No matter how well you perform in interviews, you will not land a consulting offer if you cannot get an interview. And the key to that is to have a great resume!
1. Consulting resumes are different
There are many students with really good resumes asking me why they are rejected by McKinsey or Bain even before the interview round. The reason is much simpler than most of them would expect: Their resume is not for management consulting! Simply speak out, they have wasted too many words and much space on describing the “wrong qualifications“.
A perfect consulting resume should directly speak to consulting people. It should be written in a consulting-like tone and should highlight skill sets which are relevant to consulting. In order to nail it, you should (1) understand the management consulting industry and (2) have someone in the industry give you their feedback. (see consulting terminology that you can and should include in your resume)
2. Behind the scenes
Though the resume screening process is varied across different firms and offices, there are some common themes that every consulting resume screening process sticks to.
Your resume will likely be reviewed by junior consultants who share your background.
Three important keywords here are JUNIOR, CONSULTANT, and SHARED BACKGROUND.
Most consulting firms receive a huge number of resumes and the seniors’ hourly salary is too high for them to spend their time reading resumes, so they just pass the work to junior consultants. As a result, you don’t need stuff that is too fancy or technical to get in. In fact, simple and understandable language works best.
In order to evaluate whether a candidate is a good fit for consulting work, the screener must know insights and have experienced the consulting life him/herself. Most offices only allow consultants to review resumes. It will be highly beneficial if you can have someone in the consulting industry look at your resume and give their feedback.
Generally, your resume will be reviewed by whomever in the office that has the most similar background as yours. Either the screener went to the same university or he/she was from the same country as you.
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