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Experienced Hire woes

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New answer on Apr 25, 2022
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 21, 2022

Hello all,

I'm an experienced hire applying to the MBBs as a consultant/associate. My background is over a decade as a US military officer, with an MBA (from a top 20) from a couple years ago and multiple technical advanced degrees. I'm clearly out of field, and this would be a big transition for me.

My first app to McK was rejected in 3 days (contacted recruiter, still waiting feedback), and I have a feeling my Bain/BCG won't go much better. I'm comfortably on my timeline for case prep, but definitely worried the opportunity will never come.

Without an Imbellus test invite, can I apply to other McK offices without prejudice? Does withdrawing an application multiple times send up red flags? What are the resume rejection timelines for the other firms?

I've heard a functional resume might better match my experience, but I don't want to go "non-standard". Any advice there? I feel like I'm just throwing apps into a black hole since on-campus and networking events are still reduced and Linkedin success rate is maybe 25%.

Not looking for handouts, just trying to understand the process better. Thanks for the advice.

(edited)

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Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 22, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the McK rejection. In terms of your questions:

1) Without an Imbellus test invite, can I apply to other McK offices without prejudice? 

The ban in theory is global. You may try to find a referral in an office in another country, explain the situation and see if they can help (no guarantee it will work though). You can find more on referrals here:

 How to Get an MBB Referral 

2) Does withdrawing an application multiple times send up red flags? 

I can't see why you should apply and withdraw the application multiple times. Just try to apply when you feel ready. If you have been rejected, you may try to apply in another country, but I would recommend to do so only (i) with a referral and (ii) letting them know about the previous application for transparency

3) What are the resume rejection timelines for the other firms?

Difficult to say, could be days or months

4) I've heard a functional resume might better match my experience, but I don't want to go "non-standard". Any advice there?

Would be better to use the standard format. You can find some tips on the CV here:

▶ CV Checklist

In case you need help please feel free to PM me, I do a session on CV+Cover+Referrals covering everything needed for the application.

Best,

Francesco

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Moritz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 22, 2022
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

What an interesting background! MBB employ plenty of former service members, even without MBA/advanced technical degrees. Hence, the transition you're planning may be big for you personally but for MBB you're actually a valuable candidate that stands out.

As for your questions:

  • Without an Imbellus test invite, can I apply to other McK offices without prejudice? If you didn't get interviewed or completed Imbellus, you shouldn't be banned. Hence, you should be able to apply again without prejudice. People do this all the time and may get in after a few failed attempts.
  • Does withdrawing an application multiple times send up red flags? Not sure what you're referring to since you don't mention anything about having withdrawn or planning to withdraw. Going forward, make sure you file the best possible application with professional support and there will be no need to withdraw! 
  • What are the resume rejection timelines for the other firms? There's a huge variability in the way different firms handle this. The spectrum goes from anywhere between a couple of hours to never hearing back. The same applies to positive response, that can take between hours and weeks.
  • I've heard a functional resume might better match my experience, but I don't want to go "non-standard". Any advice there? I strongly advise you to get help from a professional coach. At McKinsey, I have screened and reviewed plenty of CVs from successful candidates. The money you will spend here is very worthwhile.
  • Not looking for handouts, just trying to understand the process better. Thanks for the advice. Absolutely, that's what we're here for :)

Hope this helps a bit. Feel free to get in touch if there's anything you need help with!

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Lucie
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 24, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & BCG Project leader

Hi there, 

you can definitely have opportunity with MBB. One of my coachee at BCG was coming from the US Military (approx. 10 years there) and she got job as a generalist consultant and I am experienced hire with very specific background myself. 

I would recommend to check this article: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-get-into-consulting-as-an-experienced-hire, as it can be less straightforward with a specific expertise, but the chances are there. 

If you would like me to check your profile to give you high level feedback, please feel free to reach me directly. 

All the best,

Lucie

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 22, 2022
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

If your “first” app to McK was rejected then I'm sorry to say all of your apps have now been rejected.

You are unlikely to be able to apply to a role for another year. Sorry :/

Now, when you say “LinkedIn success rate” do you mean how many cold messages turn into actual calls? 25% is very high! Well done here!

Now, here's what you need to maximize your odds:

1) Turn those calls into referrals (aim to have a referral before you apply)

2) Improve your resume - get a professional review to make it a 10/10

3) Get some consulting-related experience to put on your resume

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 22, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Sorry to hear about McK, but it doesn´t need to be the same outcome with the other two. In general, in MBB ex military profiles are highly appreciated, even more coming from business school. 

I agree in the importance of the CV, why don´t you post it here sanitized so we can give you some feedback about it? Otherwise, there is also the option with some coaches to do a shorter session and look deeply into it. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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SJ
Certified
replied on Apr 25, 2022

Hi,

I have a non-traditional background and am joining MBB after a long stint in another profession. DM me, I'd like to help in any way I can.

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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