Referral process - what next

Referral
New answer on Sep 21, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 18, 2021

Hi, once you've been referred, do you still need to write a cover letter to go with your CV (for those firms that ask for cover letters)? If so, is it more of a formality or will it still be read properly? Thanks

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Sep 19, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

It depends on the company and office.

  1. When I applied at McKinsey, they did not need a Cover after I have been referred
  2. When I applied at BCG, I also had to submit my application online with CV and Cover after the referral

There could also be differences based on the region.

In short: is good if you have a Cover ready just in case (you will probably need it anyway at least for some companies).

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Sep 19, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Whether or not you need a cover letter has nothing to do with whether you've been referred.

If an office/company requires/desires it, write one! If they don't, no need…regardless of referral.

Generally, I view cover letters as table stakes items. As in, you need a solid one, but they're looked at quite briefly (if at all). That's why I developed a “mass production” technique for them!

My advice: Always have a cover letter. The only downside is time. Upside is: An offer

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Sep 19, 2021
#1 CoachingPlus Expert | 100% no-nonsense | BCG Dubai PL | 2021 Real MBB+ Cases | Case/PEI/Fit/CV | 6+ years Consulting

The recruiter/HR will let you know if they require a cover letter in your application or not. In some cases - it is a required field in the online application form regardless of referral v/s non-referral.

Once you have been asked to write a cover letter - always give it your 100%. Don't try to apply game theory in this case - its a risk. Despite a referral, your application still needs to be screened. So somebody might as well be reading the cover letter.

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Sofia
Expert
replied on Sep 18, 2021
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | >90% candidate success rate | Personalized approach

Hello,

Congratulations on getting a referral! Once you have been referred you will usually receive an email with a link to apply via an application portal, and once you are there it is identical to a regular application process, so you still have to submit both your resume and cover letter. As to whether your cover letter will be read properly, it definitely depends on the firm and office. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some larger firms and offices that have a lot of candidates applying pay less close attention to cover letters, but I wouldn't bank on it, and it won't depend on your referral status in any case. 

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Hagen
Expert
updated an answer on Sep 19, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • From my personal experience, the ones of coachees of mine and of my personal network, the application files required after a referral seem to vary by company, region and country. Without knowing the specific company and office you would want to apply to, it is hard to provide a definite answer. Thus, I would advise you to contact either the person providing the referral or a recruiter upfront, or simply wait until prompted.
  • Irrespectable of the requirements, I would advise you to hand in a cover letter as well if possible as it is the strongest written format to demonstrate your motivation for the consulting industry and the specific company.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on how to best receive a strong referral, how I could help you get one from my personal network or how to best prepare your application files, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

(edited)

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Calvin
Expert
replied on Sep 18, 2021
Experienced interviewer | Roland Berger Project Manager| Cambridge University | Super intuitive approach

If it's mentioned you need to write a cover letter, you should include it. Both your CV and cover letter will be read, but skim-read. Keep them concise, and straight to the point

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 21, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

I'd add a short cover letter in any case. Just state your motivation and why you'd be a good fit for the firm.

Good luck,

Anto

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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