How to write a convincing cover letter to an international office (different office to your domestic office)

Case Interview International MBB strategy consulting USA
New answer on Apr 10, 2021
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 09, 2021

Hi All,

I understand the challenges of applying to foreign offices and wanted to write a powerful cover letter to help my application.

How would you go about writing a convincing cover letter to an international office?

Steps I have taken

1) I understand what the office does in terms of projects (industries and types of work); I can align this with my experince and interests to show fit

2) I understand what the culture of the office is like and can articulate my fit in a CL

3) I have networked with indviduals from the office to learn more

4) I have a clear motivation for why I want to do strategy consulting and why now

5) I have a clear understanding of how I can add value to this office with my consulting experience and skills

These are probably the basics for any application/cover letter beit abroad or not. Would anyone be able to recommend things I could do to stand out or take my cover letter to another level?

I am very open minded - I have read of people describing how they would go about solving problems in the office's mode industries or communicating why the office's specific industires fascinante them [even with embedded graphs and data]

Kind regards,

Anon

(edited)

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 10, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can structure a cover in 4 parts:

  1. Introduction, mentioning the position you are interested in and a specific element you find attractive for that company
  2. Why you are qualified for the job, where you can report 3 skills/stories from your CV, ideally related to leadership, impact, drive and or teamwork depending on the company
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others.

It is important that in part 3 you make your cover specific to a particular firm – the rule of thumb is, can you send the exact same cover to another consulting company if you change the name? If that’s the case, your cover is too generic.

For some offices (eg the Middle East) you should also make clear why you are applying to that particular office.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Apr 10, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Send me a PM and I can provide you with a Cover Letter template as well as examples across a range of companies.

Here's some guidance in the meantime

  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.

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Ken
Expert
replied on Apr 10, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

I already see lot's of great advice from other coaches so I just wanted to share another angle in addition to the cover letter. I personally would focus the majority of your time on networking and convincing the consultants (particuarly partners) that you are suited for the office than a cover letter which often is not read, or at best skimmed through by HR.

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Denis
Expert
replied on Apr 10, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

I would keep the cover letter well structured - intro, why consulting, why firm, why office / region, what you bring to the table. Make sure to namedrop your networking contacts. Having a referral is of course prio.

Make sure to focus more on the CV - I dont think that cover letters will make a huge difference.

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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