How do you land an entry-level consultant role?
The strategy outlined below will minimize your job search time. This article will provide the best results if you will either be searching for such a role soon or hoping to accelerate the pace of your job search process. As a note, if you would like a more tailored strategy for a consulting role, we will provide relevant reading at the end of this article.
For most, the hiring process for consulting is much like the profession itself. It is highly structured and leaves little room for doubt. However, it turns out there is more opportunity for an entry-level role than you may believe.
There are over 89k open management consulting roles in the US. However, most new entrants will compete for the same 1000. As you start in your search, note down 30 consulting shops hiring for someone with your qualifications.
Now, we recommend splitting up this list as follows: 5 reach companies, 15 target companies followed by 10 safeties. We recommend such a high number since consulting firms can be quite small and unpredictable with their hiring.
The key to an entry level consulting job is personalization. You need to reach out to someone at each company whose background particularly appeals to you. It makes sense to pick someone you’ve gone to school with, been on a sports team with or studied to same subject as. This helps break the ice more effectively.
Now, send this person an introductory email or LinkedIn message. In this message, you want to introduce yourself in 2 sentences and express exactly what you would like from them. In this case, it is 5 minutes of their time over a phone call for advice on how to stand out when applying to their company.
Many of these folks may ignore you but the ones that don’t will be your greatest allies.
Once you’ve secured the phone conversation, it’s time to follow up with a consultant-approved resume. If done correctly, this will avoid raising red flags and guide your application straight into a dedicated recruiting pool.
With the formalities out of the way, you can now dedicate your time towards preparing for interviews while everyone else focuses on getting in the door.
For a more in-depth strategy focused on consultant role, please read this related article