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Is a cover letter really necessary for McKinsey?

Anonymous A asked on Jul 23, 2019 - 5 answers

McKinsey appears to discourage writing one on their application website by saying "not needed", and "only to explain special circumstances or clarify issues or gaps in the CV". Yet here on prepLounge it is being recommended. Does it just depend on each individual McKinsey office that one applies for? Or is it something that's seen as not necessary but generally still helpful? Thanks!

Thank you all very much for your responses! Much appreciated. — Anonymous A on Jul 30, 2019

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Francesco replied on Jul 24, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

when I applied to McKinsey it was not compulsory to attach one; however the consultant who referred me said that if I had one ready I could send it as well to strengthen the application. Thus if you have a good one ready (which you probably have since other companies require it) and just have to customize it for McKinsey it could help to include it as well.



replied on Jul 23, 2019
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Hi there,

No, McKinsey does not really read the cover letteres. Sometimes they may refer to your cover letter if you are really one of those "borderline cases", but as far as I know that rarely happens.

That being said, if you really have the time or if you already have a high-quality cover letter written for a different consulting firm, it does not hurt to create one for McKinsey.

Hope this helps.

replied on Jul 23, 2019
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The recruiting team does not read cover letters. If you have something ready, no harm in including it. But I would not spend time preparing a cover letter. That time would be better used in interview preparation.



Anonymous B replied on Jul 23, 2019

Even if the particular office says ''not necessary'', personally I always include one. It can't hurt, the worst thing that can happen is that they don't read it at all ;)

Vlad replied on Jul 24, 2019
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I would use the CL:

  • If you are applying yourself via the website it's part of the application
  • If you apply via referral - it's not required at first but once you are invited to the interviews, they'll ask you to submit one anyway


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