When preparing themselves for a job application at a top-level consulting company such as those of the MBB group, a lot of people will drastically underestimate the importance of a quality consulting resume. In some way, it makes sense, right? You have a whole case interview in front of you, and you need to ace it, so you want every minute of your time devoted to your problem-solving work.
But in reality, this is not the case. You can prepare for the most complex cases out there as much as you want, you can be the best problem-solver there is, and still end up empty-handed. A useful statistic to know is certainly the one that over 60% of applications will fail to receive more than a few seconds of the recruiter’s attention, rendering the case interview preparation of 60% of the applicants useless.
What Makes The Consulting Resume so Important?
There is one thing that you should keep in mind. Consultancies such as McKinsey, BCG, or Bain receive hundreds, even thousands of applications for consulting positions on a daily basis. The first thing about this is, realistically, the ball is in their court.
They can do all the selection they want, as they will always get more candidates knocking on their door. It’s you who is trying to prove yourself to them, and not the other way around.
And the second thing is, no recruiter can realistically go through so many applications thoroughly every single day and actually read them from start to finish. They will usually scan a single resume for several seconds before deciding if it’s just another average application or if that one seems like it has something outstanding to offer.
This is why you need to put some serious work into your consulting resume. You need to highlight your greatest achievements and skills that are relevant to the job without drowning the recruiter with unnecessary information. For a lengthy in-depth guide on how to do this, feel free to visit www.myconsultingcoach.com/consulting-resume.
What They Want to See
It may differ slightly between different consultancies of course, but generally speaking, there are certain skill sets that will always be looked for in a consulting resume. Those include:
- Problem Solving
- Leadership Skills
- Result Delivery
- Analytical Skills
- Good Communication Skills
- Functional Expertise
Our recommendation is certainly to get yourself acquainted with what skills are highlighted in the specific company you are applying to. Everybody has their own preferences, and it is the bare minimum you can do – getting in touch with the way the company works and making sure that you will be a good fit there.
Consulting Resume Format
This is really the single part of your consulting resume that you don’t want to stand out in. There is a certain professional template that you should stick to when formatting, which you can easily find online to simplify things for you a bit. Don’t think that using any weird fonts, colors, or huge margins will make you stand out in a positive way.
At the top of the page, start with your name, bolded and in larger type. Follow it up with your email address and your telephone number. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to double-check this info once you’ve typed it. Imagine actually impressing the recruiter and getting yourself called up for the interview, only for the recruiter to be unable to reach you because you made an error in your phone number or email.
Consulting Resume Content
Now we get to the juicy part. Education, work experience, but most of all, your skills and achievements. It’s all good mentioning in your consulting resume what you studied and where, your previous work experience, and whatnot. You should mention it; it’s a part of your resume. But the key ingredient here is simple: what skills do you possess? And what results did you achieve when you applied them?
Skills and Achievements
In fact, it is highly recommended that you combine these two elements. When highlighting your skills, they are best followed by an achievement that was accomplished because of those skills. The company will always want results; hence results are your greatest proof of your skill. Also, make it eloquent and personalized, don’t just be generic when pointing your achievements out.
Financial Skills – Increased profit in company sales
Doesn’t quite have a ring to it, does it?
My work has seen the company increase its profit in product sales by a staggering 7% over 8 months.
Far better. Don’t hesitate to use percentages and numbers. Consultants love their numbers very much. Try to tell everything relevant without using any unnecessary words or phrases, to keep it as short as possible without skipping any important details.
When you’ve finished with all the crucial parts, feel free to add any extras that could bring you some bonus points. These may include your activities outside of work, your hobbies, or interests if they are relevant to your profession, as well as any volunteering activities.
If you have done some, and they are relevant, list them and describe in a few words what your task was, what skills you used, and what your greatest achievements there were.
Foreign languages are very often a plus, whatever position you are going for. And as a consultant, you will be communicating with people all the time, sometimes with people whose native language is not English.
Remember to always follow up on a language that you listed with your level of expertise. There is a big difference between having working knowledge in a language and being fluent in it, and your employer will want to know what to expect.
To Wrap it Up
We hope that this article has helped you realize how important a well-crafted resume is in your job application process. In fact, considering that you can’t get past the initial screening stage without it, you could even say that it is the key part of it. So make sure to do it right, or all of your effort to ace the case interview will be in vain.
Write down all of your skills, achievements, languages, education degrees, volunteering deeds, etc., before you begin writing your resume. Make sure you tick all the boxes, then get to writing, and do your best to make it look convincing and straight to the point. Only once you have finished your consulting resume, double-checked it, and made sure there is no more space for improving it, should you go back to working on your cases for the interview day.