Consulting Cover Letter: a comprehensive guide

  • Understanding Consulting Cover Letters
  • Practicalities of Writing Your Cover Letter
  • Section-by-Section Breakdown
  • Quality Control

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A stellar cover letter is going to be a basic pre-requisite if you want to land a top-tier consulting job at the likes of the MBB’s, Kearney, LEK, Deloitte etc.

More than half of consulting candidates are rejected based on their applications alone , before they ever make it to interview. This means that, for all the emphasis on case interview prep, your resume and cover letter, together with networking , are the single greatest determinant as to whether you land your dream MBB job or not .

Candidates typically have some realisation of the importance of applications, but make the mistake of devoting all their time to the resume alone as they assume it is the "important one". They assume that the accompanying cover letters are always fairly generic and/or are merely a formality that don't actually get read.

However, the idea that your cover letter is any less important than your resume is a hugely damaging misconception.

In fact, speaking to consultants currently involved with recruitment at MBB firms, we are told that cover letters have been becoming more and more important recently. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • More and more resumes are coming in basically perfect (the proliferation of material like our excellent free resume guide has a part to play here). This means that cover letters are increasingly being focussed on as a way to differentiate top candidates.
  • Cover letters are more indicative of your soft skills and personal fit with the office culture than a resume. Since firms are having particular difficulty finding candidates with the right social skills (especially post-Covid), cover letters become more and more salient in the filtering process.

To up the ante even more, add to this the fact that applications are increasingly read by AI tools as well. Whilst a human reader working in a hurry and skimming a document in a hurry might have simply missed an error, you can be sure the computer will pick up on any mistakes you make.

So, how do you get things right?

Putting together a decent consulting cover letter can be tricky and will probably take longer than you think. The demands are different and quite a bit more rigorous than for cover letters you might have written for other industries.

Luckily though, the strict demands on consulting cover letters mean that there is an equally strict set of rules to follow when writing them - as long as you follow these and put the time in to do things properly, you can reliably turn out an excellent document.

This guide will help you understand what it is recruiters want to see in a good cover letter and take you through the steps to draft your best possible offering. To make things as clear as possible, we discuss a template cover letter section-by-section.

Help is at hand!

Writing applications can be pretty daunting, especially with a dream job on the line.

Before we dive into all the complex nitty-gritty of how to turn out your cover letter, we should let you know that we have an editing service where a 5+ year experienced MBB consultant helps you draft your best possible resume and/or cover letter. You can read more here:

Explore Professional Editing

This isn't obligatory, but is a great option for those who feel overwhelmed and want some help to get things right, as well as for those who want the inside track in terms of optimising something that is already close to the mark.

This application editing can also be done as part of a broader mentoring package, where that same experienced mentor helps you through the whole consulting selection process, from networking, through to case interview prep. You can find out more here:

Learn More About Comprehensive Mentoring

1. Understanding Consulting Cover Letters

Close-up of cogwheels illustrating our detailed understanding of consulting cover letters.

To write a good one we will first need to understand the demands it must meet. That is to say, we need to understand the function of the cover letter and precisely how it will be assessed.

Let's start by going through some important points:

1.1. Function of a Consulting Cover Letter

The basic function of a consulting cover letter is to tell recruiters three things:

  • Why you are worth employing
  • Why consulting is a perfect fit for you
  • Why you are interested in the target firm in particular

As we will see later, a standard management consulting cover letter is broken down into three paragraphs, addressing each of these issues more-or-less separately.

In many ways, the demands of your cover letter sit between your resume ) and your fit interview (which you will be invited to only if your resume and cover letter make the cut).

A consulting cover letter helps demonstrate the same skillset as your resume and you will effectively be selecting a few of the key points from your resume to amplify in the cover letter.

However, the objective of this document is not simply restating the facts on your resume, but rather creating a persuasive link between your personal story and the job you are applying for. In effect, the main purpose of your cover letter is to show that you are a great fit for the job you are applying for across the board. As such, you need to convey your personality and your motivation to do the job - things that are not readily assessed via your resume alone.

These are exactly the qualities that are also assessed in your fit interview. Indeed, just as with the Additional Information section of your resume, the information in your cover letter is very likely to form the basis of questions in your fit interview - where your personality and motivation are assessed again. Thus, just as with the Additional Information section of your resume, when you are drafting your cover letter you should be keeping half an eye on how you would be able to work the items you select into compelling fit interview answers.

All this means that our article on the fit interview is especially worth a read as you get started on cover letter writing!

1.2. Motivation

Consulting is a tough life and the average consulting recruit only stays in the industry for around two years - which means that many of those applicants who are lucky enough to land jobs will have left within 12 months.

Beyond this, many of those entering consulting only ever intend to stay for a couple of years before bailing out into roles in private equity or internal strategy, becoming a start-up founder, or any of the other typical roles where consulting experience will enhance their career chances.

This constant loss of talent is a big problem for consulting firms, who don't want employees to disappear as soon as they have accrued the training and experience required to be genuinely useful to the company. In effect, firms want to ensure they get a positive return on investment on training you.

As such, recruiters will be trying to identify candidates who are genuinely in it for the long haul - who want to make partner someday and who have the necessary motivation to push them through the years of long hours and tight deadlines en route.

Of course, we realise that you the reader might well be one of the candidates who only really plan to stick with consulting for two years before parachuting out into another industry. Realistically, this is a perfectly sensible career trajectory and we're certainly not going to tell you not to do so.

However , if this is the case, your application and subsequent interview are really not the time to discuss it. If you have ever had any inkling that you might consider sticking around and making a long-term career in consulting, then this is the inclination to channel during the selection process.

We return to discuss your rationale for entering consulting in our section-by-section breakdown of the letter itself.

1.3. A Test in Itself

Art installation of telephones illustrating how your cover letter conveys information to consulting recruiters.

Your target firm uses your cover letter to learn more about you in a couple of ways. Obviously, they receive all the information you communicate explicitly - all the achievements and experience and positive character traits you tell them about. However, your cover letter is also used by the target firm as an implicit (but very real) test of your writing skills and other qualities. It is important to realise this dual function and keep it in mind during drafting.

At a basic level, using correct, industry standard formatting etc shows that you have the professionalism and diligence to find out and follow the rules. As we will discuss later, writing a letter specific to the firm you are applying to also demonstrates your commitment to that employer.

More directly, though, your cover letter is used by consulting firms as a test of your writing skills. Writing consulting cover letters is not an easy business - if it were, you wouldn't be reading this guide! Composing a good cover letter requires you to assemble a body of information, synthesise it and present it in a compelling form.

Importantly, this is a set of skills - summarising complex information into compelling prose and extracting key points in data - that consultants use every day. Your cover letter is one of the main ways firms check for your competence here.

Similarly, readers will be very interested in your ability to use your cover letter to market yourself. In effect, consultants must constantly sell themselves, their firm, and their recommendations to clients. Indeed, this is becoming a larger and larger part of the job as more of the analytic side of consulting work is automated. As such, the ability to communicate persuasively is a key management consulting skill.

1.4. The Reader

With any piece of writing, the first thing you need to consider is who the intended reader is. This is especially important for consulting cover letters.

During the application screen, as well as filtering by AI tools and HR staff, your cover letter will be placed with one or two hundred others and passed to a junior consultant (often a recent alum from your university) to assess. Generally, this will be piled on top of that consultant's normal workload and often they will end up with very little time to get through this mound of applications. As such, your reader will be tired, possibly slightly grumpy and in a hurry - probably only skimming what you have written.

Keep this reader in mind at all times and write in a way that makes their life easier. This means making everything as clear, easy to read and precise as possible!


Hand about to write on a blank piece of paper, illustrating you beginning to write your cover letter

So, we have a good idea of the basic job of a cover letter needs to do, what ground it needs to cover, and how it will be assessed. Now it's time to get down to business and actually get the thing written!

To this end, we'll look at a few practical points about how to meet the requirements mentioned above, before focusing one-by-one on the five main segments of a management consulting cover letter.


Sheep in pens, illustrating the importance of conforming to standard formatting rules for a consulting cover letter.

Just as with your resume, formatting a consulting cover letter is really not the time to embrace your creative side. Failing to stick to the standard rules of formatting risks being rejected immediately, without your letter even being read.

The tired junior consultant tasked with plowing through a pile of cover letters is unlikely to be in the mood for a strange font or weird layout and will simply send your application directly to the bin.

As noted above, standard formatting shows that you are professional enough to take the application seriously and that you have bothered to find out what is expected from your cover letter. The best way to understand how you should format this document is simply to take a look at our examples below, which are formatted in a standard "safe" manner.

In particular, though, you should make sure your letter conforms to the following basic standard:

  • Standard typeface at a normal size
  • No longer than one printable page
  • Normal size margins etc - no extreme formatting to pack more words on the page!
  • Name, contact information, and date at the top, in the manner of a traditional letter - you can include a postal address if you like, but an email address is perfectly sufficient nowadays - and will save space
  • Standard structure explained below - opening, three main paragraphs, closing

2.2. Content - Being Unique!

Peacock with spread tail, illustrating the importance of a unique cover letter to impress recruiters.

You might have to keep the format strictly in line with everyone else, but it is absolutely crucial that the actual content of your letter is unique!

Always remember that your cover letter will be part of a stack of 1-200 deep. The content needs to really impress the reader if you are going to stand out from the pack and earn yourself an invitation to interview.

To achieve this, you are going to have to draw on your most impressive achievements and experiences and then portray them in the best possible fashion, to really make your reader pause and take note, rather than toss your letter towards the bin with the others.

Content that is unusual is also helpful in making your application memorable and might prompt interview questions where you can be well prepared to shine. During an application process with so many competitors, it pays to have something unique to you - a USP - to differentiate you from your peers.

However, this will only add value if it is relevant to management consulting!

In our discussion below on how to introduce yourself and your abilities, we'll discuss how you can emphasize your personal "spikes" - which help make your cover letter more unique.

2.3. Be Specific!

Your letter needs not only to be unique, but also highly specific .

Many candidates think that they can save a bit of time by just writing a one really "good" cover letter and using that for all their applications without any modifications. This might be true (or almost true) of a good resume. However, if you think that the cover letter you wrote for McKinsey will be able to be used without any changes to for Bain and BCG as well, we can tell you now that that letter wasn't good enough to get you a job with any of those firms!

As noted previously, a major function of your cover letter is to gauge your motivation to stick with the company if you are lucky enough to be hired. Your recruiter wants to make sure that you are genuinely keen to work for their specific firm for the foreseeable future. Any suggestion that your cover letter is just a generic chunk of text sent out to everyone in scattergun fashion obviously makes this idea pretty difficult to maintain - and will see your application heading towards that bin in short order.

To avoid this, then, take the time to write a separate letter for each firm you apply to. In these letters, you should include content that is specific to your particular target firm. What is more, this specific content should not be something generic or some kind of empty platitude.

If the best you can come up with is an obvious truth - or even worse, a common misconception - you will betray only a very shallow level of engagement, and will only succeed in vexing your reader.

Instead, you should be able to make specific remarks which show genuine insight. This will clearly demonstrate both your commitment to and knowledge of the firm.

These points will be particularly relevant to the section of the cover letter where you explain your decision to apply to your target firm, and we will pick up this discussion again later in this guide. However, there is room for material specific to your target firm in all sections of your cover letter.

3. Section-by-Section Breakdown

Disassembled smartphone illustrating our breakdown of the cover letter writing process.

Let's go through the different sections of a standard management consulting cover letter one-by-one.

We will give examples as to how you might approach each section - however, it is imperative that you don't simply copy from specimens that we or anyone else have written. The examples here are only a guide as to how you should approach the different elements of a cover letter, not components to be lifted as-is.

Your own cover letter needs to stand out from a very strong field. Think about it - how can you possibly stand out by copying others? Beyond this, though, any hint that you are just copying from another source will see your whole application rejected immediately.

On a similar note here, we strongly advise against using an AI chatbot like ChatGPT to write your cover letter. Aside from that tool not knowing enough about your own life experiences, interests etc to say something with the correct degree of specificity, you run the risk of sending in a cover with the same writing style - or possibly even the same turns of phrase - as everyone else who did the same thing. Indeed, recruiters across many industries are already getting used to spotting AI-generated applications .

As we noted earlier, there are three main questions your cover letter must answer - why you, why consulting and why that firm in particular. The three main paragraphs of your cover letter will answer these three questions in sequence.

Provided you are careful to link everything together properly, there is actually some flexibility to vary the ordering of these paragraphs. You will always introduce yourself first, of course, but you can then state why you are interested in the specific firm before you explain what drew you to consulting, or deal with these in the reverse order.

In the interests of simplicity here, though, we will just deal with why-consulting-in-general first, followed by why-that-firm-in-particular.

The following examples are taken from an entry-level cover letter from an applicant to Bain London - and the detailed content is obviously tailored to that office.

In contrast to the relative ease with which a resume can be repurposed, you will have to significantly change the specifics of your cover letter as you apply for different offices and firms. Obviously, our candidate below can't just send this off to Bain New York without changing quite a lot of content. Similarly, this won't work as a cover letter for the London offices of McKinsey, BCG or Deloitte a wholesale rewrite.

With all this said, what is crucial is that the overall structure and format is maintained. This will be the case whether you are a recent graduate, Ph.D. or MBA. Even experienced hire cover letters will maintain the same fundamental format - though there will be (even) more expectation on the quality of the content.


The opening to your cover letter is very straightforward and is pretty much impossible to mess up if you follow basic rules.

First, you should record your name, email address, and the date of sending. You can include a postal address if you like, though this is no longer a strict requirement and takes up a lot of space. Your first sentence should state the specific position to which you are applying at the relevant office and firm.

The only issue that should give you any cause for concern here is to Whom the letter is addressed. Where possible, you should be addressing the letter to a named person - usually the recruiting manager of the office to which you are applying. However, where you cannot find a name to address your cover letter to, it is perfectly acceptable to begin "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam".

Jane Wu [email protected] 05/05/2019

Dear Ms Douglas,

I am writing to apply for the Associate Consultant position at Bain and Company's London office.

3.2. Introducing Yourself

After this brief opening, proceed straight to introducing yourself. Don't be shy - this is not the time for understatement or modesty! Top consulting firms are looking for exceptional individuals. Here, you need to leave the reader in no doubt that you are just such an exceptional individual!

To do this, looking at all the information you assembled for your resume, ideally, you should recount the three most impressive achievements in your life so far.

Of course, do this with an eye to achievements that are particularly relevant to consulting (your golf handicap might be good, but nobody in the workplace cares). Also, realise that the things we are most proud of personally might not actually be the ones that are most impressive to others (your golfing probably isn't great anyway). Try to look at your resume as if you are reading one from someone else. Alternatively, ask a friend what stands out to them.

It's your resume's job to paint a balanced picture of you as a well-rounded candidate with all the skills required to excel in consulting. However, in your cover letter, it can be beneficial to emphasise one or two particular strong suits, where you are exceptionally gifted. These are what consultants call "spikes". What recruiters are really looking for is well-rounded, generally capable candidates with a few "spikes" that might be especially useful.

I have recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first-class BA/MSci in Physics. At Cambridge, I was consistently near the top of my year academically and won a number of competitive scholarships and prizes; including the award for the best final year research project. During my third year, I was selected as the best of a very large field of applicants to take part in a prestigious summer research project at MIT. I was also elected as a Student Representative for two consecutive years.

3.3. Why Consulting is a Good Fit

Your job here is to provide a strong narrative demonstrating why consulting is a good fit for you and why it makes sense at this point in your career as a natural progression from what you have done before.

This is much the same as what is required from your answers in any subsequent fit interviews you receive. As such, our article on the fit interview , as well as our more comprehensive fit interview course and/or lessons in the MCC Academy , are highly relevant here.

Now, as we noted above, it is important to remember that there are some reasons to get into consulting that your target firm will be happy to hear about and others that will very definitely not impress.

We're not here to judge your reasons, whatever they are, for wanting a consulting job. However, there are certain reasons that you should probably not highlight if you would like to actually get that job.

Some candidates are not sure what career they actually want yet and think consulting would make a good first step, exposing them to different industries and keeping their options open for the future. The worry, from a firm's point of view, is that these individuals will not be sufficiently motivated to actually stick with consulting when they come up against the stress and high workload that come with the job.

Alternatively, some applicants are fully intent, right from the start, on bailing out into another industry after two years - when a sufficiently long stint in consulting has given them transferable skills and boosted their opportunities elsewhere.

Many candidates actually state these kinds of intentions - though they will certainly not be hired! As we noted above, firms want to retain staff and are looking for candidates who are committed to consulting for the long term.

3.3.1. Proving You Know What You are Getting Into

Given how many recruits drop out, firms want to be sure that you know exactly what you are getting into when you apply . When you explain why you have decided that consulting is a great fit for you, you obviously need it to be clear that you are doing so with a real understanding of what the job entails.

Ideally, you will have done an internship in consulting or a closely related industry. Alternatively, you might be moving sideways from a parallel sector, such as finance or tech, having worked alongside consultants in past roles and observed what they do first hand. In either such case, it is clear that you understand the demands of the job.

However, many of you will fall into neither of these camps and won't yet have any first hand experience of the consulting world. If this describes you, be aware that there is a particular onus on you to demonstrate that you know what is required of a working consultant - and that you have what it takes to meet those requirements.

Don't dismay, though, as this is definitely possible - it just requires a bit more thought from you. Really, you are limited to a strategy of identifying key consulting skills and showing that you have already had significant past experience (and ideally achievements) demonstrating that you are capable and comfortable in these areas - and, importantly, that you enjoy this kind of work!

This is similar in principle to some of what you should have already done in bullet point form in your resume. Our resume guide is useful here in listing the relevant consulting skills and giving examples that demonstrate them. However, your cover letter differs from the resume here in that the focus will be less on technical skills and more on personal character. You also can't be so schematic as in your resume, but must weave everything into a compelling narrative that leaves your reader in no doubt that you are well suited to, and prepared for, the job.

3.3.2. Finding Things to Say

Some candidates feel the need to embroider their accounts when they explain why they want to be a consultant. Maybe they genuinely think that the only reason they have chosen consulting is for the high salary and exit opportunities. Since they can't include either of these (as discussed below), they then cobble together an insincere-sounding road-to-Damascus story about how they had an epiphany that they should work at BCG or Bain.

However, introspection on the reasons that informed your own decision making can actually be a great source of material here. You might not be able to explicitly state them just now, but there are probably better reasons than you think for your choices.

Think about what exactly it was that led you to believe that you could do a consulting job and why have chosen to apply to jobs in that sector, rather than going into something else. If you want to be totally pragmatic, remember - it's a lot easier to answer interview questions on something approximating the truth than a tissue of lies!

I believe that I would be particularly well suited to the Associate Consultant position as consulting would provide real intellectual challenges, but placed within contexts allowing me to make use of my strong interpersonal skills. As a student representative, I instigated "Student Week" in the Physics department. This was a week where time was given over so that students could organise their own conferences and workshops. In order to make this initiative a success, I faced two main challenges: creating a committed team and getting the academic staff's support. I began by offering all students a stake in shaping the week and created teams in charge of all aspects of an organisation, delegating responsibilities to team leaders. Most of all, this experience taught me how to motivate people, leveraging their potential impact and the rewards to be gained from positive results. In the end, the teams were able to invite an outstanding line-up of speakers. Presenting the week as a chance to promote the school in the media enabled us to gain the final approval of academic staff. Understanding the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and identifying what they really cared about enabled me to transform an ambitious plan into reality. I loved this experience and would look forward to employing a similar skillset as an Associate Consultant.

3.4. Why that Firm?

Now finally, you need to show that you are committed to the particular firm to which you are applying . This is a crucial part of demonstrating your motivation as well as a way of showing your diligence in doing your research before applying. Needing to address why you want to work at your target firm in particular is why you fundamentally can't just re-use the same letter for all your consulting applications.

So, how should you do this?

In practice, there are three main ways to generate firm-specific content:

3.4.1. Contacts and networking

Whilst you might not have seen consultants at work first hand, there is nothing to prevent you from meeting them at career fairs, networking events, and the like.

You can also reach out to consultants in your target office via LinkedIn and potentially even schedule calls with them. You can do this from anywhere in the world. An experienced consultant can also guide you in this process within one of our mentoring programmes

The very best cover letters will grow out of substantial networking with current or former employees from your target firm - ideally from the specific office to which you are applying.

The individuals you speak to might be in a position to recommend you to recruiters. Otherwise, though, they will definitely be very well placed to tell you what is really unique about the company in general or your target office in particular. This is a surefire way for you to be able to make your cover letter specific in a way that actually rings true to those who read it.#

Also, don't be afraid to drop in the names of your contacts where they are relevant (and where this is appropriate, of course). The recruiter might know the people in question and they will lend credence to your application.

3.4.2. Reading

Of course, this kind of networking will not always be feasible, and certainly not at short notice. If you don't have access to anyone who has worked for your target firm, you should be able to get access to some of their output in the form of reports and similar material. Being able to comment on these demonstrates your enthusiasm to work at the target firm, as well as your diligence and intelligence. Indeed, mentioning report authors is a good way to shoehorn in the names of company employees whom you have not actually met in real life.

3.4.3. Observations

Of course, you would ideally be able to write about the first hand experience of working alongside consultants at a company that was a client of your target firm. Otherwise, if you have done your research, you will be able to discuss a successful project in which you have not been involved, but have taken a particular interest (possibly in an industry in which you have experience). This should convey genuine interest and, at the very least, shows you really have done your homework.

An example of how to approach this paragraph is as follows:

Bain specifically appeals to me for a few reasons. At a more personal level, all of the individuals I have spoken to who have worked at Bain have loved their jobs and seemed like people I would relish working with. Recently, I spoke to Sarah McKinney and Benedict Philips from the London office at a networking event. Both were very helpful and encouraging of my application. In particular, I was very excited to be able to talk to Sarah about Bain's recent work with capacitor technology firm NuCell. This was a project I had become aware of via my physics background and was very impressed with the sophisticated but wonderfully elegant solutions that Bain implemented. This was a significant influence in my decision to move towards consulting in general and Bain in particular.

3.5. Closing You Cover Letter

As with the opening, it is easy to get your cover letter's closing right simply by following a few standard rules.

Closing a consulting cover letter really just follows the same rules as a standard formal letter. Note that technically the form of your sign off depends on whether the letter was addressed to a named recipient or not. If you did manage to address your cover letter to a specific individual at the target firm, you should sign off your letter "Yours Sincerely". However, if you addressed the letter "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom it May Concern", then you should sign off "Yours faithfully".

Not everyone will pick up on this, but some certainly will!

I very much hope that I can be considered for an interview. If you have any questions about my application or would like to know more, please do not hesitate to be in contact by email or on +44 7933023234. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely, Jane Wu

3.6. An Aside - Blurring Boundaries

Image of circuit board with complex connections, echoing blurred boundaries between cover letter sections.

For the sake of clarity, we have given quite a schematic picture of how a cover letter is structured. In practice, the separation between the content of the three main paragraphs is often not quite as clear as has been shown so far.

This is something to bear in mind as you are writing. Certainly, it is not a problem that the content of the three main paragraphs somewhat bleed into one another. Indeed, it might well be that the optimal version of your letter gives you more bang for your buck in including points with more than one positive function.

For example, you might make mention of people or reports from your specific target firm in explaining why you chose to enter consulting in general. Simultaneously you will likely be able to include some impressive achievements, relevant to your initial description of yourself, in that same explanation as to why consulting was for you.

4. Quality Control

Mentor helping student edit, illustrating the importance of quality feedback when proofing your cover letter.

By now, you should have a completed document in front of you. However, this doesn't mean that you're finished!

Just as with the resume, quality control should be taken very seriously when you are writing your cover letter, and will almost certainly take longer than did writing your initial draft.

First, you should make sure you have followed all the rules we set out for formatting and structuring a consulting cover letter. This is the easy bit, after all, and you shouldn't be making mistakes here when it's something you can easily control for yourself.

The following checklist is useful to make sure that the major elements are in order. Thus, you must make sure that any management consulting cover letter:

  • Does not exceed one page
  • Is formatted sensibly
  • Contains no spelling mistakes (double check names of the company, position, HR manager and your contact information)
  • Mentions skills that are relevant to the job
  • Has relevant examples to back up those skills
  • Reinforces skills that are not adequately explained in your resume
  • Explains how your skill set relates to the job you are applying for
  • Is tailored to the target firm

Of course, to hammer the point home, it should go without saying that spelling, punctuation, and grammar should be perfect throughout - especially these days, where AIs will be reading applications thoroughly, besides harried humans skimming them.

In particular, though, you should triple-check spelling around the opening where you list your own contact information and state the name of the target firm and specific role. Imagine making the cut to for interview only to have your invitation dispatched to the wrong email address!

You wouldn't believe how many candidates we see making mistakes here - indeed, outside consulting, the former Graduate Recruitment Manager at City law firm Mayer Brown found that 20% of applicants got the firm’s name wrong. If so many high-end, detail-oriented lawyers can make that kind of mistake, so can you - check!

4.2. Feedback

As with any important piece of writing, you will want another set of eyes on your cover letter. However, a consulting cover letter is not quite the same as for a more "normal" job, and there is only so much that your classmate, your buddy or your mum is going to be able to tell you . These people might be able to help you with spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but not a great deal else.

If you have access to a careers adviser, they will certainly be more knowledgeable and be able to give you more specific feedback. That said, the very particular demands of consulting and how cover letters are assessed means there is no real replacement for someone with actual consulting experience .

As always though, real consultants are incredibly busy people and their time has a high price tag. You might be lucky enough to have access to a consultant who will help you out - perhaps a friend or relative or maybe one of your networking contacts who likes you enough to take the time to look at your application.

However, for those who aren't so lucky, there are still ways to get top quality feedback. MyConsultingCoach offers cover letter review and feedback , both alone on its own and in a package with resume review.

With this service, a deeply experienced MBB consultant mentor, with a minimum of five years at McKinsey, Bain or BCG, will provide the kind of granular, nuanced feedback you simply can't find elsewhere. You can read more here:

Explore Application Review

You can also have the same kind of 5+ year experienced MBB consultant do this kind of editing for you as part of a wider personal mentoring programme. Find out more here:

Mentoring Programmes

Of course, none of these services are strictly necessary, and this guide is here to help everyone. However, professional editing will help you close the gap with your competitors who have the advantage of pre-existing inside contacts.

4.3. Iterate

It is easy to become attached to what you have written. Especially after pouring time and energy into a document, constructive criticism can end up being taken personally and ignored. However, if you actually want to get a job in consulting, you need to swallow your pride and be prepared to make substantial changes if they are advised .

Once you have re-drafted the document, you need to cycle through the same stages of quality control again, always making sure that everything is formatted correctly with no typos and then getting decent feedback on what you have produced. To get the whole thing just right will likely take at least a couple of these iterations. Indeed, this is precisely why MyConsultingCoach's review packages all include three rounds of feedback as standard .

Finally, then, you will have completed your cover letter and be ready to submit your application. You can give yourself a pat on the back for getting everything so far done. However, you still have a lot more work ahead of you if you are serious about making it into consulting!

Man on mountain top over clouds, showing that applying is just the first step to a consulting job.

If you are interested in getting an interview at the likes of the MBBs, Kearney, LEK, Deloitte, or any high-end consulting firm, it is absolutely crucial that your cover letter is the very best that it can be .

To this end, we have given a detailed guide on how to optimise a cover letter, breaking down all the relevant sections. Examples were provided from a sample cover letter for a Bain London application, though it was explained that you should never simply copy from such example cover letters.

We encourage you to read further - starting with our resume guide - and to consider editing from one of our ex-MBB consultant coaches. However, what we have given you here is a very good starting point for you to carve out a great draft cover letter.

If you have followed this guide and ideally found someone to provide decent feedback, you should have every chance of being invited to interview. However, nobody is going to do well if they prepare for a consulting interview the way they would for a more "normal" job.

Management consulting interviews area very different beast to what you might be accustomed to elsewhere. You can read more about the characteristic consulting case interviews here . Suffice to say, though, that a large volume of preparation is both necessary to so well and explicitly expected by the firms themselves . Putting together your consulting resume or cover letter might have seemed arduous or time-consuming, but what was just the tip of the iceberg!

In particular, you will need to learn how to solve case studies. You can start with our intro to case interviews , which links to other useful resources.

It's important to learn to tackle case studies the right way if you want to perform in the more demanding interviews at higher-end firms. The old-fashioned frameworks you will often find promoted online can be dysfunctional in more complex case studies. By contrast, we recommend the slightly more demanding, but much more capable, from-first-principles method used in real consulting work. You can find out more in the followng video:

To make your preparation as effective and time efficient as possible MyConsultingCoach has developed a comprehensive consulting interview prep course . This teaches everything you need to give your best possible showing in an interview. Included are all the mental maths, business and finance theory and logical principles needed not only to solve cases but to do so in a way that will impress the interviewer - the way a real consultant would . Also included is a set of lessons on how to address "fit" questions about your character and motivation to enter consulting.

Find out about our resume editing services

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Consultant Cover Letter Example (w/ Templates & Tips for 2024)

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Navigating the competitive world of consulting job applications? You're not alone in feeling the weight of first impressions. 

You see, with dozens of applicants vying for the same role, it's easy to get lost in the pile. 

The trick to standing out? A powerful cover letter tailored just for consultants. 

The good news? We've got you covered. Dive into our comprehensive guide on crafting that perfect consultant cover letter for 2024. 

Here's what we're going to cover:

  • An Inspiring Cover Letter Example
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Great Consulting Cover Letter
  • 3 Essential Cover Letter Tips for Consultants

Ready to up your cover letter game and make a lasting impression? Let's dive in! 

Consulting Cover Letter Example

Consultant Cover Letter Example

5 Steps for the Perfect Consulting Cover Letter

Now that you've seen what a great cover letter looks like, you're all set to write your own . 

Ready to get started and craft that winning consulting cover letter? 

Let's do it!

#1. Put Contact Information in the Header

When crafting your consulting cover letter, begin with your contact details placed neatly in the header, just like on your resume .

Here's what to include:

  • Full Name. Always place your first and last name at the top of the page.
  • Professional Title. Ensure your professional title matches the specific consulting position you're seeking. E.g. if you’re applying for the role of “management consultant,” that should be your exact title, and not, for example, “consultant” or “business consultant.”
  • Email Address. Opt for a professional and straightforward email address, such as a combination of your first and last name. 
  • Phone Number. Include your phone number and make sure it’s typo-free.
  • Location. Typically, your city and state will suffice. In case you’re looking for a relocation, make sure to mention that.
  • Relevant Links. Optionally, you can include links to relevant websites or social media profiles. E.g. personal website, LinkedIn profile, etc.

Now, let's move on to the hiring manager's information:

  • Company Name. Clearly state the company to which you're applying.
  • Hiring Manager's Name. If possible, find the name of the hiring manager for the department you're interested in. Check the job posting, the company's website, or their LinkedIn page for this information.
  • Hiring Manager's Title. If you identify the hiring manager for the specific job posting, and they hold a departmental leadership role, use that title instead of "Hiring Manager."
  • Location. Provide the city and state or country, especially if the company operates globally. Optionally, include the exact company address for precision.

With these elements in place, your consulting cover letter will be poised for success. 

Want more examples of what an ideal cover letter looks like? Check out our article with 21+ other cover letter examples .

#2. Address the Hiring Manager

Once you've included all the relevant contact details , it's time to address your consulting cover letter to the person who will be reading it.

Avoid the generic "To Whom It May Concern" whenever possible.

The way you address your cover letter can make a positive impression on the hiring manager— if you get it right.

So, start with a bit of research. Go through the job posting, the company's website, or their LinkedIn profiles to identify the hiring manager for the consulting department you're interested in. 

Next, address them formally. Using Ms. or Mr. followed by their last name is a good practice. However, if you're unsure about their gender or marital status, using their full name works just as well. For example:

  • Dear Mr. Anderson,
  • Dear Taylor Anderson,

If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, then simply addressing them as “Dear Hiring Manager,” also works.

#3. Write an Eye-Catching Opening Statement

Hiring managers typically spend about seven seconds reviewing a candidate's application before deciding whether to continue reading.

So, making a strong first impression with your consulting cover letter is essential.

Your opening paragraph should introduce yourself and express your genuine interest in the consulting role.

Depending on your experience level, you can also begin your cover letter with a noteworthy achievement or highlight the skills that align with the role's requirements.

However, keep this paragraph concise. The goal is to spark the hiring manager's curiosity and encourage them to read the rest of your consultant cover letter.

#4. Use the Cover Letter Body for the Details

The body of your cover letter is where you really sell your application and convince the hiring manager that you’re a great fit for the job.

Avoid the temptation to simply rehash your consultant resume - the hiring manager already read through that.

Rather, use the body of your cover letter to talk about:

  • Your top achievements (in detail). Provide specific examples of significant accomplishments in your consulting career. Explain the challenges you faced, your role in resolving them, and the measurable outcomes or impact of your work.
  • Past industry experience. Discuss the industries you've worked in and the depth of your experience within those sectors. Highlight any specialized knowledge or insights you've gained that can benefit the employer.
  • Your top skills (that make you a great fit for the role). Showcase the skills that directly align with the consulting role you're applying for. Whether it's data analysis, project management, client relationship-building, or any other skill, provide concrete examples of how you've used these skills effectively to achieve results in previous consulting engagements.

#5. Wrap It Up and Sign It

After you’ve written your body section, the first thing you need to do is write a conclusion for your cover letter .

The conclusion is your opportunity to confidently reiterate why you're the perfect fit for the role. It goes something like this:

In conclusion, my extensive experience in the field of consulting, coupled with my proven track record of delivering successful projects and driving positive outcomes for clients, makes me an ideal candidate for this consulting role at MadeUpCompanyX.

Then, after your wrap-up, it's time for a call to action. Encourage the hiring manager to take that next step, whether it's discussing your application further or setting up an interview.

For example: 

I am eager to discuss in more detail how my skills and background can contribute to the success of your projects or clients at MadeUpCompanyX.

Last but not least, maintain a professional tone as you sign off. Choose an appropriate signature line, followed by your full name.

And finally, if you're looking for alternatives to the commonly used "Best regards," consider these options:

  • Kind regards,
  • Respectfully yours,
  • Thank you for your consideration.

consultant cover letter structure

10 Essential Consulting Cover Letter Tips

Finally, once you’re done with your cover letter, review our top cover letter tips to take your consulting cover letter from “good” to “great:”

  • Research the Company: Understand the firm's values, culture, and projects. This will allow you to tailor your letter specifically to the company and demonstrate your genuine interest in becoming a part of their team.
  • Start Strong: Begin with a compelling opening that grabs the reader's attention. Mention a recent company accomplishment and tie it to your excitement about the consultancy role.
  • Highlight Relevant Experience: Focus on past experiences that align with the consultancy role you're applying for. Discuss specific projects, the challenges you've faced, and the results you achieved.
  • Show Problem-Solving Abilities: Consulting is all about solving client problems. Provide examples of how you've approached complex issues in the past and the strategies you employed to resolve them.
  • Quantify Achievements: Use numbers wherever possible. Instead of saying "I helped increase sales," mention "I contributed to a 20% increase in sales over a 12-month period."
  • Demonstrate Soft Skills: While technical and analytical skills are crucial, soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability are also highly valued in consulting. Use anecdotes or examples to highlight these.
  • Keep it Concise: Hiring managers often skim cover letters due to the volume they receive. Aim for a concise, one-page letter that gets straight to the point while effectively showcasing your value.
  • Customize for Each Application: Avoid using a generic cover letter for all applications. Each company and role may have unique requirements or values, so take the time to customize your letter for each position.
  • End with a Call to Action: Conclude your letter by expressing your eagerness for an interview. You might say something like, "I am excited about the opportunity to discuss how my expertise aligns with the needs of your team and would appreciate the chance to meet in person."
  • Proofread: Errors can make a poor impression and suggest a lack of attention to detail. Before sending, proofread your cover letter multiple times, or even consider having a colleague or professional review it.

consulting cover letter examples

Key Takeaways

Hopefully, this article taught you all you need to know in order to create an impressive consultant cover letter.

Before you go, here’s a quick summary of everything we’ve covered so far:

  • Always tailor your cover letter to the specific company and role, ensuring you address the hiring manager by name whenever possible.
  • The initial paragraphs should pique the reader's interest, highlighting alignment with the company's values and your enthusiasm for the role.
  • Use the cover letter's body to elaborate on unique achievements and experiences not just reiterated from your resume.
  • End your letter by confidently summarizing your suitability for the position and encouraging further discussion or an interview.
  • Proofread meticulously, maintain brevity, and customize your approach for each application to stand out in the competitive consulting industry.

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Consulting Cover Letter Samples & Examples That Worked in 2024

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

Crafting an impressive consulting cover letter is your key to unlocking a highly rewarding role, where you can provide detailed analyses, expert insights, and strategic business recommendations.

We'll be your guide, offering important tips, illustrating via meaningful examples, and even suggesting accessible templates to make your journey into the realm of consultancy a smoother ride.

Maersk Business Partner Cover Letter Example

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about writing a cover letter as a consultant. Keep reading to learn about:

  • Crafting a well-formatted consultant cover letter header & headline
  • Creating a personalized greeting for your consultant cover letter
  • Writing an engaging & eye-catching consultant cover letter introduction
  • Showing your professional value as a consultant with accomplishments
  • Ending your consultant cover letter with a powerful closing statement
  • Accessing the best resources for job-seeking consultants

Still looking for a job? These 100+ resources will tell you everything you need to get hired fast.

1. Write a well-formatted consultant cover letter header & headline

The first two components to craft on your cover letter are your header and headline.

A cover letter header is a short block of text found most commonly in the upper left corner of the document that includes all the necessary applicant and company information. As for the cover letter headline , this is a brief title statement that helps to lead into the rest of the letter.

To better demonstrate how to format each of these elements, below are more in-depth explanations and examples of each:

Formatting the header

Your cover letter header can vary in format, style, and order of information. Some applicants will choose to include their name in larger font at the very top of the header, while others will create a more letter-style address in the header.

Regardless of what format you opt for, your header should always include:

  • The name of the company (& department, when applicable) you are applying for
  • Your name and professional title
  • Your contact information (phone number, email address, etc.)

Here is an example of a letter-style header on a consultant’s cover letter

To: Carhill Business Partners, Consulting Department From: Joe King , Business Consultant (123) 456-7890 | [email protected] |

Writing the headline

When writing the headline for your consultant cover letter, you should consider how journalists use headlines and article titles to grab the attention of readers. Your headline should be eye-catching, while also offering an accurate preview of the information to come.

In your headline, you should always use a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective or verb, and a promise.

Here is an example of an effective headline from a consultant’s cover letter

My 3 Negotiation Abilities that Make Me the Perfect Consultant for Your Company

Trigger Word/Number : My 3 Negotiation Abilities Keyword: Consultant Adjective: Perfect Promise: For Your Company – this addition at the end of the headline indicates to the employer that you will go beyond simply describing your skills by also relating them to the specific needs of the employer’s business.

Let your cover letter write itself — with AI!

2. create a personalized greeting for your consultant cover letter.

Whenever you write a greeting on a consultant cover letter, it is crucially important to create a personalized greeting that addresses a specific person or department within the company.

By doing so, you show the employer that you not only have excellent attention to detail but also that you have taken the time to thoroughly research their company beforehand.

In the event that you are unable to uncover a specific person or department that will be reviewing your application, try out one of the following alternatives:

To the [Company Name] Team

To the [Company Name] Hiring Manager

3. Build an engaging consultant cover letter introduction

By the time an employer reaches the introductory paragraph of your cover letter, you should have already hooked their attention with the headline and greeting. To keep this attention intact, include the following details in your introduction:

  • A brief overview of your professional history and goals
  • A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible)

Here is an example to help demonstrate how to write a consultant cover letter introduction

To the [Company Name] Hiring Manager,

I am writing to you today to apply for the open Consultant position after receiving a recommendation to do so by your company’s VP, Jane Doe. As a Consultant with over 6 years of experience in the financial industry, I am certain I will bring a high level of professionalism and excellence to this role and your company.

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4. Show your professional value as a consultant with accomplishments

Once the introduction of your consultant cover letter is squared away, it’s time to provide a more in-depth look into your qualifications in the body paragraphs of your letter. A strong cover letter will typically contain between 2 to 4 body paragraphs that answer the following questions:

  • What excites you about working at this company?
  • What do you hope to learn from working at this company?
  • What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?
  • What key skills do you possess that are relevant to the position?

Providing quantifiable accomplishments is particularly effective in a cover letter, as this gives the employer real-life examples of the value you can provide to their business.

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a consultant cover letter

As the Digital Transformation Consultant for [Former Employer], I assisted more than 50 companies in the development and implementation of strategies to improve their digital infrastructure and online presence. In turn, these partnerships increased annual sales by an average of 30% annually for my former employer. 

5. End your consultant cover letter with a powerful closing statement

The conclusion of your consultant cover letter should be just as compelling as the introduction. To create a powerful closing statement, you should include:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of a strong closing statement from a consultant cover letter

Thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter and consider my application. As your new Consultant, I am certain I can elevate your business partnerships and increase your sales according to your company’s high standards of quality. To best reach me, call (123) 456-7890 any weekday during normal business hours.

If I do not hear from you within a week, I will reach out to touch base regarding my application. 


[Applicant Name]

Follow this cover letter outline for maximum success.

6. Top resources for job-seeking consultants

Exploring the job market for consultants might seem daunting, but with the right tools and resources, you'll find your way. Here are some top recommendations:

  • Job platforms:  Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed offer an abundance of job postings, customizable search options, and critical alerts for new opportunities.
  • Professional networking sites:   LinkedIn stands out in this category. Beyond networking, it's a hub filled with job listings, industry-related content, and helpful groups to join discussions and stay informed. What's more, you can turn your LinkedIn profile into a polished resume within a few seconds.
  • Industry-specific job boards:  Certain websites cater to specific industries, such as Dice for tech consultants or Idealist for non-profit consulting roles. Exploring these can narrow down your search to targeted opportunities.
  • Company career pages:  Never underestimate the power of direct applications. Websites of companies you're interested in likely have a careers section with job postings.
  • Career counseling services:  Many universities, and some private organizations, offer career counseling services. They can provide individualized advice, resume and cover letter reviews, interview practice, and more.
  • Job search engines and aggregators:  Google for Jobs , SimplyHired , and others pull postings from multiple sources to save you from visiting each site individually.
  • Recruitment agencies:  Firms like Robert Half or Michael Page specialize in placing candidates in jobs. They often have relationships with companies seeking consultants and can help match you to suitable openings.

Armed with these resources, your consulting job search becomes a planned mission instead of a scattered ordeal.

Note: These aren't replacements for a compelling consulting cover letter and a strategic networking approach, but support tools on your professional journey.

Consulting Cover Letter FAQ

What should be the structure of a consulting cover letter.

The recommended structure includes an opening salutation, an introductory paragraph, one to two body paragraphs explaining your qualifications and how they match the job requirements, followed by a conclusion and formal closing.

How long should my consulting cover letter be?

The golden rule is to keep it concise. Aim for no more than one page, and certainly no more than 400 words. Remember, hiring managers review several cover letters; short and impactful will get the job done.

Should I reuse a generic cover letter for multiple applications?

Avoid using a one-size-fits-all cover letter for all your job applications. Tailor-make each letter to suit the specific position and company. Mirror the language in the job description and demonstrate how your skills and experiences align with the role.

Do keywords make a difference in a consulting cover letter?

Absolutely. Keywords can act as a bridge between the employer's needs and your skills. They can also dutifully serve as trackers for applicant tracking systems. Identify the keywords in the job description — like 'team player', 'analytical skills', or 'project management' — and integrate them into your letter where relevant.

How should I address my consulting cover letter?

If you know the hiring manager's name, address them directly (for example, "Dear Ms. Johnson"). If you don't know their name, it's better to opt for a generic, yet professional greeting like "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Consulting Team".

Milan Šaržík — Certified Professional Résumé Writer

Milan Šaržík, CPRW

Milan’s work-life has been centered around job search for the past three years. He is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW™) as well as an active member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Careers Coaches (PARWCC™). Milan holds a record for creating the most career document samples for our help center – until today, he has written more than 500 resumes and cover letters for positions across various industries. On top of that, Milan has completed studies at multiple well-known institutions, including Harvard University, University of Glasgow, and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

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Create the Perfect Consulting Cover Letter & Free Template

Thousands of graduates apply for consulting jobs every year and 99% of consulting firms require a cover letter with each application. That’s a lot of cover letters. Amongst the pile of applications, any mediocre cover letters will likely result in the entire application being dismissed . With thousands of applications to consider, screeners will use any mistakes or flaws to justify the rejection of a candidate. Getting your cover letter and resume right is possibly the most important part of the application process.

As your cover letter sits alongside your CV it cannot simply repeat the same information and it cannot be a generic cover letter that you have used for other applications. Each cover letter takes time to write and needs to be unique, concise, and attention-grabbing. Without sufficient care and diligence, it is unlikely you will make it to the next stage of the  case interview process.

  • What Is a Cover Letter?

The cover letter introduces your application as a whole and should not be confused with a personal statement/summary on a CV. Your cover letter complements your CV but does not repeat it by briefly highlighting your relevant skills and experience as well as communicating your desire to pursue a career in consulting . It should also explain why you want to join the consulting firm you are applying for, it could be the work they do, the reputation they have, or the approach they take.

Cover letters are traditionally a letter, and therefore follow a letter format. It should contain both your address and the firm's office address. It should be short and not delve into too much detail but leave the reader wanting to learn more by continuing to read your application .

  • Why Is a Cover Letter Important?

Top firms will receive thousands of candidates and they simply cannot all be put forward for interview. Interviewing candidates is an expensive process for the firm and therefore reducing the candidate pool to roughly a tenth of the size is paramount. The cover letter is in fact a quicker way to qualify candidates than a CV/resume, this is because it is quicker to make a judgment on three critical factors: 

  • Understanding 

Without the potential to develop into a top consultant it is not worth the hiring company investing time and money into training you. Potential can be shown through skills and experiences with a particular focus on the balance of IQ and EQ. Are you a natural problem solver with an analytical skillset that is also able to build relationships with clients? Most people can show evidence of all of these things but not all of them do.

Applicants that do not clearly understand what consulting is and the work it involves will be quickly rejected. Candidates that have applied to consulting without this understanding may find it neither rewarding nor interesting; firms want to hire graduates that will repay the investment they make in them, not graduates that are likely to be difficult in the workplace and ultimately leave after a short period of time. Bad hires are expensive .

Desire is where the letter needs to be the most unique, of course, employers are aware that you will apply to more than one firm but what is it about this firm in particular that you like. It could be their focus on delivering results for their clients, or perhaps the chance to work with incredibly smart people or a particular project they did that caught your eye. Everyone likes to feel special and hiring companies are no different.

  • 5 Tips For Consulting Cover Letters

In order to make sure you hit all of the criteria required to keep the reviewer interested in your application we have put together five tips that will cover all bases:

Feedback & proofread

  • 1) Make It Unique​​

As being generic is hurtful to your chances of proceeding further you can easily ensure that you make it unique to the company to which you are applying by visiting their company website and visiting the ‘About us’ or ‘Company values’ page. If you can state what it is specifically about that company that you like then you will tick the unique box . An example using this approach for Oliver Wyman is shown below:

Website statement: ​

We value exceptional people - people with intelligence, energy, passion, emotional sensitivity, and a commitment to excellence. We refuse to compromise by hiring those who do not meet our high standards. We believe that if we have common aspirations, a non-hierarchical environment based on respect, and no artificial barriers to advancement, then exceptional people will realize their potential.

Cover letter line: ​

“The focus on exceptional people and a non-hierarchical environment at Oliver Wyman resonates with me greatly as I enjoy working alongside and learning from talented people.”

  • 2) One Page

Given how important it is to write a stand-out cover letter, it would be easy to spill over onto a second page to tell the screener how much you want it and why you are the perfect candidate. Please don’t. At the top of this page, we mentioned that your application will sit alongside thousands of other applicants and that pile will be reviewed by 5-10 current employees. That means that each screener has the laborious task of reading hundreds of cover letters in one sitting .

Having a cover letter that is more than one page means you are asking for more of the screener's time than everyone else, which in itself can result in a rejection. Consultants are concise and you should be able to keep your cover letter to one page .

  • 3) Be Bold​

As the person reading your cover letter will be doing it quickly, being bold is a way to grab their attention . It doesn’t come naturally to most of us but the reader doesn’t know you and the context of your achievements so you need to convey your brilliance with punchy statements . If you finished top of your class then state that, if you contributed to a record month during some prior work experience then don’t downplay your involvement.

Being bold shouldn’t be confused with lying. Yes, you want to grab their attention but if it later transpires that you had no involvement whatsoever with that record month or other achievements then your dishonesty will ruin all of your hard work.

  • 4) Name Drop​

When researching consulting applications there is often reference made to networking . For graduates, this falls into two categories, events and personalities. The aim of networking is to meet people currently working at the company you are looking to apply to. This allows you to find out what it is really like to work there, gain an understanding of the type of work they do, and ask any questions you would like to know the answer to.

Events-based networking is when the firm you wish to apply for is at a university careers fair or is hosting a recruitment event themselves and there are current employees in attendance . They are there to talk to potential applicants and answer the questions they have about the company but the most important thing you need to do is remember their names .

Personal networking is meeting current employees of the firm through your own efforts. These could be cold messages to employees on LinkedIn but you will be surprised at how many people you can reach via your own friends . If you can find a current employee that is an alumnus of your university and a mutual friend that you share, then be confident in asking that mutual friend for an introduction. The employee will be much more receptive to any introductions this way and usually will be happy to give up 15 minutes on the phone . Even many partners are happy to chat with potential applicants that they have been introduced to.

If you have managed to talk to any current employees then be sure to name drop them in your cover letter , something like:

“A recent conversation with a current consultant, [name], confirmed my desire to pursue a career at [firm name]. I was thoroughly impressed by the emphasis you place on collaboration as well as the training opportunities you afford junior consultants.”​

Doing this immediately shows that you understand the work involved and have a particular desire to work at that firm - two of the three requirements ticked off in one sentence.

It is not always possible to talk with a current employee, if this is the case then reference the author of a publication and state what you found interesting about it. These can be found on all firm websites.

  • 5) Feedback and Proofreading​

Submitting a cover letter with grammatical mistakes or formatting errors is looked upon very negatively. Sending your cover letter to multiple people will help ensure that no mistakes have crept into your cover letter and it meets the high standards that consultants expect .

As you are trying to condense your highlights into a couple of paragraphs it can be hard to convey the message you want. Collating feedback from as many people as possible will allow you to elevate your cover letter further, if the reviewers know you personally and/or professionally they will be able to cast a judgment on how effective it is at conveying you, your achievements, and your motivations. Don’t feel like you need to implement every single piece of feedback but select the recurring ones and any that you feel will have a positive impact .

  • Cover Letter Example

When you have gathered all of the elements required you need to ensure a clear structure to demonstrate the three key factors:  potential, understanding, and desire . Whilst the order is not of great importance this example is comprised of 6 components:​

  • Introduction

Firm highlights

Personal highlights

Career aspirations

When applying to different consultancies the section that changes most is the firm highlights section as this needs to be unique to each company.

Cover Letter Adresses

The cover letter should follow a traditional letter format with your name, address, email, and phone number featuring at the top right-hand side of the page and the company’s address below and aligned to the left-hand side under the date of writing.

Cover Letter Introduction

You should address the reader in a gender-neutral way . This can be done by using the opening “Dear Sir or Madam”.

The first line is a statement of what the letter is regarding (application), what role it is for, who it is with, and at what company.

  • Firm Highlights

Cover Letter Firm Highlights

This is where you can include the name of a current employee you’ve spoken to or the reference to the companies mission or values that caught your attention on their website. Everything that is included in this section shows your desire to work at the firm and even better if you can elaborate further and explain why that fits with your motivations and career ambitions .

  • Personal Highlights

Cover Letter Personal Highlights

This is the section where you can be bold and state your achievements without providing much detail. As consultants like to be concise, we recommend including 2-3 highlights in bullet point format . This makes them stand out and ensures that they will be read no matter how fast the reviewer is scanning the page .

Personal highlights can be anything from academic grades to scholarships awarded to musical awards but it can improve the flow of the letter if these achievements can be later related to consulting. With limited space, using one section to support the next is a useful way of communicating as much value as possible .

  • Career Aspirations

Cover Letter Career Aspirations

Consultants do not expect you to claim you want to be at the firm for the next 30 years, they are often open about their open-door policy . They cannot promote all of their staff due to the pyramid structure and those that leave for other careers are viewed as potential clients in the future . Despite this, you should state why you feel consulting is a good next step for you in your career; what you have learned during your studies, what interests you, what experiences you’ve had, how have they led you to consider a career in consulting?

Cover Letter Signature

We think it's most appropriate to sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours faithfully’ as even if you have spoken to the person you are sending it to before, they may not be the only one to read it.

It is now very easy to add an electronic print of your signature alongside a print of your name so we highly recommend that you do this. In almost all pdf viewers there is an option to a dd a signature to the page .

resume and cover letter help consulting

  • Cover Letter Variations
  • Applying From Abroad

If you are applying for an office in a location where you do not live and did not study then it is important to address this in your cover letter. You will need to demonstrate your right to work in that country or state any help you would need in obtaining the relevant visa, it is in both your and the companies interest to clarify this at the very start of the process. There is no point wasting either party's time unnecessarily. You will also need to be clear as to what the equivalent of your academic grades is in the country. Whilst they may accept grades from other countries, again it is important to clarify this at the start.

  • Applying as a Ph.D. graduate

It can be easy to assume that you have no relevant experience as a Ph.D. student but that is not true. Instead of focusing on work experience, focus on the components of your Ph.D. such as data collection, problems overcome, and collaboration with other researchers.

As data and especially big data is becoming an increasingly popular request from consulting clients, Ph.D. graduates are usually at an advantage here. State the data collection, cleaning and analysis you conducted in your personal highlights section. This is an easy way to show you have the potential to be a fantastic consultant.

  • Free Templates

Please feel free to download our cover letter template but keep in mind that this template has been downloaded by others, so we recommend making adaptations in order to make your cover letter unique. The template includes our recommended bullet point format for personal highlights.

  • Further Material

Now that you have put together your cover letter , make sure to align the other steps within your application process. This means you should also prepare your CV as well as get started with your case interview preparation. Here is a list of resources that will help you get started :

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Read our Consulting Resume Guide and follow the  step-by-step guide that shows you how to put together the perfect consulting resume. 

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To continue your successful journey, your next step will be to start with your case interview preparation as soon as possible. Make sure to read our comprehensive case interview guide to get started!

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On PrepLounge, you will  find everything you need to be fully prepared for your case interview . The vast PrepLounge community makes it easy to find  case partners  to practice cases with who have the same ambition to become an experienced case-solver like you! 

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Why consulting? – How to answer this question in your case interview

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Consulting Cover Letter Example

Cover letter examples, cover letter guidelines, how to format an consulting cover letter, cover letter header, cover letter header examples for consulting, how to make your cover letter header stand out:, cover letter greeting, cover letter greeting examples for consulting, best cover letter greetings:, cover letter introduction, cover letter intro examples for consulting, how to make your cover letter intro stand out:, cover letter body, cover letter body examples for consulting, how to make your cover letter body stand out:, cover letter closing, cover letter closing paragraph examples for consulting, how to close your cover letter in a memorable way:, pair your cover letter with a foundational resume, key cover letter faqs for consulting.

Start your consulting cover letter by addressing the hiring manager directly, if possible. If you don't know their name, use a professional greeting such as "Dear Hiring Manager". Then, introduce yourself and state the consulting position you're applying for. Mention where you found the job posting or who referred you, if applicable. Immediately express your enthusiasm for the role and briefly highlight your most relevant skills or experiences. This will grab the reader's attention and make them want to learn more about you. Remember, the opening of your cover letter sets the tone for the rest of the document, so it's important to make it engaging and tailored to the consulting industry.

The best way for consultings to end a cover letter is by summarizing their interest in the role, reiterating their qualifications, and expressing enthusiasm for a potential interview. A strong closing statement might be: "I am excited about the opportunity to bring my unique skills and experiences to your team and am confident that I can contribute to your company's success. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my application with you further." This ending is effective as it reaffirms the candidate's interest, highlights their confidence in their abilities, and proactively suggests the next step in the hiring process. Always remember to end with a professional sign-off like "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your name.

Consultants should include the following elements in a cover letter: 1. Contact Information: At the top of the cover letter, consultants should include their full name, address, phone number, and email address. 2. Formal Salutation: Address the hiring manager or recruiter directly if possible. If their name is not available, use a formal greeting such as "Dear Hiring Manager." 3. Introduction: This section should briefly introduce who you are, the position you're applying for, and where you found the job listing. 4. Body of the Letter: This is where consultants should highlight their relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. It's important to provide specific examples that demonstrate how you've used your consulting skills in past roles. This could include problem-solving, strategic planning, project management, or communication skills. 5. Company Knowledge: Show that you've done your research about the company and express why you're interested in working there. This could include mentioning a recent project the company has worked on, their company values, or how you align with their mission. 6. Closing Paragraph: Reiterate your interest in the role and the value you can bring to the company. Also, mention your availability for an interview and your eagerness to further discuss your qualifications. 7. Professional Closing: End the letter professionally with a closing such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name. 8. Postscript: This is optional, but a P.S. can be used to highlight a significant achievement or detail that can make you stand out. Remember, a cover letter should be tailored to each specific job application. It should not only show why you are a good fit for the role, but also why you are a good fit for the company.

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consulting cover letter

Consulting cover letter guide (for McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

Consulting cover letter

Today we’re going to explain everything you need to know about writing consulting cover letters.

We’ll start by reviewing an example cover letter that got interview invitations from ALL the MBB firms (McKinsey, BCG, and Bain). 

And then we’ll explain exactly how you should write your own cover letter to land consulting interviews. Here’s a full list of the topics in this guide:

  • Example cover letter

How to write your consulting cover letter

Consulting cover letter tips.

  • The skills consulting firms look for

Consulting cover letter screening process

  • Get help with your cover letter

Let’s get to it! 

Click here for a consulting letter/resume review with an ex-MBB consultant

Example cover letter (which got interviews at mckinsey, bcg, and bain).

Below is an anonymised cover letter from a candidate who got interviews at McKinsey, BCG and Bain. So you can trust that this template works.

The image here highlights the different sections of the cover letter, but we’ll dive deeper into the text later, and you can also get a downloadable copy below.

Consulting cover letter example

Free download of the consulting cover letter example, here. 

In the next section, we’ll go step-by-step through each part of the cover letter and explain how to go about writing it. But before we dive in, please note the following points about the above template:

  • A lot of people use this template. Get inspiration from it, but every sentence in your letter should be written from scratch.
  • This cover letter might sound impressive. It's one of the best ones we’ve seen. But even if you have not achieved as much as this person, you can still get an interview.

With that said, let’s dig into the cover letter writing process!

As a starting point, this video provides a nice overview of the full writing process for a consulting cover letter. 

Now let’s break things down further.

1. Introduction

Example - Introduction

Mary Taylor - [email protected]


Dear Sir / Madam,

I would like to apply for an Associate position at McKinsey in London.

This section is a formality. It should simply state the following information:

  • Your name and email address. You can replace your email address with a postal address although those are not commonly used anymore.
  • The date on which you are sending your letter
  • The position, company, and office to which you are applying

Keep it short and sweet.

2. Why you? 

Example - Why you?

I started working as an Analyst at Big Finance in New York in September 2020 and was quickly promoted to Associate in a year and a half instead of the average four years. While at Big Finance, I advised a broad range of clients who constantly gave me positive feedback and regularly asked to work with me again. Before joining Big Finance, I graduated as the top student of my MEng in Chemical Engineering at Prestigious University in the UK. While studying, I received two competitive scholarships and awards. In addition, I developed my leadership skills as the President of the Prestigious University Consulting Club. High energy was essential to lead a team of 5 managing the club and growing the number of members by 20%.

This is your "GOLD MEDALS" section. It is the first section of your cover letter and therefore the most important one.

It should state the TOP 3 achievements of your life to date that are relevant to consulting. These achievements should be as unique and as memorable as possible. When your reviewer reads them they should think "Wow, that's impressive. I want to know more about this person."

To write this section you need to step back and ask yourself "What are the most impressive things I've done with my life so far?" This is not an easy question to answer. 

In our experience discussing this with a close friend can help. It's sometimes easier for them to quickly point out the impressive things you have done as they are an external observer.

In addition, notice how achievements are QUANTIFIED in the example above. Saying you have been promoted "in a year and a half instead of the average four years" is much more powerful than saying you have been promoted "quickly." You should quantify your achievements whenever possible.

This section is your chance to grab the reader's attention. If there's nothing impressive in it, they will stop reading and just scan the paragraphs. So don't miss your opportunity!

3. Why consulting?

Example - Why consulting?

There are several reasons why I want to pursue a consulting career. To start with, I know I will enjoy being a strategy consultant because I have already worked in a strategy team in the past. This was in summer 2019 when I was a Strategy Intern at Big Grocery Retailer in London. In addition, I think consulting is a unique opportunity to comprehensively learn about business management by working on a variety of company situations. Over the past two years, I have started building my business skills while advising clients on financial matters at Big Finance. I now look forward to learning more about companies’ management at McKinsey. Finally, I want to work in consulting because I truly enjoy interacting with clients. Throughout my work experiences I have built a successful track record of developing and maintaining relationships with clients including, for instance, the senior strategy team at Big Grocery Retailer.

Once you have convinced your reviewer that you have impressive achievements under your belt they'll be thinking: "Ok, this person is impressive. But do they REALLY want to be a consultant? Or are they just applying because they're not sure what to do with their career."

The third section of your letter should therefore answer the  "Why consulting?" question . But here is the thing about this question: There are some reasons to go into consulting that you should tell your reviewer about. And some reasons that you should really keep to yourself.

For instance, one of the mistakes candidates commonly make in their cover letter is to write something along the lines of "I'd like to spend 2 or 3 years in consulting to learn more about business in general and then decide what I want to do." This is a HUGE mistake. 

Consulting firms want to hire FUTURE PARTNERS. Not employees who will stay for a couple of years. You can watch the video below for more details about this.

The best approach for your "Why consulting?" section is to write about past experiences that really show you know what you are getting into. The perfect situation is if you have done an internship in consulting or in corporate strategy and have enjoyed it. If that's the case, this is the perfect section to write about it.

But even if you haven't done related internships, there are plenty of angles you can use to connect your past experiences to what you will do as a consultant. For instance:

  • You might have enjoyed working with clients when you were in M&A or in Sales
  • You might have enjoyed structuring and solving tough problems as an engineer

You should use these experiences to say that "working with clients" or "solving tough problems" is something you KNOW you enjoy doing; and you look forward to spending more time doing this as a consultant.

When they read this section, your reviewer should think: "Ok, this person is impressive AND they know what they are getting into."

4. Why McKinsey / BCG / Bain / Other?

Example - Why McKinsey?

McKinsey appeals to me for three reasons. To start with, the different people from the company I have met and worked with all told me they had truly enjoyed their time there. For the past two years, I have worked for Michael Smith, a former Engagement Manager from the London office, who now works for Big Finance. Additionally, I regularly read McKinsey’s reports on financial services and think the insights delivered by Sarah James and others in the Finance practice are truly superior to that of other consultancies. By joining McKinsey, I therefore think I would have an opportunity to work with and learn from the best consultants in the industry. Finally, the fact that McKinsey was selected by Finance Supercorp to shape its digital strategy also played an important role in my decision to apply. This was a first-of-its-kind contract in finance and it shows that while at McKinsey I could get the opportunity to work on truly unique projects.

If you have managed to convince your reviewer that you have an impressive background and that you really want to be a consultant, you have a VERY HIGH chance of getting an interview. 

The only question that's left for you to answer is: " Why McKinsey  / Why BCG? / Why Bain? "

Top consulting firms  have a lot in common. In most regions, they cover the same industries and work for similar clients. They also pay similar salaries, and the career path is more or less the same from firm to firm. So what should you write about in this section?

In our experience, the most efficient way to set yourself apart in this section is to write about three specific elements:

When you write "I've met with Michael Smith," or "I've read report X," or "I've heard about project Y," you are making an argument that's SPECIFIC enough for your reviewer to think: "Ok they've done their homework."

If you stay too GENERIC, your argument will be much less credible. For instance, writing something like "While at McKinsey, I'll be exposed to a broad range of industries which I'm excited about" is a weak argument because you could swap McKinsey for BCG or Bain in that sentence.

In fact, this is the ultimate test. If you can swap McKinsey with another name in your "Why McKinsey?" section you are not being specific enough. You need to work on your paragraph again and mention SPECIFIC people, reports, or projects that you find interesting.

5. Conclusion

Example - Conclusion

For all these reasons, I am very enthusiastic about the chance to work at McKinsey. I am available for an interview at any time and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Mary Taylor

The last section of the cover letter is a formality again. It should include the following elements:

  • A sentence or two saying that you are enthusiastic and available for interviews at any time
  • Your final signature

So how do you make it easy for your reviewer to put your cover letter on the "Accept" pile? We have put together the 10 tips below to make sure you can achieve this and avoid common mistakes.

Consulting cover letter tips

Tip #1 Don't use a template letter

Writing cover letters is painful. But trust us, reading hundreds of them can be at least as painful. That's why you should make every effort to make your letter interesting and genuine. 

It's ok to get inspiration from templates such as the one we provide in this guide. But every sentence in your letter should be written from scratch.

Tip #2 Keep it to one page

One of the unwritten rules of consulting cover letters is that they should not be longer than one page. The trick to achieve this is to only select the MOST RELEVANT experiences from your  resume  and to summarise them. 

The points you decide to highlight should clearly demonstrate that you would make a great consultant.

Tip #3 Standard format and font

It's tempting to use an eye-catching font and format. But that's actually a bad idea. You only risk your interviewer thinking: "I've never seen this font, it looks really weird. Who is this person?" Your cover letter should stand out because of its content, NOT because of its format.

Tip #4 Not the time to be shy

Your cover letter is not the time to be shy. If you went to Harvard and have three Olympic medals, now is the time to say it! Most of us don't, and that's fine. But the point is that you should really push yourself to bring your most impressive accomplishments forward.

Tip #5 Network, network, network

This might sound surprising, but a big part of the cover letter is  how much networking you have done . Having networked with people from the firm you are applying for pays dividends for multiple reasons. 

First, they might recommend you to the HR team. But most importantly, these people will give you insight into what makes their firm UNIQUE. Then you can quote what you've heard in your cover letter (and name drop the person you heard it from) to show that you really understand the firm you are applying for.

Tip #6 Read, read, read

Unfortunately, networking is not always easy or possible. In these cases, your second best option is to read as much as you can on the firms you are applying for. You should read about the firm's projects, reports, and partners and find pieces of information you are really interested in. 

For instance, if you did your master thesis on electric vehicles, try to find who works in this area at the firm and what they have to say about it. And then mention what you have found in your cover letter.

Tip #7 One letter per firm

One question we often get is: "Should I write one letter per firm?" The answer is YES. But it's not as hard as it might sound. 

Every cover letter needs to answer three questions: Why you? Why consulting? And why this firm? The only paragraph you will need to change in every letter is the one about "Why this firm?" For each firm, you will have to do the networking and reading mentioned above.

Tip #8 Start writing early

Writing an outstanding cover letter is VERY HARD. Most candidates underestimate how much time it takes and start this process too late. You'll need to take a step back and reflect on everything you have done to date to highlight your most relevant experiences. 

This takes multiple iterations. Start early.

Tip #9 Get feedback

In our experience, great candidates all look for feedback and iterate on their cover letter until it's truly as good as it can get. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.

It’s best to get feedback from peers or consultants. These people will be able to point out which parts of your letter they don't get or don't find impactful enough. If you’d like to have an expert review your cover letter, check out our team of  ex-consultant coaches .

Tip #10 Proofread multiple times

Finally, you should check and double check your letter for typos and grammar mistakes - multiple times. A cover letter is (not so secretly) a writing test and you should really treat it like one.

What consulting firms look for

To get multiple interviews at  top consulting firms , it’s extremely important to understand what those firms are actually looking for. 

The good news is that most of the leading consultancies are looking for basically the same skills. 

To illustrate this point, here’s what  McKinsey  and  Bain  say that they’re looking for in candidates, along with our own translation of what they mean:

What consulting firms look for

There are also a few unofficial items that consulting firms will look for on your resume, and you can read about those in our  consulting resume guide .

Next, let’s talk about the typical cover letter screening process.

Screening process

Now let's talk about HOW your cover letter will be handled once you send it. Here's how it works.

Your application will be sent to a JUNIOR CONSULTANT who recently graduated from your University. They will score your documents based on a grid provided by the HR team. 

Consultants usually have to score 200 to 400 applications in about 2 weeks. And this is sometimes on TOP of their normal project. It's not uncommon for them to leave the job to the last minute and to have to do it on a Friday night just before the deadline.

Why is this important? The point we are trying to make is your application is part of 100 other applications. And the person who will review it will be tired by the time they get to your cover letter. If they don't understand something, they won't Google it. It's your job to make their job easy.

Why consultancies ask for a cover letter

There are two main reasons why consulting firms ask for cover letters.

First, partners bill several thousand dollars per day to their clients. The opportunity cost of interviewing you is HUGE for the firm. Put yourself in the shoes of a consultancy for a second. What are the top 3 questions you want to answer before investing money in interviewing a candidate?

  • Have they demonstrated the skills needed to be a consultant?
  • Do they know what consulting is and what they are getting into?
  • Are they genuinely interested in working for our firm?

If you don't answer these three questions in a structured and impactful way, your chances of getting past the screening process are very low. This is why every cover letter should be structured as follows:

  • Why consulting?
  • Why this firm?

The second reason consulting firms ask for a cover letter is to test your writing skills. Consultants write all the time: emails, PowerPoints, Word documents, etc. They spend about 50% of their day writing. And a lot of the time their job is to summarise very large quantities of information in a succinct way.

This is exactly what you have to do in your cover letter. You have to a) look back on all your past experiences, b) select the relevant experiences to convince the reviewer that you are the right person for the job and c) summarise all these experiences in a way that's easy to read and digest.

Cover letters are a disguised writing test. Candidates who end up getting invited for interviews recognise this early on. Making a good impression on paper is way harder than making a good impression in person.

Are many candidates ready to invest HOURS in writing the perfect cover letter? No. That's the whole point. That's how you can set yourself apart. If you spend enough time making sure that your letter is as impactful as it can be, you stand very high chances of getting invited for interviews.

Another reason that it can help to have a cover letter is to explain anything on your resume that may look unusual to a reviewer, such as a time gap or a non-traditional background for consulting. 

Whatever your unique situation is, if you’re not confident in how your cover letter looks today, then we can help you. 

Get an Ex-MBB consultant to review your cover letter

The guide above, in addition to our guide on  consulting resumes , should go a long way in helping you craft documents that will get you interviews. 

But if you still feel you need additional help, we have a team of ex-MBB recruiters and interviewers who would be happy to provide feedback on your cover letter.

You’ll get feedback on how to immediately improve your cover letter, including what experience to focus on, how to optimise your phrasing, formatting, etc.

Start by browsing profiles for available coaches.

Interview coach and candidate conduct a video call

Career in Consulting

Consulting Cover Letter

Consulting Cover Letter: a step-by-step guide (2024)

With a great CV, your consulting cover letter can open the door to scoring an interview and, ultimately, getting a job in consulting.

But it’s not that easy: less than 30% of applicants receive a call for an interview.

Thus, in this article, I’ll show how to write a persuasive and customized cover letter to move your job application to the top of the pile .

In particular, I’ll show you the exact steps you need to take to write a consulting cover letter that:

  • Set you apart from the crowd
  • Express your motivation to join the firm you are applying to

But first, let me introduce you to Paul.

Paul is a recent graduate from a business school in France.

He did two internships (one in Marketing and one in Finance).

Paul used the tips from this article to learn how to write a cover letter for a consulting job and landed job interviews in ALL the consulting firms he applied to . 

At the end of this article, you’ll see Paul’s consulting cover letters for McKinsey, the Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, and Deloitte.

Also, you’ll find a consulting cover letter template to help you craft your consulting cover letters. 

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Get the latest data about salaries in consulting, what is a cover letter.

Along with your resume, a cover letter is an important part of your consulting job application.

It is intended to provide a more in-depth introduction, enhancing the information in the resume or CV, outlining pertinent qualifications, and showcasing some of your most noteworthy achievements.

A strong cover letter convinces the employer that your skills align with their requirements and demonstrates the following:

  • Justifications for your qualifications for the job.
  • An explanation of why you want to work as a consultant.
  • Justifications for why you would be a good fit for their particular company.
  • Your capacity for producing engaging, clear, and concise writing.

A strong cover letter should ultimately focus on “why should we hire you” and “what’s in it for us.”.

And for that reason, it’s worthwhile to take the time to write a strong cover letter .

What recruiters want

The consulting recruiting process is costly for top consulting firms. 

Do the math:

Multiply the time spent by a management consultant giving interviews by their fees.

You’d get an insanely high number.

Therefore, management consulting firms want to invite only candidates with a serious chance of making it.

To do so, they use two selection criteria. 

Consulting cover letter - what recruiters want

Selection criteria 1: do you have the right consulting skills?

ALL consulting firms essentially look for these 4 skills when screening your application documents (resume and consulting cover letter):

  • Problem-solving : As a Consultant, you will be essentially a problem-solver. Thus, Consulting firms will assess the range of problems you had to solve and the impact you had.
  • Leadership abilities : As a Consultant, you must get things done while working with others. Thus, Consulting firms will assess your ability to work in teams and create a climate where people are motivated to do their best.
  • Personal impact : As a Consultant, you will need to gain the support and commitment of others. Thus, Consulting firms will assess your ability to develop relationships with people and influence someone to act upon your recommendation.
  • Drive : As a Consultant, you will work on new consulting projects every 3x months. Thus, Consulting firms will assess how comfortable you are with new situations and your ability to perform outside your comfort zone.

Consulting skills: what mckinsey is looking for

Selection criteria 2: are you a good fit?

A career in consulting is not for everyone.

It’s demanding. 

And it can sometimes be stressful.

Therefore, management consulting firms want to assess your motivation to pursue a career in consulting.

And more specifically, a career in consulting in their firm.

To do so, they’ll assess if you’ve done your homework.

For instance, do you understand what consultants do?

And do you understand what makes them different from other management consulting firms?  

Related articles :

Your answer to the question Tell me about yourself must be consistent with the information on your resume.

Check this article explaining how to craft a superior answer to the question “ Tell me about yourself .” 

Also, read this article to learn more about the recruiting process at McKinsey.

Besides, I’ve written articles about the recruiting process at Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company .

How to write a consulting cover letter: your step-by-step guide

Good consulting cover letters tend to follow a tried-and-trusted format. 

One that’s set up in a way that lets you show off your accomplishments and what are your motivations to join this consulting firm in particular .

If you’re worried about sticking to the same format as everyone else somehow stopping you from standing out, don’t.

It’s what you say (or don’t say) that counts. 

Let’s break down how your cover should look.

Consulting cover letter - the different sections of a management consulting cover letter

Step 1: Add the header (mandatory)

To begin with, start your cover letter with the following information:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Date of sending

In addition, you can include the company’s name and address to which you’re applying.

Paul's McKinsey cover letter: Header

Step 2: include the greetings (mandatory)

The greeting needs to display the right level of respect and professionalism.

If you have a name for the contact person, use it.

If you don’t know the contact person’s name, you can begin your cover letter with “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”

Do your best to find out to whom you’re writing to.

Look at the company website or LinkedIn page to see if you can track down the hiring manager’s name. 

Or  take the initiative to call the company.

Someone on the other end of the phone might be happy to tell you who does the hiring.

Step 3: write the opening paragraph (mandatory)

If you were to meet a hiring manager in person, you wouldn’t just throw your resume in their face and walk away, would you?

I’d like you’d offer a handshake and tell them who you are first.

This paragraph  is like a good handshake.

You want your first paragraph to be strong, succinct and make a great first impression .

In your opening paragraph , start strong:  show enthusiasm and show you want to come in there and make a contribution .

Hook the reader early with a first paragraph that makes them want to read.

You can use these guiding questions to craft the first paragraph of your cover letter .

  • Which position are you applying to ? Consultant in the BCG Munich office 
  • What are your personal qualities? Results-driven and eager to learn. 
  • Who are you? What are your past and present experiences? A final-year student at HEC Paris who completed two internships in the Banking and Technology sectors
  • What is your most impressive achievement? Experience in working with C-level management teams  

Paul's McKinsey cover letter: Opening Paragraph

This is an important cover letter tip: 

Mention the position you’re applying to (Business Analyst, Senior Consultant, Associate, etc.)

Step 4: explain why you are a good candidate (mandatory)

Your management consulting cover letter must say why you’re the right person for the job. 

This is one of the most important consulting cover letter tips.

To do so,  you must  highlight the specific skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for consulting .

For instance, here is how Paul has highlighted his skills in his consulting cover letter.

How Paul has highlighted his skills in his consulting cover letter

Here are the four steps followed by Paul to show off his skills in his cover letter :

  • Step 4.1: List your most impressive achievements and write a great resume.
  • Step 4.2: Select three skills you want to emphasize.
  • Step 4.3: Select three achievements that best illustrate how you used those three skills.
  • Step 4.4: Highlight these three achievements in your cover letter. But don’t repeat your resume word by word; show your personality instead.

Step 4.1: List Your Most Impressive Achievements And Write A Great Resume

In the “Consulting resume: 11 steps to get interviews in 2023”   article, you have the exact steps you need to take to:

  • List your most impressive achievements
  • Summarize these achievements into compelling action statements in your resume
  • Format your resume with a ready-to-use template
  • Get inspired with (literally) hundreds of examples
  • And much more…

So, start your cover letter… by writing your consulting resume !

Step 4.2: Select The 3 Skills You Want To Emphasize In Your Consulting Cover Letter

Choose the three skills you want to emphasize in your cover letter . 

For instance :

  • Problem-solving : how you used your analytical and quantitative skills to solve a problem and had an impact
  • Leadership skills : how you got something done while working with someone or a group of people
  • Personal impact : how you influenced people to act upon your recommendations

Another cover letter tip:

Do NOT put three achievements in your cover letter that illustrate the same skills twice or thrice.  

If you do so, you will undermine your profile…

And lose an opportunity to show that you are a well-rounded professional .

Step 4.3: Select The 3 Achievements That Best Illustrate How You Used Those Skills

You now must have a great list of achievements and an outstanding resume. 

Now, it’s time to select which achievements you will highlight in your cover letter.

To do so, select which achievements best illustrate your experience in three chosen skills . 

To do so, choose three achievements you feel are your strong suits to focus on.

For instance, you can ask yourself :

  • Which achievements are you most proud of?
  • Where did you have the biggest impact?
  • Which achievements were the most challenging?

Step 4.4: Highlight These 3 Achievements In Your Cover Letter. But Do NOT Repeat Your CV Word-By-Word; Show Your Personality Instead

Finally, highlight these three achievements in your cover letter. 

However,  your cover letter shouldn’t just rehash your resume . 

In other words, do not repeat your word-by-word resume.

Because this will give a weak impression.

Instead, use  the letter to tell a brief story , such as “my toughest sale” or “my biggest technical challenge,” and show your personality . 

That’s  how you will stand out from the rest .

It will make a HUGE difference if you show your personality when highlighting your achievements in your cover letter.

The secret to showing your personality is to tell the readers WHY these achievements matter to YOU .

For instance:

  • WHY this achievement was important for you
  • WHY this achievement, in particular, was challenging
  • Why did you enjoy this achievement 
  • WHY this achievement left a positive (or negative) mark on you 

Do you see the pattern here?

To make it personal, explain WHY a particular achievement is important for YOU .

There are four  reasons why a particular achievement can be  important for you : 

  • You had to manage (or you were part of a team managing) something critical for your company. In other words, you had a huge impact.
  • The situation you had to handle was very challenging : you had to deal with a tight schedule, you had few resources to reach your objectives, you were in the middle of stakeholders who were not aligned, etc. In other words, it was tough ! Think of these long hours spent at the office 🙂
  • You had to do something for the first time : present something in front of the leadership team for the first time, face a specific problem for the first time, have to handle a crisis for the first time, have to manage a team for the first time, etc. In other words, you learned a lot. 
  • Or a combination of these 3 things : critical x challenging x first time (I can imagine how stressful it was!!)

So, to conclude, when describing your achievements in your cover letter, make sure to cover these four critical elements:

  • The problem you had to solve
  • How you solve this problem (your action)
  • The outcome (the results of your action)
  • Why was this achievement important for you

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Step 5: explain why you want to join this firm (mandatory)

A well-written cover letter highlights your credentials for a job and proves your desire to work for this company in particular. 

The golden rule of applying to a job is showing interest in the firm you apply to . 

Explaining your motivation to join a company is what is most important for recruiters, according to a recent survey of 200 recruiters.

Importance of expressing your motivation and interest in your cover letter

Why is explaining your motivations to join this specific firm so important?

Think of it from the consulting firm’s perspective: they want to hire someone who will positively impact the firm and its customers and someone who is a good fit.

The hiring process is very costly and time-consuming. 

Therefore, they don’t want to hire someone who will leave the company after 12 months .

Being specific when you express your motivations to join a consultancy is key.

It won’t impress the readers if you give general reasons that can be applied to other consultancies. 

Even worse,  it shows that you haven’t done your homework and haven’t done any research about the company .

Thus, do not write, “I want to work for McKinsey because it’s the market leader” or “I want to join the Boston Consulting Group because I’ll be able to work with smart people.” 

Note:  I’ll show you how to use these two (good) reasons yet sound specific . 

So, now let’s see  how to express your motivation to join this firm in particular . 

To begin with, let’s see what Paul wrote in his McKinsey cover letter.

Paul's McKinsey Cover Letter

Paul gave two reasons why he is interested in joining McKinsey & Company. 

Each of his reasons follows this formula :

how to answer why this firm in particular

Step 5.1: Start By Giving A Reason Why You Want To Join This Company

You want to join a top consulting firm for many good reasons .

So if you are asking yourself, “Why McKinsey?”, “Why BCG?”, “Why Bain?”, “Why Deloitte?”, Why Accenture?” or “Why any other firms,” you should consider the following reasons :

  • The company’s culture : you think you’ll be a good fit with the company’s culture. For instance, the culture of excellence at McKinsey. Or the collaborative culture at Bain & Company. Another example: the diversity of profiles promoted by the Boston Consulting Group
  • Its reputation : you want to work for a company recognized as a global market leader, such as McKinsey & Company. Or do you want to join a well-known advisor in a specific geography like Bain & Company in the Middle East?
  • The company’s specialization : you can have a special interest in a topic or an industry and join a firm with expertise in that topic or industry. For instance, Simon Kucher & Partners for pricing, or Bain & Company for Private Equity. Or maybe McKinsey is the only consulting firm working with public entities in your region 
  • Smart colleagues : you want to be inspired and work with people inside and outside the firm who will challenge your work and how you think. For instance, McKinsey is obsessed with working mainly at the CEO level
  • The company’s size : you want to join a new (or a small) office and be part of the teams that will help develop that office. Or the office can be well established, but you want to join a newly created practice and want to help develop it
  • The company’s international footprint : you want to have the opportunity to work in an international environment or to be relocated to an office abroad in a couple of years. For instance, some consulting firms have international staffing rules, whereas others offer only local staffing opportunities
  • The career progression opportunity : you want to join a company that invests a significant amount each year to train their consultants. For instance, Bain is known to put a high value on training their employees

So, think of “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “What attracts you to work for this company?” and check which reasons make sense.

However,  if your cover letter mentions some of the previous reasons without any more explanations, your answer will sound very generic  (and weak).

For instance, if you write, “I want to work for a prestigious company and be surrounded by smart colleagues,” this can be applied to most consulting firms. 

That’s  why you need to add evidence that you know what you are discussing .

In other words, you must show that you did your homework and researched the company. 

That’s step 5.2.

Step 5.2: Then, Back-Up Your Reason With A Persuasive Source Of Information

To make your answer convincing, you must back up your reason with a good source of information.

Thus, you will show the readers that you are not applying to this firm for random but thoughtful reasons. 

To do so, there are three persuasive sources of information that you should consider::

  • Consultants who work at the company you are applying to . Your interviewer wants to know if you have done your homework and have talked to anyone from the office you are applying to, or at least from the firm in general. In other words, networking is super important.
  • Reports produced by the company, such as the McKinsey Quarterly or the BCG Insight. Tell them you read and found interesting a report or an article about a topic you like.
  • Alumni with whom you have worked with . If you had the opportunity to work with alumni from the firm you are applying to, mention it. This shows that you have an idea of what working there looks like.

To conclude, back up the reasons why you want to join a company with one of these sources of information, and you’ll show the readers that you researched the company and thus demonstrate real interest .

Step 5.3: Finally, Explain Why This Reason Is Important For You

Now, it’s time to make it personal. 

As for your skills  (read again writing tip 6, “Show your personality in your cover letter” if necessary),  explain why this particular reason is important for you .

For instance, you can explain why working for a global market leader such as McKinsey is important:

You are excited by the opportunity to work on impactful projects. 

Another example:

You can explain why the focus of Bain & Company on having an impact is important for you: you need to have tangible results from your work.

Step 5.4: Repeat The Previous Steps 1 Or 2 Times

Try to give a minimum of 2 (and a maximum of 3) reasons why you want to join a particular firm.

Therefore, repeat the previous steps 1 or 2 times.

Step 6: say why you want to pursue a career in consulting (optional)

This section is optional. 

90% of the time, your management consulting cover letter should NOT include this section .

If you need to include this section, keep it short. 

My recommendation is a maximum of 3 or 4 lines.

And to do so, the process is simple.

First, select one or two reasons you want to pursue a career in consulting.

Here are some examples of reasons to pursue a career in consulting:  

resume and cover letter help consulting

Second, explain why this reason is important for you .

For instance, why is having an impact important for you?

Or why is working in an environment with a strong learning curve important for you?

Again, keep your answers concise.

Step 7: end with a call to action (mandatory)

This is your call to action.

Thank the readers for their time, and let them know you’re excited to be interviewed.

I would welcome the chance to discuss further your expectations and how my analytical, leadership, and communication skills can bring value to McKinsey.

Always be polite and respectful in your close.

Let them know how eager you are to be interviewed, but never make demands.

Paul's McKinsey Cover Letter: Signature

Step 8: add your consulting cover letter signature

Sign off your letter with a “Best” or “Best regards” (remember to include a comma), followed by your name.

You can use other phrases like “Yours sincerely,” “Kind regards,” or “Best wishes,” but “Best” or “Best regards” are the safest options.

Step 9: proofread and check typos

Now it’s time to polish your consulting cover letter to ensure it stands out.

Like your resume,  your cover letter is one of the few things in your life that needs to be perfect .

Thus, you must put the same attention to detail in your cover letter as Consultants do with their slide deck presentations.

In other words, perfection is the minimum standard your cover letter must pass to keep it out of the rejection pile.

Pay close attention to the following areas to make your cover letter bulletproof.

Imagine finding out that your application — the one you spent hours working on — was dismissed because of a few small spelling or grammar errors. 

That would be tough to take.

But it happens.

Hiring managers must review hundreds of resumes and cover letters.

And typos are one of the easiest ways to narrow applicants down . 

So, double or triple-check your cover letter.

When you’ve done that, have someone else read over it.

#2: Formatting Errors

Large blocks of text are hard work on the eyes, especially on a screen. 

Therefore, keep sentences short and limit paragraphs to three or four sentences.

Moreover, I recommend using bullet points when describing your most critical skills and achievements . 

Another thing to remember is that your cover letter and resume will be read together, so the two should be consistent in how they look. 

Thus, match the style of your cover letter to your consulting resume .

To help you, I have put a cover letter template at the end of this article.

In addition, you can find a resume template in this article .

#3: Any Trace of Copy And Paste

The  “I am writing to apply for the role of  [job]  at  [company] ”  example from a previous cover letter is classic copy-and-paste.

Anything non-specific or generic immediately has the hiring manager wondering how many other people you’ve tried to impress with your robotic writing . 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use copy-and-paste templates.

It just means you shouldn’t make it obvious that you do.

#4: Too Many Words

According to a survey by Saddleback College, almost 70% of employers want a cover letter to be less than one page.

24% say that the shorter, the better.

Generally, your consulting cover letter should be less than 500 words and fit on a single page . 

Let me repeat because it’s important:

Your consulting cover letter must be on one page.

#5: File Name And Type

First, use the PDF format when submitting your cover letter to a consulting firm unless otherwise specified by the company or recruiter.

Besides, when assigning a file name to your cover letter, include your first and last name along with the name of the company you’re applying to in the name of the file, like “Sébastien Ritter Cover Letter McKinsey.”

Step 10: get your cover letter reviewed by an expert

To ensure your consulting cover letter is error-free, share it (with this article 😉) with your friends and ask for feedback.

But do not ask all your friends.

Instead, focus on these three people: a grammar champion, an HR person (preferably in the consulting industry, but non-consulting HR is fine, too), and a Consultant.

Step 11: complement your cover letter with a great CV

I recommend focusing your time and energy on your consulting resume before writing your cover letter. 

Because recruiters say they spend a maximum of 60 seconds deciding whether a candidate should be invited for an interview, they probably start by figuring out whether you have the skillset and education required for the job.

And that’s the purpose of the resume .

For instance, I recommend spending 80% of your time writing your CV and 20% writing your cover letter.  

Check this article that will help you craft your CV .

You’ll find a step-by-step guide, templates, and examples to help you craft a perfect consulting resume. 

My best consulting cover letter tips

In 2023, I analyzed 147 management consulting cover letters . 

As a result, here are my 7 best cover letter tips. 

And here is the best part:

You’ll also learn the most common mistakes to avoid at all costs. 

Consulting cover letter tip 1: Personalize your letter for each firm

Never send a generic cover letter.

This implies that you must create a new one for each firm.

Consulting cover letter tip 2: Simplify your letter

Clarify and condense your message.

Using complicated words and sentences would almost certainly fail to convey your intentions to the company, and the person reading the letter probably won’t bother with the rest of your application.

Consulting cover letter tip 3: Be specific when needed

Make sure to quantify your accomplishments.

For instance, elaborate on your marketing expertise in your cover letter by stating that you increased revenue to $10,000 while bringing in 200 more clients monthly.

Having specific personal information can help you stand out from other applicants.

Consulting cover letter tip 4: Omit unnecessary details

Let’s state the obvious:

You don’t need to mention your graphic design experience.

Personal information like accomplishments in leisure activities, interests, and hobbies are best left out.

Consulting cover letter tip 5: Show Your Value

When applying for consulting positions, it’s a common error for candidates to focus only on their individual accomplishments.

Cover letters with many “me memes” are frequently read by recruiters.

This means that rather than emphasizing how they can contribute to the company (and eventually become partners), many applicants concentrate on how they will personally benefit from the position in question.

In your cover letter, highlight how your skills will help the company.

Consulting cover letter tip 6: Remember that spelling counts

Grammar and spelling mistakes can indicate that you neglected to proofread your own letter.

Additionally, be consistent—do not represent a dash with “—” in one location and “–” in another.

Consulting cover letter tip 7: Give Yourself Time to Write a Quality Letter

A strong consulting cover letter takes time to write, just like consulting resumes do.

It’s important to consider your accomplishments and what sets you apart from others if you want to be successful.

Think twice before assuming you can create a quality cover letter in a single evening.

It necessitates numerous revisions, careful rereading, and prompt feedback.

Additionally, you must ensure that the cover letter complements your resume flawlessly and elaborates on your impressive abilities and experiences.

Four consulting cover letter examples

In the next 4 sections, you can find sample cover letters for McKinsey, BCG, and Bain & Company.

McKinsey cover letter (Undergraduate)

Now, you can see a first consulting cover letter sample.

That’s the McKinsey cover letter used by Paul. 

Please note that this Junior Consultant cover letter (or a cover letter for the Associate Consultant position) can also work for other positions. 

Paul's McKinsey Cover Letter

BCG cover letter (experienced hire)

Here is now a BCG cover letter from an experienced hire.  

BCG cover letter (experienced hire)

Bain cover letter (Undergraduate)

Here is now a Bain & Company cover letter from an undergraduate student.  

Bain cover letter (Undergraduate)

Bonus: McKinsey cover letter from FirmLearning

Here is another McKinsey cover letter example from the YouTube channel Firm learning:

Do you want more consulting cover letter samples?

Then sign up for our free training !

In this free training, you’ll find consulting cover letter samples and tips on acing your consulting interviews at top management consulting firms.

And you’ll improve your problem-solving skills!

Consulting cover letter templates

Do not reinvent the wheel.

Thus, you can download free consulting cover letter Word or PDF templates to fasten the writing process .

These detailed templates will help you correctly outline your management consulting cover letter.

You can use these templates to apply to any top-tier consulting firms, including the following:

  • Bain & Company
  • Oliver Wyman
  • Roland Berger
  • Deloitte Monitor
  • Strategy&
  • E&Y Parthenon
  • And many more.

If you need help writing your resume, these templates will help you.

Here is the Word template .

And here is the PDF template .

Besides, check this article to download consulting resume templates and examples.

Frequently asked questions

How long should a cover letter be.

Aim at 2–4 paragraphs within one page.

Do I need a cover letter?

I ALWAYS recommend adding a cover letter to your application .

Because a well-written cover letter will always distinguish your application.

If a resume shows your  Skills and Accomplishments, a consulting cover letter must show your Personality and Motivation.

In other words, a great cover letter is your chance to say something about yourself that you can not put in your resume.

And for securing your dream consulting job, any advantage you can gain over other candidates to land an interview is worth taking.

A good consulting cover letter is one such advantage.

This article helps showcase your personality and motivation in your consulting cover letter.

Also, here is what recruiters say will get an application rejected (source: ):

Cause Of Rejection: no cover letter

Not submitting a consulting cover letter is a risk of rejection . 

How to organize your consulting cover letter sections?

Short answer: the order of the sections does not matter much.

For instance, you can organize your management consulting cover letter like this:

  • Why consulting

Or you can organize the sections of your management cover letter differently. 

There is no one-size-fits-all management consulting cover letter winning order.

Consulting cover letter: final words

I hope you found this new guide to writing a persuasive, customized cover letter for consulting jobs helpful. 

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Which tip from today’s post was the most helpful for you?

Is it how to show your personality?

Or maybe it is how to express your motivation for a particular firm.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

P.S. Are you looking for help?

If you want a team of experts by your side throughout the entire consulting recruitment process, check if we would be a good fit by clicking here .

Besides, check our clients’ success stories .

We’ve helped hundreds of candidates get offers at top consulting firms around the globe. 

The best part?

Those candidates had various backgrounds: MBAs, Engineers, PhDs, experienced professionals, etc.


18 thoughts on “Consulting Cover Letter: a step-by-step guide (2024)”

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resume and cover letter help consulting

The only useful and structured cover letter writing article on the whole internet!

resume and cover letter help consulting

Happy that you enjoyed the article, Anthony 🙂

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resume and cover letter help consulting

I didnt realise how much i need this article, till i read it . Truly helpful , Thanks Sebastien 🙂

Thanks! glad you found it helpful!

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Pingback: How to answer “Why McKinsey?”, “Why BCG?”, or “ Why Bain?” questions - Career in Consulting

resume and cover letter help consulting

Brilliant brilliant work, Sebastien! Thank you very much. The best I have come across so far.

Thank you very much Samuel!

resume and cover letter help consulting

Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such things, so I am going to inform her.

resume and cover letter help consulting

Great article to read, all the tips are great….

Thanks! I’m glad you like it

resume and cover letter help consulting

Ththank you very much for the article which was very interesting, just like the one about the CV!

However, I was wondering if following this structure in 3 adjectives and form could not be penalizing since many people have already followed your article?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Hi Thomas. Thank you for your comment, and I’m glad you’ve liked this article! Regarding your question, besides the structure described in this article, the content (the reasons why you are interested in a firm and why these reasons are important for you) will make your CL unique. Hope this helps, Sébastien

resume and cover letter help consulting

I never write comments like this on the internet but felt compelled to express my gratitude. This, and the resume writing article, are the most thoughtful and helpful guides I have ever read on this topic. Although I am a teacher in England (not an American consultant!) I found all the advice to be completely transferrable and have done a major overhaul on my CV. Thank you for being so clear and thorough in your advice – I have shared it with my colleagues and will continue to spread the word to anyone who needs CV writing advice in any profession.

Thank you Emily for the nice comment

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Resume Worded   |  Career Strategy

14 consultant cover letters.

Approved by real hiring managers, these Consultant cover letters have been proven to get people hired in 2024. A hiring manager explains why.

Hiring Manager for Consultant Roles

Table of contents

  • Senior Consultant
  • Strategy Consultant
  • Management Consultant
  • Alternative introductions for your cover letter
  • Consultant resume examples

Consultant Cover Letter Example

Why this cover letter works in 2024, quantifiable achievement.

By highlighting a specific, quantifiable accomplishment, this sentence shows the value the candidate has brought to previous roles and demonstrates their potential impact at Unilever.

Industry Knowledge

This sentence emphasizes the candidate's well-rounded background in the consumer goods industry, showcasing their domain knowledge and making them a stronger fit for the role.

Passion for Change

Sharing a genuine passion for driving positive change, the candidate connects on a deeper level with Unilever's mission, showing they're not just applying to any company.

Gracious and Confident

Expressing gratitude for consideration while maintaining confidence in their qualifications strikes the perfect balance in the closing sentence, leaving a positive impression.

Showcase your accomplishments

It's crucial to highlight significant projects you've led that are relevant to the role you're seeking. In this case, improving efficiency at a previous job directly ties into the job description of a Consultant. By mentioning a specific quantitative achievement (increasing efficiency by 25%), you're demonstrating not only your capability, but also the impact you can deliver.

Detail your team leadership experience

As a Consultant, you'll likely be managing projects and potentially leading teams. Sharing concrete examples of when you've successfully done this in the past reassures me that you're capable of handling the responsibilities that come with the role. If I have no doubts about your leadership abilities, that's one less hurdle for you in the hiring process.

Showcase concrete achievements

In your cover letter, it's essential to go beyond generic statements about your abilities. By talking about a specific project where you increased operational efficiency by 30% in six months, you're showing your capability to yield quantifiable results. This gives recruiters solid evidence of your value, and makes clear what you could bring to the table.

Highlight relevant skills

When you mention your ability to see the bigger picture and keep an eye on the granular details, you are pinpointing a key skill for consultants. This skill isn't just important, it's crucial. Highlighting it shows you understand the role and have what it takes to succeed.

Align your values

When you talk about your belief in mentorship and lifelong learning, you're not just sharing personal values, you're aligning yourself with the company's culture. Showing this alignment signals to recruiters that you're not just qualified, but that you would fit in and be a valuable addition to the team.

Express genuine interest

By emphasizing your interest in McKinsey's focus on digital transformation, you're not just ticking a box. You're showing genuine interest in an area that's vital to the company, which tells me you're likely to stay engaged and motivated in your role.

Communicate confidence and ambition

Your closing sentence conveys confidence, ambition, and a clear sense of what you can offer. This leaves a strong impression and makes it clear that you're serious about contributing and growing within the firm.

Show your problem-solving impact as a consultant

Sharing a story of overcoming a challenging project demonstrates your ability to tackle difficult tasks and think creatively, which is key for a consultant role.

Quantify your achievements in consulting

Mentioning specific results, like a 25% increase in sales productivity, showcases your direct impact on business success, making you a more attractive candidate.

Express enthusiasm for diverse client experiences

Highlighting your eagerness to work with various clients indicates your adaptability and lifelong learning attitude, traits highly valued in consulting.

Relate your skills to the company's mission

Connecting your expertise to the company's goals shows you understand what they need and believe you can help achieve it, strengthening your application.

Close with a forward-looking statement

Ending your letter by expressing anticipation for a discussion about your contribution emphasizes your eagerness and proactive approach.

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Connect with the company’s mission

Expressing how a company's innovative approach excites you demonstrates alignment with their values and goals, a key factor in standing out as a candidate.

Detail your impactful achievements

Sharing specific examples of how you led teams to achieve measurable outcomes illustrates your leadership and strategic thinking capabilities, both critical skills in consulting.

Showcase your collaboration and impact

Emphasizing your ability to work with diverse teams on complex challenges underlines your capability to navigate the multifaceted nature of consulting projects, making you a valuable team player.

Reveal your aspiration to learn and grow

Highlighting your excitement to learn from industry leaders at the company signifies your commitment to professional growth and continuous improvement, traits that are highly regarded in the consulting industry.

Thank the employer and show enthusiasm for next steps

Ending your cover letter with a polite thank you and an expression of eagerness to discuss your role further demonstrates professionalism and a forward-thinking mindset.

Show your enthusiasm for the consultant position

Talking about your excitement for the role and the company helps me see that you have a genuine interest in what we do.

Highlight your results as a consultant

When you share specific outcomes from your past work, it gives me a clear picture of what you can achieve.

Connect your skills to the job needs

Explaining how your abilities match the role makes it easier for me to see you as a good fit for our team.

Express your desire to grow

Your willingness to learn and develop professionally tells me you're looking to invest in your future here.

Close with a strong call to action

Asking to discuss your application further shows initiative and eagerness to engage with us.

Senior Consultant Cover Letter Example

Align your passions with the job.

It's refreshing to see candidates who are genuinely passionate about the work they do. When you make it clear that you're passionate about the same things the company values, it signals that you'll be a good cultural fit. This is especially important in a Senior Consultant role where you'll be interacting with various stakeholders and representing the company's brand and values.

Highlight major accomplishments

When you're gunning for a senior role, it's important to showcase significant achievements that align with the responsibilities of the job you're applying for. Providing a tangible metric of success (a 30% improvement in efficiency) from a past project not only demonstrates your ability to deliver results, but also gives me a sense of the scale and impact of your work.

Express eagerness for leadership

One thing that sets senior roles apart is the level of responsibility and leadership required. By expressing excitement about leading a team and leveraging your expertise to drive results, you're showing me you're ready to step up and take ownership, which is exactly what I need in a Senior Consultant.

Highlight your alignment with the company's values

Starting with your admiration for the company’s approach to challenges demonstrates your compatibility and enthusiasm for their methods, a good sign for a senior consultant.

Demonstrate impact through strategic initiatives

Detailing a specific project where you drove significant improvements shows your ability to lead and execute strategies that benefit the company, crucial for a senior role.

Stress the importance of teamwork and trust

Emphasizing your commitment to building relationships points to your leadership and interpersonal skills, vital for managing projects and teams effectively.

Show excitement about joining the team

Conveying genuine excitement to work with industry leaders underlines your respect for the company and eagerness to contribute, appealing to hiring managers.

Invite further discussion in a professional manner

Politely requesting an opportunity to discuss your potential contributions demonstrates professionalism and a readiness to take the next step.

Demonstrate your admiration for the senior consultant role

Starting with why you respect the company sets a positive tone and shows alignment with our values.

Share impactful achievements

Detailing significant successes helps me understand the scope and scale of your contributions in previous roles.

Showcase your problem-solving skills

Describing how you tackle challenges reassures me of your capability to handle complex issues.

Emphasize teamwork and excellence

Mentioning your enthusiasm for working with talented colleagues highlights your collaborative spirit and ambition.

Invite further discussion

Ending with a request for a conversation demonstrates proactive interest and readiness to contribute to our team.

Strategy Consultant Cover Letter Example

Illustrate the broader impact of your work.

When you detail how your innovative thinking led to unprecedented growth, you paint a picture of your wider impact. This goes beyond the immediate task at hand and shows that you understand the broader significance of your role. This kind of strategic thinking is highly attractive to employers.

Connect with the company's mission

By expressing resonance with Deloitte's commitment to societal impact, you are showing a deeper connection with the company's mission. This not only shows that you're in tune with their values, but also that you're passionate about contributing to them.

Express eagerness to contribute

Your eagerness to bring your experience to a firm that leads in business innovation and societal impact shows your motivation. This is not just about getting a job, but about making a difference. This type of commitment will certainly make you stand out.

Identify with the company culture

When you mention the company's culture of mentorship and professional development, you are showing that you've done your homework. You're also signaling that you value growth and learning, traits that are highly prized in any industry.

Emphasize your alignment with the team's mission

Your closing statement is not just a hopeful sign-off, it's a powerful assertion of your alignment with the team's mission. This shows a level of commitment and ambition that goes beyond the typical job seeker.

Highlight admiration for the company's impact

When you express respect for the company’s achievements, it shows that you share similar values and are enthusiastic about contributing to their ongoing success.

Show your strategy consultant achievements

Describing specific outcomes from your past work, like increased efficiency or cost savings, proves your ability to tackle complex problems and deliver tangible benefits.

Express eagerness for diverse projects

Showing excitement about working across different industries demonstrates your passion for learning and adaptability, which are crucial traits for a strategy consultant.

Appreciate the recruiter’s time

Acknowledging the effort taken to review your application adds a personal touch to your cover letter, making it more memorable.

Convey genuine interest in the company’s mission

When you mention your alignment with the company’s goals, it highlights your motivation and potential to be an engaged and committed team member.

Show your admiration for the firm

Starting your cover letter by expressing respect and admiration for the company sets a positive tone and shows that you have a genuine interest in becoming part of their team. It's a good way to connect from the start.

Highlight your achievements with numbers

When you talk about your past work, including specific numbers, like a 30% increase or $10 million in savings, it makes your achievements more real and impressive. It clearly shows the impact you can have as a strategy consultant.

Link your skills to the job needs

By listing skills that are key for a strategy consultant role and linking them to your past successes, you make it easy for me to see why you would be a good fit for the job. It's important to connect your abilities directly to what the job will involve.

Share your passion for industry trends

Talking about your eagerness to keep up with industry trends and work with knowledgeable colleagues shows that you're not just looking for any job, but that you're committed to growing and contributing in a meaningful way.

End with a strong call to action

Ending your letter by expressing eagerness to discuss how you can add value makes a strong closing. It shifts the focus from what you've done to what you can do for the company, inviting the reader to imagine you in the role.

Management Consultant Cover Letter Example

Show your passion for management consulting.

Sharing your long-term interest in how businesses operate gives us a glimpse into your genuine enthusiasm for the consulting world. This passion is a strong foundation for a successful career in consulting.

Demonstrate success in diverse industries

When you talk about your experience across different sectors, it highlights your flexibility and ability to adapt to various business environments. This is crucial in consulting, where understanding different industry dynamics can set you apart.

Highlight innovative problem-solving skills

Your willingness to question the norm and your commitment to data-driven decisions showcase a balance of creativity and analytical strength, both highly valued in the management consulting field.

Express eagerness to join the team

By stating your excitement to contribute to the firm's legacy, you not only show that you've done your homework but also that you're motivated to be a part of their success story. This eagerness can be very appealing to prospective employers.

Illustrate your understanding of the company's impact

Your closing remarks about helping the company maintain its excellence in management consulting reflect a deep understanding of the firm's goals and the role you wish to play in achieving them.

Admire the firm’s innovative leadership

Starting with admiration for the company's leadership in innovation sets a positive tone and aligns your interest with their core values.

Demonstrate impactful management consulting experience

Providing examples of your leadership in significant projects with quantifiable outcomes illustrates your capability to drive efficiency and savings, marking you as a valuable asset.

Highlight unique problem-solving skills

Emphasizing your mix of analytical and creative skills showcases your versatility and ability to devise solutions that are both effective and innovative.

Thank recruiters for their consideration

Expressing gratitude for the reviewers' time reflects your professionalism and helps foster a positive connection.

Express enthusiasm for contributing to the firm’s goals

Showing eagerness to support the company’s mission demonstrates your commitment and investment in their success, making you a compelling candidate.

Alternative Introductions

If you're struggling to start your cover letter, here are 6 different variations that have worked for others, along with why they worked. Use them as inspiration for your introductory paragraph.

Cover Letters For Jobs Similar To Consultant Roles

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resume and cover letter help consulting

Thank you for the checklist! I realized I was making so many mistakes on my resume that I've now fixed. I'm much more confident in my resume now.

resume and cover letter help consulting


Consulting resume & cover letter.

Suppose you apply for Consulting jobs online, or through your school’s on-campus recruiting center, with a cover letter and a resume. What happens next? Firms have a resume review session, wherein a team of fairly junior Consultants (usually 1-2 years out of school, and often from your school) read and grade each resume until the thousands of resumes end up in a shortlist to be interviewed.

In this chapter, we will provide key insights and tips for assembling your resume and cover letter to help ensure that your resume makes the shortlist—in other words, we hope to maximize your chances of receiving an interview.

Consulting Resume

Consultants spend approximately 45 seconds reviewing each resume and rarely even look at the cover letter during this period. Always keep that in mind —if it’s not on the resume, most Consultants who are evaluating your application for the job will not see it. We cannot stress this enough. Furthermore, you have a limited amount of time to connect with the Consultants reviewing your resume and communicate to them why you deserve an interview. This means that your resume has to be:

  • Results-oriented and
  • Extremely well formatted .

The goal of the cover letter should be to augment what is on the resume and explain why you are eager to work for the firm you are applying to. We will discuss cover letters in-depth in the next section of this chapter.

So what should be the core of your resume? For students graduating from an Undergraduate or Graduate program, the priorities are:

  • Academic credentials. Good grades are very important in Consulting; mediocre grades can be overcome with interesting work and other experience, but in Consulting, this is an uphill battle.
  • Work experience and other interesting experiences . Whether it be a major work experience or a major accomplishment, it is important for the reviewing Consultants to know what you’ve been exposed to and what you’ve accomplished up to this point in your life.

If you are applying as a hire from Industry, simply reverse these two—in other words, work experience comes first, and then academic credentials.

Resume Formatting

If you are just about to start preparing your resume, we highly recommend that you review the following example resumes we have found. Not all of them are from Consulting, but all of them could be used as a basis for properly formatting your Consulting resume:

Consulting firms are not as rigorous as investment banks about the precise formatting of an appropriate resume for individuals applying for junior positions—there is some room for leeway. However, regardless of the exact formatting, you want the resume to look professional, clean, and sharp. It should be easy to read, with only one font used and a consistent font size used (though your name at the top can be a little bit larger, as long as it looks appropriate).

Resume Sections

Regardless of the formatting template you use, an appropriate resume will have the following sections:

  • Personal Information Header: Key personal information, including name, address, telephone number, and email address. (Note: be sure that the email address you use has your name in it! Funny or informal email addresses, such as [email protected] , come across as unprofessional).
  • Education: Include your GPA, course details and also any relevant extracurricular activities. Published papers, work with professors, etc.  show motivation, ambition and also that a reputable person chose to work with you. If you have high-quality standardized test scores, include those as well. Note that this section would come after Work/Professional Experience for Industry hires.
  • Work/Professional Experience: Include all relevant work experience—even something that may not seem like a direct fit, such as being a teaching assistant. The goal here is to show your variety of experiences, and demonstrate that you’re talented and that you’ve taken on challenging work in the past. However, do not include irrelevant work experiences such as working at the university bar, being a cashier or stock boy, etc.
  • Other Experience/Skills: This section differs widely across candidates, but is an area in which you can highlight skills and accomplishments that could be useful as a Consultant, such as particular language skills, technical skills, or even volunteer experiences in which you worked with a team. Additionally, this is a chance to show off things you’ve accomplished that demonstrate your talent—awards you’ve won, competitions you’ve been a part of, etc. In short, this is a place to list things that demonstrate your uniqueness and/or capabilities.
  • Personal Interests: Interests listed can highlight your personality and breadth of interests, and can often prompt interesting conversations with an interviewer. Remember, interviewers want to hire interesting people. Do not make up any interests, as there’s a good chance you’ll face an interviewer who is knowledgeable in an interest area that you have listed. Also note that as you get older and gain more work experience, this section becomes less relevant.

Remember, your resume is a marketing document. It is a single page on which you get to market yourself . You want to put the best possible version of yourself forward throughout the interview process, and that best possible version of yourself should be crystallized in this one-page document. Do not be afraid to spend a lot of time on it—reviewing it meticulously, revising and improving it, and asking friends and colleagues for help. In particular, it is very helpful to ask for a resume review from friends you know at the firms you are applying to, or friends who are also applying to similar firms.

Additional Tips

  • Use bullet points rather than paragraph text . It makes it much easier for the reviewing Consultants to scan through the resume and glean important information quickly.
  • For Undergraduates and Graduates, the resume should fit comfortably on 1 page using normal size font (10-12) and normal margins. (Industry hires may have longer resumes, especially if they have worked in Consulting before, because they may wish to enumerate details of projects completed and skills gained.) Keep descriptions short, and don’t worry about providing a ton of detail—if the interviewers are interested in a topic you’ve written on the resume, they can ask more about it in the interview. Keep it punchy!
  • Use bold and underline formatting to highlight key points, firm names, school names, etc. Be consistent throughout the document.
  • As we mentioned, use the same font and a consistent font size throughout (with your name at the top a possible exception).
  • Avoid fancy design of any kind, and do not use any colors other than white background and black text.
  • Avoid listing an “Objective” section. Anyone reading your resume will naturally assume that your objective is to secure a job offer with his or her firm, so the “Objective” section is redundant, wasted space.
  • This may sound silly, but make sure your interests are interesting . Remember, Consultants are deciding whether they want to work with you in addition to seeing whether you meet the academic and experience criteria . Bland interests such as “reading” and “cooking” are less interesting than “reading vintage comic books” or “taking advanced French cooking courses.”
  • If you have one or two major accomplishments (major award, incredible work experience, incredible academics), ensure that these things stand out . If they are in a list, list them near the top, and at least consider making them bold and/or underlined.
  • Keep language simple and do not use complex or technical language if it can possibly be avoided.
  • Be specific and quantify results where possible. But again, be punchy. When in doubt, choose brevity over detail in specifying your results and achievements.
  • Use active voice, Include key Consulting skills subtly in your experience through your choice of descriptive verbs (words/phrases such as analyzed, researched, implemented, managed, evaluated, examined, assessed, quantified, reviewed, surveyed, facilitated, designed, launched, etc.).
  • Do not devote more than one line to your high school experience, if at all.
  • Submit the resume in PDF format. It looks more professional than Microsoft Word, and there is much less of a chance that the resume will appear to be formatted incorrectly due to subtle differences in the configuration of Word on the recipient’s computer.
  • Never be dishonest in any way on your resume. It’s a terrible idea to be dishonest in general, throughout your career—and if anyone uncovers your lie, you will not get the job. In fact, if it is discovered that you lied on your resume when applying, you might get fired after starting the job!
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! Make sure your completed resume has zero mistakes: no typos, no grammatical errors, no spelling mistakes, and no formatting/alignment errors. Then, slowly, re-read it again , very carefully, just to be sure. Few things look worse on a resume than a typo—especially for a Consultant whose job it is to be detail oriented!

To give you a better idea of what your final product should look like, we have procured the following actual Consultant resumes from top firms to show you. We have only obscured the names and most details for privacy reasons:

Consulting Resume Example 1

Consulting Cover Letter

With your resume done, it’s time to turn to your Consulting cover letter. The cover letter is less important than your resume and, given the speed with which your entire submission will be reviewed by Consultants at the firm you’re applying to, the cover letter will often not even be read by anyone.  However, cover letters will be read at some places, so it’s important to do them right.

Cover letters themselves will rarely get you an interview. However, they can certainly prevent you from getting an interview, if any egregious mistakes are made in them. So for each cover letter you write, be sure to review it thoroughly to make sure there are no errors in the letter.

Cover Letter Sections

We recommend that you review sample cover letters to get a sense for writing an effective Consulting-focused cover letter. Wikihow provides a few reasonable samples to get you started.

The standard Consulting cover letter structure is as follows:

  • Opening with what position you are applying for. Introduce yourself as a strong candidate for this position and mention any consultant at the firm you know/have networked with during the recruiting process, or something else about the firm that led you to apply.
  • Mention your education and relevant experience (work and/or other). Include relevant current studies and mention the strength of your academic performance. Mention prior work experience only to the extent that it offers the reader a good sense of why you’re an excellent candidate for the job you’re applying for.
  • Discuss your motivation and interest in the position and the firm . Articulate why you want to be a Management Consultant and what skills you have that would make you a strong Management Consultant. Try very hard to touch on something about the firm specifically.
  • If applicable, mention any other relevant standout point or accomplishment. This could be in the previous work experience section or in the closing sentences. But if there is something special to mention, be sure to get it in.
  • Write the closing. Keep it short and to the point, and offer to provide any additional information they may request. If you’re stuck on what to write here, simply reiterate your interest in the position and the firm.

Writing a good cover letter is pretty much that simple. But here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Keep the cover letter succinct and articulate (use size 12 font and much less than the full page—2/3 of the page at the absolute maximum).
  • Specifically mention the exact title of the role you are applying for ( be sure to get it right).
  • Specifically mention the names of the people that you have networked with during the process–it proves that you were at the firm’s events and took time to speak with some of the consultants from that firm. This reinforces that you are indeed interested in the company.
  • A note on this: if mentioning consultants at the firm you have met, be sure that you have actually met them . Simply being in attendance when a Consultant presented to you as a group of students is not good enough. Often, a resume screener will ask that person about you.
  • Use bold and underline to highlight key points, but don’t overdo it. One or two items highlighted in the letter is about as far as you should go.
  • If you have one or tw o major accomplishments (major award, incredible work experience, incredible academics) – ensure that these things are mentioned in your cover letter, just like in your resume.
  • As with the resume, use active voice, include key consulting skills subtly in your experience through your choice of descriptive verbs (words/phrases such as analyzed, researched, implemented, managed, evaluated, examined, assessed, quantified, reviewed, surveyed, facilitated, designed, launched, etc.).
  • Always write the cover letter in the first person. This may seem silly to mention, but believe it or not, I have reviewed cover letters that did not include the word “I” in them. Anywhere!
  • As with the resume, submit the letter in PDF format. It looks more professional and there is virtually zero risk of a misformatting on the recipient’s end.
  • As with the resume, never be dishonest in any way in your cover letter. There is no upside and a lot of downside—especially if you get caught.
  • Double check to make sure that the cover letter you have written is addressed to the right firm , for the right position , and the right contact person . Far too many people make this unacceptable mistake. We realize it can be easy to make an error of this type when you are applying to many positions, but this mistake is very likely to cost you an interview if anybody catches it.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! Make sure your completed cover letter has zero mistakes: no typos, no grammatical errors, no selling mistakes, and no formatting/alignment errors.


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