The most common question we receive from people who are interested in consulting is "How does the consulting recruiting process work?"
The answer is that it is essentially a four step process, with three filters along the way, where candidates get screened out before an offer is made. The keys at this stage are to tailor your resume, do basic research, network, and start your case and behavioral interview practice.
Today we will explain Step One - "Application":
Tailor your resume
Consultants love to see quantified impact on resumes. If your prior experience is in real estate, and you managed a portfolio of 100 units, focus on your impact as opposed to your responsibility. For example, "managed 100 units" focuses on responsibility; "increased rent roll 8%" focuses on impact. Focus on impact.
Once this is complete, focus on the highlighting the skills that consultants use in their day to day. For example, communication, influencing, problem solving, and more. Many of the firm websites describe these particular skills - make sure to highlight them in your own experiences.Do some research
Make sure that you know enough about each firm to have a basic conversation. This shouldn't take more than a few hours - for example, know that McKinsey has offices around the globe and operates as one firm, and that an MBA will be applying for an Associate role, while at BCG an MBA would be applying for a Consultant role. Bain tends to staff more regionally, and Deloitte has its own learning facilities for training and events.Network
Make sure that you will have enough touchpoints with the firms to allow yourself to make a memorable positive impression. If you attend a program where the firms don't come to campus, you will need to network proactively to create these opportunities for yourself.
Networking is an opportunity to present your best foot
forward with the firms, before you apply. This means making sure your resume is at its best, you've taken the time to research the
differences between the firms, and you have practiced your elevator pitch and your ability to make small talk with the recruiters from the firms.
During networking, focus on quality over quantity. Good networking should motivate someone on the recruiting team to remember and speak positively about you. Keep in mind that each member of the recruiting team will likely meet 20 or 30 people with an hour, so it is very difficult for them to remember you. Be prepared, and focus as opposed to trying to just say hello to everyone there.Interview practice
Begin to do some very basic case practice. This will help adopt the consulting mindset, and can help narrow your potential post-school career interests. This can entail attending some workshops, reading the first half of Case in point, or looking at online materials.
It's important to note that the firms are collecting data about you even before you apply. They may have access to your resume through your school's resume book, they collect observations from their recruiting team when they meet you, and they keep track of how well you perform in any "mock cases" they may give you. All of these "data points" are used by the firm (in addition to your actual application) to determine who they want to extend interview invites to.
Our next step will explain the first filter - how the firms decide who to interview. Check out our facebook page next week to learn more:
Feel free to reply or message us with any questions!