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Gianluca

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McKinsey "optional" Cover Letter

Hi, I am planning to apply for McKinsey in Germany. On their homepage it says that amongst the documents necessary for the application process are a CV and all relevant certificates. Regarding cover letter, it says "Cover letter (optional)". In what cases do you think it makes sense to include a cover letter and do i have far lower chances when not including one (vs. sending a mediocre one)?

Best, F

Hi, I am planning to apply for McKinsey in Germany. On their homepage it says that amongst the documents necessary for the application process are a CV and all relevant certificates. Regarding cover letter, it says "Cover letter (optional)". In what cases do you think it makes sense to include a cover letter and do i have far lower chances when not including one (vs. sending a mediocre one)?

Best, F

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Book a coaching with Gianluca

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Hi F,

you should always consider including a cover letter in your applications even if you feel like you do not have enough knowledge about the firm/ position to tailor it appropriately as, in my experience, applications sent without a cover letter tend to have far lower success rates. Like many other things, preparing a cover letter is a signal that you put effort into your application.

However, you should not prepare a "mediocre" cover letter. Instead, my suggestion would be to prepare one standard cover letter to use in all your consulting application and then personalise some parts of it for the specific firm you are applying to (e.g. if you are applying to Bain, you may make reference to their Private Equity or Luxury industry expertise; for McKinsey, I believe some interesting points would be related to their global alumni network, international staffing model and/ or the strength of their Strategy & Corporate Finance practice, which - at least in Italy - has a great reputation).

Hope this helps!

Best,

Gianluca

Hi F,

you should always consider including a cover letter in your applications even if you feel like you do not have enough knowledge about the firm/ position to tailor it appropriately as, in my experience, applications sent without a cover letter tend to have far lower success rates. Like many other things, preparing a cover letter is a signal that you put effort into your application.

However, you should not prepare a "mediocre" cover letter. Instead, my suggestion would be to prepare one standard cover letter to use in all your consulting application and then personalise some parts of it for the specific firm you are applying to (e.g. if you are applying to Bain, you may make reference to their Private Equity or Luxury industry expertise; for McKinsey, I believe some interesting points would be related to their global alumni network, international staffing model and/ or the strength of their Strategy & Corporate Finance practice, which - at least in Italy - has a great reputation).

Hope this helps!

Best,

Gianluca

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

Good question! And one we all had one day :)

The truth is that it does not add, at all. None reads it.

However, if you have it written -perhaps becuase you used it for referrals, or you have something you can easily recycle...- never hams. Once it´s more or less done, zero opportunity cost.

Furthermore, it´s always good to have something similar to a CL/motivational letter ready, since it´s useful for networking and follow ups.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Good question! And one we all had one day :)

The truth is that it does not add, at all. None reads it.

However, if you have it written -perhaps becuase you used it for referrals, or you have something you can easily recycle...- never hams. Once it´s more or less done, zero opportunity cost.

Furthermore, it´s always good to have something similar to a CL/motivational letter ready, since it´s useful for networking and follow ups.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi there,

Most likely they won’t read it. However, I would still prepare one and attach it for the following reasons:

  1. You will need to prepare one for all the other consulting companies. The rework to edit a cover for McK should be minimal
  2. There are no downsides if you attach it, but there may be possible upsides

I would not recommend a mediocre one. Better to invest the time to create a great template and reuse it for all companies.

If you need more help please PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

Most likely they won’t read it. However, I would still prepare one and attach it for the following reasons:

  1. You will need to prepare one for all the other consulting companies. The rework to edit a cover for McK should be minimal
  2. There are no downsides if you attach it, but there may be possible upsides

I would not recommend a mediocre one. Better to invest the time to create a great template and reuse it for all companies.

If you need more help please PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

I would include a cover letter but would not overinvest. Recruiters do not really read them thoroughly

Best

Hi,

I would include a cover letter but would not overinvest. Recruiters do not really read them thoroughly

Best

Book a coaching with Florian

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Hey there,

For McK, it will not add anything to your application. Since you already have one prepared for other firms (I guess), just change it up a bit and include it with your application (no harm done).

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

For McK, it will not add anything to your application. Since you already have one prepared for other firms (I guess), just change it up a bit and include it with your application (no harm done).

Cheers,

Florian

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Hi there,

McKinsey doesn't really care about cover letters.

That said, should you include one? I would...downside risk is 0, upside exists. Simple math.

If you don't want to put in all that work/energy, reach out to me...I have a process that allows you to "mass produce" top-tier cover letters for all your consulting applications! (i.e. if you just get setup right, any additional cover letter should take under an hour).

Hi there,

McKinsey doesn't really care about cover letters.

That said, should you include one? I would...downside risk is 0, upside exists. Simple math.

If you don't want to put in all that work/energy, reach out to me...I have a process that allows you to "mass produce" top-tier cover letters for all your consulting applications! (i.e. if you just get setup right, any additional cover letter should take under an hour).

A lot of the general advice here is helpful for most firms. However, McKinsey employees across many platforms have specifically said they don't read/evaluate cover letters, so it makes no impact to your application. Feel free to look this up on Fishbowl, reddit, etc.

I did not include a cover letter and still got an offer.

Note, this doesn't apply for other firms, but it does for M.

A lot of the general advice here is helpful for most firms. However, McKinsey employees across many platforms have specifically said they don't read/evaluate cover letters, so it makes no impact to your application. Feel free to look this up on Fishbowl, reddit, etc.

I did not include a cover letter and still got an offer.

Note, this doesn't apply for other firms, but it does for M.

Book a coaching with Adi

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If you can always include an impactful cover letter to complement the CV. Explain why you are a great FIT. Please search the Q&A forum broadly for tons of tips on this subject.

If you can always include an impactful cover letter to complement the CV. Explain why you are a great FIT. Please search the Q&A forum broadly for tons of tips on this subject.

Book a coaching with Udayan

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It helps to send a cover letter. It is not the most crucial part of the application process but definitely a plus especially if there are points you want to elaborate on or explain.

It helps to send a cover letter. It is not the most crucial part of the application process but definitely a plus especially if there are points you want to elaborate on or explain.

Book a coaching with Ken

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A cover letter is only necessary if there is something about your background/CV that requires explanation (e.g., longer studies due to health issues, etc.). If not, I wouldn't bother as recruiters usually don't bother to read through and it is not passed on to your interviewers either.

A cover letter is only necessary if there is something about your background/CV that requires explanation (e.g., longer studies due to health issues, etc.). If not, I wouldn't bother as recruiters usually don't bother to read through and it is not passed on to your interviewers either.

Book a coaching with Jonas

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Hi there,

others might disagree but I would always include a cover letter, because it has way more upsides:

  • If you get an invite, interviewers will have read your cover letter and it might be a good talking point
  • When recruiters are not fully convinced, they might have a look at your cover letter to get a feel for what person you are -> Then it's a great tool to distinguish yourself from the mass
  • It shows you generally avoid the easiest way and commit to an application (this says something about you as a consultant as well)

That being saig, I would advise against taking the same for all consulting firms, but rather ask myself the question why I would want to work for McK instead of the other firms, i.e.

  • What makes the firm special?
  • What might be values you share?
  • How can you identify with what the firm identity stands for?

In the end, it might be that the work put into the cover letter is not recognized too much because you check other boxes but anyway, it will be a learning point for you why you want to work for a specific firm. + a good cover letter has never hurt anybody ;-)

Hope this helps!
Jonas

Hi there,

others might disagree but I would always include a cover letter, because it has way more upsides:

  • If you get an invite, interviewers will have read your cover letter and it might be a good talking point
  • When recruiters are not fully convinced, they might have a look at your cover letter to get a feel for what person you are -> Then it's a great tool to distinguish yourself from the mass
  • It shows you generally avoid the easiest way and commit to an application (this says something about you as a consultant as well)

That being saig, I would advise against taking the same for all consulting firms, but rather ask myself the question why I would want to work for McK instead of the other firms, i.e.

  • What makes the firm special?
  • What might be values you share?
  • How can you identify with what the firm identity stands for?

In the end, it might be that the work put into the cover letter is not recognized too much because you check other boxes but anyway, it will be a learning point for you why you want to work for a specific firm. + a good cover letter has never hurt anybody ;-)

Hope this helps!
Jonas

Book a coaching with Luca

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Hello,

Cover letter is optional and they will probbably not read it, but I would suggest you to attach one. In this way you can show your proactivity and accuracy. Do not waste so much time on it, it's enough to have a decent cover letter that does not attract attention for negative reasons.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

Cover letter is optional and they will probbably not read it, but I would suggest you to attach one. In this way you can show your proactivity and accuracy. Do not waste so much time on it, it's enough to have a decent cover letter that does not attract attention for negative reasons.

Best,
Luca

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Hi there,

McKinsey recruiters won't really read it, I can only confirm.

On the other hand, you can't really lose when preparing one.

The choice is yours ;)

Cheers, GB

Hi there,

McKinsey recruiters won't really read it, I can only confirm.

On the other hand, you can't really lose when preparing one.

The choice is yours ;)

Cheers, GB

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