The Bain resume is seen by some as a formality when compared to case interview prep. The errant thinking goes that you submit a resume simply to demonstrate that you’re qualified. Then, at that point you will be granted an interview, where you will be able to distinguish yourself. This is a mistaken view. As the consulting industry experiences a continued boom (pending the evolution of the COVID-19 situation of course), more talent is flooding in, and the competition for each position is steep. On average, 60% of applications are eliminated before even making it to the interview stage. So, you need to design the most impressive Bain resume you can if you want to stand out from the pile of qualified applicants.
In this article, we’ll help you prepare to craft the perfect Bain & Co. resume. We’ll take you through what separates a consulting resume from other resumes and CVs you might have made in the past. We’ll also give you some tips and some mistakes to avoid as you try to perfect your Bain resume.
The Consulting Resume: How Is It Different?
Virtually every industry values prospective employees who demonstrate motivation, independence, competence, and achievement. But there are some particular skills that top consulting firms look for that aren’t so important in every industry. Bain, like other top firms, looks for candidates who demonstrate problem-solving skills, analytical skills, leadership, and general business acumen. It’s critical that your Bain and company resume focus on these skills.
Of course, the top firms all freely admit to valuing these qualities. But what they don’t tell you is that they actually put quite a lot of stock into big, recognizable brand names. It may not be attractive to admit it but famous brand names on your Bain resume will tell the people screening your resume that you can fit in with high-impact institutions. It also helps Bain to sell your services as a junior consultant to high-profile clients.
What Should a Consulting Resume Include?
Beyond the brand names on your Bain resume, you’ll have to sell the firm on your ability to do the actual work of consulting. Firms do make some effort to get to know a candidate’s unique strengths and weaknesses, but they still prefer to see recognizable academic achievement.
The consulting industry is highly results-oriented. That means they value claims that can be backed up with quantifiable evidence. So you’ll want to advertise strong test scores, a high GPA, as well expertise you’ve developed in business & quant classes, or working on projects that drew on those skills.
As you detail your work and leadership experiences, remember to put the impact of your efforts front and center. Don’t just describe a role you fulfilled—talk about the difference you made and how you made it. Use action verbs to describe the projects you’ve worked on and use numbers to demonstrate results.
It’s easy to go overboard in terms of extracurriculars. But some people have taken this too much to heart and now underrate the importance of this part of your resume. Extracurriculars are important—it’s one of the primary ways you can humanize yourself while concurrently demonstrating initiative, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
Bain Resume Tips
It’s amazing how much thought is required to make such a short document. We’ve distilled our wisdom into three powerful tips.
Stick To Five Sections
It’s tempting to include as much positive information as you can think of when you compile your Bain associate consultant resume (or any other Bain role). This is natural. You want to impress Bain with all your virtues, skills, and achievements. But you also have to demonstrate to them that you understand how resumes are meant to work. Be sure you don’t go over one page.
We recommend organizing your resume into five sections max:
- Professional Experience
- Leadership Experience
Stick To Three To Five Bullet Points Per Experience
Having fewer than three bullet points can make it seem like the experience was actually too thin to be worth including. More than five bullet points makes it seem like you haven’t done a good job identifying what was most important.
Get Help From Informed People
This includes friends and colleagues who are experienced in management consulting. After you spend a lot of time with a document, it gets easy to overlook things that are awkward or incorrect, including grammar and spelling. This is a surefire way to turn your screener off without giving you a chance.
This tip can also apply to getting more authoritative help with your Bain & Co. resume. You can work off a template—such as the Harvard resume, the Kellogg resume, or the Wharton resume—as you compile your Bain & Company resume sample. You should also be sure to consult our Consulting Resume: Complete Guide. Finally, you can work with our team on a resume edit.
Bain Resume Mistakes to Avoid
With screeners motivated to filter down the applicant pool, they’ll take any excuse you give them to throw your resume in the waste basket. Here we help you identify some of the easiest and most important mistakes to avoid.
Being Too Long
This is one of the most common mistakes we encounter. It’s understandable. You’re trying to pack all of your unique value into one single document. It’s an impossible task. But that’s true for everybody. If you submit a Bain & Company resume that’s longer than a page, you could be signaling that you can’t do the job of a consultant, since the job involves listening to client guidelines and efficiently synthesizing large amounts of information. Plus it’s unlikely a screener will have the time or motivation to care about whatever gets pushed to the second page.
Not Being Action Oriented
If your Bain resume involves impressive titles and awards, that’s great, but it’s not enough to just list them. That doesn’t actually help the person screening your resume gain confidence that you actually know how to achieve results. For whatever roles or projects you’re including, be sure to get specific about what exactly you did and what the outcomes were.
Telling And Not Showing
This happens when you simply list your skills and credentials without demonstrating how you’ve put those to impactful use. Consulting is all about results. You should be able to go into some detail about how you’ve put your skills into action and what tangible, quantifiable results you helped achieve.
For more mistakes to avoid in your Bain & Company resume sample, see our Consulting Resume: Complete Guide.
If you’re just starting to investigate a career in management consulting, you might be looking at the Bain resume as the first hurdle you have to clear in your quest to get hired. But in reality, the resume is an intermediate step—a transition between all that you’ve done and what you plan to do. You can take this to mean that the process of crafting the perfect Bain resume begins long before you actually download a template or a Bain & Company resume sample.
If you’re lucky enough to be coming across this information while you’re still in school, take this opportunity to do everything you can to become the candidate Bain will want to hire. That means padding your class schedule with business-friendly courses and doing everything you can to get your GPA up. You can also help your cause by seeking internships and jobs at high-profile companies that will make your Bain resume stand out when you eventually apply for a job. And finally, you can get involved on campus, particularly in organizations that give you a chance to exercise impactful leadership, build problem solving skills, or demonstrate a particular interest in management consulting.
- Bain & Company Careers: 10 Reasons To Work For Bain
- Bain Case Interview: 3 Tips For Success
- Land an Offer at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, or Deloitte
- Bain & Company Firm Profile
- McKinsey, Bain, and BCG: 3 Things They Look for in Consultants