The management consulting industry is incredibly difficult to get into because of the selection process and competitive nature of applicants. Only a handful are chosen each year worldwide to start their careers with top firms such as McKinsey and BCG.
Landing a job as a management consultant is not impossible. The good news is that the consulting industry is not directly affected by dips in the global economy. This is because during these times, companies are forced to seek out the help of management consulting firms to formulate new strategies related to growth, mergers and budget cuts.
Due to the sustainable nature of the industry, consulting companies are constantly expanding to meet the needs of their clients. Naturally, more offices mean more vacant jobs. However, this also means more applicants and added competition.
With the odds against you, how can you best prepare for the consulting recruitment process?
Top 5 Tips For Landing A Management Consulting Position
1. Know Your Entry Points
Consulting recruiters pool new hires from different sources, depending on which positions need to be filled. Fresh graduates usually come on board as Business Analysts, MBA graduates are hired as Associates and professionals enter a firm depending on their previous experience. Meeting the standards of these entry points can ensure that you won’t get turned down due to under or over qualification.
2. Meet The Standards Of Your Target Firm
Serious applicants refrain from sending out a default resume to 30 companies and hope for a callback. In the management consulting industry, applicants usually set their target firm while they’re still undergrads and build their credentials around the standards of the company. This is because firms are known to favor selected universities, where they are more willing to accept new hires from.
3. GPAs And Organizations
In most cases, your GPA has to be at least 3.7 or above to be shortlisted for the next round of interviews. Furthermore, you need to prove that you have social skills to back up your educational background. You can do this by joining clubs and organizations. It is advisable to take on a leadership role in these groups to highlight essential capabilities and skill sets.
4. Build Your Consulting Network
A recommendation from a consultant in your target firm can immediately separate your resume from the rest of the applicants. How can you get your hands on a strong recommendation letter?
Your consulting network can help you get that much needed boost. Professionals in your network can also give you well-guarded tips and news before they are released to the public. You can start building your network by attending consulting seminars that are open to the public. These events usually allot time for participants to walk around and get to know each other.
If you’re still in school, join organizations that are being promoted or supported by your target firm. Consultants who organize and attend these events are more open to casual conversations. Don’t forget to check if your friends are in the industry. A last resort would be to use credible social media sites such as LinkedIn as a platform to engage online communities. In order to make the most out of this method, stay as active as possible in relevant, consulting-related groups.
5. Polish Your Cover Letter and Resume
Your cover letter and resume matters when it comes to the selection process. Recruiters have hundreds of applications to go through each day. They don’t spend much time reading each one. Because of this, your cover letter and resume has to stand out. Take the time to write each component and have your colleagues read over it for a second opinion. Add keywords to make your application easy to read.
Are there any tips that you think should be on the list? Let us know about it in the comment section below.