A Consulting Cover Letter that Lands Interviews: Our Complete Guide

  • Last Updated January, 2024

Rebecca Smith-Allen

Former McKinsey Engagement Manager

The recruiting season is approaching fast, and there’s one thing you’ll need to get your foot in the door for an interview at a top-tier consulting firm: an impressive cover letter.

What should you talk about in your consulting cover letter?

How do you distinguish yourself from the tons of other candidates applying to Bain, BCG, McKinsey, and other top consulting firms this year?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, don’t worry! 

In this complete guide to writing a consulting cover letter, we’ll tell you exactly what points you need to address in your cover letter to put your best foot forward and land that interview.

We’ll discuss:

  • What a cover letter is
  • The RIGHT way to structure one
  • The Red Flags that get candidates rejected and how to overcome them
  • 5 Tips on writing an effective consulting cover letter

We’ll  also share:

  • 2 cover letter examples that landed candidates interviews at the top firms.

Let’s get started!

Consulting Cover Letter – Why It Matters

What is a consulting cover letter.

The consulting cover letter is a separate document from your resume; it puts the work experience you outline on your resume into context to show why you’re a great candidate.

The WRONG Way to Structure Your Management Consulting Cover Letter

Most of the Internet articles on writing a cover letter talk about structuring them with the following sections:

  • Why are you interested in consulting?
  • Why are you interested in the firm you’re applying to?
  • What makes you a good fit?

This is not the best way to approach writing your consulting cover letter. My Consulting Offer has helped hundreds of clients land interviews and get offers with top management consulting firms like BCG, Bain, and McKinsey.

We’ve even helped people who faced extra hurdles because they had low GPAs, majored in subjects other than economics or business, or attended non-core schools.

Our clients received interview invitations and job offers because our cover letter process works.

The RIGHT Way to Structure Your Management Consulting Cover Letter

Want to know the best way to structure a cover letter that has statistically been shown to get more interviews?

Watch this video before proceeding.

Now that you watched the video (Watch now if you haven’t yet because the impact of the rest of the article is only 10% of what it could be if you watch it). 

As you found in the video, the best  way to structure your cover letter is to Google the characteristics the consulting firm you want to work for seeks in consulting candidates and then show you have those characteristics .

Yes, you read that right. Go to the Bain Careers page and read about what they’re looking for in candidates. You’ll find it on this page . 

Every consulting firm has values they take very seriously, and that drive the candidates they target, so you will want to know what they are for each firm you apply to. 

As an example, Bain wants consultants with:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • The ability to lead
  • Results delivered

You will use each of these to develop a paragraph or section of your consulting cover letter.

For each, choose a specific time from your professional or personal experiences that shows you possess that characteristic. 

If you have more than one experience that shows you exemplifying a characteristic, pick the strongest example.

Then, create a story that briefly explains the context around your example, describes the action(s) you took, and shows concrete results. 

Quantify the results of your actions whenever possible.

  • Results delivered – When I took over as the leader of my sorority’s annual fundraising event for a local food bank, I wanted to make it even more successful than in prior years. Each year, we threw an event and asked people to bring packaged food products or a donation. I went beyond that by asking the college’s academic departments to collect donations from faculty and staff as well. Packaged goods contributions to the food bank increased by 50%, and financial donations increased by over 300%.

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How 800+ candidates have landed consulting offers at mckinsey, bain, and bcg.

Proof the My Consulting Offer Cover Letter Structure Works

This strategy of showing how you’ve exemplified the characteristics the firm is looking for in applicants works particularly well if you are applying to management consulting firms from a non-traditional background. 

If you’re a student with a liberal arts major, in a non-MBA master’s degree or doctorate, or attending a non-core school, you should definitely use our approach. It shows the reader that you’d be an asset to their team and have what it takes to be a successful consultant at their firm. This makes them focus less on your non-traditional background.

One of our early clients was an undergraduate who’d spent his summers interning in Michelin-star restaurants in New York City because he aspired to run a Michelin-star restaurant as a career. 

He didn’t have high-level positions in these internships; he worked in the kitchens. He cut the tomatoes for the tomato soup and did similar food prep.

He wasn’t even in charge of making the tomato soup!

As graduation approached, he decided that while he knew all about the kitchen side of the restaurant business, he wanted to learn about running the front of the house. To do that, he looked into consulting jobs.

But he had no business experience.

In his cover letter, we developed stories about:

  • Managing the kitchen effectively, even on hectic Saturday nights
  • Managing chefs with many years more experience than he had himself
  • Landing jobs at top-rated restaurants by showing up at the restaurants before they opened and networking his way in with perseverance

These stories showed he had the leadership experience, people skills, and drive needed in consulting, things that wouldn’t have been clear from his resume alone.

Why My Consulting Offer’s Approach to Writing Consulting Cover Letters Is So Effective

My Consulting Offer’s approach highlights the characteristics consulting firms value in applicants to develop your cover letter.

  • You don’t need to explain “Why McKinsey/Bain/BCG?” because you’ve taken your bullet points from their firm career pages .
  • Your stories explain why you’re a good fit.
  • You can cover the question “Why consulting?” in just a sentence or 2 because you’ve demonstrated you understand what consulting firms look for in candidates through your stories. This question is especially important for applicants with non-traditional backgrounds or experienced hires. 

Just add a short opening, 1-2 sentences on “Why consulting?” and a short conclusion to these paragraphs, and your cover letter will be ready to submit. 

Mistakes People Make with Their Consulting Cover Letters that Lead to Rejection

There are red flags that can get applicants’ resumes placed in the “no” pile. These are:

  • A gap in their work history.

A low GPA  can be a problem because management consulting firms target people who can solve tough business problems. But if your GPA  is low due to extenuating circumstances, such as a problem with your own or a family member’s health, or if you needed to work many hours each week to finance your education, firms will often overlook this.

Small offices at top consulting firms often have a problem. People choose them because they think they’ll have a better shot at getting an offer from the firm. But later, these same people want to move to a different office, leaving that office understaffed. 

If you’re applying to an office because you genuinely want to live in that city, tell the recruiters why you want to live there (examples: near family, proximity to outdoor activities, etc.) They need to see that you are not planning to try to transfer to another office or they won’t want to invest in you.

If you have a gap in your work history, a consulting firm might think you were fired and had difficulty finding another job. If health or another issue was the cause of the gap in your work history, it’s important to explain that.

If you have any of these or other red flags in your consulting application, take the time to explain them in your cover letter so that they don’t derail you from getting an interview.

Writing Your Management Consulting Cover Letter – A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Opening – keep it short and sweet. Just introduce yourself and express interest in working for the firm you’re applying to, mentioning the specific position you want. Include your 1-2 sentences on “Why consulting?” here.
  • Central paragraph 1  – As explained above, find what the firm is looking for in consultants from their Careers page and dedicate one paragraph to each characteristic.
  • Central paragraph 2 – Create a story from your experience that shows you have that characteristic. You should include 3-4 stories in your cover letter.
  • Central paragraph 3 – Quantify results whenever possible.
  • Central paragraph 4 – Order these stories in the way that works to your advantage, with the strongest story first, the second-strongest last, and weaker (but still good) stories in the middle.
  • Address any red flags.
  • Express your interest again and close the letter.

That’s it! You now have an impressive cover letter.

5 Tips for Writing a Cover Letter that Lands the Interview

  • Tip #1 – Start with the characteristics valued by the consulting firm you’re most interested in. You should tailor the cover letter for each firm to the characteristics they list on their Career page. You’ll find, however, that you can re-use stories because all consulting firms value leadership, drive, teamwork, and creating impact.
  • Tips #2 – Pick the most compelling stories from your experience. You probably have multiple stories you could use for some values. Choose just one story. If in doubt, the one where you solved the biggest problem or where you had the biggest impact is probably the best. Don’t worry if you have another great story, you’ll get to talk about it in your consulting interviews.
  • Tips #3 – Quantify results wherever possible. Showing that you increased revenue/ attendance/ donations by x% quickly and effectively displays you can get things done. Same with cost reductions or reduced time/effort to get work done.
  • Tip #4 – Tighten your language to show your point as efficiently as possible. Never say more than you need to in order to make your point. Recruiters screen thousands of applications, and they appreciate communications that get right to the point. Consulting partners will also appreciate this skill once you’re on their team and drafting PowerPoint slides for client meetings. Keep your cover letter to one page. 
  • Tip #5 -Use Fiverr or another service to ensure you have no grammatical or spelling mistakes. You only get one chance to make a good impression. Don’t send out a letter with a big mistake, especially if you can prevent it with $5. 

Consulting Cover Letter Examples

The best way to get a sense of what an effective management cover letter looks like is to read one. 

We’ve got 2 examples of letters that helped My Consulting Offer clients land interviews: one from an undergraduate student’s application to McKinsey and one from an experienced-hire candidate’s application to Bain.

Undergraduate Consulting Cover Letter Example

MONTH DAY, YEAR

RECRUITER’S NAME RECRUITER’S TITLE McKinsey & Company OFFICE ADDRESS 

Dear [RECRUITER] and members of the McKinsey recruiting team,

Thank you for considering my application for Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company. I am attracted to McKinsey because of the firm’s commitment to create an unrivaled environment for exceptional people by developing one another through apprenticeship, mentoring, and sustaining a caring meritocracy.   

Given the opportunity to join McKinsey, I would bring to the firm my entrepreneurial drive, problem-solving skills, and collaborative approach.

  • Entrepreneurial drive: I was a scholarship athlete on the [UNIVERSITY] football team and was expected to arrive on campus a month before classes started. This reduced summer availability left me at a disadvantage for traditional summer internships, so I founded my own landscaping business. It was grassroots, and I conducted business relationships built on trust and relied on word of mouth. To ensure superb deliverables, I taught myself Google Sketchup to model my projects before building them. I learned about drainage and construction techniques using YouTube videos and manufacturer websites so that I could build retaining walls and outdoor structures. Using self-taught skills, I netted $30,000 in profit over the course of 3 summers which was a major source of funding for my education.
  • Problem-solving: To increase the competitiveness of our off-season testing, the [UNIVERSITY] strength staff started an event called the “Tricolour Draft.” As a captain in this draft, I was responsible for drafting a team of my peers. Rather than relying on my perception of players, I took a more empirical approach. After seeking out the previous year’s testing numbers, I entered them into Excel and added projections for players who were new to the team. I was then able to rank all my teammates based on their average performance across all the tests. I drafted my team strictly according to the unbiased rankings on this list and let the opposing teams draft based on their subjective feelings. My team ended up winning the competition and, using the exact same approach, I won the following year’s Tricolour Draft as well.
  • Collaborative: When I was 4, my parents took roles as expats and moved our family to Khartoum, Sudan. I went to an international school but lived among the locals. This resulted in a unique environment to grow up in and one where I developed some great relationships. One such relationship was with a company-employed driver, for whom I was the best man at his wedding at the age of 7! I quickly realized that everyone, from my peers to the locals, brought something to the table. I learned that people from all walks of life possessed valuable perspectives and input worth considering. This recognition of diversity and drive to collaborate has given me the skills to produce results on teams and to form meaningful relationships with people of varied backgrounds.  

I hope to bring these same attributes to McKinsey. Thank you for your consideration.

E-SIGNATURE NAME

Why Is This Undergraduate Consulting Cover Letter Sample Effective?

This consulting industry cover letter written by an undergraduate is effective because it addresses key characteristics that McKinsey looks for in their applicants, as you can see   on their careers page :

  • Personal impact
  • Entrepreneurial drive

While it only calls out 2 of the 4 characteristics McKinsey is looking for, entrepreneurial drive and problems solving, these stories also showcase the candidate’s personal impact. 

The 3rd characteristic the cover letter calls out, teamwork/ collaboration, is also highly valued by McKinsey and other consulting firms. 

The entrepreneurial drive paragraph is effective because it shows this candidate works hard and overcomes obstacles that would stand in the way of other candidates.

The problem-solving paragraph is effective because it shows the candidate’s structured approach to solving a problem. It also shows this approach worked.

The collaborative story works because it shows that this candidate was able to make strong personal connections from a very young age and that they respect people from all walks of life.

The candidate makes clear with his/her stories that they understand what McKinsey is looking for and that they’ve demonstrated those characteristics.

Experienced Hire Consulting Cover Letter Example

NAME OF RECRUITER TITLE OF RECRUITER Bain & Company FIRM OFFICE ADDRESS

Dear Ms. LAST NAME and members of the Bain recruiting team,

Thank you for considering me for the position of Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. If given the opportunity, I would bring to Bain my passion for results, drive and character, and ability to have a lasting impact, as the following outlines. 

  • Passion for Results: During a recent work-related project for COMPANY, I was placed in an innovative concept location for healthcare and lifestyle services that had previously accounted for a monthly loss of $60,000 per month. I arrived as a transitionary replacement for the managing director with little time to adjust. Knowing that I had to quickly turn around a loss-making business, I began examining the most relevant products, services, costs, and customers. After translating this analysis into a strategy, I convinced management through my presentation of recommendations to pursue a number of key steps in order to turn around the business. Three months later, we’d created a business that generated $20,000 per month. Through the use of a structured analysis, combined with consistent execution of plans, I came to understand the value of an external consultant in a challenging business situation. Indeed, this project has motivated me to continue this type of result-driven work as a consultant at Bain & Company.
  • Lasting Impact: At NAME OF UNIVERSITY, I was elected president of NAME OF ORGANIZATION, a residential community of internationally minded members with over 1000 members worldwide. Heading a board of six representatives, I developed valuable teamwork and delegation skills throughout our meetings. One day, a member of the board abruptly stopped communication. I saw it as my responsibility to ask for clarification and how I could support him. However, upon learning that his father had been diagnosed with cancer, I immediately and discreetly took steps to delegate his workflow to other board members and myself so that he could focus on his family. As I led the other board members through a process of working overtime, we still managed to deliver results on time. This experience underlines my belief to always care for all members of a team and to be a leader by enabling them to perform.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. 

E-SIGNATURE PRINTED NAME

Why Is This Experienced Hire Consulting Cover Letter Sample Effective?

  • Problem-solving skills (addressed in Passion for Results and Lasting Impact.)
  • The ability to lead (addressed in all 3 stories.)
  • Results delivered (addressed in Passion for Results with quantified impact.)
  • Passion (addressed in Drive & Character)

Each of the 3 stories in this cover letter presents the applicant as someone who has the characteristics top management consulting firms look for. 

Moreover, the 3 stories together demonstrate that he or she has “the whole package.” He or she isn’t smart but a poor team player or good at problem-solving but lacking the passion needed to get things done in a difficult, real-world environment.

The fact that the applicant could speak to all of the things Bain looks for helped them land interviews and then offers with multiple top firms.

What About Firms Like McKinsey, Which Don’t Require a Cover Letter?

Some management consulting firms, such as McKinsey & Company, have made submitting a cover letter optional. 

Should you bother to spend the time to write one if they don’t seem to care?

If your resume clearly shows you are a good fit for the consulting firm,  you don’t need to submit a cover letter. Things that would make you look like a good fit include:

  • Attendance at or a degree from a core school where the firm recruits through on-campus interviews and hires consultants every year
  • An undergraduate degree in business or economics or an MBA
  • Leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills clearly demonstrated through work and volunteer experience on your resume

If your resume doesn’t clearly communicate that you’re a good fit for the management consulting industry and their firm, in particular, your application will be strengthened by including a cover letter. 

You should also submit a cover letter if you have been previously rejected from that firm so that they know you have taken steps to improve your application since last applying.

You’ll want to think about stories to use in your behavioral interviews   anyway, so if you’re unsure whether you need a cover letter, it’s safest to write one.

To see the power of an improved cover letter, watch this video on how My Consulting Offer helped Cynthia get invited for an interview at every consulting company she applied to.

Are you ready to write your management consulting cover letter?

We bet you are since you now know:

  • What a consulting cover letter is
  • The red flags that get candidates rejected and how to overcome them
  • Our 5 Tips on writing an effective consulting cover letter
  • Plus, you’ve seen 2 Consulting cover letter examples that worked

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about writing effective consulting cover letters, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s former MBB recruiters will answer them.

Other people who were writing their cover letter found the following pages helpful:

  • Consulting Resumes
  • BCG Cover Letter
  • Consulting Networking
  • Case Interview Prep : The Ultimate Guide
  • Our List of  Top Consulting Firms and their company values
  • The Non-MBA Master’s Student’s Guide to Landing a Consulting Job

Do You Need Help Writing a Perfect Consulting Cover Letter?

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on writing your cover letter. We’ve helped over 700 people get offers in consulting and 89.6% of My Consulting Offer clients land  interviews and offers with a consulting firm. Most land more than one. We want you to get that opportunity to interview with McKinsey, Bain, BCG and other top firms!

For example, here is how we helped Tao land interviews at Bain, BCG, and McKinsey.

How 800+ Candidates Have Landed Consulting Offers At McKinsey, Bain And BCG

2 thoughts on “everything you need to know about the consulting cover letter”.

Thank you Davis for this powerful tool you shared. Really, I havent thought of cover letters telling stories or narrating how you used the needed skills and the value you added using them in your past roles. No wonder I have been getting rejections based on my red flags – not having to work with the big 4s or having multinational experience. All these does not matter as long you can demonstrate the skill set you used to add value in your previous roles which must be inline with what the prospective role needs. I really aporeciate this exposure and I look forward to getting calls from recruiters going forward as I apply your strategy to my cover letters subsequently. Thanks a lot. Esther.

Hey, Esther, We’re so glad the tips we discussed about writing your consulting cover letter were helpful! Good luck in your job search!

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cover letter for consulting

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]

DD / MM / YYYY

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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cover letter for consulting

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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:  

cover letter for 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: careerbuilder.com ):

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.

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

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cover letter for consulting

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

cover letter for consulting

Happy that you enjoyed the article, Anthony 🙂

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cover letter for 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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cover letter for consulting

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

Thank you very much Samuel!

cover letter for consulting

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

cover letter for consulting

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

Thanks! I’m glad you like it

cover letter for 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

cover letter for 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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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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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 .

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  • 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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Consulting Cover Letter: What You Actually Need to Know

The key to effective cover-letters is story-telling. Most people write cover letters like resumes, with cold, hard facts, and that’s the problem.

Cover letters are much more effective if they contain stories capturing the burning spirits of candidates. In this article, I’ll tell you how to install such stories seamlessly into your consulting cover letters, and land a case interview yourself.

Consulting cover letters – The basics

What are cover letters for.

Cover letters are documents accompanying resumes, to provide further insights into the qualities and motivations of a candidate, as well as portray who he/she is as a person .

In consulting cover letters, there are three essential qualities you must always display:

  • Leadership skills:  the ability to influence people’s decisions.
  • Achieving mindset : the continuous, relentless push for the best results.
  • Analytical problem-solving:  the ability to solve problems in a structured, methodical manner.

Regarding motivations, there are two questions you need to answer:

  • “Why consulting?”:  Do you really understand the consulting world, and how it fits with your long-term plans? Is there something unique in the consulting track to explain your choice?
  • “Why this firm?”:  Out of all the consulting firms, why ours? There should be something uniquely attractive about this firm to you, isn’t there?

And last but not least, don’t forget to show that you have an interesting personality that fits with the firm’s culture.

Cover letters vs Resumes – What’s the difference?

Because so many candidates confuse between the two, then end up writing boring cover letters resembling “paragraph versions” of their resumes, I feed the need to differentiate.

There are four marked differences:

Cover letters go deep, resumes go wide

In cover letters, you should select one or a few most notable achievements, and describe them in detail to reflect your three defining aspects (values, competencies, motivations).

This stands in contrast with resumes, where you cram as many relevant achievements as possible into the space of one or two A4 pages.

Cover letters are “soft” stories, resumes are “hard” bullet lists

The content format of cover letters is much less defined, leaving room for a lot of creativity, unlike resumes which are almost always bullet lists of cold, hard facts.

Your goal as the candidate is to fully utilize that loosely-defined format and make your cover letter as attractive and memorable as possible.

Cover letters describe personality, resumes do not

A crucial role of the cover letter is to portray who you are as a person. Resumes don’t do that, they focus on your achievements.

Your personality does not only come directly through the contents, but also reflected in the style of the letter – so take time to make your cover letter more attractive, and you’ll make a better impression with the screener.

Cover letters touch on future plans, resume concerns mostly the past

In cover letters, you have to answer the motivation questions (why consulting, why this firm). In resumes, that aspect is barely mentioned.

The most credible answers to those questions connect the job with your future plans – as such, the cover letter is not confined to the past like resumes.

Understanding your audience

The vibe inside the screening room.

Busy, tiring, and boring – that’s the vibe inside the screening room.”

Picture this in your mind:

A junior consultant is in the office on a Friday night, going through hundreds of applications. He has to do this as a form of goodwill for the company, on top of his ongoing project.

Everyone’s application looks the same, following one set format; a somewhat extraordinary resume catches his attention, so he checks the cover letter to see if there’s anything interesting, only to be disappointed because the letter is an exact recital of the resume.

If you want to grab the screener’s attention and make memorable impressions, you have to break that negative vibe, using an unordinary cover letter.

Most cover letters are just listings of achievement and cliched motivation statements – they feel like unoriginal walls-of-text that offer nothing new – and that’s the exact reason why many screeners don’t like cover letters. Write an exciting story instead – the screener will love it.

Why they read your cover letter

There are two main reasons why the screener reads your consulting cover letter:

  • He wants to know more about your motivations and personality because your resume is both impressive and interesting/unordinary at the same time.
  • He wants to clarify some ambiguous points in your resume – this happens if you appear highly competent, but your writing is not clear enough.

In both cases, there’s no excuse to repeat your resume in a paragraph format and disappoint the screener. You have all the reasons in the world to present an attractive, detailed, focused narrative – tell a story and get your interview.

Both the background and the purpose of cover-letter-screening suggest that an innovative story-telling approach is much more beneficial than the common, formulaic, overly-formal cover letters.

Such an approach will definitely make your cover letter stand out from the heap of some 200 other applications. It helps you grab the screener’s attention, and impress him in a memorable way.

Additionally, it makes reading the cover letter easier and more enjoyable. The screener is already tired, so there’s no point in making his life harder.

Whatever the reason, as the cover letter is opened AFTER the resume, the implication is that you need to perfect your consulting resume first!

If you haven’t read it, here’s an A-to-Z guide to writing the perfect consulting resume , from a former McKinsey consultant and resume screener!

Consulting cover letter – Step-by-step guide

All these elements must be presented in a coherent storyline and concise language.

Keep in mind this is a consulting cover letter – as such, your story should be backed up by impactful, specific, verifiable results.

To write impressive, fact-based stories that demonstrate all three necessary aspects of the candidate, I advise you to follow these four steps:

Step 1 – Self-reflect for storylines

Search your memory for events, experiences, ideas… that can serve as a basic storyline – the backbone of your cover letter. For each storyline, consider the following six criteria :

  • Uniqueness: The base story should be something unique to you. If it’s something common or universal, you won’t have the screener’s attention.
  • Attractiveness: Your story should be attractive and entertaining – only then can you trigger the screener’s curiosity. Usually, it’s something “big” and impactful, but not controversial
  • Positiveness: The story should have a positive “vibe” to it. If it’s something sad or negative, don’t include it in your cover letter.
  • Qualities: All three consulting qualities (leadership, achieving, analytical problem-solving) should be illustrated in your story. Otherwise, consider that story irrelevant.
  • Motivations: Your story should at least help explain why you’re applying, if not providing direct answers to that question. Firms don’t like to hire candidates without clear motivations.
  • Personality: Make sure you exhibit a likable personality. On the other hand, if that story suggests negative traits (pessimism, short temper, cynicism, etc.) you have to modify it.

Let’s see if these storylines of my own could match the requirements:

“I escaped from a near-death experience during a paragliding session using my gliding skills.”

This is not something you hear every day, and near-death stories are often quite attractive, so you have those two boxes checked; and for now, there’s no sign of “bad” personality traits.

However, it’s a near-death experience, so it does have a negative vibe. Additionally, it shows neither consulting qualities nor relevant motivations.

=> This story only meets 3 out of 6 criteria. Out!

“I founded an entertainment business which attracted lots of attention, but ultimately failed.”

Not everyone is a startup entrepreneur, so this story does meet the “uniqueness” criterion. It’s relatively easy to draw attention with startup stories, and it’s easy to explain a consulting career choice from a former entrepreneur perspective, too. No negative personality trait is visible.

While being a business owner suggests some leadership and problem-solving experience, as well as an achieving mindset, a failure story like this might raise some questions on the “qualities” aspect; it also creates a negative vibe.

=> Overall, 4.5 to 5 out of 6. Not really the best storyline for a consulting cover letter, but usable with some modifications.

“I broke McKinsey’s code of conduct, convinced a client to pay their long-overdue service fees, and was celebrated for it.”

Is there anyone who doesn’t like those “breaking rules” stories? I’m quite confident this experience is quite unique and attractive. Because this is actual consulting work, it’s undoubtedly easy to point out all the important consulting qualities, as well as to provide a basis for my motivations.

However, this “breaking the rules” story may suggest rebellious tendencies, so if I’m going to use it I’ll again need some modifications.

=> This story scores 5.5 / 6. Quite good but I do need to be careful with it.

cover letter for consulting

Step 2 - Add and classify details

Rack your memory and jot down everything related to your storyline; don’t worry about having too many details, you will be trimming the story later.

Pay special attention to the details best illustrating relevant qualities , motivations , and personality , because you will need to emphasize them.

Step 3 – Structure and enhance

Arrange the details of your story in a logical, intuitive structure; the most common method is:

1. Describe a notable, relevant experience using the problem-action-result structure to impress the interviewer with your qualities first.

2. Try to link it up with the present/future parts of your story (ideas, philosophies, plans) to explain your motivations.

Trim all non-essential and technical details, they do nothing but confuse the reader and bore them to death. Your story should be told in a way even your grandmother can understand.

Then, arrange and enhance the remaining details so that the story feels more dramatic, i.e the uniqueness and difficulty of the problem should be emphasized.

On a related note, consultants dislike lengthy cover letters – in fact, one A4 page is the maximum length – so there’s one more reason to start trimming.

Step 4 – Amplify consulting features

First, make all three key consulting traits stand out from your story – leadership, achieving mindset, and analytical problem-solving.

Then, make subtle references to consulting work using the industry’s terminology and concepts. Most screeners, being consultants themselves, will subconsciously appreciate this. However, avoid buzzwords and slangs found on the Internet, or you’ll appear superficial and unprofessional.

Consulting cover letter – Tips

To write the best cover letter, you must thoroughly understand the industry, its major firms, and even the very office you’re applying into.

To achieve such an understanding, there is quite a bit of research to do – and here are three tips for you to ease that process!

Tip 1: Networking

Successful networking goes a long way in the consulting recruitment process and in cover letters.

Firstly, management consulting firms are relatively publicity-shy, so having a connection within these firms allow you to gain very specific and authentic insights about the firm, the job, as well as the consulting world in general, helping you make better choices and deliver more convincing reasons.

Secondly, you may earn a referral ! The screening stage is harsh – it’s where most candidates are filtered out, both in absolute and proportional terms – and referrals help a great deal with that.

Remember to show your networking efforts by mentioning the names of consultants at the office you’re applying into, as well as their projects. The screener will know you really do care about the job, and you’ve done your homework.

Tip 2: Read consulting news

The websites of major consulting firms all have countless articles on current affairs as well as their own projects – read them frequently and regularly .

For one thing, those articles will deepen your understanding of management consultants and their work, helping you make better choices and explain them more effectively to the screener.

Additionally, reading consulting articles regularly will help you know more about the specific projects of each firm, which you can bring up in cover letters.

Tip 3: Build “cheat sheets”

A few ready-to-use “cheat sheets” containing all the important details on the consulting industry and major firms will significantly ease the writing process.

I recommend making three different groups of sheets – one for the consulting world in general, one for the firms, and the last one about the specific offices you’re applying into.

Be implicit and “smooth” when using these sheets. Make sure to sound as natural and seamless as possible when mentioning your references; avoid putting them at the focus of your sentences, but to use them as supplements to the main idea (e.g: I was awed by the network of experts supporting our project with McKinsey back in 2016).

Consulting cover letter – Visual format

Consulting cover letters are not the place for creative, colorful designs. Format your letters in a conservative, text-dense, black-and-white fashion – that’s how actual consultants do it.

One A4 page is the maximum length for consulting cover letters.

Inside the busy screening room, nobody has the time and energy to read a two-page worth of story, no matter how attractive it is.

If your cover letter exceeds that maximum length, trim away the less important details and shorten your expressions; you can also tweak your font size, spacing, and margins to squeeze the most content into one page.

Use formal, conservative fonts, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, etc.

Keep your font size at 10-12. Larger text tends to feel somewhat “messy”, and they’re space-consuming. Smaller text, on the other hand, feels difficult and tiring to read.

Additionally, the typeface in your cover letter should match that on the resume.

Spacing, margins, and alignment

Use spacings of 1.15 between lines and 1.50-2.00 between paragraphs. Consulting cover letters are quite text-dense, so it’s important to use these white spaces to ease the visual strain.

Always align your text on the left side. Left-aligning is the standard in the United States, where most major consulting firms are based; additionally, left-aligning keeps the horizontal spacing between words even, unlike justified where that spacing varies considerably between each line.

All four margins should be equal at 1 inch. That should keep your letter neat and tidy while maximizing the amount of text on one page.

cover letter for consulting

Other reminders

If you know who’s screening, address them by name. Otherwise, generic salutations are fine.

I’ve come across pages claiming it’s no longer acceptable to write generic salutations (“ To whom it may concern ”); however, in consulting firms where the screening process is assigned to junior consultants on an availability basis, you don’t always know who’s reading your letter, so such salutations are okay.

On the other hand, if you happen to be applying into a small, new office, and your networking efforts are successful, you may know your screener. In that case, refer them by name for a greater impact.

Replacement test

If you can replace the industry and the firm in your letter with something similar and it still makes sense, your tailoring is not enough.

Your motivations should be based on unique and defining descriptions – for example, McKinsey having the largest support network for consultants, or Bain being the frattiest among MBB consulting firms.

Non-unique reasons, such as “prestigious brand name” or “interesting projects” can apply to basically every major consulting firm out there, so they’re not strong bases for your choices.

Maintain formality

Use formal language throughout, and keep standard your heading and salutation.

Show your uniqueness and creativity only through the main content sections. Other “procedural” parts of the cover letter should always remain formulaic – see the sample section.

The language in the main paragraph should also remain formal, i.e no slang, no contraction, no overuse of exclamations.

Avoid short-term motivations

Don’t say you’re in for a 2-year learning experience, or your application will be heading for the bin very, very quickly.

It’s costly to turn fresh graduates into effective consultants, so firms don’t want candidates who will bail out just after they’ve become useful. They want people who will stay in the firm for as long as they can – they want future partners.

You might include long-term plans concerning other industries, but don’t give the impression that you’re bailing out in a few years. If that’s your plan, don’t even mention it.

Proofread and edit

Writing cover letters should be a long process of continuous proofreading, feedback, and editing.

It’s best to find a former/working consultant or at least someone who’s knowledgeable about the industry to help you out. Consulting cover letters differ from normal ones quite considerably, so generic guidelines won’t be of much use.

It’s also very helpful to allow intervals of at least a few days between writing and proofreading sessions; you will find it easier to spot errors if you proofread with a “fresh” mind.

Try to avoid format, spelling, and grammar mistakes at all costs. In consulting cover letters, such mistakes are much less tolerated.

Cover letter file format

Always send your cover letters in the PDF format (most screeners expect you to do so).

This file format will make sure your cover letter appears the same on every computer, and it minimizes the damage that may occur in the file transfer process (by contrast, DOC files are vulnerable to numerous errors).

Depending on the computer, PDFs may look cleaner than DOCs – one possible bonus point for appearance.

Still not sure whether your cover letter is good enough? Book a meeting with former consultants. Our coaches will show you how to make your resume stand out among thousands of candidates. 

Cover letter example

Now that you’ve learned the secrets to the best story-telling cover letter, let’s have a little exercise and help the First President write one to McKinsey, shall we?

(The content in this sample letter is largely fictional for illustration purposes)

George Washington [email protected] Mount Vernon Plantation, Fairfax County, Virginia, U.S.A July 4, 1789

To whom it may concern,

My purpose in life is to liberate the American people and lead them to prosperity. The revolution of the Thirteen Colonies was up against the largest military force in the world – the British Empire – at a four-to-one disadvantage – few if any country had come up against such odds victoriously. And that was the situation I was in, as the leader of the revolution.

Under my lead, the revolutionaries mobilized internal support from 2.4 million soon-to-be American citizens and external support from allies in France. This support allowed us to remain operational even after severe defeats, which would otherwise put an end to the revolution. After six years, the Colonies came out victorious and was recognized as the new United States of America. War is over, so my new task is to steer the newfound States towards economic prosperity – and consulting experience at McKinsey will help a great deal with that.

I happen to also run a plantation business – Mount Vernon by name – which was McKinsey’s client during our expansion project in 1785. I was extremely impressed by the highly structured and data-based approach that McKinsey consultants took to deliver their solutions, and even more impressed by the incredible network of experts that was backing our project.

Through Ms. E.M – the Engagement Manager for our project from McKinsey’s DC Office – I came to be aware of the firm’s expertise in the public sector – which was recognized as being the overall best among major consulting firms.

And for that reason, I realized a consultant position at McKinsey DC will give me invaluable exposure in the public sector, both from its projects and its vicinity to the country’s capital.

I will be looking forward to speaking with you in person, about how I can put my experience as a former head-of-state and an entrepreneur to work at McKinsey.

Sincerely yours, George Washington

Scoring in the McKinsey PSG/Digital Assessment

The scoring mechanism in the McKinsey Digital Assessment

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Consulting Resume Toolkit

Get the fundamental of crafting a "consulting-like" resume with the most powerful secret toolkit.

You can refer on guides, tips, examples & templates in this article to build a excellent resume rely on the necessary criteria of a Management Consulting Firms

In this article, we'll look into several ways to tailor a consulting resume to stand out among thousands of competitors and win your screener’s heart.

Great consulting resumes have 4 main sections: Education, Work Experience, Extracurricular Activities, & Others. All should be result-oriented and data-driven

Consulting Cover Letter Samples and Writing Tips

  • Cover Letters
  • Skills & Keywords
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What to Include in Your Cover Letter

  • Tips for a Successful Cover Letter

Consulting Cover Letter Samples

How to send an email cover letter.

When applying for a job as a consultant , your cover letter should include your career history and key accomplishments, as well as providing a glimpse into your personality. If you do not have previous consulting experience, highlight relevant projects completed in college or graduate school. 

By its nature, consulting positions call for flexibility. Not only do consultants frequently travel for work, visiting businesses around the world, but they need to be able to quickly understand how companies do business, identifying problems, and proposing recommended improvements. 

Before you start writing, read the job description carefully to learn which types of skills, experience, and expertise the employer wants in a job candidate. For example,  consulting jobs  often require statistical analysis, research, interview skills, public speaking and presenting, as well as job-specific software knowledge and experience. 

Take the time to match your qualifications to the job to increase your chances of landing an interview.

Research has shown that hiring managers spend seconds reviewing application materials. If you have a contact at the company, mention them right up front so that the reader can’t miss it. 

Demonstrate Your Flexibility

Make sure your cover letter demonstrates your flexibility, along with other skills that are essential for consultants, such as communication and  leadership skills .

Tell a Story

Your cover letter should go beyond the resume to tell the story of why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Think of it as a sales pitch: you’re trying to get the hiring manager interested enough to read your resume.

Reference Your Relevant Experience and Skills

But don't just write a list of positions and responsibilities (that's what your resume is for) or make statements about your abilities and skills. Instead, tell a story—follow the classic writing advice of "show, don't tell."

Share an Example

Instead of saying, "I'm a hard worker and good with the details," provide a specific example of a time when you demonstrated grit and follow-through with a project. Employers are most impressed by measurable results. So, if you’ve made or saved a company money, or increased an important metric by a certain percent, be sure to mention it.

Tips for Writing a Successful Consulting Cover Letter

In your cover letter, as in any cover letter, you are making a case for your candidacy. Follow these strategies to make an effective case: 

Personalize the Letter You Send

While it may seem like a timesaver, avoid creating a generic form letter and sending it off with every consultant application. Your cover letter will be more persuasive if it's targeted to the specific company and job at hand. In your letter, explain why you are eager to work for this company in particular. For instance, maybe the company specializes in helping businesses based in Asia expand to the United States, and you wrote a thesis on that very topic.

If you have a connection at the company, you can mention the person's name (with permission) to strengthen your cover letter. 

Proofread Your Writing

Check and double-check your cover letter for grammar and wording. Before you hit the send button on your email or place your letter in an envelope, read through it carefully. Make sure it follows the correct cover letter format. Proofread carefully, checking for typos and grammatical errors .

Check Your Attachments

Confirm that any attachments mentioned in the email are indeed attached and that the recipient's name and the company name are spelled correctly. 

The following is an example of a cover letter for a graduate-level consulting job. Also, see below for an entry-level cover letter sample. Use these sample cover letters as a guide, but remember to adjust the details to fit your situation and the specific position you are applying for. You'll find more advice on how to craft an effective, successful consultant cover letter below the examples. 

Consultant Cover Letter Template

You can use this cover letter sample as a model. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Consultant Cover Letter Sample

John Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-1234 john.applicant@email.com

February 22, 2021

Sean Lee Manager  ABC Consulting Group   123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

I am a second-year Smith Business School student interested in interviewing for a full-time consultant position with The ABC Consulting Group. I believe that the ABC Consulting Group has the ideal culture in which to pursue my goal of becoming a strategic business leader and thinker.

My professional experience and Smith Business School education have prepared me to be successful at The ABC Consulting Group. Leading a high-level project to develop a China entry and growth strategy in the new media industry for Television Networks Asia gave me invaluable global strategy experience.

Furthermore, interviewing senior executives and entrepreneurs of top media and technology companies gave me the unique opportunity to engage in high-level business discussions with leaders of the industry.

While at DEF Consulting as a consultant, I managed global information security projects, which gave me experience in the consultative and client service approach. As a joint-degree student (MBA/MA International Studies), I have the flexibility in both language and culture to operate successfully in many different contexts.

Finally, as a musician and producer of my own record, I have developed the capacity to think creatively and entrepreneurially.

I firmly believe that I will be a good fit in The ABC Consulting Group's collaborative, entrepreneurial, and intellectual culture. I am excited at the prospect of working for The ABC Consulting Group upon graduation and have enclosed my resume for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

John Applicant

Entry-Level Consulting Cover Letter Example

Louise Jones 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-1234 louise.jones@email.com

Mr. John Doe A.T. Killen 222 West Dover Street Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Doe:

I had the opportunity to work closely with Jane Smith, an A.T. Killen consultant in the Higher Education Practice, as a member of XYZ University's Presidential Search Committee. This was my first exposure to the consulting profession, and it was a perfect match for someone with my academic record, communication and leadership skills, and drive to succeed.

I have shown initiative, creativity in problem-solving, and a commitment to building consensus and excellence throughout our college community during the last four years. As an intern in the Office of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, I worked with the Senior Advising team to provide accurate, effective, and concise statistical and anecdotal data to a variety of constituents in order to support legislative proposals. I combined the written and oral skills I have gained from courses in American Studies and Government with quantitative and analytical training in a high-intensity environment.

As Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Student Government Association and a student representative on several college committees (including the one which nominated the sixth President of XYZ University), I have learned:

  • to use language precisely and effectively
  • to articulate well to a range of audiences
  • the value of integrity and persistence in working toward short- and long-term personal and institutional goals

The opportunity to effect positive change for a range of institutions is the most attractive aspect of consulting for me. Employees have described A.T. Killen as "down to earth" and as having an "open culture."

I feel lucky to have been part of a college community whose openness has allowed for measured risks and the candor necessary to achieve its goals, and I hope to begin my career in a similarly rigorous and collegial environment where I can learn from industry leaders. I look forward to exploring further my opportunities at A.T. Killen and will call next week to see if it is possible to arrange an interview.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

Louise Jones

If you're sending a cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer's contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.

Subject Line Example

Consultant Position - John Doe

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StandOut CV

Consulting cover letter examples

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Are you in need of a consulting cover letter that is going to make you stand out from the competition?

We understand that you offer your sought-after advice and expertise for living, so this time, let us be the ones to impart our advice to you.

Check out our comprehensive writing guide below, along with our consulting cover letter examples to inspire you and help you with your application.

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Consulting cover letter example 1

Consulting cover letter 1

Consulting cover letter example 2

Consulting cover letter 2

Consulting cover letter example 3

Consulting cover letter 3

The example cover letters here should give you a good general idea on how your Consulting cover letter should be formatted and written.

The rest of this guide gives more specific guidance on how to create your own cover letter in this format, and even includes some templates you can copy and paste.

How to write a Consulting cover letter

A simple step-by-step guide to writing your very own winning cover letter.

How to write a cover letter

Write your cover letter in the body of an email/message

Type the content of your cover letter directly into the email you are sending, or if you are applying via a job board, directly into their messaging system.

The reason for doing this it to ensure that your cover letter gets seen instantly and you can start connecting with the recruiter as soon as they open your message.

If you attach your cover letter as a separate document, the recipient will have to open up the document, which will slow the process down, or make them less likely to even open your cover letter – which could mean your application gets skipped over.

Write cover letter in body of email

Start with a friendly greeting

Cover letter address

To kick your cover letter off, start with a friendly greeting to build rapport with the recruiter instantly.

Your greeting should be personable but professional. Not too casual, but not too formal either

Go with something like…

  • Hi [insert recruiter name]
  • Hi [insert department/team name]

Avoid old-fashioned greetings like “Dear sir/madam ” unless applying to very formal companies.

How to find the contact’s name?

Addressing the recruitment contact by name is an excellent way to start building a strong relationship. If it is not listed in the job advert, try these methods to find it.

  • Check out the company website and look at their  About page. If you see a hiring manager, HR person or internal recruiter, use their name. You could also try to figure out who would be your manager in the role and use their name.
  • Head to LinkedIn , search for the company and scan through the list of employees. Most professionals are on LinkedIn these days, so this is a good bet.

Identify the role you are applying for

Once you have opened the cover letter with a warm greeting, you need to explain which role you are interested in.

Sometimes a recruitment consultant could be managing over 10 vacancies, so it’s crucial to pinpoint exactly which one you are interested in.

Highlight the department/area if possible and look for any reference numbers you can quote.

These are some examples you can add..

  • I am interested in applying for the role of *Consulting position* with your company.
  • I would like to apply for the role of Sales assistant (Ref: 40f57393)
  • I would like to express my interest in the customer service vacancy within your retail department
  • I saw your advert for an IT project manager on Reed and would like to apply for the role.

See also: CV examples – how to write a CV – CV profiles

Highlight your suitability

The main purpose of your cover letter is to excite recruiters and make them eager to open your CV. And you achieve this by quickly demonstrating your suitability to the job you are applying for.

Take a look at the job adverts you are applying for, and make note of the most important skills being asked for.

Then, when you write your cover letter, make your suitability the focal point.

Explain how you meet the candidate requirements fully, and why you are so well suited to carry out the job.

This will give recruiters all the encouragement they need to open your CV and consider your application.

Cover letter tips

Keep it short and sharp

It is best to keep your cover letter brief if you want to ensure you hold the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers. A lengthy cover letter will probably not get read in full, so keep yours to around 3-6 sentences and save the real detail for your CV.

Remember the purpose of your cover letter is to quickly get recruiters to notice you and encourage them to open your CV, so it only needs to include the highlights of your experience.

Sign off professionally

To round of your cover letter, add a professional signature to the bottom, giving recruiters your vital contact information.

This not only gives various means of contacting you, it also looks really professional and shows that you know how to communicate in the workplace.

Include the following points;

  • A friendly sign off – e.g. “Warm regards”
  • Your full name
  • Phone number (one you can answer quickly)
  • Email address
  • Profession title
  • Professional social network – e.g. LinkedIn

Here is an example signature;

Warm regards,

Gerald Baker Senior Accountant 07887500404 [email protected] LinkedIn

Quick tip : To save yourself from having to write your signature every time you send a job application email, you can save it within your email drafts, or on a separate document that you could copy in.

Email signatures

What to include in your Consulting cover letter

So, what type of information should you write about in your Consulting cover letter?

The specifics will obviously depend on your profession and the jobs you are applying to, but these are the key areas you should be covering.

  • Your industry experience – Tell recruiters the types of companies you have been working for and the roles you have held in the past.
  • Your qualifications – Highlight your most important relevant qualifications to show employers you are qualified to do the roles you are applying for.
  • The impact you have made – Demonstrate the positive impact you have made for employers in previous jobs. Have you saved money? Improved processes? Made customers happy?
  • Your reasons for moving – Employers will want to know why you are leaving your current/previous role, so provide them with a brief explanation here.
  • Your availability – When will you be able to start a new job ? Check your current contract to find out your notice period if you are in a position already.

Consulting cover letter templates

Copy and paste these Consulting cover letter templates to get a head start on your own.

As a seasoned geologist with 13 years of experience working for reputable consultancy firms, ATCOM and GE, I am excited to apply for the Environmental Consultant position at GF Consulting.

Throughout my career, I have successfully managed a junior team at GE Consultants and provided comprehensive environmental solutions for various public sector and commercial clients, including the NHS, Lloyds Bank, and the Civil Service. I have coordinated EIAs for diverse projects, such as transport, energy, and flood management, ensuring compliance with UK and EU legislation. One notable achievement was my successful delivery of a £600k land management project for a Council run leisure centre, leading to subsequent contracts worth £1.5million per annum. Additionally, my research on water conservation technology resulted in an 88% reduction in water wastage for a commercial client, surpassing national targets.

I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience to further discuss my qualifications and potential contributions to GF Consulting’s vision. Thank you for considering my application.

Kind regards,

Elanor Gasson ¦ 07777777777 ¦ [email protected]

I am excited to apply for the Business Consultant position at Nexus where my diverse skill set and 8 years of experience in managing complex projects, mentoring teams, and driving strategic and operational improvements can contribute to your esteemed financial services clientele.

As a Mathematics graduate with an MBA from King’s College London, I am adept at developing data driven solutions and process improvements, delivering measurable results. At Arcadia Business Solutions, I successfully designed a risk management framework for a leading investment bank, reducing operational risk by 15% and enhancing compliance. Additionally, my strategic planning outreach initiative for a financial services firm led to the identification of new business opportunities and a 10% revenue increase over three years. Moreover, my role as a Business Analyst at Monzo provided me with valuable experience in delivering business insights through data analysis and Agile methodologies with I could bring to this role.

I am eager to discuss my potential contributions to Nexus’ continued success. I am available for an interview at your convenience. Thank you for considering my application.

Stephan Menaux ¦ 07777777777 ¦ [email protected]

I hope you’re well.

I am writing to apply for the IT Consultant position at Sideline Solutions where my extensive 22+ year career and expertise in server management make me a great fit for the role.

Throughout my tenure at Spire Consultancy, I have successfully consulted with clients in the retail and ecommerce industries, delivering timely and effective solutions. My implementation of remote assessments has reduced average downtime by 15%, garnering excellent feedback from satisfied clients. Moreover, my expertise in SQL Server queries and data processing would allow me to complete complex analysis of diverse data formats, including CSV and XML. As a Technical Consultant at Manson IT Ltd, I managed large technical accounts and resolved escalated IT issues for public and private sector clients, improving support efficiency by conducting monthly product updates seminars and effectively managing IT consumables stock.

I am eager to discuss how my technical acumen and outstanding customer service can benefit the team at Sideline Solutions. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience.

Gabriel Obu ¦ 07777777777 ¦ [email protected]

Writing an impressive cover letter is a crucial step in landing a Consulting job, so taking the time to perfect it is well worth while.

By following the tips and examples above you will be able to create an eye-catching cover letter that will wow recruiters and ensure your CV gets read – leading to more job interviews for you.

Good luck with your job search!

Strategy Consulting Cover Letter Example

Cover Letter Examples

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

Start your Strategy Consulting cover letter by addressing the hiring manager directly, if possible. Then, introduce yourself and briefly mention your current role or professional status. Immediately highlight your interest in the specific Strategy Consulting role and the company you're applying to. This shows you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the role. For example, "Dear [Hiring Manager's Name], As a seasoned strategist with over five years of experience in driving business growth and transformation, I am excited to apply for the Strategy Consulting role at [Company's Name]. I am particularly drawn to your company because of its innovative approach to business solutions and its reputation for fostering professional growth." This opening is direct, personalized, and shows your enthusiasm for the role.

The best way for Strategy Consultings to end a cover letter is by summarizing their interest in the role and the unique value they can bring to the company. They should express gratitude for the reader's time and consideration, and express eagerness to discuss their qualifications further in an interview. It's important to end on a proactive note, indicating they will follow up. For example: "Thank you for considering my application. I am confident that my skills and passion make me a strong candidate for this opportunity. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my application with you further. I will follow up within a week to confirm that my application was received and to answer any questions you may have." This ending is professional, courteous, and shows initiative, which are all qualities valued in the consulting industry.

In a cover letter for Strategy Consulting, the following elements should be included: 1. Contact Information: At the top of the letter, include your name, address, phone number, and email address. 2. Salutation: Address the letter to a specific person if possible. If you don't know the name, use a general salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager". 3. Introduction: Start with a strong opening paragraph that grabs the reader's attention. Mention the position you're applying for and where you found the job listing. 4. Relevant Skills and Experience: Highlight your most relevant skills and experiences that make you a suitable candidate for the position. Use specific examples to demonstrate how you've used these skills in previous roles. 5. Understanding of the Company: Show that you've done your research and understand what the company does and its values. Explain why you're interested in working for them and how you can contribute to their goals. 6. Conclusion: In the final paragraph, reiterate your interest in the role and the company. Thank the reader for considering your application and express your interest in discussing your qualifications further in an interview. 7. Professional Closing: Close the letter professionally with "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your name and signature. 8. Postscript: This is optional, but you can add a P.S. to highlight a key achievement or detail that you want the hiring manager to notice. Remember, a cover letter should complement your resume, not duplicate it. It's your chance to tell a story about your experiences and skills, and how they make you the right fit for the job. Tailor each cover letter to the specific role and company to show that you're genuinely interested and have taken the time to apply thoughtfully.

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strategy consulting cover letter

3 Healthcare Cover Letter Examples for the Role in 2024

Stephen Greet

  • Healthcare Cover Letter
  • Healthcare Administration Cover Letter
  • Healthcare Consulting Cover Letter
  • Write Your Healthcare Cover Letter

Healthcare covers many different niches, from direct patient care provision to billing and coding. You might also help facilities organize and strategize their care plans based on your experiences and assist more specialized medical professionals.

But how can you pack all your broader assets into a solid cover letter and accompanying healthcare resume while still honing in on what makes you special as a healthcare worker?

Don’t worry; we’ve done this before! After assisting with quite the lineup of cover letters, we’ve developed our awesome healthcare cover letter examples to help you build momentum.

Healthcare Cover Letter Example

USE THIS TEMPLATE

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Block Format

Healthcare cover letter template

Why this cover letter works

  • Intertwining the ethos with the company’s mission goes a long way to showcase your potential to make a real impact in the open position. Here, some online research will suffice to familiarize yourself with the hiring healthcare organization’s mission and core values.

Healthcare Administration Cover Letter Example

Healthcare administration cover letter template

  • Recall that instance when you catapulted a healthcare facility from zero to hero. Or maybe when your initiative saved a particular company a significant amount of money. How about that workplace where you slashed non-compliance? Whichever your wins, flaunt them boldly.

Healthcare Consulting Cover Letter Example

Healthcare consulting cover letter template

  • Maybe you attended a conference where the company’s representative gave a compelling talk. Or even experienced firsthand the efficiency of their product (think software or equipment). Relive such moments to create a bond of familiarity with the potential employer.

Related cover letter examples

  • Healthcare resume
  • Medical assistant
  • Physical therapist
  • Case manager

How to Write Your Best Healthcare Cover Letter

Salesperson pops out of computer screen to depict outselling the competition with sales cover letter

You know how important it is to pay attention to every little detail in your work environment—and the same goes for your cover letter! Each patient needs individualized care, and each potential employer needs a cover letter that aligns with the needs expressed in their job description .

Make sure you scour the job requirements for any skills, abilities, or personal traits they seek that you happen to have! Are you excellent at phlebotomy, end-of-life care, or whatever else they emphasize? When have you overcome obstacles the facility currently faces?

cover letter for consulting

Writing an impressive greeting and introduction

Each patient you assist feels more valued when you put effort into addressing them by name, and so will the recruiter or hiring manager who reads your cover letter! So, it is worth the effort to check back through the job description and the organization’s website to see who’s hiring.

After your graceful greeting, lead your reader into your qualifications with a good hook that highlights your desire for the job—and a couple of traits that qualify you for it! You want to immediately reassure the reader that you’re a good fit for the job and will blend seamlessly into their organization or clinic’s ecosystem.

Make sure you stick with convention to avoid ending up with a greeting like this that’s sloppy and offers zero substantiation:

Hi I’m Bill,

So I’d be perfect in your clinic because I think people matter. I’ve spent lots of time in doctors offices and wanted to apply.

This opener is way better, immediately establishing a connection with the company while expressing determination and a strong desire for the role.

Phew, saved it!

Dear Ms. Jones:

My first brush with LifeBridge Health occurred during a conference on Healthcare IT trends in Baltimore four years ago. I was drawn to your outstanding technology integration within the healthcare sphere, making complex procedures much more streamlined and accessible. I vividly recall thinking “This is the future of the healthcare, and I want to be a part of it.” Today, I write to express my enthusiasm and preparedness to join to esteemed team as a healthcare IT consultant.

cover letter for consulting

Writing body paragraphs to remember

Having drawn your reader in with your excellent hook, it’s time to share the story of your professional success! Maximize your effectiveness by concentrating your paragraphs around one main point that aligns you with the role.

If you used to help out in a nursing home and skyrocketed satisfaction rates via patient advocacy, talk about it! If you positively affected turnover times between patient visits using your efficiency with X-ray technology, mention it!

Remember to switch out your achievements to align with what the job description emphasizes most. And always back up those accomplishments with metrics! Use percentages, star ratings, work-hour reductions, and positive employee ratings to bolster your success stories.

At Fenway Health, I oversaw healthcare compliance and quality improvement. There, I crafted comprehensive compliance programs that led to a 23% reduction in non-compliance incidents that affected patients and staff. I also deployed Six Sigma methodologies to drive quality improvement; the results were telling, as patient satisfaction scores improved by 39%, making the highest leap in the organization in three years.

cover letter for consulting

Closing and signing off your cover letter on the perfect note

You want to conclude your healthcare cover letter with as much sparkle as you started it with! Come full circle with a brief reiteration of how your skills align with the company’s needs and how your motivations for wanting the job match their values.

Reassure your reader that you’re adaptable when you need to be—but that you’re already a great fit for the job. Now is also the perfect opportunity to address the company directly and include a call to action that invites them to contact you for more qualifying details.

Thank the reader for their time, either in your closer paragraph or as your professional signoff. If you don’t use a thank-you as your signature line, opt for something equally formal and always use your full, real name.

Make sure you’re adequately polite and that you seal the deal on your connection with the individual employer, unlike in this disappointing closer:

Sounds like you guys have a great place to work. I’m kinda busy this week but definitely call me later to see when we can start because I’m definitely qualified.

This closer, on the other hand, connects well with the company and clearly states that they want to contribute positively to the work environment. Nice call to action, too!

Now we’re getting somewhere!

My varied experiences and competencies make me an ideal candidate for the healthcare IT consultant role at LifeBridge Health. I believe that with my blend of experience, I can bring about a significant positive impact on your organization and patients alike. Looking forward to our further discussions about how my qualifications align with your institutional goals.

David Hwang

Not every work experience has to be a paid job in the medical field to still count toward your goals and qualifications! If you earned any academic awards while pursuing your medical degree, those can boost your creds. Internships that relate to your goal role work, too.

If you have additional enclosures to go with your cover letter and resume (like a professional recommendation or an additional certification highlighting your CPR or First Aid skills), write “Enclosures:” at the bottom of your letter and then list each piece you’re including.

If you have a particular clinic or private practice in mind where you want to work, pay special attention to their mission statement, values, goals, or previous obstacles (you can find a lot of this info on their website and professional social media). Keep a selection of body paragraphs on hand so that you can switch out and tweak things accordingly to align yourself with a specific company!

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  24. 3 Healthcare Cover Letter Examples for the Role in 2024

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