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CV for a Management Consulting Firm Entry Level Role


Senior Member
Jul 20, 2008
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I am planning to put forward my CV to the local office global Management Consulting firm. It may not be the best moment in history to do this however I have nothing to lose.

I have most of the usual stuff in there such as obviously my personal details, previous work experience, postgraduate studies and etc. Is there anything else particular I should add?

I have combed through their website and they obviously have all those lovely fluffy business words and talk about their values and I have tried to word what I have now in this spirit. My intention is to provide the most transparent picture of me with the intent of getting an interview. I have previously been told by friends and colleagues that I undersell myself so I am trying to address this.

I do regularly chop through a number of business books so I am thinking of adding a reading list at the bottom so they can see what inspires me. I am also thinking of adding in some form some bullet points in terms of my short-medium term business and personal goals.

I am led to believe that the Firm I have my eye on has a committee that considers all applications which hopefully means I won't be at the mercy of some HR person having a bad day.

If there are any wise minds here and in particular wise minds who have walked the path into a global Management Consulting Firm, I would be interested in hearing from you.

Thankyou Wise Minds!

BTW The office I plan to apply to is not in the US so I am assuming it might have slightly less competition and different rules may be applicable particular to this location.


Distinguished Member
Jul 8, 2007
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Make sure that you explain
  • what problems you solved
  • what deadlines you met
  • what analytical skills you used
  • what deliverables you created
  • how quantitative they were
  • who you delivered them to
This is what consulting is - solving problems under pressure and presenting your solutions. Forget all the reading list and career objectives. You won't have time to read if you get a job, and your career objectives are to be wealthy, confident to the point of arrogance and to be on a plane at 730AM every Monday morning.

This is not a bad time to apply to a consulting firm if you have prior experience in an industry that is so fucked that it has to hire consultants in a down economy. If you have prior experience and you can do analysis and create deliverables at an entry level, you'll get hired because you're a cheap resource that can add value to a client team immediately. If, on the other hand, you're applying because you're smart and this is what smart people do... then go find a job in industry, and come back when you have applicable experience and/or have been to business school.

Also, stop talking like this.

Originally Posted by Star

If there are any wise minds here and in particular wise minds who have walked the path into a global Management Consulting Firm, I would be interested in hearing from you.

Thankyou Wise Minds!


Distinguished Member
Dec 29, 2004
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Do some research and find out if they are actually hiring now. If so, find out what positions are open and then tailor your CV for that position.

If possible, call and try to get the hiring manager on the phone. Introduce yourself and say that you are very interested in joining that firm and wonder if the hiring manager could confirm if they are actively hiring and what is the preferred application process.


Senior Member
Oct 11, 2006
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I work at one of the strategy consulting firms and i know for a fact that we currently have a freeze on hiring. Are you applying directly out of school or do you have prior work experience?


Distinguished Member
Feb 13, 2007
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Most firms are not hiring or are only hiring proven, experienced professionals. As others have said, if you don't have a lot of prior experience, go get some and apply in a couple of years when the hiring is more normal.


Distinguished Member
Nov 13, 2008
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Also... i know this sounds crazy... but learn a bit about the firm's culture and history you are applying to.

For example.... if it is BCG or Bain or McKinsey... apparently they are either direct or indirect ancestors of the Marvin Bower ideology.

If you dont know much about Marvin Bower... you should take a little while to learn about him, read some interviews, etc...

He is pretty much the "father" of contemporary management consulting.

Additonally, i might suggest reading some Michael Porter as he (for better or for worse) is perhaps the most widely recognized authority on modern strategic thinking and business practice.

And finally.... try to understand that contrary to what one might assume... a lot of management consulting firms do emphasize pro-bono or philanthropic work.

Rather than just go to the interview and talk about yourself, how much money you can make the firm, etc... You would be a better applicant if you can casually mention some of the authors you have read, some of the history you are aware of, and how one of the things that has intersted you in management consulting is how many firms encourage their partners to participate in charitable work. Think in terms of value chain, process, differentiation, competitive advantage.... blah blah blah blah

All of these little factoids can perhaps give you an edge on the other applicants.... You cannot control if a firm is presently hiring or not... but if you augment your current CV with some additonal/conversational knowledge as stated above... if certainly cannot hurt

But like i said... if you are applying to McKinsey or any of their offshoots... make sure you know about Marvin Bower.. no need for name dropping. Just understand that his ideologies are omni present.


Distinguished Member
Aug 18, 2008
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Originally Posted by tbone226
I work at one of the strategy consulting firms and i know for a fact that we currently have a freeze on hiring. Are you applying directly out of school or do you have prior work experience?

I'm curious: is it safe to say, if you didn't have a hiring freeze, that the prestige of an applicant's credentials for an entry level role is everything at a strategy firm?

I know classmates and acquaintances who've worked at Bain, McKinsey and Kearney and they all strong records. Details about reading lists etc. can't hurt, but if the applicant didn't come through a top XX institution, near the top of the class, what else can help him / her land an interview? (this is in no way an endorsement of the firms or their practices....although my current employer still can't seem to stop writing cheques to them)


Stylish Dinosaur
May 4, 2006
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I have gone to many consulting interviews and work in the industry. Here is the scoop. Go down this list, if you fail a step, you are not getting the job. 1) Professional: Dress well (better to be overly professional than too casual). Firm handshake. Confident speaking voice. Articulate. At ease. (i.e. client-ready). 2) Depending on the firm, have plenty of evidence handy (verbally) regarding your analytical and problem-solving skills. Ideally have several examples that are analytical or academic (previous job or school project) and interpersonal (i.e. drama on a team / in the office / how you solved it). The reason quantitative ability is important is that even if you are super-smooth and smart, you will be useless at entry-level without the ability to crunch numbers and build models. 3) Highlight your teamwork and leadership skills. Have 2 non BS answers for each. 4) THE MOST IMPORTANT THING (if you pass the above): The Case Interview. Understand that consulting interviews (in the US, and most likely in Europe) are not like other job interviews. They are not like finance interviews. If you are lucky, you might only have to solve a brain teaser, but more likely than not, you will have a case interview. Unless you are extremely smart you will fail this unless you prepare a lot beforehand. Read books on it. Read online resources. Go to your career services office and ask for a mock interview. Practice with friends. A good starting point is a book called "Case in Point". If you can ace the case interview, you are guaranteed a job unless you messed something else up really badly. 5) Have a very believable reason as to a) why you want to join this industry at all (depending on your background, it might be very hard to convince them - e.g. an English major with no experience trying to get into consulting) and b) why their firm as opposed to others. Make them believe you did your research and really like this firm as opposed to being someone who is mailing resumes everywhere hoping for a hit. All this being said, you aren't even getting in the door with this economy if you do not have a good GPA from a good school and good experience (top firms or very relevant fields). In your cover letter, do not oversuck their dicks. Explain why you are an excellent candidate (keeping in mind their typical line of work and "values" - but less the values). Maybe in one or two sentences say why you like them - again do your research. But keep it brief - the majority of the cover letter needs to be selling you. You can even e-mail it to me before you send it out, I'll let you know if you need to change anything major. I've done plenty of resume screens for my company and it's tough to make the cut. Often we drop people without even looking at a cover letter if the stats don't cut it. If you do make it to the interview, follow steps 1-5 and you should be good.

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