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Recruitment & Cover Letter

BCG Cover letter
New answer on Mar 31, 2024
8 Answers
398 Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 28, 2024

Hi everyone ! 

Context: I applied to a full time consulting position at BCG in October 2023, uploading only my resume. Thing is, I just noticed on my BCG portal that an old cover letter was attached to my profile - I can't delete it, but I can update it. In fact, in December 2022 I applied to a BCG event (to which I got selected after completing psychometric tests) and needed to upload a cover letter, which I did. My BCG candidate profile therefore currently has a resume updated to October 2023 (for full time position) with a cover letter dating from December 2022 (for BCG event).

Worry: I'm afraid they will notice discrepancies between the cover letter and resume on my profile. Moreover, a lot has happened to me in the past year, academically and professionally speaking, yet I did not upload a cover letter just because I was told that it was not mandatory, but now because of the situation I really wonder if I should update my profile.

Question: I wonder if I should update my cover letter on the portal. Or is it a red flag? I don't really wan't to write to the recruiter as I have already recently highlighted the situation to her while asking if I could have updates about my application (being I haven't had news in months!). She ignored the part about the cover letter, while telling me that “no news is good news”, and that they should be coming back to me in the upcoming weeks. Should I follow up with her regarding the cover letter? Update? Not do a thing? 

 

Thank you all so much in advance!!!

Overview of answers

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Best answer
Brad
Expert
replied on Jan 28, 2024
Expert coach | Head of recruiting for Bain | 8+ years interviewing | Free intro call

Hi there,

 

 

The interviewer is going to receive, and read, the cover letter attached to your profile. I assume it doesn’t make sense in the context of your application (e.g. “I wish to apply for BCG’s [event]”) so I think its well worth correcting the mistake.

 

It also seems strange that the cover letter is not mandatory, as it is a very important part of the selection process, so I’d assume they’re telling you it’s not mandatory in the same way that wearing trousers isn’t mandatory. No one will make you do it, but good luck to you if you don’t.

 

I think the best course of action is to (i) update your cover letter, (ii) call the recruiting team and explain the situation, (iiI) get them to open up your application or update the existing file with the new one. The reason I think its worth calling the recruitment team is that your file may have already gone to the interviewer, so you’ll want them to get an updated version to the right people if so.

 

Don’t worry about how this may look. BCG want you to put your best foot forward and would rather fix the mistake (stemming from a poor CEX anyways) than forgo a great candidate.

 

All the best! Let me know if you need help crafting the cover letter quickly.

 

B.

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Yuval
Expert
replied on Jan 29, 2024
free 30 min consultation call | 1st try offer from BCG and McK | BCG Associate | 100+ hours of coaching sessions

Hi,

First of all, no need to panic, it is part of your profile but most likely any recruiter getting the two files would understand there was some mistake and take it into account.

Second, there’s really no down side to updating the cover letter. In my office (Middle East) a cover letter is also not mandatory, and I’ve known people that applied without it and got to the first round, so I guess this depends on the firm/office. It sounds unlikely that I won’t be mandatory in the US for example, but maybe in other geographies it’s not as important.

Having said that, you can only gain from sending an updated cover letter giving more context to your application. I would rewrite yours (shouldn’t take long as you already have the basic and just need to update) and update through the portal. 

Second, I would contact the recruiter and explain the situation, this shouldn’t be an issue since she didn’t address this topic when you first reached out. Just explain the situation, that you’ve updated the cover letter and that you want whoever is going though your profile to have the most updated picture of it, don’t see how she can not be sympathetic to that. 

Hope this helps, good luck!

Best,

Yuval

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

my advice to candidates is to ALWAYS submit a cover letter alongside your CV. Even if it is not mandatory, it is well worth putting in the extra effort, especially if you spend so much time preparing for consulting interviews anyway. Plus, some other candidate will provide a cover letter and then your application will automatically look less complete. So why take the chance? While upside is not guaranteed, you can at least mitigate potential downside.

To your specific question: 
Yes, update your cover letter. Having a wrong or outdated cover letter is probably worse than having none because it creates confusion. 

Also make sure that you notify the recruiter that you have updated the file. You should explain the circumstances for your update. You want to make sure that the update trickles through the system properly and that whoever evaluates your documents doesn't accidentally get your old file.

Best of luck

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Wow, this sounds very complicated.

To make it easy, just reach out to the recruiter. Give them a synthesis of the problem description you gave us (50% of the content) and then tell her that you would like to clarify which documents are actually the relevant ones (and if possible, you can resubmit them). 

That should allow you to make all of this shorter.

All the best,

Cristian

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Definitely update the cover letter. There's no downside here.

Also make sure you're networking to increase your chances!

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 31, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Definitely, update the cover letter.

Best,

Alberto

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 29, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I wonder if I should update my cover letter on the portal. 

I don’t see any downside if you update it, only upsides. So I would update it. If you haven't replied yet to HR, then you can reply saying you updated the cover.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Mar 31, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Yes, update the cover letter. But be aware that in most places recruiters don't care that much about the cover letter.

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Brad gave the best answer

Brad

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