Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years at BCG
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How do recruiters filter applications (first phase) ?

John

Hello,

Do recruiters read all of the resumes and cover letters ? I deduce from their websites that they have a way to automate the process.

What do they look for in an entry-level resume ? I imagine college name and major are up the list.

Reason I ask: I believe my resume and cover letter were quite good (the latter written in a storytelling way showcasing my skills) but I have a classical major and internationally unknown university. My strength being outstanding extracurricular activities.

Thanks.

(edited)

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Andrea
Expert
replied on 01/30/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years at BCG

Internal (consultancy) recruiters usually have a software (or even do so manually by setting up a spreadsheet) that screens the resumes by filtering and scoring them across several dimensions. Usually these dimensions are:

-School tier/rank (based on company's internal tier/rank definition, but very similar to published ones)

-Grade average/GPA

-Previous work experience relevancy and likelyhood to transfer skills

-Previous employer tier/rank (based on company's internal tier/rank definition)

-Languages known and proficiency

-Test scores (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, ...)

-Software/Analytical tools skills

-Internal company scoring of candidate if participated in company events

Resumes are filtered, scored and then ranked according to these (and more) dimensions. Once filtered recruiter might/might not read cover letter to further reduce the number of resumes to be considered for interview/invite to an event.

Hope it helps,

Andrea

Vlad replied on 01/30/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi!

Agree with the list below. Some offices may have automated the process but for sure a lot of work is still done manually. Thus make sure that you have the keywords in your resume (universities, brands, etc). The most important is - the ranges for these criteria are not set in stone. There may be a lot of factors influencing the cut-offs:

  1. Targeted recruiting. For example, the Firm may decide to hire more MBAs rather than pure experienced hires. Or the Firm may hire more female candidates and thus more females will pass the screening. Some offices have the special recruiting cycles for technical and non-technical graduates
  2. Competition - for example among all MBAs they will hire more graduates from top universities. And among them, the screening will pass only the people whom their ex-mbb classmates personally recommended.
  3. Office specifics - in some offices like New York it's hard to pass the screening even if you have a referral
  4. Economic cycle - in a bad year it gets harder to get in

...and many others. You should do your best (Resume, CL, get a referal, smartly select the preferable offices) and keep your fingers crossed.

Best!

Mitchell
Expert
replied on 01/30/2018
BCG Consultant |Consulting Case Coach at London Business School

Hi John,
I agree with the content that resume screeners look for (I've personally looked at thousands of CVs during screening).
CV screeners spend probably about a minute per CV. So make the items that matter really stand out. Put clear and simple headings around things such as 'Extra curricular activities' to help the reviewer find the most important parts of your CV.
Best of luck!