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What do consultancies expect to read in my CV?

Anonymous asked on Dec 16, 2017 - 2 answers

Hey everyone,

I am a German BBA student and interested in an internship at a consultancy in the public sector (in Berlin). Candidates are always talking about the screening process of the CV, that is why I am wondering what recruiters want to read in specific. Is there something like a checklist? What is most important?

Thank you.



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Coach on a break - no longer active
replied on Dec 17, 2017
I am here to get you an offer! | Got 8 offers including the 3 MBBs and non MBB like Wyman, Roland Berger, Strategy&...

Hi Lenny,
For your CV; I would advise the following steps :

- Use a simple yet powerful CV plan :

education , professionnal experience, projects and business games (optional), additional capabilities (languages, technology, extracullicular)

-For the education part : precise your GPA/metric used in your country if it is relevant and the business related courses

-For the professional experience: Quantify your achievements and use action verbs for your experience. For example: Created a new financial model for 4 M&A Projects, in order to save 9 hours of additional work

- for the languages section: precise your level when it is above conversational

- for the CV layout : keep it simple. Two colours maximum. Highlight the important parts. Do not mess with bold and italic because it has a certain meaning in consulting firms

Best of luck and do not hesitate to reach out to me by private message.


Norah, Could you please clarify what the meaning of bold and italic are in consulting? Thanks. — Odeh on Dec 18, 2017 (edited)

Coach on a break - no longer active
replied on Dec 17, 2017
I am here to get you an offer! | Got 8 offers including the 3 MBBs and non MBB like Wyman, Roland Berger, Strategy&...

Hi Lenny

Thanks for reaching out

The cover letter is a crucial step in your application.

I would say there is no check list to be met in the cover letter, just some basics to include. Here are the three most important topics to include :

1 - why you want to work in the consulting firm you are applying to: you have to be very specific about the firm, otherwise the consultant/HR who will screen your CV and cover letter won't find it differenciating. Try to talk to 3 to 4 people in the firm you are applying to, from different seniorities in order to get a sense of how this firm is different from the others, and use their insights in the cover letter (do not hesitate to mention a few names)

2- why you are different from the other applicants: here, you need to describe your academics, your extracullicular activities, potentitial internships and business related activities. Be specific but to the point . Mention the experiences that make you stand out the most.

3- Describe what you are looking for in an internship experience in a consulting firm : why you are applying, what you want to get out of it and how it fits into the company's culture. Try to talk to a current/former intern from your school to get insights.

Again, the more unique you letter is, the more people will remember you.

Last but not least, be concise, statistics show that the screening process takes 3 minutes maximum. Better stand out.

Best of luck in your application and do not hesitate to reach out to me by private messages if you want specific advice.


Dear Norah, thank you very much for your answer. It helps me a lot to write my cover letter. Do all your informative comments apply to the CV as well, especially in terms of the "checklist"? I am wondering how much a recruiter is expecting in terms of experiences (I have had two internships at Big Four companies in tax and audit so far), as well as engagement in activities or reputation of schools etc. What do I need to proof with my CV (not the cover letter itself) to be of interest for the consultancy? I have overviewed the general notes on each of the recruitment websites but they do not go very into detail, what is sufficient to reach "the next round". Thank you very much. Best, Lenny — Anonymous on Dec 17, 2017

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