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Cover letter format - should I include both my address and the firm's address?

Anonymous A asked on Oct 31, 2018 - 5 answers

For the cover letter, is it expected to include the full postal addresses of the firm and my home, as is typical in a traditional cover letter? I am wondering since this information is rather irrelavant in present days (email id is more relavant, for example), could anyone share their insight on this? Can save up a lot of space (to include more content) if these information are removed.


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updated his answer on Oct 31, 2018
McKinsey/Actionable feedback/Harvard University/Warwick Business School
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Hi A,

I attached the structure of a Cover Letter you could use for your application. It is a golden standard, I suggest using it.

If you want more space in your CL, make sure you have the right and desired content inside:

  1. Introduction - which position you apply for and who you use as a referral
  2. Industry motivation - 3 reasons, why you want to join management consuting industry, referring to your personal exoerience, where possible
  3. Company motivation - 3 reasons, why you want to be a part of this company: insider and public information about the culture and values, referring to your personal exerience
  4. Track record - share your professonal, educatonal and private experience

(!) Do not forget to polish it in terms of grammar. Show your new CL to friends and ask for feedback. It would be great if you can show it to a consultant.

All the best,

Cover Letter structure


replied on Oct 31, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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It's absolutely irrelevant, to be honest. Cover letters are received online nowadays, so the address, is merely a formality.

However, since you mention it "saving space" I would urge you not to try use a full page for your cover letter - I normally advise that a cover letter to MBB should be ~400 words.. HR/Consultants reviewing your application will probably spend max 1-2 minutes on your CV + CL combined, so simply won't have time to read an entire 800 word cover letter. Adding lots of details actually detracts from the most important facts since they will likely just skim it over. I have received 2 page cover letters in the past, and probably spend 20-30 seconds skimming it.

So in summary - don't worry about the address, but if you remove it don't take this as a reason to have a long cover letter.

updated his answer on Oct 31, 2018
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Forget about the address - it's absolutely irrelevant

In terms of the structure I would use the following (in paragraphs):

  1. Intro of who you are
  2. Why you (several reasons)
  3. Why "The Company" (Usually 3 reasons)
  4. Outro

In terms of the content:

Why you is about your career path and extracurricular activities. Depending on your experiences either start from the first or from the last role (the later you are in your career the more sense it is to start with last one). You can mention a couple of your unique selling point and structure your lifepath around it. Add memorable projects or experience with high impact / cool brands / etc. that will stay in the memory of the reader.

Why "The Company" question can include the following arguments:

  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc



updated his answer on Oct 31, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

I would strongly recommend to always start with your strongest argument, i.e., what YOU bring to the table. Your motivation is rounding off your storyline.

So here is a structure that tends to work very well:

0. Subject line which clearly indicates the purpose of the letter (i.e, application) and the position

1a. Short first paragraph* outlining ~3 central requirements that you believe are needed to excel at the job you apply for (--> ask yourself "what makes an excellent consultant?" -->

1b. Second paragraph where you give evidence how your skills, experience, and track record lead to a strong match with exactly these previously outlined requirements

2a. Third paragraph outlining your motivation to work in consulting

2b. Fourth paragraph outliningyour motivation to work at the specific firm

Cheers, Sidi

* If you use a referral, you can start the cover letter with a short sentence where you mention the corresponding person within the firm.


Anonymous B replied on Oct 31, 2018

shouldn't first intorduce myslef and then explain why I want them and that role?