A typical job application process begins with writing a good resume and cover letter. You resume should provide a snapshot of your qualifications to the recruiter, your cover letter should present an argument as to why you are a superior candidate for the position compared to everyone else applying.
The cover letter is basically something that is besides your resume is going to decide whether you are going be invited for the next round or not.
In case you want to get hired by a strategy/management consulting firm, you better make sure your cover letter does stand out from the crowd.
Below you find the basic structure that I recommend for any position in a management consulting firm.
Structure is everything. It is a first and single most important thing: do not jump from one thing to another and back.
- In one sentences, say why you are contacting them. This can be as easy as “I would like to apply for…”. This is enough in my eyes.
- Show your excitement for a career in consulting, and specify the role that you apply for. Also, at the end of the letter, add a sentence stating that following experience, skills and extracurricular activities make a good evidence that you are a good fitment against the position.
- Structure the third part with the most impressive and outline achievements and experiences that you acquired. State and boost the actions as much as possible. Quantify the impact if possible (E.g.: I have organized concerts. I managed a team of 10 people and secured financing from 4 companies. During the season 2000 people attended and we raised 5000 EUR.) Let the reader assume that you do billion things and make it look like you are a superman mutated with spiderman and chuck norris!
- Close the letter whith ensuring that you believe its not for everyone but you are THE one and politely say that you would welcome the opportunity to change the world with the McK/Bain/BCG on your T-shirt.
And then of course, keep in mind the below generic advice for anything related to cover letters.
- Be concise. Avoid superfluous information: you really don’t have to write a novel. Use short and clear sentences.
- Only mention relevant info and just make sure the cover letter is actually aligned with the profile you are applying for. Be also very concrete by showing your competencies with real-life examples. Make it sound very logical.
- If the moment is there, and you are actually being invited for an interview, don’t goof up. Remember you have to be able to justify every single sentence you stated. Stick to the facts, don’t hide anything and simply never tell any lies.
- Finally, don’t mess up with spelling or grammar. This comes across as unprofessional.