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Need advice for Application Strategies and Cover Letter

application process Application timing Cover letter
New answer on Oct 09, 2023
5 Answers
399 Views
Anonymous A asked on Oct 07, 2023

Hello everyone, 

I'm currently applying for positions in London, and I have a few questions about the application process. 

I'm aiming for entry-level positions, but I have three years of work experience since graduating in 2020. I'm wondering whether I will be considered an experienced hire? will I be competing with  mainly recent graduates, I heard that not applying to the right position might be fatal during the screening stage.

Cover letters- Do I need to submit one for every firm on my list I plan on doing it for MBB, Deloitte, Accenture and Oliver Wyman, do you think for any of the other firms [see below] it's acceptable to skip the cover letter?

Additionally, I'd appreciate advice on the best approach to strategically apply to these firms. Some have suggested applying to top choices last (like MBB) to build interview stamina, but given my long list (11 firms) and the approaching end of the recruitment cycle, I'd like to know what is the most suitable approach you would reccomend.

Here's the list of firms I'm considering:

  1. MBB
  2. Deloitte
  3. Accenture Strategy
  4. Oliver Wyman
  5. EY Parthenon
  6. Strategy&
  7. Kearney
  8. KPMG
  9. Roland Berger

Lastly, I noticed that in the application portal for Oliver Wyman, it asked me to fill in my work experience and education information again. Since my CV was uploaded, it pre-filled the boxes and it didn't  format the information correctly. Should I just leave it as is directly from the CV with that weird format, rewrite it briefly as like an overall picture of work (high level/superficial), or try to mimic my CV's style (even tho bullet points don't work well in those boxes) ? Is this section in the portal crucial for my application's success?

I appreciate any guidance or advice you can provide. Thank you!

(edited)

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Best answer
Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 07, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hello,

Here are my answers to your key questions:

  1. You will be applying through the experienced hire route (meaning not needed to follow campus recruitment cycles), but for an entry level position
  2. I would submit a customised CL for each firm that I apply to
  3. A few possible permutations here but I would suggest applying to 2nd choice firms first to build up experience and then go for MBB when you are at your peak (i.e. doesn't mean you apply to them last)
  4. If you are asked to fill in information again, I would ensure it is filled up accurately again based on the space and format available

All the best!

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

Happy to help but to be honest it would be worth booking a coach to design an application strategy for you. Picking on conflicting advice from multiple people might not be the best source of input. 

Let me take your questions one by one:

 I'm wondering whether I will be considered an experienced hire?

You're an experienced hire if you've worked for 3 years. No doubt about it. Different firms have different definitions but I'd be very surprised if they allow you to apply as part of campus recruiting. Check with HR to be 100% sure.

Do I need to submit one for every firm on my list I plan on doing it for MBB, Deloitte, Accenture and Oliver Wyman, do you think for any of the other firms [see below] it's acceptable to skip the cover letter?

Submit a cover letter for every firm if you can write a great one. It definitely contributes to increasing your chances of passing screening. 

Check of course which firms actually ask for one. Not all do.

I'd appreciate advice on the best approach to strategically apply to these firms.

First connect with the recruiters to understand what role you should be applying for and when is the deadline. If there is a deadline, then obviously apply before. If there isn't a deadline, then apply for firms in the inverse order of preference so by the time you interview with your favourite ones, you're at your absolute sharpest. 

Should I just leave it as is directly from the CV with that weird format, rewrite it briefly as like an overall picture of work (high level/superficial), or try to mimic my CV's style (even tho bullet points don't work well in those boxes) ? Is this section in the portal crucial for my application's success?

It doesn't matter which way you do it as long as it's neat and clear. That's all that matters.

Sharing an article here also on how to build an application strategy so you use it as a starting point:

Best,
Cristian

———————————————

Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

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Raj
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 08, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

With three years of work experience since graduating in 2020, you would typically be considered an experienced hire rather than competing with recent graduates. However, the specific criteria may vary across firms, so it's best to check their requirements. Regarding cover letters, it's generally recommended to submit one for each firm, including MBB, Deloitte, Accenture, and Oliver Wyman. For the other firms on your list, it's acceptable to skip the cover letter if you feel it's not necessary. In terms of strategic application, it's advisable to prioritize your top choices, including MBB, and then proceed with the others. This allows you to focus your energy and preparation on the firms that align most closely with your career goals. As for the application portal for Oliver Wyman, it's important to ensure that the information is accurately filled in, even if the formatting may not be perfect. You can try to mimic your CV's style as much as possible, but prioritize clarity and readability. While this section may not be the sole determinant of your application's success, it's still important to provide accurate and relevant information. I hope this guidance helps, and best of luck with your applications!

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 07, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First, read these articles for some help:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-get-a-consulting-internship-tips-and-tricks

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/application-tracker

Second, remember this is exactly what us coaches are here for. We can give you a lose plan here, but to optimize your chances of interviewing+getting and offer consider getting professional support from a coach!

 I'm wondering whether I will be considered an experienced hire? 

You are 100% an experienced hire with 3 years experience. You are an experienced hire that will need to apply for the entry level (i.e. anlalyst) position, though you might be considered for JA/JC

Cover letters- Do I need to submit one for every firm on my list?

Yes. If you want to maximize your chances, you should submit for every firm except McKinsey.

Remember, I have a strategy/template for mass producing your cover letters.

All 10 firms should only take you about 2 hours total once you have this mass production process setup.

Feel free to message for this!

Additionally, I'd appreciate advice on the best approach to strategically apply to these firms. 

You should network, network, network.

As and when they indicate interest (they say there are openings, they offer to refer you, etc.) THEN you apply. Go with the flow for each firm essentially.

 

Should I just leave it as is directly from the CV with that weird format or rewrite it briefly as like an overall picture of work?

Please do not submit anything that is “Weird” or incorrect. Update it as needed.

Again, think about if you're a recruiting looking at a million applications - which onces would you quickly filter out?

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Anonymous B replied on Oct 07, 2023

Hi there, 

can answer this question loosely but maybe someone else may be better placed. 

Normally, firms for entry-level positions require up to 2 years work experience or graduation in the last 2 years (i.e. 2023, 2022 and maybe 2021 graduates). 

If you are 2+ years in work experience, you would become an experienced hire and are viewed differently. This is going from a recent networking dinner in London where this was discussed. 

I hope this helps but feel free to await further answers for further clarification. 

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