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Udayan

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4

How to start writing a Cover Letter for MBB?

Hi All,

I am preparing for the MBB interviews in the coming fall season. That means I need to have personalized cover letters for all the consulting firms. Although I know the importance and what should go into a cover letter, I am struggling to start writing one.

I would be grateful if somebody could just nudge me with some initial tips on how to start writing one so that I gain momentum to write it by myself.

Thanks!

Hi All,

I am preparing for the MBB interviews in the coming fall season. That means I need to have personalized cover letters for all the consulting firms. Although I know the importance and what should go into a cover letter, I am struggling to start writing one.

I would be grateful if somebody could just nudge me with some initial tips on how to start writing one so that I gain momentum to write it by myself.

Thanks!

4 answers

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Book a coaching with Udayan

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Hi - some tips below

Your cover letter is the first 'work output' that a firm will have from you. A well-executed cover letter proves that you have strong written communication skills, that you are succinct, and that you clearly articulate ideas and thoughts. A quality cover letter often requires multiple rounds of edits. Luckily, as you write more of them, they become easier to do. While it is okay to leverage the structure and format of a cover letter, do not fall into the trap of copying and pasting them across applications. Not only is that trick easy to spot, but it also leads to embarrassing mistakes such as addressing the wrong person or company.

Here are some rules to make a strong cover letter template for use anywhere:

  • Always try and find out if there is a specific person you can address. Doing so not only proves you've done your research on the firm, but also that you are personable.

  • A cover letter, like an essay, should follow a concrete structure. Consider the following:

    • First Paragraph - The first paragraph should contain a brief introduction about yourself and your interest in the role you are applying for. The last sentence of this paragraph should highlight the three or four reasons that make you a strong candidate for the role​

    • Second Paragraph - This paragraph is dedicated to highlighting your skills. Talk about the three abilities you listed in the previous paragraph. Give an example of how you used each skill, and highlight what you accomplished. End the second paragraph with how you are interested in applying these skills at MBB.

    • Third Paragraph - The final paragraph highlights why you are interested in this specific firm. Treat this question seriously—do your research and discuss why being a BA or associate at the firm excites you. Do not be generic and talk about how you want to travel or work at a prestigious company, for example. Instead, be specific—for instance, you could talk about an interaction with a specific partner at your university's recruiting event and how their enthusiasm for the firm inspired you to apply.

  • Conclude politely and succinctly in a way that excites the hiring manager. Finish strong and promise something of real value to the firm at which you are applying.

  • In total, aim for around 500 words at most. That is what makes writing a cover letter tricky—you have to communicate ample information in a succinct manner and do so while being both clear and engaging. Every word counts.

Reach out to me for a template if you need one

Best,

Udayan

Hi - some tips below

Your cover letter is the first 'work output' that a firm will have from you. A well-executed cover letter proves that you have strong written communication skills, that you are succinct, and that you clearly articulate ideas and thoughts. A quality cover letter often requires multiple rounds of edits. Luckily, as you write more of them, they become easier to do. While it is okay to leverage the structure and format of a cover letter, do not fall into the trap of copying and pasting them across applications. Not only is that trick easy to spot, but it also leads to embarrassing mistakes such as addressing the wrong person or company.

Here are some rules to make a strong cover letter template for use anywhere:

  • Always try and find out if there is a specific person you can address. Doing so not only proves you've done your research on the firm, but also that you are personable.

  • A cover letter, like an essay, should follow a concrete structure. Consider the following:

    • First Paragraph - The first paragraph should contain a brief introduction about yourself and your interest in the role you are applying for. The last sentence of this paragraph should highlight the three or four reasons that make you a strong candidate for the role​

    • Second Paragraph - This paragraph is dedicated to highlighting your skills. Talk about the three abilities you listed in the previous paragraph. Give an example of how you used each skill, and highlight what you accomplished. End the second paragraph with how you are interested in applying these skills at MBB.

    • Third Paragraph - The final paragraph highlights why you are interested in this specific firm. Treat this question seriously—do your research and discuss why being a BA or associate at the firm excites you. Do not be generic and talk about how you want to travel or work at a prestigious company, for example. Instead, be specific—for instance, you could talk about an interaction with a specific partner at your university's recruiting event and how their enthusiasm for the firm inspired you to apply.

  • Conclude politely and succinctly in a way that excites the hiring manager. Finish strong and promise something of real value to the firm at which you are applying.

  • In total, aim for around 500 words at most. That is what makes writing a cover letter tricky—you have to communicate ample information in a succinct manner and do so while being both clear and engaging. Every word counts.

Reach out to me for a template if you need one

Best,

Udayan

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Hi Anonymous,

In addition to the excellent advice and summary of Udayan I'd just like to highlight explicitly that also your cover letter needs to be structured very well. A rigid structure is not only a must in case interviews, it also begins with your application documents.

From a practical perspective it's efficient to map out the basic structure and specific topics you would like to highlight (e.g. with a mindmap or a simple bullet point list if you prefer), before really starting to write your cover letter.

Already seen to often that candidates just start writing upfront without ever having clearly thought about the structure and key topics they would like to communicate. The outcome of that approach is clear and you can immediately spot it as recruiter. On top of that it's always a mental challenge to discard something you wrote before - so better start with the correct approach in the beginning (doesn't mean you don't need to rework, but you don't need to throw away your previous version completely).

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

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

In addition to the excellent advice and summary of Udayan I'd just like to highlight explicitly that also your cover letter needs to be structured very well. A rigid structure is not only a must in case interviews, it also begins with your application documents.

From a practical perspective it's efficient to map out the basic structure and specific topics you would like to highlight (e.g. with a mindmap or a simple bullet point list if you prefer), before really starting to write your cover letter.

Already seen to often that candidates just start writing upfront without ever having clearly thought about the structure and key topics they would like to communicate. The outcome of that approach is clear and you can immediately spot it as recruiter. On top of that it's always a mental challenge to discard something you wrote before - so better start with the correct approach in the beginning (doesn't mean you don't need to rework, but you don't need to throw away your previous version completely).

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

Robert

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

I'll let you in on a little secret, it only needs to be marginally personalized ;)

  1. Step 1 - Figure out the topics for your key paragraphs. These need to be based on what consulting companies are looking for. I recommend any of the following
    1. Quantitative + qualitative analytical skills
    2. Communication (written + verbal)
    3. Client managment skills/experience
    4. Leadership
    5. Teamwork
    6. Diversity (can be working with diverse clients, teams, etc.)
    7. Curiosity / passion for learning
  2. Step 2 - Once you've picked 3-5 of these, write your paragraphs
    1. Make them succinct (3-5 sentences)
    2. Make sure they lead with e.g. "x company values y, and I do too"
    3. Make sure they focus on your achievements. You have to sell yourself here
  3. Step 3 - For any given company cover letter, find out what the company cares most about. Then slot in 3 of the paragraphs that fit best (again, ideally you have 5 to choose from)
  4. Step 4 - Tweak the language of each paragraph to fit the company's website, application posting, etc. I.e. Curiosity might become passion for learning.

Then, of course, you need an intro paragraph summarizing your interest + reasons why as well as a closing paragraph doing the same with new language.

And viola!

If you need an example or review, feel free to shoot me a message.

Hi there,

I'll let you in on a little secret, it only needs to be marginally personalized ;)

  1. Step 1 - Figure out the topics for your key paragraphs. These need to be based on what consulting companies are looking for. I recommend any of the following
    1. Quantitative + qualitative analytical skills
    2. Communication (written + verbal)
    3. Client managment skills/experience
    4. Leadership
    5. Teamwork
    6. Diversity (can be working with diverse clients, teams, etc.)
    7. Curiosity / passion for learning
  2. Step 2 - Once you've picked 3-5 of these, write your paragraphs
    1. Make them succinct (3-5 sentences)
    2. Make sure they lead with e.g. "x company values y, and I do too"
    3. Make sure they focus on your achievements. You have to sell yourself here
  3. Step 3 - For any given company cover letter, find out what the company cares most about. Then slot in 3 of the paragraphs that fit best (again, ideally you have 5 to choose from)
  4. Step 4 - Tweak the language of each paragraph to fit the company's website, application posting, etc. I.e. Curiosity might become passion for learning.

Then, of course, you need an intro paragraph summarizing your interest + reasons why as well as a closing paragraph doing the same with new language.

And viola!

If you need an example or review, feel free to shoot me a message.

Book a coaching with Andre

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Dear A,

I have an example of good cover letter suitable for consulting firms and I'm happy to share it with you for your guidance.

Feel free to reach me out in PM for this or any other questions regarding the application process or preparation.

Best,
André

Dear A,

I have an example of good cover letter suitable for consulting firms and I'm happy to share it with you for your guidance.

Feel free to reach me out in PM for this or any other questions regarding the application process or preparation.

Best,
André

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