Consulting Careers

                             Strategy Consulting CV Self-Assessment
                             Tool
...
Academic
Allocate your score out of 4
Consider:
     What subject was your undergraduate degree in?
     How good was yo...
My thoughts contd…
Undergraduate degree performance
                                                           Result
    ...
Professional
Allocate your score out of 4
Consider:
      Have you the right length of experience?
      Do you have rec...
‘Other’
Allocate your score out of 2
Consider:
     How does your CV rate you as ‘an interesting person to talk to’?
   ...
Exceptions
Of course, there are many exceptions to the above ‘rules’. You can ‘boost’ your score, or
you can ‘wreck’ it de...
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Consulting CV Scoring Self Assessment Guide 26 02 10

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A self-assessment guide to assist students at a top business school understand their chances of landing a strategy consulting job

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Consulting CV Scoring Self Assessment Guide 26 02 10

  1. 1. Consulting Careers Strategy Consulting CV Self-Assessment Tool Introduction Using this tool, you can assess your own CV for your ‘hirability’ for strategy consulting. The tool is a beta – a work in progress, and relies on many subjective assessments. Its results cannot be relied upon, except when applied by an expert. The main benefit of using the tool is to go through the process of self-analysis of your CV. I urge you to review your own CV against those of your ‘competition’ – people in your class, school, or who you know have (or have not) succeeded in getting consulting interviews. Recent studies1 show the approach has some statistical relevance when used appropriately, by an experienced consulting recruiter. The tool produces a ‘CV Score’ out of 10. My personal ‘shortlisting’ cutoff is 8 out of 10 – students scoring 9 or 10/10 were recently found to have a 46% chance of securing an offer for a consulting summer internship, with those scoring 8/10 having a 35% chance. This figure drops to 8% for 6 or 7/10, 6% for 4 or 5/10, and 0% below that. However, I repeat that the approach is dependent on subjective assessment and discretion – I am trying to codify the know-how but there is a long way to go before the tool is bullet-proof for untrained use. Please read and consider the following sections:  Academic Rate your academic performance out of 4  Professional Rate your professional experience out of 4  ‘Other’ Rate your ‘other’ information out of 2  Exceptions Consider what specific exceptions might apply in your case 1 Study not yet complete, on sample of MBA first year students applying for summer internships in 2010 J-P Martins, Associate Director Consulting Careers 1 www.problemssolved.org
  2. 2. Academic Allocate your score out of 4 Consider:  What subject was your undergraduate degree in?  How good was your school?  How good was your undergraduate performance?  What is your GMAT?  Are you on the Dean’s list for your MBA?  Do you have other evidence of outstanding academic performance?  How do these things add up to a score out of 4? My thoughts… Some suggestions based on how I score these: (very much a work in progress, and UK-centric so you will have to calibrate for other educational systems, institutions etc) Undergraduate degree subjects Subjects Category ‘Softer’, non quant subjects, including business, Less good commerce, management Maths, science, engineering, economics Good Double majors as above Very good Undergraduate School Schools Category Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, LSE Top school Other Russell Group Good School All others Unheard of School J-P Martins, Associate Director Consulting Careers 2 www.problemssolved.org
  3. 3. My thoughts contd… Undergraduate degree performance Result First, or Dean's list, top few %, 2/1 great scholarships Top school Outstanding Very good School Good school Very good Good Unheard of school Good OK Scoring Performance Outstanding Very good Good OK Very good 4 4 4 2 Subjects Good 4 4 3 2 Less good 3 3 2 1 Modify this base scoring by:  Extra mark: GMAT >729 (max still 4 marks), or Dean’s list at business school  Discretionary extra mark: GMAT 700-729 (based on gut feel)  Discretionary extra mark: very good subjects or other evidence of academic excellence eg multiple 'A-levels', finishing high school/graduating early, amazing prizes, scholarships... based on gut feel, but benefit of doubt NOT given) J-P Martins, Associate Director Consulting Careers 3 www.problemssolved.org
  4. 4. Professional Allocate your score out of 4 Consider:  Have you the right length of experience?  Do you have recognisable brand names on your CV?  Have you experienced rapid (fast-track) career progression?  How do these things add up to a score out of 4? Remember to compare with your peers/competitors. Review other applicants’ (or past applicants’) CVs. If you are a student at London Business School, you can see other students’ CVs on Career Central. My thoughts… Some suggestions on how I score these: Outstanding (4 out of 4) 3-5 years' experience, including:  Recognisable/leading brand names (blue chip);  Rapid career progression;  Major achievements (eg special strategy projects, solved tough analytical problems etc) Very good (3 out of 4) Most but not all the above Good (2 out of 4) Some of the above Modifiers Modify this scoring by:  Discount 1 mark: purely sales and marketing, accounting, other non-problem solving technical roles (not including scientific, engineering, statistical or ops roles here)  Discretionary discount 1 mark: very narrow geographic span (ie experience confined to just one country – especially if not Western Europe/North America) J-P Martins, Associate Director Consulting Careers 4 www.problemssolved.org
  5. 5. ‘Other’ Allocate your score out of 2 Consider:  How does your CV rate you as ‘an interesting person to talk to’?  Do you demonstrate exceptional drive or accomplishment?  Are you a passionate person?  How do these things translate into a score out of 2? My thoughts… Few people score 2 out of 2 This is very hard to systematise! No marks for:  Lists of activities, interests or clubs (eg cycling, photography, food or Consulting Club, Finance Club, Women in Business Club)  Executive positions in business school clubs  Charity, pro bono activities per se  Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro One mark for regular competitive sport, clear passion, drive, commitment, success Two marks for exceptional, out of the ordinary, recent examples include  Representing your country at sport  Climbing peaks on 5 continents  Writing a blog in search of regional cuisine in a foreign country  Pilot’s licence (except if your profession!)  Winning national photography competition J-P Martins, Associate Director Consulting Careers 5 www.problemssolved.org
  6. 6. Exceptions Of course, there are many exceptions to the above ‘rules’. You can ‘boost’ your score, or you can ‘wreck’ it depending on to whom and where you apply. With all of the following exceptions, you really need to understand your potential strengths and weaknesses as well as the demands of the particular recruiters to whom you are thinking of applying. Languages You must meet the language requirements of the firms/offices you are applying for. Especially in Europe, firms without widespread office networks in particular will value fluency in numerous regional languages (ie in Europe – European languages). Geographic ‘connection’ Increasingly, firms are seeking strong geographic connection with the offices to which you apply. This means either being a national, or having lived and worked in the country for a substantial period previously. Specific requirements vary greatly, by recruiter and country. A good guideline is McKinsey’s stated general policy (even they make exceptions though): if you were educated in a country, you need at least 1 year’s experience working there. If you were not educated in a country, you need 2. Sector or functional specialisation Too many to mention, but examples of experiences that are highly sought after by recent recruiters from London Business School include:  Defence  Public Sector  Aerospace  Pharmaceuticals  Telecommunications  Supply chain  Lean/operations improvement  Sales and marketing Previous consulting experience This is nearly irrelevant to most strategy consulting recruiters. However some, in particular smaller, firms may place particularly high value on previous consulting experience. J-P Martins, Associate Director Consulting Careers 6 www.problemssolved.org

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