The management consultant resume is the most important document in the recruiting process. Maybe that’s why it causes so many headaches for candidates! But have no fear – we are here to help you craft your perfect management consulting resume. We present to you the Complete Guide for the Consulting Resume. We’ll be providing some of our top tips, consulting resume examples, common mistakes to avoid and more – all from the perspective of seasoned consultants.
Consulting Resume Examples Overview:
(Click on item to jump to section.)
- Consulting Resume Tips
- Resume Example Walkthrough Video
- Ways Consulting Firms View Resumes
- Common Resume Mistakes To Avoid
The Consulting Resume
On average, management consultant resumes are only viewed for a minute or less. Recruiting teams have so many applicants that resumes must be reviewed with extreme efficiency.
This means that your resume needs to make an instant good first impression. To do this, your management consultant resume must be catered to the consulting industry by having features that are similar to the attributes required for the actual job in consulting. These include the following:
- Strong academic background – indicates intellectual curiosity and strong work ethic
- Impressive work experiences (with quantifiable achievements) – shows an ability to be trusted with important workstreams and pass through competitive recruiting processes
- Interesting extracurriculars – demonstrates a desire to be involved in communities and leadership ability
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Consulting Resume Tips
Let’s next go into our top 10 tips to improving your management consulting resume.
Tip #1 – Include These 5 Key Sections
Your management consulting resume should include the fundamental 5 key sections below. Be sure and see our consulting resume examples to see these in action.
1. Name and Contact Information
The very top of your resume should include your name in big font (roughly sized 16-18 on a resume with 11-12pt font). This is to ensure your name stands out amongst the sea of candidates. You should also include your phone number, email, and address. Note: an overview isn’t generally recommended unless you have 10+ years of experience, or diverse experience that needs to be tied together.
This section should come first for those currently in an academic program, but should come second to last for those who have a few years of professional experience.
The education section should include your school name, GPA (if above a 3.5/4.0), graduation year, and location (city and state). Some optional sections include relevant coursework, honors and awards, and SAT or GMAT scores.
3. Professional Experience
This is the most important section of your resume. The majority of your management consulting resume should consist of your professional experiences, whether they were internships or full time jobs. Try not to go over 5 different roles and stick to the most important and impressive ones.
Consulting firms love to see well known brand names, so add well known companies that you’ve either worked for or supported.
4. Leadership & Activities
This section can be considered optional for experienced hires. If you’re an undergraduate student, it’s more likely that you won’t have enough professional experiences to fill up the entire page, so this section will come in handy.
Focus on the extracurriculars that are most related to consulting or are most impressive in showcasing your leadership abilities.
5. Skills & Interests
Skills and interests are often an overlooked section on the resume, particularly the latter. At the end of the day, consultants are human beings who enjoy speaking and working with interesting people.
Try to put as many interests that you are truly passionate about on your resume. Sometimes, if there’s a mutual interest between you and the person reviewing your resume, that could slightly swing him or her to your favor.
Tip #2 – Use Consistent Formatting
Resume formatting is extremely, extremely important. It showcases professionalism as well as the ability to create a well formatted document, which is an important skill in consulting.
For formatting, consistency is the name of the game. Make sure to align everything and space everything equally. If you are going to bold / italicize certain words, make sure you consistently bold / italicize the same type of words (i.e. company names and position titles).
If you’ve ever seen a resume with multiple different types of font with weird spacings, you know how unappealing they can look. A poorly formatted resume can really break your chances of receiving an interview no matter how great your experiences. Remember to look at our consulting resume examples for more guidance.
Tip #3 – Fill up 1 Entire Page
Your management consulting resume should demonstrate that you’re able to concisely communicate. Consulting firms receive thousands and thousands of resumes, so the last thing they want to do is read a never ending list of bullets that go all the way back to your high school accomplishments. Choose your most important experiences, and stick to one page, max.
At the same time, do everything within your power to fully fill up one page on your resume. Not having a completely filled out page makes you seem less accomplished and can hurt your chances.
Tip #4 – Use Strong Action Verbs for Your Bullets
The first word is the first thing consultants will see in each bullet. Using strong and relevant action words will start your bullets off on the right foot.
Focus on highlighting personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, problem solving, leadership abilities, quantitative skills, and more.
Tip #5 – Focus on Measurable Results
Consultants want to see that you were able to accomplish measurable results on your consulting resume. You need to be able to prove you’ve gotten things done; consultants want to work with similar people who strive for excellence.
For as many bullets as you can, don’t just describe the work you did. Think deeply about the impact you were able to make for the organization you worked for.
Tip #6 – Add as Many Numbers as You Can Everywhere
Quantify, quantify, quantify. Consultants work with numbers on an everyday basis. Having a lot of numbers on your resume helps you seem comfortable with numbers (even if it’s not completely true, fake it ‘til you make it!).
Add as many numbers as you can throughout your resume by literally going through every single bullet and adding metrics where you can. Numbers make more specific stories, which in turn are more interesting stories. We promise you that this simple tip will easily make for a much better first impression.
Tip #7 – Start Building Your Resume ASAP
Remember that you’ll be up against thousands of other qualified candidates who are vying for the same spots. You should aim to produce a high quality resume, and we guarantee that it won’t come overnight.
This is the most important document in your recruiting process. Make sure to put in a lot of thought and effort into your management consulting resume!
Tip #8 – Get Your Resume Reviewed by Others
Ask people you trust to review your resume in order to receive advice and suggestions. Ideally, your reviewers should be people who have previous consulting experience, but anyone with a strong set of professional experiences is a good place to start.
Sometimes, even when you proofread multiple times, you will miss mistakes that others catch in their first reads. More importantly, they should be able to suggest edits that strengthen your resume to make it stand out.
Tip #9 – Submit and Send as a PDF
The last thing you want is for all your hard work to be ruined by computer formatting errors. Whether you are sending your resume to a consultant for networking or submitting it for an application, make sure the resume is in PDF format.
Sending in the file type (i.e. Microsoft Word or Pages) in which you created the resume is risky for two reasons. First, a lot of consultants will be looking at your resume on their smartphones, and most non-PDF files will ruin the formatting structure you have put into place. Second, even on desktop, if the resume reviewer doesn’t have the program you used or the same version, you can run into formatting issues.
The extra step is totally worth it, and it’s common practice to send PDFs on the consulting job as well.
Tip #10 – Double, Triple, Quadruple Check
Before you send your resume anywhere, make sure to proofread until you’ve almost memorized the document. Any mistakes will point to a lack of attention to detail. If this seems harsh, remember that there are thousands of candidates vying for the same spot as you. Don’t leave anything to chance!
Consulting Resume Example Walkthrough Video
The Ways Different Consulting Firms View Resumes
By and large, consulting firms across the board expect a high quality management consulting resume regardless of the firm’s pedigree. The only main difference between companies like McKinsey and Deloitte is that the competition is just that much tougher at the MBB level – just good enough won’t do, you need to be outstanding. Outstanding candidates display stronger brand name professional experiences, more elite colleges, and higher GPAs. They also know how to communicate like consultants (AKA in numbers). Other than that, all consulting resume rules apply to any firm you apply to.
Common Resume Mistakes To Avoid
We’ve told you what you should do while working on your management consulting resume. Now, here is a list of what you should NOT do.
- Solely use a template you find online
- Go over one page
- Use super small font or super small margins to fit everything onto one page
- Have any typos or grammatical errors
- Use different types of fonts; stick with one
- Lack specific details and have generic bullets
- Rely on yourself – send your resume to others and receive suggestions
- Include high school information
- Have conspicuous gaps in your education and work timeline
- Over exaggerate and make up lies – eventually it will catch up to you!
Though building a strong management consulting resume takes time, the good news is that the majority of the document does not change often. We hope that this guide was helpful toward you reaching your desired consulting firm. If you need resume help, work with our expert team to get your resume ready for consulting applications. Get tailored resume edits to get you in the door and on your way to an interview at firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, or any other consulting firms!