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Rejected by McKinsey Riyadh Without Interview

Application Cover letter Resume
New answer on Jun 08, 2024
7 Answers
220 Views
Meshal asked on May 17, 2024

Hi everyone,

I recently applied for a position at McKinsey Riyadh but unfortunately, I was not granted an interview. I am a Saudi citizen and I am keen to understand where my resume might be lacking and what improvements I can make to better align with McKinsey's expectations.

I've attached my resume and the cover letter I submitted for your reference. I would greatly appreciate any insights or feedback on how I can enhance my application to increase my chances in the future.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Best regards,

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 17, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Meshal,

Sorry to hear about this. 

First of all, this is a tough year. Lots more are getting rejected at screening than ever before. 

Naturally, that's not something that you can control. 

What you can control instead is this:

1. Application strategy - how many firms you apply to, when, whether you're in touch with the recruiter and have visibility on their recruitment pipeline for your role, etc.

2. CV - yours is a good start but only about 70% there. There's still space to improve how it's been communicated and I would definitely work on it before sending it out further

3. CL - your cover letter is 50-60% there. For now it's two big blocks of text that nobody is going to read. This needs a lot of work as well, but once you figure out how to do it it becomes easier to replicate across multiple applications

4. Referrals - did you have one? If not, I'd definitely try to get it for the next firms that you apply to.

Below are some articles I wrote on how to develop an application strategy and get referrals:

If you need extra help, reach out.

Best,
Cristian

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Yousef
Expert
updated an answer on May 17, 2024
I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)

Hi Meshal,


I hope you’re doing well!


I have both the local context of the office as well as the McKinsey background to support your consulting application.


There are a few things that come to mind looking at your CV and cover letter. The most major point is that it does not really touch upon the nature of work within consulting firms and reads as too technical for typical consulting roles.


It is likely that recruiters are unable to see the importance of the projects you worked on despite their relevance due to the language used in the CV. The cover letter also lacks the depth to really highlight your understanding of consulting and how your experience bridges with it. 

I hope this gets you thinking and I’m more than happy to support you for a more in-depth review.

Best,

Yousef

(edited)

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Florian
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replied on May 17, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

Sorry to hear!

This could be related to two things:
 

1. Weak current demand. While McK Saudi is still hiring, they do so at a much slower pace. Demand for new consultants is low, yet the supply of candidates is very high as many are trying their luck in the region at the moment. As a result, your chances go down (see next point).

2. While you have a solid resume, there are a few things that potentially put you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants. A few pointers:

  • No master's degree - many who apply have one
  • A US university, yet no target school - many applicants come from Ivey League and other target schools in Europe
  • Less relevant work experience and no big brand name company - quite technical, not focused on strategic and analytical topics

All the best,

Florian

 

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Hagen
Expert
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replied on Jun 08, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi Meshal,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the rejection from McKinsey!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, although this may not be a comfort to you, the current hiring situation in the consulting industry (and any other industry) is not particularly good, not even in the Middle East.
  • Moreover, I would advise you to have both your resume and cover letter reviewed by an experienced coach like myself. While they are both solid, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

You can find more on this topic here: How to deal with a rejection from a consulting company.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare your future applications, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 19, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

My take on this suggests the following reasons:

  1. Slow recruiting in Riyadh right now
  2. Not a target university
  3. No “brand name” in your experience
  4. Strong focus on technical issues, zero business experience, zero mentions of business-related topics, not even on the cover letter
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Agrim
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 21, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

I have 4 possible reasons:

  • Low demand right now - companies are being choosy
  • In which case, they would prefer more experienced candidates and you are weak on that aspect
  • Referral vs no referral
  • Can still improve the quality of the CV and CL to increase chances.

Happy to help out in sharpening your application for your future attempts. Let me know.

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Both your resume and cover letter can be improved a lot. 

Happy to help you with this. Send me a message and let's talk.

Best,

Alberto

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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