One of the best ways to get started in a consulting career is to find a job within a consulting firm. If you decide that working in a consulting firm is the right path in your consulting career, follow these steps to help you land that job you want.
1. Get the Credentials
Get your degree, certificate, or any professional licenses or other accreditation needed in your field of consulting, or that may be recommended by the consulting firms you want to apply with.
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2. Get the Experience
You’ll have your best chances to find work in a consulting firm if you have 3-5 years of experience in your field. However, some consulting firms do fill entry-level positions with recent college graduates, so be sure to get as much experience as possible during college, especially through internships or part-time work.
3. Write Your Resume and Cover Letter
Your resume and cover letter shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to include all relevent experience or educational background, and make them both look as professional as possible. For more information, read a sample Consulting Resume for an entry level management consultant. Then get those resumes mailed out as soon as possible to any consulting firms you have an interest in working for.
Networking is vital for anyone interested in working for a consulting firm. Do the research to find out who the top players are in your industry. Then, take the initiative to call them! Do whatever you can to get face time with potential employers in a firm, because you’ll be more likely to be remembered than someone who just mailed a resume.
5. Attend Interviews
Interviews in consulting firms are generally different than those in other industries. You’ll likely have consulting “case interviews,” where your interviewer will provide you with a hypothetical problem or situation, and you’ll have to work out a solution on the spot. For more information, and to see sample consulting case interview questions, read “How to Ace the Case Interview” from Grinnell College.
- Whether you’re a college student or a seasoned professional, you should never stop trying to diversify your experiences.
- It can be difficult to find a job in the largest consulting firms, especially if you didn’t come from one of the top business schools. But don’t let that discourage you! Remember, there’s no substitute for face time with a prospective employer, even your alma mater.
- If you’re still in school, or a recent graduate, gain some experience by volunteering to help non-profits or businesses owned by people you already know. Or try to get an internship with a smaller consulting firm.
- Remember the most important thing your interviewer will be looking for during an interview is a demonstration of your problem-solving skills. While you’re working through the problem, talk out loud, so they can follow your train of thought.
- Case interviews can be tricky! Practice with as many samples as you can possibly find.
What You’ll Need:
- A degree and / or professional license if necessary.
- Experience in consulting in your field.
- A killer resume and cover letter.
- A strong network of industry professionals and insiders.
- Strong confidence and problem-solving skills.