How to Craft a McKinsey Cover Letter

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Consider your McKinsey cover letter as a marketing document that will help you land a job with the firm. In order for your cover letter to stand out with recruiters, it should contain professional language and correct grammar in conveying your relevant qualifications.

Numerous graduates and professionals vie for a position at McKinsey because it is one of the most reputable global consulting firms in the world. Therefore, it is essential that you are able to communicate your value in your cover letter in order to convince the recruiters that you deserve to be interviewed. Here are some questions to guide you in crafting a McKinsey cover letter:

What Do You Know about McKinsey?

In order for a building to be unshakable, it must have a strong foundation. The same thing goes for your McKinsey cover letter. Your foundation is your knowledge of the industry and the company. Conduct research on the firm’s goals and expertise by reading its website, attending its events, networking with its employees, and following its social media profiles. Read stories about the firm’s successful research projects and strategies they have developed for clients. With the information you gather, you will be able to answer the next question.

What Qualities Do You Possess that McKinsey Will Find Interesting?

Your cover letter is not only a narration of your strengths and accomplishments; it must contain qualities that are relevant to McKinsey’s day-to-day operations. On their website, the firm states that they prefer applicants who are:

Problem-solvers Can you develop recommendations for solving urgent problems?
Achievers Can you make a positive and lasting impact on their clients?
Relationship Builders Can you establish trusting relationships with clients from a range of industries?
Leaders Can you effectively lead a team to work for a common goal?

If you have networked with McKinsey consultants, you may be able to add more specific qualities to the list. However, regardless of the number of qualities McKinsey is looking for, the most important question is, “Which ones do you possess?” The answer to this question will guide you in choosing information that will move your cover letter to the top of the pile.

How Should You Structure Your McKinsey Cover Letter?

After you thoroughly research the firm and reflect upon your skills, you can begin structuring your cover letter. Use the table below as your guide:

First Paragraph Explain how you came across the vacancy. Did you read the advertisement on an online job board, or were you informed by one of their former clients? If you want to mention the name of a consultant who has motivated you to pursue a career at McKinsey, this is where it should be stated.
Middle Paragraphs Summarize your experience and highlight a couple of qualifications that are interesting not to you, but to the firm. It was mentioned above that McKinsey prefers leaders, so if you’re a recent graduate who held a leadership position in a school sponsored club or organization, emphasize the experience in this section.If you are not new to consulting, you can share how your previous jobs have developed your problem solving and analytical thinking skills. If you are a working professional who shifted from a very different industry, explain your motivation for the career change, then focus on your soft skills that are applicable to your future consulting role.
Final Paragraph Indicate what you expect from the firm. You can say you will follow up after a couple of weeks or that you expect to be scheduled for an interview within the month. Also, don’t forget to express your gratitude to the hiring committee for considering your application.

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