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I don’t have brand name jobs on my resume

and Bain BCG CV screening help McKinsey
New answer on Oct 31, 2023
9 Answers
801 Views
Anonymous A asked on Oct 27, 2023

Hi guys,

A little background, I am an engineer studying in my last year at UCL, and I‘ve been facing issues with job applications. I don’t have brand name companies on my CV, I opted to work in a start up as a CTO and I really made progress and had significant learning during this time. My grades are very good and I have volunteering done. Ive even tailored my CV according to consultancy companies and had it looked over by consultants who said it looked perfect.

However, when I applied to some jobs ( Cambridge Consultants) I was rejected (perhaps because I am an immigrant student) and I am just constantly frustrated. Any tips and advice on how I can get around this? I also have a linkedin connection with the senior talent manager at Bain anything I can do or say that could influence my application?

Best,

 

 

(edited)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 28, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Well, you have two options:

  1. Get brand names
  2. Work around it

Of course, in the short term option 2 is the better one :)

There are ways to optimize your resume to hide the negative and emphasize the positive. The way you create/design your resume is super important and can absolutely overcome no brand name.

Additionally, you need to make sure to network extensively to get around this problem and maximize your odds.

Look at the difference it makes:

Here's some more reading to help:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-get-a-consulting-internship-tips-and-tricks

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Moritz
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replied on Oct 29, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hey there,

So long as you're making sure to interact with real humans to the greatest extent possible, you will be fine. Networking is key here and people need to get to know you to support you.

If you're the right candidate, people won't care about brand names. When I was part of McKinsey, people really didn't care about those things, including myself who referred a number of talents without big names but big hearts and minds.

Keep it up and you'll get there. Best of luck!

Moritz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> Need a senior McKinsey coach? See my profile in a nutshell
>> Need real McKinsey cases? See two real examples with Zero Carbon Mine (hard) & Car Convenience (Intermediate + brand new)

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Sohini
Expert
updated an answer on Oct 29, 2023
Ex- Strategy Consultant ZS Associate | Commercial Strategy Director | Michigan MBA | Pharma/Financial Svc. /Tech Expert

Hi, 


If you have not received any direct feedback on why your application is being rejected, then I would not assume these reasons for rejection.

In my experience, I have seen lots of students join consulting firms right after college, even without any prior experience. Yes, visa could be an issue but that is true for most industries. Also, the reason could be completely internal to the company - last I knew many companies had a hiring freeze or very limited hiring due to the economy. Even now, there are budget cuts.

So the first thing I would suggest is get rid of these mind blocks. Instead  focus on your strengths and showcase them well effectively in your resume, tailoring it to the position you are applying for. Because that tells the recruiter you know the role you are applying for. Below are some suggestions, assuming you are applying for business consulting but most of them would apply to other types of consulting as well.

#1 Having a resume in the consulting format, preferably ACR - action context and result, where result quantatively shows your contribution is very important since you are applying for a business role. You can refer this link for tips - https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/i-dont-have-brand-name-jobs-on-my-resume-17066
Make sure each bullet is not more than 2 lines and space is well optimized. I have answered a Q&A regarding this.

#2 Showcase your prior expereince but connect the dots for the recruiter on how they apply to business consulting. For example, in a CTO role, you would have to think strategically, prioritize projects, colloaborate and problem solve to drive efficiency, understand the big picture, outside of your analytical skill sets. Showcase that.

#3. If you think your strength is more analytical given your background in engineering, then network and apply to consulting firms that have a strong analytical business. You can also network with the business school students in your school to understand how they are networking and getting interview calls. Also network within your community and with people you know in Linked in.

Based on what you have described, there is nothing in your background that stood out as a red flag. However, if you want to succeed in getting interview calls, you have to network hard in this economy and have a strong resume.

Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

Thanks,

Sohini

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 28, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) When I applied to some jobs (Cambridge Consultants) I was rejected and I am just constantly frustrated. Any tips and advice on how I can get around this? 

First of all, if not done already I would try to get feedback from Cambridge Consultants – possibly they might provide some information about the reasons for the rejection. Additionally, if this was a one-off application, it might have just been bad luck/no hiring needs/something unrelated to your profile.

In terms of improving your overall profile, you can find some tips below:

▶ How to Get a Consulting Interview Invitation

2) I also have a LinkedIn connection with the senior talent manager at Bain anything I can do or say that could influence my application?

I would rather look for a referral from a current consultant, as the HR team cannot provide referrals. You can find some tips on referrals below:

▶ How to Get a Referral

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 27, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Sorry to hear about this. Indeed, it's quite unfair to be rejected just because you don't have big brands on your CV. That doesn't necessarily reflect on your abilities. 

Most firms like to see big brands on the CVs of their applicants because it signals to them that the candidate is high value and has already been vetted by some of their peers. 

Honestly, I would just recommed to work with an expert on refinining your story and positoning in the market AND developing a CV that reflects this. 

Especially in the CV it's crucial to highlight the sort of skills you developed in your roles and the overlap between these skills and a consulting role. You should seek to emphasize as much as possible what makes YOU different from the typical candidate (i.e., play to your strengths not against those of your opponent). 

I've worked with a couple of people by now transitioning from start-ups into consulting so happy to provide some closer advice.

Best,
Cristian

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Raj
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 30, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

I understand your frustration with the job application process, and I'm here to provide some tips and advice to help you navigate this situation. As a seasoned strategy consultant, I have encountered similar challenges and have some insights to share.

Firstly, it's important to remember that rejection is a common part of the job search process, and it doesn't necessarily reflect your abilities or potential. Many factors can influence hiring decisions, including competition, specific requirements, and even biases that may exist within the recruitment process.

Given your strong academic background, relevant experience as a CTO in a startup, and volunteering activities, you have valuable assets to showcase. It's great that you have tailored your CV to align with consultancy companies and received positive feedback from consultants. However, it's important to keep in mind that each company has its own specific criteria and preferences, and rejection from one company does not mean you won't find success elsewhere.

Regarding your LinkedIn connection with the senior talent manager at Bain, it can be advantageous to leverage this connection. Reach out to them and express your interest in joining Bain, highlighting your relevant experience and enthusiasm for the consulting industry. Requesting an informational interview or seeking their advice on the application process can help you establish a personal connection and potentially increase your chances of being considered for a role.

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David updated an answer on Oct 27, 2023

Your strength is experience instead of big companies so you can emphasize these strengths of yours. In particular, volunteer can bring you many advantages. It's important whether you know how to take advantage of them or not. You can read the following article to learn how to write v better with volunteer. Hope it can help.

How To Describe Volunteer Experience in an Interview (With Examples) | Indeed.com

(edited)

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Alberto
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

If you have a great profile, strong grades and impactful experience, I see you probably need more help shaping your story and resume than getting fancy names on your CV.

Happy to keep talking about this in private, just send me a message.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Oct 27, 2023
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

This is a matter of good copywriting in your CV + Networking.

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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