The cover letter is a required component of any job application – but often the biggest headache for applicants. In this post, I discuss the top 10 tips for consulting cover letters (from content to structure to syntax) that will avoid embarrassing mistakes and strengthen your candidacy.
For the complete guide to consulting cover letters, click here!
1) Your opening paragraph should include:
- The position you’re applying for.
- Qualities that make you a good fit (e.g., leadership experience, analytical thinking skills).
- Optional: very brief highlights on work experience.
2) Your body paragraphs (no more than 2) should include:
- Work highlights if not in the opening paragraph.
- A section to describe one experience in detail (work, student group, etc). Focus on the impact you had and the skills you learned that would make you a good consultant. This should be your “star” experience and the one you want every reader to remember
- A section or paragraph on your interest in the job, your career goals, the research you’ve done to learn more about the firm.
3) The closing paragraph should be brief and restate why you’d make a good consultant. Include your contact information here as well:
Please do not hesitate to contact me with further questions. I can be reached at (123) 456-7890 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Avoid an elaborate discussion of your educational background. A sentence about your school and major should suffice. It’s OK to expand this section if you have a very high GPA, nationally-recognized scholarships, and fellowships, etc.
5) It’s OK to drop names of current firm employees – but integrate them well.
Here’s a poor example:
I had a conversation with Sarah Foster, a current case team leader at Bain, at the on-campus presentation. I learned a lot from her about consulting and gained a deeper appreciation for the company.
Why is this a poor example? It doesn’t make a point. The interaction was generic, and it feels like a setup to name-drop.
Here’s a good example:
Bain is not only a prestigious firm, but one that really invests in the development of its consultants. My conversations with Sarah Foster, a current case team leader, reinforced my belief that this separates Bain from the other firms, and is my central reason for applying.
Why is this a good example? The name-dropping occurs in the context of a broader point – that Bain focuses on the development of its people.
6) Use anecdotes in consulting cover letters. Instead of saying “my past experiences have allowed me to become a strong leader of teams,” say this:
My projects at Oracle – where I led groups of up to 5 analysts on implementation projects – have made me a strong team leader and partner for my colleagues.
7) Include current contact information at the top. Don’t assume it’s unnecessary because the information is on your resume.
8) Never use more than one page and use PDF format when possible. In the words of Consultant99 (a kind commenter):
Resumes and cover letters should be submitted in PDF whenever allowed. Every resume screen finds us holding a half-dozen resumes where the font isn’t found, the margins are messed-up, it’s set for A4 rather than 8.5 x 11, or any of a million other problems that wreak havoc on your careful formatting. Worst of all, “track changes” might be turned on! Putting it in PDF avoids all these problems.
9) If it doesn’t fit with size 12 font and 1″ margins, it’s too long. This is not an iron-clad rule but a guiding principle. Cover letters with size 10 font, 0.5″ margins, and minute paragraph spacing hurt the reader’s eyes and hurt your candidacy.
10) Make sure the consulting cover letter is addressed to the right firm and person. Back to my initial thought – the risk is greater of messing up than standing out, and this is mistake number one. Label and save each cover letter by a firm, and double-check to ensure the firm name, address, and position applied for (eg, Associate vs Senior Consultant) is correct.
The last thing you want to happen is for an Accenture recruiter or consultant open your cover letter and see that it’s addressed to Deloitte HR. At best, you’re incompetent. At worst, your application may not see the light of day.
In ourConsulting Resume and Cover Letter Bible we’ve got 12 cover letter templates you can use to create your own best-in-class cover letter.
Click here to buy it now and start landing consulting jobs!
Sales Consultant Advice
To get hired as a sales consultant, you’ll need a professional cover letter. The cover letter examples below are perfect for getting started. Use the sample text as a starting point, then personalize your cover letter to fit your particular needs. Get started today with these cover letter examples, and build your sales consultant cover letter now!
Cover Letter Tips for Sales Consultant
Job hunting in any field is challenging, and finding jobs as a Sales Consultant is no exception. However, there are some things that make the search easier, and the following guidelines can help ease the stress.
1. Be persistent. The job search can be very lengthy due to all of the competition, so it is important to utilize all methods of finding a job, including social networking, job fairs, professional journals, job recruiters, and talking to everyone you know.
2. Consider temporary work. Whether it is a part-time position or contract work, it can help you get your foot in the door which may lead to a full-time position down the road.
3. Develop and maintain an online presence. This means more than just setting up a LinkedIn or Twitter account and forgetting about them. Contribute articles or information to show your knowledge, comment on industry-related blogs, and set up introductions with those in the professions you are interested in.
4. Keep your job options open. You may be restricting yourself by looking for the same type of job you had before. Consider a similar position in a completely different industry, or work on building new skills during your time off in order to find a job using your new skills and knowledge.
5. Keep a positive mindset. Searching for jobs as a Sales Consultant can take a toll on your psyche, and you need to be able to think optimistically. If you don’t get the job of your dreams, it may mean that a better one is on its way.
Sales Consultant Job Seeking Tips
Working on your cover letter is one of the first things you should do when starting to look for jobs as a Sales Consultant. These five tips will help guide you in writing a top-notch cover letter.
1. Make sure you include different ways to get in touch with you, without giving too much information. Your name, city and state, one phone number, and an email address are sufficient.
2. Instead of listing past job responsibilities, provide accomplishments that are meaningful and are related to the position you are applying for.
3. Do your best to keep your cover letter between one and two pages. One page is ideal, but two pages are appropriate for those with years of experience and multiple jobs.
4. If you are a recent graduate or a current student, describe your experiences as transferable skills. This means listing skills that you have obtained through sports, extracurricular activities, classroom projects, and volunteer work. Make sure the skills relate to the type of job you want.
5. Make sure you proofread your cover letter to make sure there are no grammar errors or misspelled words.