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:
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:
236 East Avenue, Miami, FL 23456 | (+145) 983-0980 | [email protected]
56 Guava St., West Village, Toronto, ON 94034 | Mobile: +129-400-4560 | Home: +109-234-8709
[email protected] | http://lilynayor.com
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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
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.
Do you need more help in crafting your McKinsey resume? Download this free PDF guide to consulting cover letters and resumes for tips on how to structure, format, and proofread this document. Written to address the common questions of consulting aspirants, you will find the guidelines extremely useful in writing your application.