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Robert

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12

CV/Cover Reality Check

Hi!

I am applying for the first time to MBB, entry positions. I had my CV checked by two guys I know from McKinsey who said I might have a good shot.

I applied to Bain (Amsterdam), BCG and McKinsey (both London), and received an email from Bain today stating they won't be moving on with my application.
I believe the chances to get into Bain were the highest for me (less competition 1 - than BCG + McK, 2-than for London), so got quite disappointed.

Thus, I would really aprreciate someone having a second(third actually :) ) look at my cv and cover - just so that I better check with reality what are my chances and what could've been issues with my application.

Background: Masters graduate in management with joint degree from two leading European business schools, professional experience (full-time) <1 year. Applied to those locations bc they're English only, would need (a new) working permit for both.

Level of disappointment: Not sure it makes sense anymore to keep on preparing for cases :(

Hi!

I am applying for the first time to MBB, entry positions. I had my CV checked by two guys I know from McKinsey who said I might have a good shot.

I applied to Bain (Amsterdam), BCG and McKinsey (both London), and received an email from Bain today stating they won't be moving on with my application.
I believe the chances to get into Bain were the highest for me (less competition 1 - than BCG + McK, 2-than for London), so got quite disappointed.

Thus, I would really aprreciate someone having a second(third actually :) ) look at my cv and cover - just so that I better check with reality what are my chances and what could've been issues with my application.

Background: Masters graduate in management with joint degree from two leading European business schools, professional experience (full-time) <1 year. Applied to those locations bc they're English only, would need (a new) working permit for both.

Level of disappointment: Not sure it makes sense anymore to keep on preparing for cases :(

(edited)

12 answers

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Book a coaching with Robert

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Hi Anonymous,

Sorry to hear about your disappointment - can imagine your situation.

One additional piece of advice: if you have an opportunity for networking your way into the consulting firms (safest option in general to land interviews), you should do so. At the same time also using your contacts to get a better understanding of the specific office and firm about the best timing for your situation.

So your actual documents might not be the only and possible not even a strong reason for being rejected - other surrounding factors should not be forgotten.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

Sorry to hear about your disappointment - can imagine your situation.

One additional piece of advice: if you have an opportunity for networking your way into the consulting firms (safest option in general to land interviews), you should do so. At the same time also using your contacts to get a better understanding of the specific office and firm about the best timing for your situation.

So your actual documents might not be the only and possible not even a strong reason for being rejected - other surrounding factors should not be forgotten.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Hi,

Feel free to share your CV with me.

I think there are a few factors at play here:

1. COVID 19 means that your chances of an interview will be significantly lower

2. A combination of COVID 19 and that fact that you need sponsorship means that it is even less likely you will get an interview during these times.

3. If you have no personal connection to Amsterdam and no referral its very unlikely you will get an interview

-A

Hi,

Feel free to share your CV with me.

I think there are a few factors at play here:

1. COVID 19 means that your chances of an interview will be significantly lower

2. A combination of COVID 19 and that fact that you need sponsorship means that it is even less likely you will get an interview during these times.

3. If you have no personal connection to Amsterdam and no referral its very unlikely you will get an interview

-A

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Hi there,

Feel free to share it.

Also, remember - there are other great consulting companies other than MBBs. Don't get demotivated just because you didn't get shortlisted on your first attempt.

Try to also apply to tier-2 companies and see if you get a more positive response. (you can always switch back to MBBs down the line in case you feel that tier-2 didn't meet your expectations),...for example, Roland Berger is quite big in Amsterdam, some might say they are even bigger than some of the MBBs ;)

I hope this helps and reduces the level of disappointment :)

Khaled

Hi there,

Feel free to share it.

Also, remember - there are other great consulting companies other than MBBs. Don't get demotivated just because you didn't get shortlisted on your first attempt.

Try to also apply to tier-2 companies and see if you get a more positive response. (you can always switch back to MBBs down the line in case you feel that tier-2 didn't meet your expectations),...for example, Roland Berger is quite big in Amsterdam, some might say they are even bigger than some of the MBBs ;)

I hope this helps and reduces the level of disappointment :)

Khaled

(edited)

Book a coaching with Ian

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Feel free to send it through, happy to take a look!

Also, please remember that networking before applying is also key.

Feel free to send it through, happy to take a look!

Also, please remember that networking before applying is also key.

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Hi, feel free to send it

Best,
Antonello

Hi, feel free to send it

Best,
Antonello

Dear A,

Feel free to send me CV and cover letter that I can have a look.

But in your case I would strongly recommend to apply via referrals. “Partner referral” which normally brings you in the pole position for the interview. You may compare it to “skipping the line for business class” at the airport.

Feel free to reach out,

Best,

André

Dear A,

Feel free to send me CV and cover letter that I can have a look.

But in your case I would strongly recommend to apply via referrals. “Partner referral” which normally brings you in the pole position for the interview. You may compare it to “skipping the line for business class” at the airport.

Feel free to reach out,

Best,

André

Hello,

You can send me your CV in PM. I can have a quick look :)

Best

Hello,

You can send me your CV in PM. I can have a quick look :)

Best

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Shoot!!

Shoot!!

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Hello,

Feel free to send it for a quick review. Bear in mind that actual situation is not the best for applications, that could be one reason for your rejection.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

Feel free to send it for a quick review. Bear in mind that actual situation is not the best for applications, that could be one reason for your rejection.

Best,
Luca

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I'm sorry to hear that. I understand your dissapointment.

Sure, you can share your CV.

Also, I would recommend you in future to apply only with referrals. Because now, witnessing high competitions with applications, referral and networking will help you to maximise your chances for success.

GB

I'm sorry to hear that. I understand your dissapointment.

Sure, you can share your CV.

Also, I would recommend you in future to apply only with referrals. Because now, witnessing high competitions with applications, referral and networking will help you to maximise your chances for success.

GB

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Hi!

Feel free to share your cv!

Hi!

Feel free to share your cv!

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Hi,

It's not about your CV most probably. Unfortunately, even brilliant CVs don't pass in highly competitive offices. I recommend applying via referral for every company.

There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets a referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

As you can see simply mentioning a person in your CL does not change the process at all.

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

Hi,

It's not about your CV most probably. Unfortunately, even brilliant CVs don't pass in highly competitive offices. I recommend applying via referral for every company.

There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets a referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

As you can see simply mentioning a person in your CL does not change the process at all.

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!