This is what worked with me. Hope these materials will help you get an offer with McKinsey, Bain, BCG or other management consulting companies.
For some reason many don’t like to demonstrate their CV’s or CL’s in public. I guess some are afraid of competitions, some are modest and wouldn’t want to to see them showing off. Some think their resumes are rather personal and wouldn’t want anyone to see them, apart from recruiters. Well, thats up to them.
I have a different approach. I believe that information is a great thing – it can make one person richer without impoverishing the other. Materials in this article have served me well, getting me an exciting job and jumpstarting my career. Now my resume and motivation letter lay unused, they can help thousands of other candidates who want to repeat my path. I hope you will find them inspiring and they will help you get an idea of how to tell your own story.
At the begging of this article is my CV which got me in to McKinsey.
Below is my cover letter for McKinsey
How to get the maximum out of this material?
- Read my articles about the motivational part of the selection process
- Make a list of arguments for 4 topics: (1) achievements; (2) why consulting; (3) why McKinsey (or any other company) and (4) why me. Topic (1) will go in the resume and part (4) of your CL. Arguments (2), (3), (4) are for the cover letter
- Read my consulting resume and cover letter examples
- Do not copy word for word! There will be a lot of lazy candidates who will do just that, and you will blend into the crows. Take the structure and some ideas. Adjust your list (1) – (4) if needed
- Write your first draft of the CV and CL. Like it? Probably not. Then
- Write and second and first draft
- When you feel that what you have written can be shown to others, ask your experienced friends to give comments
- After 3-4 attempts you will finally get a draft, ready for screening
And here is my cover letter:
December 21, 2012
McKinsey & Company
Dear Recruitment Manager,
I am currently enrolled in the second year of Master of Science in Economic and Social Sciences at the Bocconi University, Milan, and would like to be considered for a Generalist Business Analyst position with the Moscow office starting July 2013. I believe consulting is the best business domain to launch my career because it offers unique work experience in several dimensions. Devoting myself to projects in various industries and possibly different countries would help me shape my career interests, while the amazingly steep learning curve of consulting would ensure that the skills acquired are not only broad, but also deep and well mastered. Of course these gains come at the expense of hard work and long hours, but this is an advantage to me: I’d rather take up a demanding job which I would be proud of (and the BA at McKinsey is definitely such a job) than a dull nine-to-five one.
McKinsey is my number one choice because of its unique approach to managing human capital and distinguished corporate culture. The Firm hires brightest minds from diverse backgrounds, which means I would learn something from all of my colleagues and senior consultants. At the same time the “One Firm” principle ensures that my knowledge and skills would be allocated in the most efficient way. Moreover, this allocation would appear to be also socially desirable, due to the Firm’s commitment to making a positive impact on the society both through improving business practices and involvement in non-profit organizations. I also know McKinsey would help me to grow further by providing access to formal training programs and offering less formal but equally important opportunities of team-based growth, mentorship, and coaching. Naturally, I would contribute to other consultants’ personal growth as much as I can. As a result of such mutually beneficial collaboration, I would be able to establish lifelong relations with interesting and trustworthy people, which is important wherever my career path brings me at the end of the day.
Also, I believe my skills and experience would add value to McKinsey. I have developed strong problemsolving skills and deep expertise in economics through my Master of Science program at Bocconi University and the exchange year at the Economics PhD program of the University of Minnesota. The latter experience also taught me how to deal with considerable workload and tight deadlines, inevitable companions of any good PhD. Internship at Citibank, where my colleagues and I together developed database procedures and supported other units on software-related issues, has taught me the importance and benefits of teamwork. I have shown leadership skills through organizing events at MGIMO Debate Club, including two international tournaments, and coaching less experienced debaters. Interpreting for businessmen and politicians, I have improved my communication skills, learned to deal with pressured situations and mitigate conflicts. Finally, speaking 4 languages and having lived in 3 countries, I believe I would both fit in and be able to contribute to McKinsey’s cosmopolitan “One Firm” environment. I thank you for considering my application and hope very much to be invited for an interview.