(This week’s blog is guest written by the fine people at ConsultingFact.com)
Management consulting recruitment season brings out some of the best candidates for the vacant positions that are available. The interview process is known for being highly selective, rigorous and unpredictable.
Furthermore, the competitive nature of the industry ensures that only top candidates are shortlisted. Because of this, active preparation is the key to minimize as many risks as possible, while making a lasting impression on one’s target firm.
With all the factors to consider, how does one properly prepare for the management consulting recruitment process? Below are essential steps applicants can take in order to increase the chances of landing a consulting position.
Set Your Target Firm
Recruiters can easily spot a generic application (a general cover letter and resume that is sent to several companies) from a distance. More importantly, using this method won’t yield the results that you’re looking for. In order to avoid this, you must set a target firm. Doing this will put all your focus and effort in researching and getting the most out of the recruitment process.
Know Your Entry Point
The 3 main entry points for consulting applicants are the following: fresh graduates, MBA graduates and experienced professionals. Recruiters look out for different characteristics and attributes for each type of entry point. Depending on which entry point you’re approaching, it is recommended to know how your target firm is filtering out the potential candidates in the respective category.
Build A Management Consulting Network
Your management consulting network can help make the application process smoother and less stressful. Knowing someone in your target firm who can give you a recommendation for the position you’re applying for can make a huge difference.
However, not everyone has the luxury of always being well connected. If you check the alumni list of the university you graduated from (or are currently in), you can contact those who are in the consulting industry and extract information that can help get you shortlisted.
Alternatively, social media also plays a role in establishing one’s network. Joining the right professional groups in LinkedIn can help generate leads to consulting seminars, expos and gatherings.
For more information, check out Getting In to Consulting
Write a Superior Cover Letter and Resume
This is the foundation of any successful application. Unfortunately, many individuals still underestimate the power of a well-written cover letter and resume. Cover letters should be kept short and direct. 3-4 paragraphs are just enough information for the recruiter to skim through and catch the essential details.
When it comes to the management consulting resume, include credentials that are relevant to the post. Other details should be left out. Don’t forget to include your education, externship and work experience, as well as previous organizations and clubs.
To conclude, preparing for this year’s recruitment season starts as early as now. Don’t try to cram everything last minute, as some of the elements take time to build (such as your network). Lastly, recruiters can tell who really wants to be there and who doesn’t. Therefore, be open and give it your best shot.
ConsultingFact.com offers services for applicants who are preparing for the management consulting recruitment process. An online course is available on the website, which covers the basic components of the interview and how to master the technical aspects. Downloadable content in the form of guides and e-books is easily accessible for those who are looking to refine their preparation methods and skills.
If you would like to learn more about working in management consulting, get Lew’s book Consulting 101: 101 Tips for Success in Consulting at Amazon.com