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:
- Specific consulting skills and achievements.
- Keywords or phrases.
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.