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Vlad

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9

Switching from Big 4 to Big 3 - tips to effectively justify the choice in the Cover Letter

Hi everyone,

I would like to try switching from Big4 (PwC-1 year as Associate Consultant-) to Big3.

I am writing the cover letter and I would like to justify the choice of this change in the best possible way. I thought about reasons such as: personal ambition, pursuit of greater personal and professional development, sense of dissatisfaction in the current company, prestige etc. Can you advise me of the points to underline and others to strongly avoid in this situation?

Thank you

Hi everyone,

I would like to try switching from Big4 (PwC-1 year as Associate Consultant-) to Big3.

I am writing the cover letter and I would like to justify the choice of this change in the best possible way. I thought about reasons such as: personal ambition, pursuit of greater personal and professional development, sense of dissatisfaction in the current company, prestige etc. Can you advise me of the points to underline and others to strongly avoid in this situation?

Thank you

(edited)

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Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

Here are some other ideas that you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, BCG can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this BCG, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums
  • McKinsey women / LGBT / etc. initiatives

Good luck!

Hi,

Here are some other ideas that you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, BCG can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this BCG, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums
  • McKinsey women / LGBT / etc. initiatives

Good luck!

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

You actually need to justify this a lot less than you may this (this is the focus of a fit interview, not a cover letter). In a cover letter, they don't really need to hear why they're your dream. What they need to hear is why you should be their dream. Know what I mean?

You need to essentially pitch yourself and highlight your strengths and skills.

Send me a PM and I can provide you with a Cover Letter template as well as examples across MBB.

Here's some guidance in the meantime

  1. Step 1 - Figure out the topics for your key paragraphs. These need to be based on what consulting companies are looking for. I recommend any of the following
    1. Quantitative + qualitative analytical skills
    2. Communication (written + verbal)
    3. Client managment skills/experience
    4. Leadership
    5. Teamwork
    6. Diversity (can be working with diverse clients, teams, etc.)
    7. Curiosity / passion for learning
  2. Step 2 - Once you've picked 3-5 of these, write your paragraphs
    1. Make them succinct (3-5 sentences)
    2. Make sure they lead with e.g. "x company values y, and I do too"
    3. Make sure they focus on your achievements. You have to sell yourself here
  3. Step 3 - For any given company cover letter, find out what the company cares most about. Then slot in 3 of the paragraphs that fit best (again, ideally you have 5 to choose from)
  4. Step 4 - Tweak the language of each paragraph to fit the company's website, application posting, etc. I.e. Curiosity might become passion for learning.

Then, of course, you need an intro paragraph summarizing your interest + reasons why as well as a closing paragraph doing the same with new language.

Hi there,

You actually need to justify this a lot less than you may this (this is the focus of a fit interview, not a cover letter). In a cover letter, they don't really need to hear why they're your dream. What they need to hear is why you should be their dream. Know what I mean?

You need to essentially pitch yourself and highlight your strengths and skills.

Send me a PM and I can provide you with a Cover Letter template as well as examples across MBB.

Here's some guidance in the meantime

  1. Step 1 - Figure out the topics for your key paragraphs. These need to be based on what consulting companies are looking for. I recommend any of the following
    1. Quantitative + qualitative analytical skills
    2. Communication (written + verbal)
    3. Client managment skills/experience
    4. Leadership
    5. Teamwork
    6. Diversity (can be working with diverse clients, teams, etc.)
    7. Curiosity / passion for learning
  2. Step 2 - Once you've picked 3-5 of these, write your paragraphs
    1. Make them succinct (3-5 sentences)
    2. Make sure they lead with e.g. "x company values y, and I do too"
    3. Make sure they focus on your achievements. You have to sell yourself here
  3. Step 3 - For any given company cover letter, find out what the company cares most about. Then slot in 3 of the paragraphs that fit best (again, ideally you have 5 to choose from)
  4. Step 4 - Tweak the language of each paragraph to fit the company's website, application posting, etc. I.e. Curiosity might become passion for learning.

Then, of course, you need an intro paragraph summarizing your interest + reasons why as well as a closing paragraph doing the same with new language.

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

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
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 – the one you are referring to – you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others.

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.

You don’t need to talk about your current company and even in interviews, never mention the negative about it. If they ask why you want to move, talk instead of how that MBB will help you to grow further in your areas of interest.

Best,
Francesco

Hi there,

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
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 – the one you are referring to – you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others.

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.

You don’t need to talk about your current company and even in interviews, never mention the negative about it. If they ask why you want to move, talk instead of how that MBB will help you to grow further in your areas of interest.

Best,
Francesco

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Hi!
Great question. I would look for two things to best market yourself: Differentiation and/or Distinction. Whereever you have a "hard-to-argue" competitive edge, write about it.

So, here is my take on your ideas:

  • personal ambition–don't waste too much effort here, everybody is ambitious, thats a given
  • pursuit of greater personal and professional development–makes sense! But be specific, because theoreticall you will develop at every new job
  • sense of dissatisfaction in the current company–clear NO, not value add for the read, sounds like there is a problem, and they will think it could be YOU.
  • prestige–clear NO, too superficial

Here are two things I would add if I was you:

  • Talk about how and why you got in touch with each individual company and why you loved it (i.e. you met the people in a workshop, you read a great study)
  • Make colorful analogies about your ambition/mindset/personality, e.g. if you just ran a marathon? looks like you have stamina! talk about that being YOU

Feel free to reach out if you have more questions.

Best of luck,

Chris

Hi!
Great question. I would look for two things to best market yourself: Differentiation and/or Distinction. Whereever you have a "hard-to-argue" competitive edge, write about it.

So, here is my take on your ideas:

  • personal ambition–don't waste too much effort here, everybody is ambitious, thats a given
  • pursuit of greater personal and professional development–makes sense! But be specific, because theoreticall you will develop at every new job
  • sense of dissatisfaction in the current company–clear NO, not value add for the read, sounds like there is a problem, and they will think it could be YOU.
  • prestige–clear NO, too superficial

Here are two things I would add if I was you:

  • Talk about how and why you got in touch with each individual company and why you loved it (i.e. you met the people in a workshop, you read a great study)
  • Make colorful analogies about your ambition/mindset/personality, e.g. if you just ran a marathon? looks like you have stamina! talk about that being YOU

Feel free to reach out if you have more questions.

Best of luck,

Chris

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Hello!

It makes total sense to change.

Furthermore, don´t go crazy on the CL because it´s not a very relevant doc -sometimes, not at all-.

In any case, reasons you listed are the logic ones. I would also include:

  • Widening scope and international perspective
  • Stakeholder management at a higher level

Best regards,

Clara

Hello!

It makes total sense to change.

Furthermore, don´t go crazy on the CL because it´s not a very relevant doc -sometimes, not at all-.

In any case, reasons you listed are the logic ones. I would also include:

  • Widening scope and international perspective
  • Stakeholder management at a higher level

Best regards,

Clara

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Hi,

Focus on the reasons why you want to join MBB and sell your relevant work experience to them.

Working for a Big 4 is something to showcase and not to justify.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

Hi,

Focus on the reasons why you want to join MBB and sell your relevant work experience to them.

Working for a Big 4 is something to showcase and not to justify.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

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Hi there,

first of all, totally makes sense to make a move now - in case of switchig from Big4 to MBB it's the earlier - the better.

Here are some tips for your CL:

  • Why are you moving from Big4? (e.g., you "grew out of it")
  • How you can be a good fit? What are the qualities that you think can be of use there?
  • What made you make the move?

Hope it helps. Don't hestate to send me your CV / CL if you need any further advice.

Cheers,

GB

Hi there,

first of all, totally makes sense to make a move now - in case of switchig from Big4 to MBB it's the earlier - the better.

Here are some tips for your CL:

  • Why are you moving from Big4? (e.g., you "grew out of it")
  • How you can be a good fit? What are the qualities that you think can be of use there?
  • What made you make the move?

Hope it helps. Don't hestate to send me your CV / CL if you need any further advice.

Cheers,

GB

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Hey,

Cover the following points:

1. Why is MBB the next logical step for you based on your experience so far- talk about functional & industry skills & how MBB will provide the right opp. at this point. Show passion for the type of work you want to do

2. Why are you a great FIT for MBB- look at values and provide one/two examples; provide any evidence of people you have spoken to, events you attended etc

3. Whats your rough plan when you join the firm i.e which industry/type of work want to get involved in the role

Stay away from moaning about your current company or your current situation. The story should convey that you are a self aware & ambitious person looking for your next challenge and MBB is the best option at this stage of your career.

Hey,

Cover the following points:

1. Why is MBB the next logical step for you based on your experience so far- talk about functional & industry skills & how MBB will provide the right opp. at this point. Show passion for the type of work you want to do

2. Why are you a great FIT for MBB- look at values and provide one/two examples; provide any evidence of people you have spoken to, events you attended etc

3. Whats your rough plan when you join the firm i.e which industry/type of work want to get involved in the role

Stay away from moaning about your current company or your current situation. The story should convey that you are a self aware & ambitious person looking for your next challenge and MBB is the best option at this stage of your career.

Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi,

I would discuss the following points:

  • Start with your career objective and link how it can justify moving to the big 3. E.g. Global career, industry, type of project, entrepreneurship
  • Mention also a reason tailored to specific firms followed by reason tailored to specific office match with your career objective
  • Also mentioned the cultural aspect (can be based on your discussion from people in that firm / office)

If you want to mention disatisfaction on your current firm, do it in a neutral language.

Best,
Iman

Hi,

I would discuss the following points:

  • Start with your career objective and link how it can justify moving to the big 3. E.g. Global career, industry, type of project, entrepreneurship
  • Mention also a reason tailored to specific firms followed by reason tailored to specific office match with your career objective
  • Also mentioned the cultural aspect (can be based on your discussion from people in that firm / office)

If you want to mention disatisfaction on your current firm, do it in a neutral language.

Best,
Iman

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