UK consulting - Best way to track vacancies in the firms and what firms I should target

recruiting vacation
New answer on Feb 29, 2024
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 13, 2024

Hi all,
I'm looking for a job in management/strategy consulting in the UK, London (entry-level positions similar to Business Analyst at McKinsey or Associate Consultant at Bain).

  1. It seems like different firms have different deadlines for applications and it's not obvious if there is a position available. Could you please advise on the best way to search for/track vacancies in consulting firms if you don't have strong network connections with HRs, consultants, or university friends (I moved to the UK a year ago)?
  2. Could you please advise on what UK consulting firms it makes sense to target based on my profile? Please be honest.
    About a year ago I moved to the UK. I got a Bachelor's degree in physics from the highest-rated university in Russia with a GPA of 4.9/5.0. I have 2 years of work experience as a Business Analyst in a leading strategy consulting firm in Russia (not an international company, similar to a local tier-2 office) and one year as a Media Analyst in the Insights and Consultancy department of the international media intelligence company in the London office. I have a 5-year UK visa and full rights to work.
  3. I read that recruiters usually search for eye-catching and well-known names (like top UK universities, well-know industry companies) in resumes, if they haven't found them, then most likely you won't make it to the next stage. Will their absence be a barrier for the next stage or it can be compensated by relevant experience and achievements with the organisations?   

I really appreciate any help you can provide!

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Best answer
Francesco
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replied on Feb 14, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Could you please advise on the best way to search for/track vacancies in consulting firms if you don't have strong network connections with HRs

I would recommend the following:

  1. Check the information online (I guess you have probably already done so).
  2. If you cannot find any information, contact HR and ask them.
  3. If you still don’t get a reply, try to find an insider that can let you know. This would also be useful in terms of referrals (see point #3 below).

2) Could you please advise on what UK consulting firms it makes sense to target based on my profile? 

It is difficult to comment without having a look at your full CV but from what you shared your profile looks good. I would recommend applying to all companies interesting to you in any case, I don’t see the advantage in skipping some of them.

3) I read that recruiters usually search for eye-catching and well-known names. Will their absence be a barrier for the next stage?

You should be able to compensate for that with a referral. You can find more on referrals below:

▶ How to Get an MBB Invitation

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
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replied on Feb 14, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

These are great, targeted questions. Let me take them one by one.

1. Yes, they do have different deadlines. And you qualify as an experienced hire, which means that (theoretically) you can apply at any point, i.e., you're not bound to campus/cohort recruitment that applies to students. 

So what you need to do is reach out to the recruiters from each firm's target office, present your profile and get their guidance on what role would be most suitable. 

Here's a detailed breakdown of how to build an application strategy taking this into account:

2. If I were you, I'd target all of them. Considering that the market is not great, I'd want to diversify as much as possible. So, genuinely look at what are the firms that you'd be interested in and that you'd have relevant experience for, and apply. 

I would suggest that you even try and interview with firms you might not be interested in joining, to use the interview experience as a training ground. 

3. They look at multiple things, not only flashy names. And they take into account your CV, Cover Letter, and the existence of referrals. 

For the CV and CL, I'd strongly recommend you seek some expert support. Only 2-5% of the CVs I see are ready to be sent out so a lot of candidates actually get screened out at this point even though they have potential. 

For referrals, you might find the following two resources useful:

Good luck!
Cristian

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Florian
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replied on Feb 14, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

Good that you are so proactive about it!

Now, to your questions:

1. The best way to go about this is networking for two reasons. a. It allows you to figure out what firms are currently hiring and how the chances are and b. you might score a referral, increasing your chances of passing the screening stage. Just because you don't have a network yet, does not mean that you cannot create one → attend recruiting events and cold-outreach people with a similar profile on LinkedIn. Consultants are usually happy to talk to you if they think you have an interesting profile (see next points).


2. With your profile I would target MBB and tier-2 firms. If MBB does not work out now, you could work at a tier-2 firm for 1-2 years, then make the switch if you want to. Generally, it looks like a strong profile. It is important that you highlight this in your application documents and how you would compare to profiles in the local market.

3. Not if you properly highlight and explain your experience in the resume and cover letter.

All the best,

Florian

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Ian
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replied on Feb 14, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First, good luck in your search! Remember that this takes time, patience, hard work, and resolve. Get used to rejection - it's just part of it.

It seems like different firms have different deadlines for applications and it's not obvious if there is a position available. Could you please advise on the best way to search for/track vacancies in consulting firms if you don't have strong network connections with HRs, consultants, or university friends (I moved to the UK a year ago)?

  1. Online (google, sites, company pages)
  2. Your university/career office
  3. Networking (calls with people there)

Could you please advise on what UK consulting firms it makes sense to target based on my profile? Please be honest.
About a year ago I moved to the UK. I got a Bachelor's degree in physics from the highest-rated university in Russia with a GPA of 4.9/5.0. I have 2 years of work experience as a Business Analyst in a leading strategy consulting firm in Russia (not an international company, similar to a local tier-2 office) and one year as a Media Analyst in the Insights and Consultancy department of the international media intelligence company in the London office. I have a 5-year UK visa and full rights to work.

All of them. Apply to 40+ firms. Network a ton. It's a numbers game.

If you mass produce your cover letter, then each application should take 30 min max. You have the time. So, let them decide!

I read that recruiters usually search for eye-catching and well-known names (like top UK universities, well-know industry companies) in resumes, if they haven't found them, then most likely you won't make it to the next stage. Will their absence be a barrier for the next stage or it can be compensated by relevant experience and achievements with the organisations?

MOST LIKELY. That didn't say 100% ;)

Your profile is what it is. You cannot control it.

What you can control is how good your resume looks overall (professional review), extensive and strong networking, and applying to lots of firms.

Yes, there are a bunch of experiences you can add that wouldn't take much time (you can boost your resume quickly in a matter of weeks/months with the right approach)

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Pedro
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replied on Feb 29, 2024
30% off in April 2024 | Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

1. You have to go through their websites, university campus information, otherwise reach out to HR.

2. I believe you should be fine applying to any consulting firm

3. True, but it's not exactly "eye-catching" and well-known names", it is indicators of excellence. You need to have a few (or one very strong) in order to be a priority candidate. So you can make it without those catchy names, but very unlikely without an indicator of excellence (and you may need networking on top of that).

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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