Is a cover letter really necessary for McKinsey?

Cover letter McKinsey
New answer on Nov 18, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 23, 2019

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!

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Thomas
CoachingPlus Expert
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replied on Apr 23, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Hi there, as the others have mentioned in my experience it is not necessary. However, sometimes they might ask for it later. Having said that, there is no reason to prepare it initially.

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Francesco
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replied on Jul 24, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

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.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous replied on Jul 23, 2019

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.

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

generally no, I would rather go through referral!

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Nirmit
Expert
replied on Jul 23, 2019
I will get you an offer|McKinsey Senior EM|Offers from MBB|100+ interviews at McKinsey|Recruiting Lead|Experienced hire

Hi,

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.

Thanks,

Nirmit

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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 ;)

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Henning
Expert
replied on Nov 18, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

For most applications, a CL is not needed. However, you might need it to clarify certain aspects. E.g. if you're applying to a country where you have not lived previously (not in your CV), you might need to clarify why you're applying to that office.

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 18, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Usually no, only if you apply online.

I would recommend you add it only if you're for 100% sure that's good CL.

Do you need any further help?

All the best,

GB

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 24, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

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

Best

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Thomas gave the best answer

Thomas

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