’s leading companies, together with a proven record of a strong performance and flawless analytical skills will surely make you a top candidate for any consulting firm. However, the challenge is how to present these achievements properly. A good application effectively showcases your attainments and other relevant skills such as strong social and leadership skills.

As many applicants vie for a single consulting position, recruiters will assemble their shortlist based on the knowledge, skills, and accomplishments stated in the candidates’ resumes. They are most likely to look at your educational and/or work-related achievements. An intelligently written application conveys the key accomplishments and responsibilities of a candidate.

It Explains Your Career Motivation

Knowing how to clearly convey your career motivation will take your application to the next level. If your resume exudes enthusiasm about working in the consulting industry, then your prospective firm will be highly encouraged to learn more about you. Nothing can beat genuine passion and gusto. Defining your goals is critical to landing a consulting job.

It Indicates Your Professionalism

How you communicate your qualifications in your application is also crucial. Your language usage can reflect your proficiencies. A professionally written resume uses industry standard language and is free from grammatical errors and misspelled words. Being meticulous about every detail in your application is an appealing characteristic. Top-tier consulting firms cater to the world’s most prominent businesses; they choose candidates who can expertly represent them.

The importance of an attractive and well-written management consulting application cannot be overstated. As reputable firms receive hundreds of responses for one vacancy, only the application which contains the most relevant information and is correctly structured will garner the recruiter’s attention.

Download Consulting Resume and Cover Letter Guide

The competition for management consulting positions is very tough. To help you sail through the process, we have written a new Management Consulting Resume and Cover Letter Guide that shows you, step-by-step, how to write a great application. Find out how to impress top-tier consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG, and Booz through this helpful guide.

McKinsey Resume Sample

Written by . Posted in Resume/CV

resume or cv job application

Like most companies, McKinsey & Company base their preliminary screening on the information they gather from the candidate’s resume. Hence, if you dream of breaking into this management consulting giant, make sure your McKinsey resume reflects your consulting capabilities.

What McKinsey Looks For

It has been stated on their website that the firm opts to hire candidates who are problem solvers, achievers, potential leaders, and capable of creating a personal impact on their clients. Fortunately, these qualities are categorized as soft skills, which implies that non-experienced applicants may actually have an edge as long as the four basic requirements are reflected in their activities and accomplishments.

Crafting Your McKinsey Resume

In general, the information you provide in your McKinsey resume should be divided into several sections. Determining what sections to include and how they should be arranged depends on your current career status. Remember the end goal—presenting your relevant qualifications in the most effective way.

Below, we have provided a McKinsey resume sample that you can use as a guide in crafting your document:

Personal Information

In this section, include the basic details McKinsey is interested in. These often include your name, complete home address, contact numbers, and email address. The tips below will help you exhibit your professionalism more effectively:

  • Add the URL to your portfolio or website if you think it will reinforce your qualifications.
  • Use a larger font for your name to facilitate the recruiter’s memory recall.
  • Don’t attach your headshot unless stated as one of the job application requirements.
  • Use a simple email address. Reserve your hilarious email addresses for your buddies.
  • Double check your contact numbers to ensure they are accurate and functional.

Check out these examples:

JANE MARSHALL
236 East Avenue, Miami, FL  23456 | (+145) 983-0980 | janemarshall@gmail.com
LILY NAYOR
56 Guava St., West Village, Toronto, ON 94034 | Mobile: +129-400-4560 | Home: +109-234-8709
lilynayor@yahoo.com | http://lilynayor.com

Education

If you are a recent graduate, this section should follow your personal information. Your educational training at school will help recruiters assess how prepared you are for the consulting role. The knowledge you acquired from your professors and your involvement in various activities are the foundation of your future career.
Below are some ideas on which information to include:

  • State your highest level of education first.
  • Include the name of your university, your degree, the years you attended, and relevant coursework.
  • Include your GPA; SAT, GMAT, or LSAT scores; and other standardized tests you’ve taken.
  • List the awards or honors you received for your academic excellence or social involvement.
  • If you have an impressive transcript, attach a copy so McKinsey may view it.

Take a look at this example:

BS Business Administration, Oxford University, SYs 2008 – 2012

  • Coursework included macroeconomics, professional writing, statistics, technological transformations, organizational leadership, marketing principles, and business law.
  • Honors and Awards: Cum laude, Distinguished Achievement Undergraduate Award 2011
  • GPA: 3.7

Experienced candidates need not list educational details. You can simply include your degree and the name of your university as your work history will have greater significance for the screening committee.

Professional Experience

This section contains your previous position titles, role descriptions, and work-related achievements. It would be more effective if you emphasize the results and not the process in order to convey your tangible contribution to your previous employers. Apart from this, you may also describe any experience that will give the recruiter an idea of the value you can provide to the firm.  Here’s a good example:

Investment Analyst, Brick Financial Services, September 2007 to June 2012
Provided advisory services to companies and organizations to guide them in making decisions on mergers and acquisitions, stocks and bonds, and other financial opportunities.

  • Assessed business strategies of clients, including analysis of working capital, process workflows, and financial inefficiency and new business opportunities.
  • Created an M&A model to analyze the best and worst case scenarios. This model was used by senior bankers to negotiate a 5-10 % lower price for clients.
  • Headed the team in a $80M valuation of a company within airline services industry.

Here’s another example for additional reference:

Area Sales Manager, Computer Corp., March 2002 to August 2007
Coordinated the sales forecasting, planning, and budgeting processes used by all computer stores in the Baskerville area and ensured that quality and effective sales processes were implemented.

  • Exceeded annual sales goals by 6% in 2004, 11% in 2005, and 13% in 2006.
  • Oriented approximately 500 store managers and supervisors with sales goals and processes.
  • Analyzed and discussed monthly sales reports and recommendations during the monthly Board of Directors meeting.

If you have undergone an internship program, you can describe it in this section of your McKinsey resume. Here’s an example:

Research Assistant, Internship Program, Gibb Research Center, January to March 2002
Assisted the research team by reviewing related literature, designing frameworks, and collecting and analyzing data.

  • Recommended suitable techniques and methods to analyze quantitative data.
  • Created the survey questionnaire for a textile company as part of a study on their target market for their new product.
  • Wrote an article for publication in a national newspaper based on the research methods, results, and analysis.

Extracurricular Activities

If you are a recent graduate, you can also add a section for your extracurricular activities, especially if they indicate the qualities McKinsey looks for in applicants. However, if you already have professional experience, this section is unnecessary.
In this section of your McKinsey resume, you can highlight any of the following:

Leadership Experience Were you the secretary of the consulting club, a member of the student body organization, or the head of a school publication? Your leadership roles will prove you are capable of handling consulting responsibilities and managing people.
Writing Skills If you have written articles for your school magazine or publication, include this experience as well. This will give you an edge over the other applicants as management consultants write reports and recommendations for their clients.
Athletics Everyone appreciates teamwork and self-discipline. These qualities are developed and enhanced through participating in sports.
Volunteer Work Your passion to help others without getting anything in return is an indicator of your commitment. Those who succeed in management consulting must be committed and dedicated in order to survive the long work hours.

Here’s an example for this section:

  • Associate Editor, Joy Publication, SY 2011 – 2012: Ensured that news and feature article writers submitted high quality and original content; rewrote some articles to improve quality and style.
  • Soccer Team Player, SYs 2009 – 2010: Won 2nd prize in the regional soccer competition in 2009 and 1st prize in 2010.
  • Vice-president, Storytelling Circle, SYs 2010 – 2011: Organized five storytelling activities in orphanages and children’s hospitals.

Additional Skills and Interests

If you have other qualifications for the vacant position, include this section in your McKinsey resume. Examples for this section include:

Programming languages Indicate the languages you have learned to build an app or website. This tells the recruiters you have the ability to logically analyze a problem or an issue.
Foreign Languages Enumerate the foreign languages you can use to communicate with overseas clients. McKinsey consultants travel to various cities and countries, so speaking another language will serve as an advantage.
Personal Interests List three exciting hobbies or interests that relate to the consulting role. Reading comic books may be fun, but it doesn’t significantly contribute to your career.
Involvement in Professional Groups Being a member of an association of management consultants or other professional groups implies you keep yourself abreast with the new trends and issues in the industry.

Here’s an example for this section:

  • Programming languages: PHP, HTML, and CSS
  • Foreign languages: English (mother tongue), Spanish (conversational), and Chinese (conversational)
  • Personal interests: Mountain climbing, reading self-help books, and landscape photography

Keywords

Recruiters don’t always have much time to review your McKinsey resume. They receive so many applications for a single vacancy that they speed-read your document. Despite the short time they spend on your application, they still manage to shortlist applicants for testing or interviews. Those included on the list almost always submit a McKinsey resume that contains critical keywords.

You must know some words or phrases that will capture the attention of the recruiters. For example, analysis, business judgment, problem-solving, and leadership are five of the terms recruiters look for in your application. This, however, isn’t enough as each position requires a certain level of technical expertise. If you want to be a digital expert, include some online marketing and social media terms. If you aim to become a specialist in lean construction, include words such as contracting, procurement, design optimization, and industrial engineering. Read the job advertisement and research the position carefully in order to identify your own keywords.

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Management Consultant Resume Sample

Written by . Posted in Resume/CV

resume or cv job application

For many, the most convenient way to complete a job application is to pattern it from a management consultant resume sample on the Internet. Though this may be helpful, not all samples show you how to supply substantial and quality information.

Recruiters assume that your resume is an accurate representation of who you are. If it’s too superficial and commonplace, it might suggest that you won’t be able to make a valuable contribution to the consulting firm and your resume will therefore be put aside after the 30-second assessment. Breaking into management consulting is a serious goal and you have to craft your resume very carefully. It must be effective enough to pique the interest of the recruiters and convince them to schedule you for testing, interviews, and other assessments.

Pre-writing Requisite: Know Your Target Firm

Before you turn on the computer and start typing, allot some time to investigate your target firm. Your knowledge will guide you in writing your resume; it will help you build a connection between you and your potential employer and enable you to construct a unique and personalized marketing tool. Below are some techniques on how to do this:

Website Visit Visit the firm’s website. You will find their history, goals, values, and culture and learn the fundamental information about the organization.
Social Media Follow their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts. They post links to industry trends, activities, events, and other company updates. Keep yourself abreast of  these matters. If you can’t use this information for resume writing, you will benefit from it during job interviews.
Networking Communicate with professionals who have worked or are working for the firm. Network with them in order to access information from an insider’s point of view. Some, if not all, will be eager to lend you a hand.

How do these activities distinctly help you tailor your resume?  First, you will be able to phrase your resume so it resonates with the individual company. Two firms may have the same values, stated in different terms. Alternate the terms in your resume to correspond with each firm you apply with. Moreover, you can emphasize content based on an individual firm’s goals. For instance, if a particular firm values leadership, it’s wise to list previous work experience and accomplishments highlighting your achievements in this area.

Resume Content

cover_letter_structureYou know for a fact that thousands of candidates are trying as hard as you to get a big break at Booz, BCG, or McKinsey. This emphasizes the need to thoroughly brainstorm before you write your resume content.

Management consultant resume samples on the Internet do not follow a specific structure. The arrangement depends on your preference, experience, and skills. Experienced applicants often place their work history at the top because it clearly tells the recruiters what they have accomplished and what they are capable of. Recent graduates, on the other hand, highlight their objective and education, especially if they come from a prestigious school or if they have an impressive GPA.

Many, however, find the pattern in the diagram to the left comprehensible. If you are thinking of adopting this structure, continue reading for details on what to write in each section.

Contact Information

This is the section where you will provide basic information about yourself. It may sound easy, but here are a few techniques and reminders you may find useful:

Name The font size for your name must be larger than the rest of the text so recruiters can easily read and remember it.
Contact number Check the accuracy of your contact number. Mixing up numbers is a huge mistake—you will never be contacted.
Links Provide a link to your online portfolio, public LinkedIn profile, or blog so the recruiter can further assess you.
Email address Use a professional email address. The recruiter won’t take you seriously if you use  mischievousconsultant@example.com or sarcasticman@example.com.
 

Summary or Objective

A summary is a brief statement of your major qualifications, expertise, and experience; an objective refers to your career goals and motivation. The former is often utilized by applicants with professional experience, while recent graduates employ the latter.

When you write this section, make sure that:

  • It is written concisely but substantially. It should not exceed two to three sentences.
  • It must be related to the desired position and target firm.
  • It must be catchy enough to encourage the recruiters to read the rest of your resume.

Below is a good example of a summary:

A management consultant with 3+ years of practical experience in helping clients resolve their business concerns including mergers and acquisitions, market research, and human resources across various industries. A problem-solver who can analyze, formulate, and recommend effective and efficient solutions to clients.

Here’s an example of a good objective:

To obtain a position in a renowned management consulting firm where I can utilize my management skills, passion for project management, leadership ability, and excellent educational background at ABC University.

Professional Experience

When brainstorming about what you should include in this section, ask yourself two questions:

  1. What are the roles and responsibilities of a management consultant?
  2. What professional experience do I have that is relevant to the position?

As you know, recruiters don’t have the luxury of spending even five minutes on your job application. Hence, it is crucial that a recruiter can ascertain you have the right qualifications upon the first look at your resume. Moreover, including irrelevant details will lead the recruiter to assume you are not the perfect fit. It also wastes your limited space.

For every position you mention, describe your key responsibilities, followed by quantifiable accomplishments in bullet form. Use powerful terms such as verbs and numbers—they make your statements more results-oriented. Some of the suggested action words are listed in the table below:

Addressed Coordinated Interviewed Persuaded Reviewed
Analyzed Executed Interpreted Planned Supervised
Communicated Guided Led Promoted Summarized
Conceptualized Influenced Managed Recommended Written

Management consultant resume samples for experienced professionals would most probably state the experience section this way:

Project Manager, ABC Bright Ideas, Inc., June 2007 – November 2010Managed various projects on systems development and documentation for numerous clients. Coordinated and brainstormed with management regarding their system requirements. Occasionally supervised a team of researchers, analysts, and technical writers. Key achievements include the following:

  • Redesigned the manufacturing system and procedures of XYZ Organization, which resulted in a 21% increase in monthly production.
  • Conceptualized the functional requirements, alongside top management, of EFG Firm’s website in one month’s time.
  • Evaluated and recommended human resource requirements for OPQ Business Corp, which reduced the labor cost by 10%.

Here’s an example for the fresh graduates:

Project Analyst, Internship Program, STU Consulting Firm, August – September 2012Assisted a team of management consultants in collecting, analyzing, and presenting market-related information to the client. Brainstormed with experts in creating the design for market researches. Analyzed industry trends and customer preferences on women’s apparel. Notable accomplishments are the following:

  • Designed a questionnaire that yielded a 80% response rate within one week.
  • Conducted a field interview in shops and boutiques with only 1% data collection error.
  • Wrote a qualitative analysis of research results after thorough brainstorming.

If you shifted into a consulting career, focus on describing your soft skills and how they can be utilized in the firm. For instance, if you used to be a software developer, emphasize how you applied logical thinking in coding or how you resolved bugs with your problem solving capability.

Education

For recent graduates, education plays an important role in the resume. It serves as your foundation for entering the competitive industry of management consulting. It’s the indicator of your knowledge, competencies, and values. You can include the following information in this section:

Name of institution If you graduated from an Ivy League university, the prestige of your school is a factor recruiters will seriously consider.
Degree earned This indicates what you learned over the past four years. It tells recruiters whether you have knowledge of accounting, management, marketing, economics, or law.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Include your GPA if it’s remarkably high or if it meets the minimum requirement of the management consulting firm.
Remarkable academic achievements If you graduated with honors or you received any distinctions, state it in your resume. Your determination and hard work to achieve these accolades will be taken into consideration.
Significant extracurricular activities Your participation in various club activities will alert the recruiter that you have  developed skills, discipline, and values that are necessary in management consulting.

Take a look at the example below:

BS Accounting and Information Systems
2008 – 2012, Yale University, Connecticut, USA
GPA – 3.8
Extracurricular Activities:
  • VP Internal Affairs – Management Consulting Club, SY 2011- 2012
  • Second Prize Winner – Case competition sponsored by Deloitte Consulting, September 2011
  • Active Member – Marathon Club, SY’s 2009 – 2012

Here’s another one:

Master of Business Administration
2010 – 2012, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada
Key achievements:
  • Graduated Cum Laude
  • Participated in the career trek to McKinsey and Bain, March 2011
  • Won the school-wide case competition in social media marketing

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

When enumerating competencies, list the most relevant ones. It’s not the number but the substance that matters. You may have more than a handful of practical skills, but if they don’t have any bearing on the position you are applying for, save the space for pertinent information.

Think carefully about what you’ll write. If you apply to Marakon, do you think the programming languages you know are worth enumerating? It’s a boutique consulting firm that focuses on oil and gas, healthcare, consumer, retail, and financial services, so a list of competencies related to those areas will be more effective. However, if you apply to Accenture, it may be wise to list all of your competencies as the company also offers a wide range of technology services.

Here’s an idea of what this section may look like:

  • Communications: Training and workshop implementation, negotiation, brainstorming, mind mapping, event organization;
  • Operations:  Strategy planning, systems analysis, project management, human resources management, organizational development, risk management;
  • Languages: English, conversational Spanish and French; and
  • Others:  Stress management, sociability, meticulousness, business judgment.

Personal Interests

Writing about personal interests isn’t a requirement, but recruiters will not reject you for specifying them. If you do, you will gain these advantages:

More Value It adds more value to your resume. Some hobbies illustrate passion, diligence, and intrinsic motivation which are qualities that are necessary in the consulting field.
Memory Recall It may facilitate memory recall. Many applicants have the same experience and expertise; writing about your hobbies might set you apart from the others.
Fun Side It adds excitement to your resume; personal interests manifest your fun side.

One line for interests will do, such as the example below:

  • Personal Interests: Illustration, traveling, playing the guitar, and photography.

Review the Content and Form

curriculum vitae

Once you’re done writing your resume, proofread it to perfection. You may be able to think of better ways to represent yourself the second time you go over it. Never send out a resume without checking the content and form; your candidacy is at stake.

Below is a short checklist to ensure that your resume is perfect:

  • Does it communicate the message you want to convey? Ensure that it proves you will be an asset to the firm. If you miss this part, the answers to the rest of the questions are fruitless.
  • Is it tailored to the goals and requirements of the management consulting firm? It is critical that the recruiter sees that your qualities and personality match the position and the corporate culture.
  • Is the data accurate? Remember that some recruiters validate the information. They sometimes enter your name in the search box, check your LinkedIn profiles, or call your previous supervisors to confirm what you’ve written.
  • Is it free of typos and grammatical mistakes? These embarrassing blunders reflect poor communication skills and lack of attention to detail. Don’t give the impression that you don’t possess these basic qualities every consultant must have.
  • Is the text legible? Don’t use a small font size to accommodate everything on one page, but don’t make it too large because then it occupies too much space. Fancy fonts are highly discouraged. Arial, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Calibri, and other conventional font styles are recommended.
  • Does it have correct margins? The white space around the text and in between categories makes your document reader-friendly.
  • Is the length sufficient? One page is ideal, two is acceptable, but anything more than that is too long.

If possible, ask a friend or professional to read your resume. Sometimes, a fresh set of eyes can give you  objective feedback.

Common Resume Mistakes

Exercise care when writing a management consultant resume, otherwise you might commit the following mistakes:

One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Some resumes end up in the trash because applicants do not consider this as a critical step or they find it too troublesome to follow the aforementioned guidelines. As a result, they end up preparing an updated, generic resume they can readily print whenever they send out an application. Is this a good idea? Yes and no. Yes, to having an updated, generic resume ready in your hard drive because it can serve as your main reference source each time you tailor your resume to fit the firm you apply to. No, to the one-size-fits-all approach because your application will always have an impersonal tone and therefore won’t catch the recruiter’s attention.

Misrepresentation of Competencies

Another common mistake is misrepresenting oneself. True, you must project your best self in your resume, but it doesn’t mean you can make up stories in order to be noticed. If you do, you are fabricating information, a violation against honesty and integrity. Even if you are successful in the preliminary screening, your capabilities will still be evaluated during the interview. If you fail to prove you possess the abilities you say you do, you will be rejected and you will realize that you have wasted your and the recruiter’s time and effort.

The Waiting Time

Even if you follow all the guidelines in this post, there is still a probability that you might not be invited to interview. Unfortunately, it’s a sad reality that there’s an abundance of applicants in this industry. You are competing against candidates as qualified as you, so after sending out your job application, you may want to:

Interview Practice Start practicing for fit and case interviews. These are tough recruitment tools which you better prepare for.
Networking Network with people who can possibly give you a status report about your application. It’s helpful to stay in touch with someone who can follow up for you.
Other Options Continue looking for other career opportunities. As long as you don’t have a signed contract in your hand, you have to keep looking.
Resume Buildup Take on other jobs to build up your resume. If you think your lack of experience is the reason why other applicants are ahead of you, consider positions that can prepare you for a management consulting career.

Remember to always be proactive in your application. Nobody said that breaking into this industry is an easy venture. Just take things one step at a time and you will get there one day.