Write a Management Consulting Resume from Scratch


The art of the Management consulting resume is a frequent topic here.

For one, about 50% of reader emails are related to resumes. For two, you can’t land a consulting job without a good one.

While we’ve covered resume topics like key tips, tactical errors, and even how consultants read resumes, today’s post will be a comprehensive “catch-all” to address frequent reader questions.

We’ll cover:

  • How to write a consulting-targeted resume from scratch
  • Advanced tips in building an eye-catching resume
  • Strategic mistakes that will derail your resume from getting the fullest attention
  • The skills, experiences, and specific keywords that consultants and recruiters look for
  • 10 “tactical” tips in composing your consulting resume

Finally, due to the 100s of questions received on this topic, we’ll have an honest discussion about what it really takes to get an interview at places like McKinsey, Booz, and more.

It’s a long article, so get ready for some scrolling!

How to build a consulting-targeted resume from scratch

If you don’t have a resume, your first step is to check out example resume templates.

In general, all resumes/CVs should include:

  • A header section with personal information
  • Sections for work experience, educational background, and miscellany interests/skills/activities
  • Bulleted text as opposed to text paragraphs
  • Key information on each experience such as your title, the location, and length of time involved

In addition, most consulting resumes do not have a lead “summary” or “objectives” section as is common in international CVs. Two reasons:

  1. Your summary and objectives should be communicated clearly through your achievements
  2. Resume readers are busy – a summary section adds little additional value

Finally, 99% of consulting resumes are one page long. Same goes for the cover letter!

If you have more than 5 years of experience, or have switched industries abnormally often, 2 pages is ok. Anything longer than that is recruiting suicide.

Advanced tips in building an eye-catching resume

Put yourself into a recruiter’s or a consultant’s shoes. At most, you have 5 minutes to review the resume. That’s actually pretty generous – average review time is probably more like 2-3 minutes.

You need to make a decision about whether this person deserves an interview in that timeframe.

You have very little time…so:

1. You focus on the candidate’s 1-2 most impressive achievements 2. You hope it’s in PDF…so you can avoid annoying formatting issues and document-opening errors

You need to determine whether you deserve an interview…so:

1. You look for the specific consulting skills that are needed in the job (more on that below) 2. You read the Interests/Hobbies section because, let’s admit, it’s the most interesting part! 3. You do an overall review of the resume’s professionalism, paying attention to alignment, grammar, and typos

Now take those steps, and think about how you can improve your resume from the consultant’s perspective.

Strategic mistakes that will derail your resume from getting the fullest attention

We’ve discussed common resume mistakes before.

Here, we won’t be discussing tactical errors like using “Justify” alignment. Instead, we’ll talk about resume-wide strategic errors.

Strategic error #1: Focusing on education without sufficient backup

It’s a bad idea to dedicate half your resume to your educational background if you don’t have the big school name or the technical/graduate degrees to impress readers.

This hurts because with only 2 minutes to review your resume, you don’t want 90 seconds of that time to be focused on your Bachelor of Arts degree from University of North Dakota (no offense).

Strategic error #2: Throwing in everything but the kitchen sink

This is not new advice, but with resumes less is more. Less is much, much more.

Every recruiter and consultant can tell you about the outstanding resumes they’ve seen that were barely one page, at 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1″ page margins.

Why is this?

Because you enjoy reading them more. You can quickly analyze the key skills and successes. And most importantly, you remember them better. When it comes to resume review time, you immediately know the candidate’s story and strengths.

Finally, it shows a degree of professionalism and self-confidence to execute such a strategy.

While you don’t need to be that bold, the worst thing you can do is list 20 bullets under each job, 9 different hobbies, and 15 skill certifications.

Ask yourself this question: if a resume reviewer will only remember 5 things about my resume, what are they? Then put them front and center. Everything else is, more or less, window-dressing.

Strategic error #3: Lack of self-promotion, when your achievements can’t promote themselves

It’s great that you’ve been a software engineer for 10 years. But will a string of technical jobs at Oracle, Salesforce, and Intuit be sufficient to attract BCG recruiters?

Highly unlikely.

In this situation, you’ve got to sell yourself loud and clear. Cover letter aside, you only have your resume to impress a reader enough to be considered “strategy consulting material”.

Highlight your biggest achievements. Exaggerate a little when quantifying impact. Use words like “managed” and “developed” often.

Identify precisely what skills consultants are looking for, and rewrite your resume to display those skills.

Regardless of your career and industry, you can exhibit the same parallel skills that are employed by Bain consultants every day.

Research and analytics? Check.

People leadership and project management? Check.

Client sales and relationship management? Check-plus.

The skills, experiences, and specific keywords that consultants and recruiters look for

Consultants are generally looking for the following skills and experiences in resumes:

  • People management and team leadership
  • Client interaction – both sales and relationship building
  • Technical and quantitative analytics and research
  • Proven-track record of success at prior jobs as demonstrated by promotions and increasing responsibilities
  • Quantifiable individual and team-oriented results

This will vary by academic background, years of work experience, and so forth.

To demonstrate the above, great key phrases include: directed teams, led meetings, managed clients, proposed and implemented, increased performance by, reduced costs by…

You get the idea.

Further reading: Insider secrets to Bain recruiting

What it really takes to land an interview at the best firms

We’ll avoid a discussion of specific accomplishments, because with consulting hiring, there are exceptions to every rule.

Hundreds of Princeton graduates are rejected sight-unseen by Bain Consulting every year, while a University of Wisconsin grad was able to secure a first-round McKinsey interview.

As a broad rule of thumb, the following will help differentiate your resume from the rest of the pile:

-A top-tier educational institution (undergraduate or graduate) -A prestigious role at an industry-leading Fortune 500 -Starting a venture-funded company -Doing something truly world-class (such as receiving a Marshall fellowship, publishing research in Science/Nature)

Without one of the above, you’ll need to focus on the following:

1. Make your cover letter and resume air-tight 2. Network at every available opportunity. As Ramit Sethi likes to say, great networkers build relationships before they need them 3. Consider graduate educational opportunities that will “upgrade” your candidacy 4. Search high and low for boutiques and regional consulting firms that have more idiosyncratic hiring rules 5. Start your own consulting shop!

That said, here are the 10 very specific tips to apply when writing a consulting-ready resume:

1) Read your resume for typos. Then read it again. Then have a friend read it. Then read it again. It is critical that there are no mistakes of any kind – grammar and spelling both. While you think mistakes can be overlooked, the funny thing about consultants (and this applies to other industries as well) is that once they find a mistake, it’s all they remember.

Last year, I was doing a resume review and noticed someone had mispelled “consulting” into “consluting”. While the rest of the resume was good, I didn’t forget this typo – and when we were on a resume review call, the team lead brought it up, and you know what? Everyone else on the team had noticed it too.

2) Align everything and space everything equally. Everyone’s seen those left-by-the-road-to-die resumes, the ones with horrible spacing issues, 3 different font sizes, looking like it came out of the printer crooked. While that is an extreme, proper spacing and alignment make a resume more visually appealing and are indicative of an attention to detail that are critical to any consultant’s early success. One of my mentors during the recruiting process put it best when he said:

“If someone’s resume doesn’t have properly aligned columns, it tells me that they either don’t care or don’t pay attention to detail. And if they don’t pay attention to detail, then how are they going to build a model that has the right numbers? Or a presentation that’s ready for the client to see?”

3) Put your name in a large font. This is often overlooked, but do not put your name in the same font size as the rest of the resume. If your resume is typed in standard 12 font size, I would recommend a name at least 24 font size. Why? Because recruiters/interview screeners can churn through 200-300 resumes within 3-5 hours (giving 1-2 minutes per resume!). The last thing you want is for them to mentally think “hey, this person is fairly qualified”, move on to the next resume, and then forget your name.

This is just for safety purposes. Most screening processes compile resume scores in Excel spreadsheets, and this systematic process ensures your resume won’t be overlooked even if your name is.

But there are many application situations where this will be helpful – think boutique firms, random resume drops, headhunters, etc. You want your name to stand out so people connect you with your qualifications.

4) Make sure your contact info is updated and you check your email frequently. I’ve heard horror stories of applicants for financial service jobs submitting resumes with emails that bounce, phone numbers that are disconnected, and so forth. While the firm may eventually get in touch with you, a first impression is set and you’ll get off to a bad start. Use your primary email address and a working phone number.

As a small but important detail, try to avoid outdated email domains (like AOL). Consultants pride themselves on being technologically savvy, and seeing an applicant with a name@aol.com address raises several questions, such as “does this guy still use dial-up?”; “has she not heard of gmail?”; and so forth. Remember, readers – covering all bases is the name of the recruiting game.

5) Avoid conspicuous gaps in your education and work timeline. A few months is ok. Anything longer than 6 months is a no-no. This is another situation, like typos, alignment, etc – where questions lead to more questions and peoples’ impression of your resume can take a turn for the worse. My blanket advice here is that 9/10 times, you can fill in the timeframe with something substantive (eg, nonprofit work, part-time schooling, global travel). For the 1/10 times where you can’t easily explain your situation (eg, family issues), do not mention this in your consulting cover letter. You want to downplay, not emphasize. But make sure you have your story straight and response ready, because there is a very good chance it will come up during a first round interview

6) Keep it to one page only. Obvious to some, but a very common mistake. Nothing says “I don’t know what I’m doing” faster than a 4 page resume.

If you absolutely cannot fit the things that you want to say to one page, play around with font-size, line-spacing, character-spacing (all features within Microsoft Word). But I guarantee you should be able to.

Some firms ask that you convert your resume to PDF prior to submission, or have an online submission method that automatically converts to PDF. Please check the results of both to ensure that your resume stays at one page in length.

And leave white space! Do not make your resume too “text-heavy”. Interviewers are quickly turned off by resumes that are packed with content. This will make them less interested in reading your resume AND cause them to overlook important pieces

There are exceptions to every rule as indicated above. Those with sufficient work experience and/or high job turnover can spill over onto a second page.

7) Have a line on personal interest/hobbies and keep it sensible and specific. One line only.

“Good” example:

Interests: Competitive tennis player. Avid hiker (climbed Kilimanjaro last year). Amateur pastry chef.

“Bad” example:

Interests: Likes to play lots of sports. Loves hiking mountains and has hiked Kilimanjaro in the past. Enjoys cooking.

As you can see, the “Bad” example:

#1 lacked specificity – everyone “enjoys cooking”. Few can call themselves an “amateur pastry chef”. It makes you stand-out and increases the chances that reader who also likes making desserts will relate to you

#2 rambled and used flippant language – avoid the words “like” and “love”, as they can sound trite. Do not turn the “Interests” line into a personal statement or paragraph

8) Focus on results. Preferably quantifiable results. Consultants are very “results-oriented”. They will be looking for similar attributes in your resume.

Instead of saying “Re-built online database to reduce errors and increase entry speed”, say this: “Constructed new online database, resulting in 50% fewer input errors and 33% more entries in an average day”

Instead of saying “Edited Human Resource interview questions to correct grammar, typos, and to tailor them for summer interns”, say this: “Optimized HR interview process by eliminating grammar and typos in questions; created the first-set of questions tailored at internship applicants resulting in 3 internship hires

Not every impact has to be quantified – but consistently focus on the impact of your work and not the steps taken, a very common mistake. This will convey that not only did you get work done, you did important work that showed clear results for your employer. High-five.

9) Do not include high school – SAT/standardized test scores are an exception. Whether you just graduated college or have 10+ years work experience, high school information does not belong on a professional resume. Place your SAT/standardized test scores in your “College” section. If there are major awards/prizes received while in high school (and this is only of the Westinghouse Science Prize magnitude), you can place them in the “College” section. An “Elks Lodge Scholarship” does not count.

10) Focus on the rule of 3 – 3 major work experiences, 3 bullets on each one. Simple “guiding principle”. Only exception is your primary job (the one experience you would like to highlight to any resume reviewer) – you should have more than 3 bullets. Have an “education” section with 3 bullets. And so forth. This rule ensures you don’t include 8 bullets for each experience, which is a sure-fire way to signal that you don’t know what you’re doing and overwhelm the reviewer with unnecessary information.

That rounds up our comprehensive review of management consulting resumes.

Do you have more questions about how to make your resume the best it can be? Want more insight into the candidate selection process at M/B/B firms? Check out our Consulting Resume and Cover Letter Bible – 98 power-packed pages, including 24 easy-to-use templates, to take your resume from good to great!

Buy The Consulting Resume & Cover Letter Bible NOW

We offer resume editing and interview prep. Through one-on-one sessions, we’ll help you stand out from 1000’s of other applicants and land consulting jobs now!

  • Please dispel the myth of the one page resume!!!

    I sincerely appreciate anyone who will take the time to give resume tips to anyone. However, recommending keeping a CV on ONE PAGE is one of the reasons people are making BAD decisions during the hiring process. This is a lazy complacent approach to making a decision that is paramount to the candidates and companies success.

    Personally, all of my hiring managers want to know everything we can know about the person we are about to pass our coveted duties and responsibilities to. If my recruiters or hiring managers nix a candidate because their CV was too long I would fire them… period. Do your job and read the resume. The rest of the tips (except for #10) are solid.

  • kgao

    Ron – thanks much for your comment.

    You have a great perspective on this, and certainly the 1-page resume/CV is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. I certainly applaud your company’s interest in learning as much about each candidate as possible, which is desirable for any employment opportunity.

    My perspective here is based simply on what I’ve seen/heard/experienced within management consulting. The reasons for the 1-page resume/CV are as follows:

    #1 Resume screeners are short on time. You may call this lazy, but I would consider it efficient given both the QUANTITY of resumes received that must be filtered in a SHORT period of time

    #2 80% of a candidate’s “life story” for purposes of employment can fit onto 1-page. That is enough space for your educational background, highlights of your 3-5 most important jobs, and extra space for a few non-structured comments/experiences. If you cannot share an interesting, cohesive, and accomplished background in that amount of space, I doubt an additional 2-3 pages would make a qualitative difference

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  • weigao

    Hi,

    Looks like my recent post got erased. Anyway i didn’t do too well in my SAT scores. Since they still look at them, do you think i should repeat them whilst im still in college? What do you think i should do about this?

    Thanks, sorry i know you placed a detailed answer before but i forgot what you said.

  • kgao

    I would recommend not repeating the SAT – there are more valuable and current ways to spend your time (eg, getting a high GPA, finding part-time work experiences, participating in extracurricular/student groups, and so forth)

  • Sarah

    Thanks so much for the great articles!

    I have a unique background in the arts, an industry where it is common to have several jobs over short periods of time. I know that my resume would look terrifying to a traditional consultant, so how might I arrange work experience from several different companies (largely with similar responsibilities but increasingly more stable organizations) into a format that doesn’t make me look like a flake? My title hasn’t changed but I’ve gone from community theatre to an internationally renowned ballet company in 4 years. (Changing jobs is the only way to gain benefits and substantial raises. When I started I was an overhire employee and now I have health insurance!). At what point in your career can you start taking things off your resume or clumping jobs and periods of time into a single entry?

    Best,
    Sarah

  • Sarah,

    Thanks for your comment! Without knowing the specifics of your situation, I’d say for consulting resumes, there’s no need to put more than your top 3 work experiences (as long as they’re well-developed). This plus the one-page restriction for the majority of applicants should serve as an effective guideline. If you still feel that your resume has a “transient feel” to it, you may consider briefly touching upon this in your cover letter. I’d also recommend utilizing different position titles even if responsibilities were largely the same.

    Hope that helps.

    Kevin

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  • Hi Kevin, thanks for the great article, resumes have always been a very difficult thing for me to get right! This article helps alot!

    Thanks, William

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  • Anon

    Why not take the GMAT or GRE or another graduate standardized test that you might need anyway?

  • As someone who has just gone through this process (as a reviewer) with incoming undergrads, I think this post hits all the right notes. I would definitely tick the 1 page box, but I would leave applicants with this thought – the 2-3 minute rule applies only to the initial cut. Once we get down to about 2x the number of interview slots, we spend a lot of time on each resume. Make sure it adds up – things like putting down an extra curricular which you were only involved with for a couple of weeks really stand out as dodgy.

  • Kevin

    CI – that’s a great point. When it’s close to finalizing the number of interview slots, borderline candidates will get a thorough look from the whole “review team” (at least in my experience). This is where attention to detail really makes a difference, and the less dodgy stuff you have on there (and the less that you exaggerate your commitments), the better your chances.

  • Kevin

    That’s another strategy. Although given the similarity of standardized tests (eg, SAT and GMAT, SAT and GRE), you may think carefully about whether it’s worth doing that or simply focusing on other areas where you’re stronger.

  • Traveler

    That’s absolutely right. I’ve timed myself, and my average is 1 min per resume. I’m looking for office preference, interest in my firm, work experience (for MBAs), stats, and something extra like cool leadership posts. Anyone with a multi-page resume is dismissed as too windy and not understanding what the word “resume” means.

    The full committee definitely reviews a lot of resumes in detail. We have a computer on a projector where we bring up google, facebook, and linkedin results for folks under consideration. The most detailed consideration was for a guy who use to sell insurance and was either loved or hated by people he met. We went line-by-line through the resume looking for evidence of team and quant skills. His resume said the total volume he had sold (which seemed impressive), and one of us called a colleague who knows insurance. We calculated his earnings and found he probably wasn’t doing so well pre-MBA. He was dinged.

    The upshot: resumes have to speak to both the high-level “why should we hire you, in 30 seconds or less” and back it up when the details are drilled into.

  • Derek

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m a high school senior who’s attending UMich next year. I gotta say, your advice on resume helped me a lot. I quantified the results of my impact on FBLA so that it comes in handy and learned to keep track of results in my college activities for the next four years. Just wanted to say thanks.

    Derek

  • Kevin

    Traveler – thanks for the helpful insight into the actual reviews! You’re spot-on with regards to the dual high-level and detailed communication that an effective resume needs to do (not unlike the daily work of a consultant).

  • Kevin

    Derek, glad you found it helpful. Early preparation is always helpful, just be sure you don’t close too many alternative doors this early in the game.

  • Vivek Nath

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the insight and I just picked your Consulting bible few days back. Personally I have Management and Engineering degree from India’s top 5 schools,respectively. I have been working in the IT Strategy consulting space the last 9 years. Now I am sincerely thinking about moving into the Management Consulting space. From your experience is that feasible and if yes, what do you think is the next best step.

    Thanks,
    Vivek

  • Kevin

    Vivek – it’s possible but an uphill climb. Transitioning from a good business school is often your best bet. Number two would be to plug into your network and see if there are any current management consultants that can provide a warm intro to any firms. Hope that helps. Good luck!

  • Vivek Nath

    Kevin,

    Thanks and will come back to you soon to fix and modify my resume.

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  • Sudip Jha

    Kevin,

    Hello. Is there a email address that I or others can email you directly at to receive the answers to some questions in regards to your services?

    Thank you.

    Sudip Jha

  • Jon Tetmus

    Kevin,

    Your resume/cv comments are spot on. I recruit from a Top MC house, and can say that your line item reccommendations are highly accurate, and should prove benefical for any aspiring candidate.

  • Kevin

    Jon – thanks for the comment. Don’t hesitate to contribute if there’s anything else you think is valuable!

  • Kevin

    Sudip, there’s a link to a contact from under the “About” tab. You can reach out to me from there.

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  • John

    Hi Kevin,

    I found the resume notes very helpful. However do let me know whether its ok to use 9 or 10 font size to fit the whole resume in one page.

    John

  • Kevin

    I’d avoid going too small. 9 or 10 is already pushing it (12 Times New Roman is the better target). The one page rule is not completely black and white – nothing on this site is, so please keep that in mind.

  • Irina

    Kevin,

    Nice post here. I gave GRE a long while ago with a score of 1850/2400. I know its very low but its highlight is that quantitative was 790/800. So how do I show only quantitative score because I understand consulting employers look for quantitative abilities. Do i show it or not? Will it act as a negative point on my resume?

    Irina

  • Kevin

    Irina,

    It’s ok to include the score as long as your verbal isn’t incredibly low. Consultants do look at quantitative more than qualitative so that will work in your favor.

  • JJ

    I understand that it is best to avoid using ‘To Whom It May Concern’ in the resume and cover letter but when I am applying to multiple offices, I believe there are multiple recruiting officers, so which one should I address it to? And occasionally if I really can’t find out who is the addressee, it is okay to use ‘To Whom It May Concern’, right?

    JJ

  • Irina

    Kevin,

    Indeed my verbal is 470 but quantitative 790. But that was 9 years ago. I dont want to give GRE again now, because I have finished my PhD in Engineering and working for 1-2 years. Doesn’t make sense to give GRE again. Hence I have that dilemma whether I should include my GRE quantitative data or not.

  • C

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks so much for all the information on your blog! It has been very helpful. I am graduating next year and am currently writing my cv. I haven’t had much work experience but have participated in a lot of extra-curricular activities.
    Would you advise writing a chronological CV or a skills-based CV?

    Thanks!

  • Gisela Kloess

    Kevin,
    Thank you so much for your article. Very helpful and enlightening!
    I have a question regarding 10): I recently graduated from College with 2BS. I did work prior to attending college part-time in the finance department of CE (while pursuing my Abitur). Also, during my semester breaks I’ve worked with various companies (however, not in the field I want to pursue). My question, you said that we should limit ourselves to the past 3 employers. I’d like to keep CE on my resume seeing that it is the longest (4yrs) corporate experience I’ve had so far. However, by adding CE and deleting other “minor” occupations, I’d create huge gabs ..
    Any suggestions?

    All the best

    Gisela

  • Vikram

    I currently work for a Fortune 500 company. I am looking at a boutique consulting firm. I was just wondering whether I should mention the F500 fact on my resume/coverletter or not. I am not so sure whether my current company is well known as it is a niche defence contractor and most people probably haven’t heard of it.

  • John Callahan

    I have 25 years experience with a fortune 300 company. I retired. I started my on consulting LLC. and secured a client for the last 6 months. Do I list the client on my resume or offer references ( clients) on request under my header oc Consulting services.

  • Lorena

    Hi, Kevin.

    I have an MA in history and am trying to get into consulting, tough, I know. Another issue is that I worked my way through college (GWU) and grad school (University College London) as a waitress so I have a lot of hospitality work on my resume. If I leave it off it means large gaps in my employment. How should I handle this? Do you think I should throw in the towel?

    Thanks.

  • Jackuline

    I want help in framing my resume.

  • Hi Jackuline, we can help you do that, but you’ll need to be more specific about what you mean by “framing your resume”. If you’re interested, just email products@managementconsulted.com

  • Jacob

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for the tips on resume! Do you have any suggestions about the essay McKinsey asks for? Basically it asks us to describe a time when we found it a challenge to work together with another person or other people in a team and how we dealt with them.

    Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Jacob, I would err on the side of “short and sweet”. Get straight to the crux of the problem, detail clearly and succinctly how you solved it, and describe the positive results that came out of it. I would focus on business/professional stories, and not personal ones.

  • Karen

    You sure do make it sounds like consulting is a sweet deal. Good way to lure in the college kids who will work like dogs for 1-3 years before getting a clue. You know what? Consulting is really, really not that cool. In fact, it really sucks. One day you will wake up and realize that there’s more to life than being pretentious and you’ll wonder why in the hell you put so much effort it a system that really just wanted to use you up and drop you like its hot. Peace.

  • George

    Hi Kevin!

    Amazing blog!

    Should I include my undergrad in the CV?
    I have a PhD and 2 masters.
    Thank you.

  • Antony.A

    Great help! I am working through an initial resume and will probably contract you to spruce it up. I do have a question though: I have been working while undergrad and have made three levels of the same job (technical field). Should I list these as different? or just XX1/XX2/XX3? the responsibilities slightly increase in scope and complexity with each level.
    thanks

  • Truman Scholar

    Would you include winning a Truman Scholarship as having done something “truly world-class?”

    Thanks

  • Browncargos

    Great Article! Do you think it is a good idea to include your school’s rankings (as given by international media like Financial Times) in the CV? For ex: I study at a fast growing European Business school, which is not yet well known amongst recruiters, but it is being consistently ranked amongst top-20 in Europe by FT, Economist etc for the past couple of years. Is it a good idea to say in your CV something like ” Top-20 Business school in Europe. Ranked equivalent to Said Business School, Oxford by Financial Times 2009-10 rankings”.

    Or will this backfire?

    Thanks!

  • Nick

    Hi,

    First time reader of the site, am a junior about to get the whole recruited process started. My question is this: I recently became very interested in consulting, so I don’t have many consulting-related experiences. But, I do have some ibanking, sales and trading, and other financial experiences when I thought that was the route I was going to take (I was part of investment societies, trading challenges, ect.) So, should I mention these on my consulting resume? They are finance related, but not really at all to consulting, so I’m worried that I’ll put them and be penalized for not showing a broader interest in the world of consulting. Thanks for your help.

    -Nick

  • Yes, absolutely mention your finance experiences – they are valuable and valid. It’s important that you are ready to answer the question, should you get the interview, of why you want to make the transition. However, it’s normal to have very few consulting-specific experiences when you apply for a consulting job. What’s important is that you demonstrate a track record of quality work experience, accomplishments at those jobs, big brand name companies, etc

  • Tim

    I am having trouble formatting my work experience section. I am a junior in college and have worked with a company for 2.5 years now and I have been promoted through the ranks from a sales rep to assistant manager and even to branch manager. The company works with many students so some high-achieving students are able to run branch offices during summer and then go back to their more part-time assistant manager positions during the school year. I have done this for 2 summers now and am not sure the best way to organize it.

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  • U4413845

    Great site!
    I am finishing my undergraduate degree in International Relations/Political Science, am applying all over the place really, but am aware that I have limited experience in Economics/Finance/Business study. Am I wasting my time applying for consulting jobs? Should I include in my resume/cover letter that I am very adaptable (proof – can speak 5 languages and have traveled for about half of my life etc.)?

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  • Angurmiah53

    I dont think you should try to do you sats again. Try to go you GSCE instead. Will they not let you or just get a job when you have finished school.

    http://getgoodatlife24.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-2-do-cv.html

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  • CM89*76

    I’ve been to several career seminars and read a lot of advice from HR in formatting resumes/CVs and ALL OF THEM said the one-page rule is dated. They said to never cramp details in one page and these days, a 2-page CV is the right thing to do, especially or an experienced professional. If you stick with one, it shows you don’t know what you’re doing. Also, that a professional summary is vital because the reader cn sum it up in one glance. If there is one thing they will remember, it’s the summary you put before everything else.  I’m not saying they are right and their advice is better, but it does show that with thousands of companies and hiring firms, there is no ONE best way in writing a CV.

  • neuro

    The problem I am having is I have been in education and just recently finished my graduate work.  I have had so many work experiences over the past 10 years because part of my training included multiple year-long practicums, internships, externships, etc.  Each one of these experiences has different types of experiences that are necessary for the positions I am applying for.  Until now, I used a CV, and in my field, it is supposed to be as detailed and holistic as possible (publications, etc.).  Now, I am switching careers a bit and need to tidy it down to a resume.  If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.  Thanks

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  • Anonymous

    Great technology used to read a great topic i like to read this article love to see it… Great tips provided by the site please read it carefully and get more and more…
    where can I find work experience

  • Carlos

    Should I include a picture in my resume?

  • jennyrae

    In general, pictures – while sometimes accepted in European markets – are going out of style. We’d recommend taking the valuable real estate a picture would consume and spending it on explaining that client you worked for, your latest entrepreneurial venture or a super-interesting extracurricular.

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  • Robert B

    To touch on everyone’s comments in objection to the one page resume rule, I’d argue that it’s safe to say that in the case of recent college graduates, there is absolutely no reason you can’t craft an effective one page resume. It’s the more experienced folks that have more leeway in making the decision to err on the side of a longer resume.

  • jennyrae

    Thanks for sharing – agreed 100%. There used to be more leeway overseas, but it’s becoming increasingly more common to mandate 1-pagers.

  • Mailgrace33

    Hi Kevin,
    Great post! Im an undergraduate with a very poor GPA below a 3.0. I can’t go back to improve because of financial constraints. I had a 1 year internship with a consulting firm as a business Analyst. After that, I had a 1 year Administrative assistant, and a 2 years customer service personnel position in retail. I want to work in consulting. I know I have no opportunity with BCG&Co, but can I have with the no-name consulting firms? And if yes, can you please suggest some to me. Thank you so much for your time.

  • jennyrae

    Hi there –

    To be honest, you’re facing a major uphill battle. You need some impressive recent work experience (non-admin) to overcome your academic battles. We’re happy to take a look at your resume to focus on getting the first step right (more tangible professional experience) before going for the bigger fish – drop me an email. Thanks!

    Jenny Rae

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  • Alistair

    That is possible the best comment I have ever read, thank you.

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  • Ignatius

    I am a consultant with over 10 years experience. Having read the whole thing about consultant hire, I think it is all exaggerated. For me having worked with lots of consultants, it is one thing being able to speak confidently and eloquently and to present a very good looking resume, it is another to actually perform as a good consultant. The dynamics of consulting is way beyond which school you went to, what you studied and what you think you know. In OD which is my specialization, its about your processes, your people skills and your adaptability. These are things that are not taught at school, but which you learn in the ‘trenches’.

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  • hubert

    I am planning to apply at Bain, BCG and McKinsey and just had my resume reviewed by a guy on fiverr. Apparently, there is a sentence in the BCG interview invitation that reads something along the lines of “you raised our curiosity” – i found it helpful and it covers quite a few of the comments above

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  • 大鸡巴天王

    说得好,你有国际大鸟

  • 大鸡巴天王

    一边手淫一边看麦肯锡的资料,爽

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  • Ali

    In this article you say most consulting resumes don’t have a summary section. I assume you are saying that it isn’t needed; however, in the resume bible I recently purchased the author recommends a summary section. Can you clarify please?