How to write a consultant’s CV? This a vast question on which much ink has been spilled; you only need to see the number of works and internet sites dedicated to this subject.
I am talking about the sites dedicated to CVs in general. About those dedicated to consulting preparation, I find that their advice is interesting but still very generic.
A Consultant’s CV Has Specificities
It is, however, essential to align your CV with specific rules of consulting. The job of consultant, especially management and strategy consultant is really different in terms of standards, of working conditions and more globally, of state of mind compared to other industries. It is normal that these elements reverberate into the candidates’ CVs in consulting. I will share in the next articles a series of subjects that constitute “mistakes” in a consultant’s CV, but does not represent a problem in other circumstances.
The big problem, known by those who have already consulted existing books, is that writing a CV is a little bit like learning to walk: nothing replaces practice!
In this first article, let’s take a look at a first retro-planning draft concerning the time to spend on this kind of document. I prefer to be transparent: if you follow the advice I share on this site to the letter, you will already stand out from the majority of consulting candidates. Now, I have conceived a specific competitive scale, addressing candidate performance on the fit interview, cover letter and CV. On a scale that goes from 1 to 5, approximately 80% of the candidates are stuck at level 1, from my own experience. By practicing the advice in this series of articles, you will be at level 2, as approximately 10% of the candidates. Let’s start by progressively reaching for level 2.
There are 3 main steps to write your consultant CV:
- Start building a work basis on the format and content (3 to 5 hours of work)
- Work on the document to adapt it to the specific messages you want to convey according to your profile and the target firm category (1 to 2 hours of work)
- E.g., highlight specific skills
- E.g., value specific high level school program
- Make sure that the final document will let your go through 2 goals that are not related (1 to 2 hours of work)Pass the barrier of human resources
- Send good signals to the interviewer during the job interview
One should understand that writing a CV is an iterative process— it is not linear. You will have to rework your CV to adapt it throughout your preparation.
Let me give you an example of a bad CV, even without screening it: a CV for which the candidate does not use the content during the fit interview. That is so simple this way, right? The CV is a support document for the presentation, not an end in itself.
Now that you have an idea of the requested effort to build a competitive CV, I propose to cover selected key topics related to consultant CVs in the following articles.