Re-using previous coverletter

MBB
New answer on Apr 30, 2021
9 Answers
1.0 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 20, 2021

Hi all,

I have previously interviewed with MBB and other boutique firms, but didn't pass the first round interview. I would like to re-apply again this year. Can I re-use my previous cover letter and only add some updates to my resume? Will the recruiters find out or care about it?

Thanks

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 20, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

If the cover worked before you can definitely keep the same structure.

You can structure a cover in 4 parts:

  1. Introduction, mentioning the position you are interested in and a specific element you find attractive for that company
  2. Why you are qualified for the job, where you can report 3 skills/stories from your CV, ideally related to leadership, impact, drive and or teamwork depending on the company
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with 2-3 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others. In your case, you can update this particular part with the new experiences.

It is important that in part 3 you make your cover specific to a particular firm – the rule of thumb is, can you send the exact same cover to another consulting company if you change the name? If that’s the case, your cover is too generic.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 20, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

You can definitely re-use the cover letter format and core points, but since it is a re-application you need to demonstrate and highlight your key development points since the rejection:

  • Academia
  • Professional Experience
  • Time abroad
  • Extracurriculars

It's crucial to show significant new stories and development in at least two of these areas to be reconsidered (also on your resume)!

As for the cover letter, here are some more tips for you: https://strategycase.com/how-to-write-the-perfect-consulting-cover-letter

Cheers,
Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 20, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I would say leverage your previous cover letter.

That said, over the past year you've done more, correct? Add these additional experiences in! Fundamentally, they're going to need to see evidence that you've fundamentally changed/progressed - especially if you didn't make it past the 1st round.

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous B updated the answer on Apr 20, 2021

Hi Anonymous. I'm in the same boat. I'd suggest detailing out how you've improved since the last interview. For example, if the interviewer specifically mentioned that you should be more concise, or be more structured, then I'd include these feedback in my new cover letter. You could still include your old experiences that got you through the first screening stage, but to add to that, new skills/improvement are highly recommended to show that you're open to feedback and willing to improve on them. All the best!! :)

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
11
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 20, 2021
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Please do not - even though it may not end up mattering, it shows complete lack of initiaitve and drive and would leave a poor impression if they found out.

Udayan

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 21, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It depends on how good and well done the CL is :)

If it´s already in a good level, totally no issue in recycling and adding the important new features.

In any case, the CL is actually not so important and many times is not even looked at.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 20, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Reusing it entirely is not a good idea.

Keep the same structure but show how you have improved in these past 12 months.

Was this answer helpful?
Raj
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

Is it fine? Yes absolutely. The recruiters are pretty unlikely to remember and even if so, wouldn't be too bothered about it.

Should you? Partly. I imagine your story should have changed in the past year. You hopefully have more insight into the role, and have new skills to show-off. So do adapt the content but otherwise if the structure worked last time, why mess with that

Was this answer helpful?
Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 21, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

If the previous CL was good - keep the structure, but improve it in a way that it shows, that you have been developing yourself. If you just send them the exact CL as last year, it will not make a good impression, considering the fact that you did not pass the first round.

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching
4,181
Meetings
30,828
Q&A Upvotes
322
Awards
5.0
1531 Reviews