Discover the Top 8 Criteria that Appear in the Best Consulting Resumes.
(and another 10 elements that could make you become the standout candidate)
Breaking into the world of consulting is a competitive endeavour, and requires substantial work.
The first hurdle to securing a consulting role within a reputable firm is to create a strong resume that reflects your own unique contribution of business acumen, industry expertise and entrepreneurial spirit.
Different firms look favourably upon different types of experience, so before writing your resume, it will pay to decide which firms you would like to target in your search for consulting work.
3 Steps To Prepare for Writing Your Consulting Resume
Choose 3 firms that you would like to contact and express your interest in future consulting opportunities
- Visit the consulting firm’s website – read through the information they provide within their careers section, and get a feel for the culture and history of the firm by learning about their methodologies, their client base, and their values.
- Investigate the LinkedIn Profiles – do a search on all the consultants working in the office that you wish to join, and get a feel for the way these individuals present themselves online. Start following the Company Page, and contribute to group discussions if you feel like you have an interesting opinion or comment to make. This will help them become familiar with you, before they even receive your resume. Have a look on Twitter and Facebook to see if they use these social media platforms also.
- Define the culture and key criteria – make a note of the keywords and elements you discover in your research, find out what experience, character and attributes they look for in consultants, and use this list to create your new consulting resume and cover letter.
Once you’ve done these research, you’ll know what information to highlight in your resume and cover letter, and you’ll also get a feel for the language and jargon to use so you fit in from the very first interaction with them.
There are certain criteria that the best consulting resumes have in common, and this page gives you an outline of what to include in your new professional resume.
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 1 – The Right Resume Format:
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 2 – Contact Details:
Your name should appear in bold letters, ideally in a different font to the rest of your resume, and be twice the size so it clearly stands out. Your mobile phone should be included, as well as your postal address so the consulting firm can see where you are currently located. While we are on the topic of contact details, make sure that your voice mail message is clear in announcing your name and the message is recorded in a professional tone.
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 3 – Social Media:
Your online presence is a key criteria for consulting firms to evaluate, so ensure you provide a link to your personal LinkedIn profile, as well as your consulting website if you own one.
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 4 – Summary:
The summary provides a 5 – 7 line overview of who you are, and what you can offer the organisation. It is a concise and well-worded paragraph that provides a positive influence on the reader to continue reading through your resume.
Most consulting firms will be looking to see evidence of these 5 attributes and areas of achievement:
- Ability to provide a positive impact within organisations
- Ability to solve business problems effectively and strategically
- Entrepreneurially minded with a client-centric focus
- Strong leadership skills with proven results to manage through change
- A strong personal drive to succeed
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 5 – Key Competencies:
Most of the larger consulting firms use a database search system to find the right resumes that fit their criteria. The way that these systems generate their short list of candidates is by responding to the search query that the hiring manager will input into the system.
For example, the following terms may be put into the system – Analysis, MBA, Strategy Planning.
For this reason, the best consulting resumes will include a 3 columned section that will be filled with the keywords that the particular firm is likely to be searching for.
Please note however, that each keyword that you put into this section should be backed up with demonstrated proof within your employment section.
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 6 – Career Highlights:
If you have more than a decade of relevant experience, your resume could include a Career Highlights section to showcase the top 3 to 5 achievements or key areas where you have provided a significant impact in helping your organisations attain their business goals.
These 3 examples should be congruent with what the consulting firm is specifically asking for in terms of knowledge, experience and skill sets.
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 7 – Professional Experience:
Many management consulting firms are seeking individuals who have proven experience in running their own business, or leading a multi-national organisation. In particular they are seeking :
- Ability to solve large scale problems
- Proven experience in leading a team through a transformation or major change
- Ability to effectively persuade and influence others
- An overall personal drive to achieve greatness
Your employment history should include specific details about the results that you have generated through the work you have done in each of your organisations, over the last 10 years.
Include details on the challenges and issues that you and your team had to overcome in order to deliver the positive outcome, so the reader of your resume can appreciate the work and effort you put in.
Best Consulting Resumes – Criteria # 8 – Relevant Education:
State only the qualifications and professional development that you believe is relevant to the consulting role.
List your highest education first, and include details on the name of the training institution, the years you attended and any information on course work that you believe would show you have acquired relevant knowledge.
For example, you may included information on your thesis or key projects.
If you are a graduate seeking entry level consulting roles, you should include your results from tests, and submit your transcripts within your consulting resume and cover letter. See this example for more information on best layout for education.
So there you have it, the top 8 criteria that the best consulting resumes are using the right resume format, contact details, social media profiles, summary, key competencies, career highlights, professional experience, relevant education.
If you want your resume to really stand out, then I also suggest you include or two of these ‘optional bonus elements’.
Making your resume a little different to the other 600 resumes that the consulting firm is likely to receive will help you get to interview.
10 Bonus ‘Optional Extras’ to Consider in Your New Consulting Resume
- Volunteer Work – If you have volunteered your time to a charity, children’s sports or not for profit organisations, then stating this on your resume will highlight your strong values and sense of community, which are endearing qualities that will contribute to your application.
- Testimonials – one or two lines from a recent client or employer will strengthen the statements made throughout your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.
- Graph – if you have delivered consistent results to your stakeholders, then a bar graph showing the year upon year (or quarter upon quarter) of consistent growth will help the reader to see that you are clearly results driven, and consistent in your work ethic and personal drive.
- Languages – include all languages that you can speak and converse comfortably in, and also the languages you can read and write. Give an estimated level of fluency in each of the languages you can communicate in.
- Personal motto – Stating a motto that summarises your attitude towards life and work will help to reveal your values and character. For instance, an example of the mottos that best represent my work ethic include: “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” and “If you believe, you can achieve”. They work really well on senior level and executive level resumes because they show an insight into your leadership style.
- Logos – If you have experience in consulting to different businesses and organisations, then representing a range of businesses through logos is a great way to illustrate your scope of industry experience.
- Awards – If you have won awards for entrepreneurship, such a local or national business award, or if you have excelled in the academic world, then a new section could be created in your consulting resume to promote these achievements.
- Memberships – If you are member of an industry association or a highly regarded organisation such as The Institute of Company Directors, then including this in a new section of your resume will help build your personal brand.
- Publications – If your papers or work has been published or promoted on any media or online platforms, then providing information and links to online references will strengthen your positioning as a consultant.
- Interests – If you have an interest that you believe could be seen as valuable, interesting or beneficial to the consulting firm to know about, then include it in your resume. For example, if you have achieved an impressive level within a sport or hobby, this can reflect your commitment and motivation.
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