The competition for consulting positions is more intense than ever, and employers are looking for very specific skills and attributes in applicants. To stand out from the crowd, you must demonstrate strong intellectual problem-solving skills, drive, determination, ambition, people's skills, problem solving skills, and communication skills. With the help of our experts and partner consulting firms, we have compiled a list of 11 things that consulting firms look for in successful applicants.
Academic Success: Your academic record reveals your ability to learn and your ability to work hard, two key attributes in a consultant.
Therefore, a strong record of school results (including A-levels or equivalents) and good performance in college (including detailed results of the & predicted grades module) will demonstrate that you are a candidate worth considering.
Relevant Work Experience: Consulting firms are looking for candidates who have already tested their skills in a relevant work experience placement. This could be a vacation plan or internship that demonstrates your interest in the consulting world, as well as providing you with some ideas on what you are looking for in a consulting company. Other professional work experience with well-known brands is also great, especially if you can talk about transferable skills learned such as data analysis, presentation skills, teamwork etc.
Whatever the experience, make sure you can talk about the cases in which you took the initiative and the impact of your contribution.
Attention to Detail: Attention to detail is a critical success criterion for any consulting applicant. If you manage to become a consultant, you can expect clients to be charged several hundred pounds per hour, so it's imperative to demonstrate your attention to detail and high standards from an early stage. This includes everything from a typo-free, clear and well-articulated application form, a well-structured resume with consistent format, legible font and good grammar, and a well-dressed, polished, clean and secure interview assistant.
Problem Solving Skills: Once it goes through the interview stage, a consulting firm is looking for someone who is absolutely cut out for consulting rather than any other corporate function. Your resume will have given them confidence in your studies; now is your chance to show them your ability to solve difficult problems, develop strong relationships and be part of high-performance teams.
Make sure you have some success stories handy both academic, extracurricular and work.
People Skills: Consultants usually work 60 hours a week and unfortunately spend more time with their colleagues than with their friends and family. Therefore, consulting firms look for candidates who can get along well with the rest of the team, who have the ability to build relationships at all levels of an organization and who are fundamentally good at meeting new people.
Interests Outside of Work: Having some interests is a great way to start conversations so consulting firms will look for evidence of interests outside of their work. This is the opportunity you have to show that you are a fun and interesting person and not just a set of academic records and work experience.
Buzzwords: Management consultants solve problems plain and simple. Clients hire them to solve business or organizational problems they can't solve on their own.
As a result it's important that you use the right buzzwords for your resume to demonstrate your ability to use your intellect and work ethic to find and implement solutions.