How To Write The Perfect Consulting Cover Letter?
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welcome to this I got an offer consulting cover letter video where we will discuss everything you need to write a killer cover letter and get invited for interviews at Mc. Kinsey BCG and Bay first I’ll talk about the screening process consulting firms use for cover letters second I’ll step through a Mc. Kinsey cover letter sample so you can see what a good cover letter structure looks like and finally I will summarize our top 10 consulting cover letter tips for you at I got enough a we’ve helped more than 20,000 candidates prepare for consulting interviews so far and more than 80% of people who train with us end up getting an offer this consulting cover letter video summarizes a lot of what we’ve learned in the process doing this so let’s get started okay one important thing about cover letters and resumes is to understand how they are screened by consulting firms the way it usually works is that your application will be sent to a consultant who recently graduated from your University and joined the firm the consultant in charge of your application will score your cover letter and resume based on a grid provided by the HR team writing cover letters is painful / trust us reading a lot of them can actually be as painful as writing them Consultants typically have to score 200 to 400 applications in about two weeks and this is sometimes on top of their normal project work with clients it’s therefore not uncommon for them to leave the job to the last minute and to have to do it on a Friday night just before the deadline why is this important well the point I’m trying to make is that your application will be part of hundreds of other applications and the person who will review it will be tired by the time they get to your cover letter if they don’t understand something they won’t google it it’s your job to make their job easy so let’s now talk about how you can make your screeners live easy and get invited to an interview one of the unwritten rules of consulting cover letters is that they should answer very specific questions so let me walk you through how we recommend to structure your cover letter and what questions you should answer in it okay so this is the cover letter I’m going to use as an example if you haven’t already done so I’d encourage you to download the word or PDF version from our website so you can adapt it for your application if you’re on you can find a link to the sample letter below the video there are five sections we recommend crafting for a consulting cover letter let’s step through each of them one by one first you should write a brief at the top this should include your name and email address or postal address the date at which you are sending the letter and a sentence to explain which position and office you are applying for keep it short and sweet now let’s look at the body of the letter the first question you need to answer is why you why should the firm hire you and not someone else I like calling this section your gold medal section because it should really summarize your main achievements to grab your readers attention you want them to think wow that’s impressive I want to know more for instance you could start by writing something like I started working as an analyst at a big bank in New York in September 2014 and was quickly promoted to associate in a year and a half instead of the average four years notice how I’ve quantified my achievements here by comparing how fast I was promoted compared to other people I’d encourage you to try to do this too the third section of your letter should be about why consulting why do you want to be a management consultant this is something we’ve covered in a separate video and I’d encourage you to watch it the most common mistake candidates make in that section is to say that they want to work in consulting for two or three years and then figure out what they will do next this is a huge mistake because firms want to hire future partners not employees who will stay for just two or three years the best approach for your wide consulting section is to write about your past experiences that really show that you know what you’re getting into the perfect situation is if you had done an internship in consulting or in corporate strategy and have enjoyed it if that’s the case this is the perfect section to write about but even if you haven’t you can talk about situations where you have used consulting skills like problem solving or teamwork and say that’s the type of job that you enjoy doing the fourth section in your cover letter should be about why you want to apply for the firm you are writing to this section is difficult to write because consulting firms have a lot in common in most regions they cover the same industries and work for similar clients they also pay similar salaries and the career path is more or less the same from firm to firm so how should you answer that question in our experience the most efficient way to set yourself apart is to write about the people you’ve met from the firm and the projects or reports they have told you about when you write I’ve met with Michael Smith or I’ve read reports X or I’ve heard about project Y you are making an argument that’s specific enough to be credible a good has to know if your paragraph is specific enough is to swap the name of the firm you are applying for with another for example swap Mc. Kinsey with BCG if your paragraph still makes sense after swapping the names it’s not specific enough finally the last section of your cover letter is a formality again it should just include a sentence or two saying that you are enthusiastic and available for interviews as well as your final signature okay now that you know how to structure your letter let’s walk through our top 10 tips that will help you write the perfect letter tip number one don’t use a template letter writing cover letters is painful but trust us reading hundreds of them can be at least as painful that’s why you should make every effort to make your letter interesting and genuine it’s okay to get inspiration from templates such as the ones we provide on our website but every census in your letter should be written from scratch tip number two keep it to one page one of the unwritten rules of consulting cover letters is that they should not be longer than one page the trick to achieve this is to only select the most relevant experiences from your resume and to summarize them the points you decide to highlight should clearly demonstrate that you would make a great consultant tip number 3 use standard formatting and font it’s tempting to use an eye catching font and format but that’s actually a bad idea your only risk your interviewer thinking I’ve never seen this font it looks really weird your cover letter should stand out because of its content not because of its format tip number four this is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments if you went to Harvard and have three Olympic medals now is the time to say it most of us don’t and that’s fine you don’t need that to get into consulting but the point is that you should really push yourself to bring your most impressive accomplishments forward number five network network network this might sound surprising but a big part of the cover letter is how much networking you’ve done having networked with people from the firm you are applying to pays dividends for multiple reasons first they might recommend you to the HR team but most importantly these people will give you an insight into what makes their firm unique and you can quote these sound bites in the last paragraph of your cover letter to show that you really understand the firm you’re applying for tip number six read read read unfortunately networking is not always easy or possible in these cases your second best option is to read as much as you can on the firm’s you are applying for you should read about the firm’s projects reports and partners and find pieces of information you are really interested in for instance if you did your master’s thesis on electric vehicles try to find who works on this topic at the firm and what they have to say about the industry and then mention what you have found in your cover letter tip number seven use one letter per firm one question we often get asked is should I write one letter per firm the answer is yes but it’s not as hard as it might sound the why you and why consulting paragraphs can stay the same from letter to letter the only paragraph you will need to change in each letter is the one about why this firm for each firm you will have to do the networking and reading that I’ve just mentioned tip number eight start writing early writing an outstanding cover letter is very very hard most candidates underestimate how much time it takes and start this process too late you’ll need to take a step back and reflect on everything you have done to date to highlight your most relevant experiences this takes multiple iterations start early tip number nine get feedback one of the keys to success is to get feedback from peers and former management consultants these people will be able to point out which parts of your letter they don’t get or don’t find impactful enough in our experience great candidates all look for feedback and iterate their letters until it’s truly as good as it can get it’s a lot of work but not many people do it so it’s worth it and tip number 10 proofread multiple times finally you should check and double check your letter for typos and grammar mistakes multiple times a cover letter is an unannounced writing test and you should really treat it like one okay so those ten points are really the ones that we’d recommend focusing on for your cover letter this video should have gone a long way in helping you crafting a great cover letter for your consulting applications but if you still feel like you need extra help you can also check out our cover letter review service on I got an offer com we’ve helped many candidates land interviews in consulting and can help you okay that’s it for this video if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them below and our team will answer them the next thing you should do is watch our video on consulting resumes and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel..
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