Every year dozens of candidates apply to consulting companies such as McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. Sadly, only 1% of candidates end up getting a job.
In fact, most candidates fail the cover letter and resume screening test. This is the reason why only a small percentage of candidates get a job.
Between a cover letter and a resume, most job candidates will say that the resume is more relevant. When it comes to consulting this is not the case.
Typically, when you are applying for a job in a consulting firm, your cover letter will be read before your resume. That’s why you need to be sure your cover letter is perfect.
This doesn’t mean your resume is not important, it also plays a very significant role in the application process.
A consulting cover letter is actually much different than the regular cover letter. That’s why we are going to explain how to write a perfect one in order to get the dream job!
Let’s dive in!
First, you should understand why consulting firms care that much about cover letters and how they actually decided which one is good and which one is bad. Read more about it here: www.myconsultingcoach.com/consulting-cover-letter.
There are two main reasons why consulting firms need a cover letter. Actually, the cost of interviewing is quite high for the company. That’s why they want to ensure that only the best candidates are going to be interviewed.
The second reason is that they want to see and test your writing skills. As a consultant, you will have to write all the time. Sometimes you will even spend half of your day writing. That’s why you need to show your skills in a cover letter.
There are certain questions you need to answer in your consulting cover letter in order to pass the screening test. “ Why consulting”; “ Why you”; and “Why this company?”.
This kind of cover letter is not something you can write in a couple of hours. It takes time and engagement. Basically, if you spend a lot of time working on it, you will automatically set yourself apart from the other candidates.
The Famous Screening Process
Now that we’ve clarified why a consulting cover letter is important, let’s concentrate on what happens after you hand it.
First, your application will be handed to a junior consultant, which is usually a person that recently graduated. Their job is to score your resume based on a framework presented by the HR department.
Usually, they need to score around 300 applications in about 2 weeks, which is a lot of work. This is important because you need to understand that your application is among 100 others.
They don’t have time to try to understand what you wrote. That’s why your resume needs to be concise and on point.
Writing a good consulting cover letter takes time, but like with everything, there are tips and tricks on how to do it.
Here are a couple of tips you should follow.
Start Writing On-time
Always start early. This is not something you can do in a few hours. The majority of candidates underestimate how much time it takes to write this kind of cover letter.
First, you need time just to think about everything you are going to write about. Once you are done, you will probably want to make tons of changes, and doing it right takes time.
Keep it Simple
No one likes complicated resumes and cover letters. People don’t like complicated things in general.
Keep it all on one page. This is one of the unwritten rules when it comes to writing a consulting cover letter. Focus on writing only the most important and relevant things. Basically, you suppose to summarise information from your resume.
Never Use Templates
Even though it’s ok to get inspiration from templates, don’t use them, since they want to see each and every sentence written from scratch.
Reading dozens of cover letters is equally exhausting as writing them. That’s why you should try to make it interesting and authentic.
Always Use Standart Font and Format
Sometimes it’s tempting to use some kind of eye-catching format and font. But don’t do that, because it can make you look weird.
Don’t try to make your cover letter stand out because of the format – concentrate on the content.
Don’t Be Shy
You don’t have to brag. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with that, and that’s ok. Just make sure you highlight all the important things you did.
Try to push yourself and write about all the impressive achievements. Now is a perfect time to say everything you are proud of.
Don’t Forget To Network
Maybe you are wondering networking has to do with writing a consulting cover letter. As a matter of fact, networking is a huge part of your cover letter.
Someone can recommend you to the HR department, or you can get much-needed insight into a particular company if you know a person working there.
Try To Get a Feedback
Before you hand in your consulting cover letter, it’s important to get feedback from someone who is a part of the consulting industry.
People from the industry can directly point out if something is wrong. This is crucial because you can fix everything wrong after getting your feedback and make sure your cover letter is perfect.
Finally, don’t forget to double-check everything. Grammar and typo mistakes are not going to be tolerated.
Wrapping it Up
Writing a consulting cover letter is usually exhausting and takes a lot of time. Once you are aware of that and accept it, you will be ready to start it.
Remember, one page is enough, just highlight the most important parts, and it will be perfect. Your resume needs to be clear and simple, not complicated.
Try to connect with the right people from the industry, always ask for feedback, double-check everything, and you are ready.