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Repeated rejections for consulting - action plan?

Advice guidance isthereanylightattheendofthetunnel? rejection
Recent activity on Nov 24, 2020
7 Answers
2.0 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Dec 08, 2019

I got my resume reviewed by a few consultants at MBB and they said I had a strong resume. However, when I submit my resume for consulting roles, I never get shortlisted for an interview. I have applied over 2-3 windows and don't know what I need to do to strengthen my application anymore.

I graduated from top-tier schools (both undergrad and masters) but didn't have a good GPA. I don't state my GPA on my resume. But I have a decent GMAT score, and all my academic scores prior to that have been great.

What should I do? I have done a lot of research on the industry and really want to work in consulting for a few years at least.

P.S - I am in the Asian market (Singapore and India) and have been applying for roles in these regions.

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Content Creator
replied on Dec 08, 2019
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

in this situation, I strongly recommend applying via referrals. I would try to contact all your friends and ex-alumni of your University now in consulting (with LinkedIn it is very easy)


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Content Creator
replied on Dec 08, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


At a certain point you cannot do anything else -in the short term, of course- to strengthen your CV.

Hence, it´s time to try via referrals, which is plan B for many people but has a much better conversion rate!

I would not encourage you to approach people over LinkedIn, since it´s too impersonal and very easy to disregard. Instead, start going to all recruiting events: from MBB firms, Universities, fairs... there are plenty! Furthermore, look at specific events from the firms, such as the McKinsey Atrévete or McKinsey Next Generation of Women Leaders.

Good luck!

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updated an answer on Dec 08, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

I’m sorry to hear on your experiences. It would be great if you could clarify your situation at the moment. Are you a fresh graduate or did you already have several years of professional experiences?

The CV screening assessment metrics might be different depending on these conditions.

For example, the firms would look at 4 primary parameters on a fresh graduate profile:

- Academic achievements: a combination of GPA, academic accolodates (e.g. dean list, awards, etc), research publications

- Extracurricular involvements: leadership in various organizations (within or outside of educational institution), social service, or other events / programs; extracurricula achivements (e.g. in sports, arts, entrepreneurship, etc)

- Professional experiences: for fresh grads, this often refers to internship experiences

- For all experiences above, it is very helpful if you have international exposure towards multiple countries (displayed your flexibility in adapting to different cultures, as consultants are likely to be assigned to projects in different regions, they even need to adapt to different company culture in a single country).

If you have post-academic professional experiences, then similar metrics will apply, however, much more emphasis will be placed on your professional trajectory. The firm will evaluate if your traiectory is in lone with the expected trajectory of a consiltant at similar tenure. This is often the more difficult part for a professional profile. Unless one is more senior with known expertise in a particular industry or function.

I hope this explanation helps.

Feel free to DM me if you have further questions or require help. Coming from the region myself, I am able to relate on your challenges.

Kind regards,



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Anonymous replied on May 27, 2020

Dear A,

First thing I would like to stress on and recommend it - is referrals, of course. A lot of experts have already mention it, and I want to add some value. Referrals maximize your chances a lot.

And of course, you CV and cover letter should nicely highlight your achievements and past experience.

If you need any help with referrals or advice with CV, feel free to reach out.



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replied on Dec 09, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


There can be two reasons:

  • Your resume (however you are saying that that it was reviewed)
  • Low demand for consultants in the particular office (or exactly the opposite - high competition)

In the second case you can:

Alternatively, you can postpone consulting for now and concentrate on building your industry career. With a couple of years of experience, you can apply directly again or do an MBA and apply post-MBA


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Anonymous B replied on Dec 08, 2019

Hey Anon,

I am based on South East Asian market too and I can totally understand your frustration. I initially applied to a number of firms without receiving any response either despite having strong resume.

In the end, I received interview invitations from about 7 firms (including all MBB) - all through referrals. I have heard that it is possible to get MBB interviews through regular applications, but they typically take up to 1-2 months for them to contact you back. Sometimes your resume will be lost in the way, the person didnt review, etc.

My advice is to start networking aggressively. Start going to recruiting events, work hard to impress the Principals and Partners. Be able to communicate & have discussions on the industry of your interest. Do due diligence on the firm and the visiting consultants if you can. Keep in touch with the people you meet.

Once you get referrals you will get your interview in about a week or so.

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360° coach(Ex-McKinsey+Certified Coach+Active recruiter)

Hi there,

I recommend you try to apply with a referral next time. It will increase your chances.

Could you send me your CV for a quick review? It is difficult to assess without viewing all the details.

All the best,


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Thao replied on Dec 15, 2019
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Antonello gave the best answer


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Content Creator
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching
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