So you’ve decided that you want to pursue consulting as a career path, congratulations! It can be difficult to decide on a specific career, and you’ve already tackled that beast. Way to go!
Now that you’ve figured out your ambitions, and maybe you’ve even decided on which firm you’d like to work for, it’s time to write your resume.
But here’s the kicker:
Writing a consulting resume isn’t an ordinary walk in the park. Consulting resumes have several differences from traditional resumes. They require a more unique skill set than your average run-of-the-mill accounting or marketing job, so you have to adjust your resume accordingly.
Here’s everything you need to know to write the perfect consulting resume and land an interview:
As with any other resume, you should always include any relevant education or training. On most other resumes, there’s really no need to list your GPA, but that’s one of the many things that makes the consulting resume so unique.
You should always, always, always provide your cumulative GPA on your consulting resume. This is important because many consulting firms want to be able to measure your ability to use critical thinking and be analytical with numbers. If you have a class ranking available, you might want to include that information too.
On that note…
Many firms will want to see some form of standardized test scores, such as the SAT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, ETC. — see what I did there?
It can be difficult to compare GPAs from various universities, and standardized test scores are an easy way for employers to sort through candidates based on their math abilities.
Why do these consulting firm dudes care so much about how good you are at math? Because strong math skills correlate with your ability to think in a logical and analytical way — and these consulting firm dudes are all about being able think in this style.
If you can prove that you’re good at math and you’re capable of thinking logically and analytically in your consulting resume, you’ve got it in the bag.
Listing your resume, giving your standardized math scores, and now, focusing on your soft skills? By this point, you might feel like you’re writing a resume meant for a parallel universe, but this is just how the consulting resume works.
For any job you apply for, it’s always important to show off your strengths and abilities. While it may be better to focus on measurable hard skills on every other resume, your consulting expertise largely depends on soft skills.
This is good news for candidates who don’t have much experience, and even better for those who do. Some of the core consulting skills are:
So that means if you’re a goal-oriented people person, you’re in luck. You should still highlight your measurable, hard skills, but it’s these soft skills that are going to show off your competence with consulting.
Communication is a highly valued skill for consultants, and a great way for you to show employers your affinity for this skill is to write a really good resume.
As with any other resume, you want to communicate as much about yourself and your qualifications in a small, limited space — so it’s important to be concise and and specific at the same time.
For a consulting resume, you’ll want to write short and informative bullet points to show that you’re able to sift through a lot of information while focusing on the most important aspects.
- Met with partners to discuss strategies for contracting their customer base
- Coordinated and scheduled meetings with clients who work closely with business owners
- Exceeded 150% of planned revenue quota
- Developed a process of facilitating account opportunities, improving streamlining profits by 120%
This will show employers that you can communicate quickly and clearly while still making a compelling case for yourself, while also showing them that you’ll be able to do the same for a client.
When you write your resume, remember that you shouldn’t list everything that you’ve ever done, but only things that are most relevant to consulting firms.
When you’re listing your relevant work history and accomplishments, make sure to include the outcomes of your work and not just your responsibilities. With a consulting resume, you want to take this a step further and use numbers and percentages to quantify your experiences.
For example, if you managed a team, mention how many members you supervised. If you developed a fundraiser initiative, include the dollar or percentage profits that occurred because of your efforts.
- Managed a team of team five employees.
- Developed new fundraiser initiative, exceeding profit goals by 120%
This extra level of detail will show that your work is successful and impactful, and it will make your achievements more believable.
If there was ever a time to toot your own horn, it’s in your resume. If there was ever a time to toot your horn so loudly that you potentially deafen everyone around you, it’s in your consulting resume.
Consulting is a competitive field, so everyone is going to be working their hardest to show that they’re the best of the best. With that in mind, every part of your resume should show why you’re the candidate who will be the most successful in the position.
Go ahead and brag about how awesome you are. For everything you write on your resume, think of any details you can include that will further show off your awesomeness.
- “Organized team of volunteers.”
- “Organized team of ten volunteers to provide services to a nonprofit, ultimately leading to 50% increase in fundraising.”
It’s no secret which resume would be more compelling. Even though showing off can be difficult and even somewhat embarrassing, it’s important to do so in order to stand out from other candidates and land an interview.
Writing a resume for a consulting firm is a unique experience where all the rules are topsy turvy, but now you’ve got these handy-dandy tips to guide you through the process.
The most important things to remember are to show off your soft skills, quantify your accomplishments, and brag about yourself as much as you can.
If you can effectively communicate all of these things while still being brief, you can expect to land an interview with the consulting firm of your dreams!