Today, the graduate hiring market is more competitive than ever. Employers are looking for very specific skills and attributes in candidates for their companies, and perhaps nowhere else is this more true than in the field of management consulting. With the advice of our in-house experts and partner consulting firms, we have compiled a list of the 11 things that consulting firms look for in successful candidates. Academic success is essential for the most important positions in consulting.
Your academic background reveals both your ability to learn and your ability to work hard, two key attributes of a consultant. Therefore, a good record of school results (including A levels or equivalent and any school awards), as well as good university performance to date (including detailed module results, 26% of the expected grades) will show that you are a candidate worth considering. Consulting firms are looking for candidates who have already put their skills to the test in a relevant work experience position. Ideally, this would be a vacation or internship plan that demonstrates your interest in the consulting world, as well as providing you with some ideas about what you're looking for in a consulting firm. Other professional work experience with well-known brands is also great, especially if you can talk about the transferable skills learned, such as data analysis, presentation skills, teamwork, and so on.
Whatever the experience, make sure you can talk about the cases in which you took the initiative and the impact of your contribution. Submission is a fundamental success criterion for any consulting applicant. If you are successful in becoming a consultant, you can expect to be charged clients several hundred pounds per hour, so it's imperative to demonstrate your attention to detail and high standards from an early stage. The firm must be able to trust you to develop documents for FTSE100 companies and to attend meetings with their CEOs, so you must show that you are up to the task. This includes everything from a clear, well-articulated application form free of typographical errors, a well-structured resume with a coherent format, a readable font and good grammar, and a well-dressed, polished, clean, and confident interview assistant. Once you have passed the interview stage, a consulting firm is looking for someone who is absolutely cut out for consulting rather than any other corporate position.
Your curriculum will have given them confidence in your studies; now is your opportunity 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 on hand related to your academic, extracurricular, and work experience. You should be able to talk about situations where you have faced a challenge and how you have diagnosed and then resolved the problem in a methodical and measured way. Consultants usually work 60 hours a week and sadly they spend more time with colleagues than with friends and family. Therefore, consulting firms are looking for candidates who can get along well with the rest of the team; who have the ability to establish relationships at all levels of an organization; and who are fundamentally good at meeting new people.
Having some interests is a great way to start conversations; so consulting firms will look for evidence of interest outside of your work; this is your opportunity to show that you are a fun and interesting person and not just a set of academic background and work experience. However remember not to exaggerate: if you say that you love golf, you will most likely be invited to play at some point so be honest. To maintain a competitive and differentiated advantage this methodology tends to be patented and serves as a guide that management consultants follow when it comes to carrying out evaluations analyzing diagnosing problems testing hypotheses intervening and making recommendations effectively and providing follow-up services to customers. Management consultants can help a client work on a very urgent project; and the ability to effectively manage stress is another important characteristic of a good consultant. The salary of a management consultant varies depending on area of specialization level of experience education certifications and other factors. However you should know that you are expected to precisely adjust your functional experience and specializations (see above) around the industries assigned to you; and you are expected to develop your skills and experience in any area where you want to offer consulting and strategic advisory services. You can learn more about careers in management consulting at the Association of Management Consulting Firms and the Chartered Management Institute.
Although most consultants work for a consulting firm around 17% of all management consultants are self-employed. Management consultants have the opportunity to work with senior teams and senior executives in organizations; this helps cultivate strong relationships and build a support network. A management consultant works with company leaders to evaluate the company identify problems gather information implement solutions. You could do an internship as a junior management consultant; move up as your experience grows. Management consultants usually work in teams; most work for consulting firms rather than being on the payroll of the company they are analyzing. However the requirement for a university degree is more important factor in traditional consulting organizations where the official job is that of specialized management consultant or strategy consultant. A management consultant may specialize in particular industry such as healthcare manufacturing or education but there is no doubt that this is not case for junior-level management consultants those who aspire to be those who want move up ranks. Alternatively management consultant may focus on function such as human resources information technology financial restructuring or inventory control. To build successful career in management consulting profession or surpass current consultant position one must understand what management consultants actually do.
To become an expert management consultant there are certain skills that need to be acquired such as academic success relevant work experience submission attention detail problem solving relationship building stress management industry specialization function specialization etc. Academic success is essential for any aspiring management consultant as it reveals both their ability learn hard work two key attributes required succeed field. Good record school results A levels equivalent any awards university performance module results 26% expected grades demonstrate candidate worth considering. Consulting firms look candidates already put their skills test relevant work experience position vacation internship plan demonstrate interest provide ideas looking firm professional experience well-known brands great talk transferable skills learned data analysis presentation teamwork initiative impact contribution. Submission fundamental success criterion applicant charged clients several hundred pounds hour imperative demonstrate attention detail high standards early stage trust develop documents FTSE100 companies attend meetings CEOs show up task clear application form typographical errors well-structured resume coherent format readable font grammar polished clean confident interview assistant. Once passed interview stage looking someone absolutely cut out rather corporate position curriculum confidence studies opportunity show ability solve difficult problems develop strong relationships part high-performance teams success stories hand academic extracurricular work experience talk situations faced challenge diagnosed resolved problem methodical measured way. Consultants usually work 60 hours week spend colleagues friends family looking candidates get along rest team ability establish relationships levels organization fundamentally good meeting new people interests great start conversations evidence interest outside work opportunity show fun interesting person set academic background work experience exaggerate love golf invited play point honest. To maintain competitive differentiated advantage methodology tends patented serves guide management consultants follow carrying evaluations analyzing diagnosing problems testing hypotheses intervening making recommendations effectively providing follow-up services customers. Management consultants help client work very urgent project ability manage stress important characteristic good consultant salary varies area specialization level experience education certifications factors expected precisely adjust functional experience specializations industries assigned develop skills experience area offer consulting strategic advisory services. Learn more careers Association Management Consulting Firms Chartered Management Institute although most consultants firm 17% self-employed opportunity senior teams senior executives organizations cultivate strong relationships build support network. Management consultant works company leaders evaluate company identify problems gather information implement solutions internship junior move up experience grows usually teams payroll analyzing requirement university degree important factor traditional organizations official specialized strategy consultant. Management consultant specialize particular industry healthcare manufacturing education case junior-level aspire move ranks focus function human resources information technology financial restructuring inventory control. To build successful career management consulting profession surpass current position understand actually do acquire skills academic success relevant work experience submission attention detail problem solving relationship building stress management industry specialization function specialization etc.