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Best approach for a Cover Letter (BCG / Mckinsey)

BCG Cover letter McKinsey
New answer on Aug 30, 2023
5 Answers
4.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 25, 2023

Hi all,

I am writing to ask for advice on how to write a cover letter in terms of content as well as structure. I have read different suggestions on different sites (e.g. one of them says it is good to have sub-headings of the values of the company and write a ‘story’ for each), so I am not really sure what is the best approach. I have written many cover letters in the past but I really want to nail it.

What is your advice? 

(I am currently writing one for BCG specifically, but it would also be great to know it for McKinsey)

Many thanks in advance!

Overview of answers

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Best answer
Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 26, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can structure a cover letter into 4 parts:

  1. Introduction, mentioning the position you are interested in and a specific element you find attractive for that company
  2. Why you are qualified for the job, where you can report 3 skills/stories from your CV for skills relevant to that firm (eg leadership, convincing stakeholders, drive in achieving results, teamwork)
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting. Ideally you will craft this according to the values they are looking for in a particular company.

It is important that in part 3 you make your cover letter specific to a particular firm – the rule of thumb is, can you send the exact same cover to another consulting company if you change the name? If that’s the case, your cover letter is too generic.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Mar 26, 2023

Hi Francesco, Thanks a lot for your answer! One small additional question: would you recommend me to write my address / other info on the top left corner as many cover letter examples have, or is it unnecessary to have such details in the letter? Thanks in advance!

Francesco on Mar 27, 2023

Hi there, yes, you can do it, nothing wrong with that. Best, Francesco

Hagen
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 27, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I think you are overthinking the contents and structure of your cover letter since there are several ways to approach it. As long as you maintain the primary purpose of the cover letter, you should be fine.
  • Moreover, while you should certainly tailor the cover letter to the specific companies you are applying to, the overall structure and contents should remain consistent.
  • For the structure of the cover letter, I would advise you to start with a brief introduction, if necessary, followed by why you are the ideal candidate for the position, then explain why the company is the right fit for your career goals, and end with final remarks, if necessary.
  • Lastly, while the second and third parts of the cover letter should always be included and detailed, I would highly advise you to include an introduction or final remarks only if there is something specific you want to mention. For example, an introduction could reference a recruiting workshop you attended and the recruiter you met, and final remarks could indicate your availability for interviews within a specific time frame.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Mar 26, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

There are going to be many approaches, so please remember that there are multiple right answers here.

Please don't get too caught up on that - just write well, demonstrate your experience/experience, and demonstrate that this cover letter is for that company.

Personally, I advocate the appoach of an intro paragraph summarizing your skills/match. Then 2-3 paragraphs defending your skills (and tieing it back to that specific company's traits/asks).

By the way, you do not need a Cover Letter for McKinsey!

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Moritz
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replied on Mar 29, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

Great responses so far and you'll see that there isn't a ‘right' way of doing things regarding structure/format.

What I would say, however, is that style matters. Many candidates chose a cautious way of narrating their story on paper (or during the interviews e.g. McKinsey's PEI). I always advise against that and instead  make it sound exciting to really hook the reader. There's various techniques for this and it's really quite effective.

Please let me know if this is something I can help with.

Best of luck!
Moritz

 

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Aug 30, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

Lots of great advice below. 

In general, you're looking at the following structure:

Paragraph 1: expressing your interest for a specific role and firm. Highlighting your 1-2 sentece value proposition

Paragraph 2-4: 2-3 bullet points which exemplify your value proposition (how you either developed those particular skills or how you exercised them in the past)

Paragraph 5: motivation as WHY that specific firm (be as specific as you can)

Paragraph 6: polite closing.

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco

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