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!
Is a cover letter really necessary for McKinsey?
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.
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.
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.
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 ;)
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
Related BootCamp article(s)
Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases
Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly
Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case