How To Start Your Career In Consulting
Human Resources Consulting is a lucrative and prestigious career. Often recruited out of Ivy League institutions, candidates must still undergo a rigorous interview process in order to land an offer. There are a myriad of consulting jobs, but those who advance to land strategy roles have analytical horsepower and C-suite level communication skills.
While there are many different careers in the consulting world, the bottom line is that consultants are hired to either help companies cut costs or increase revenues. This may require changing a company’s entire strategic direction, adding IT services, marketing, financial analysis, or cutting excesses that drain the bottom line (i.e. outsourcing). While consultants must be able to see the overall big picture as it pertains to a company, strategy projects are short (3-6 months) and narrowly defined.
Landing a job in this field requires more than an esteemed education. Management consulting hopefuls must pass the . It is this stringent set of interview rounds that make or break the individual. The candidate must possess a specific set of skills that will be uncovered during the process. To prepare for the interview process, many aspirants look for expert guidance to take them through the entire process in order to make the actual task less intimidating. The consulting review process is typically industry standard, and as such there are a great many areas that recruits are able to refine in order to shine in the interview process.
Leaders in the industry recommend that candidates hone their resume and cover letters. Knowing what to include (and what not to include!), as well as understanding what the firm is really asking for, are imperative to a candidate putting his or her best foot forward. While some HR Consulting firms are moving away from requiring a cover letter, why miss out on an opportunity to impress?
An often overlooked part of the process is the fit interview. This is where the firm assesses if you are a good fit for the culture they’ve built. Don’t go into this part of the process blind! Be sure to understand what the firm is really looking for when asking its questions, and if you are a good fit for that particular place.
The most daunting part of the interview process is the case interview. This requires quick thinking, excellent communication, and mental math skills that must shine under pressure. Management consultants must be able to analyze a situation and brainstorm potential solutions in a small amount of time. Practicing this skill is imperative to landing the job. There are companies that help hone this skill and enable contenders to put their best self forward.
A management consulting career is highly prized in industry for the analytical skills that are developed. It broadens an individual’s cognitive abilities and trains them to think clearly and work well as part of a team in pursuit of a defined scope. Pursuing this as a career is a recommended move that will not only pay you well now, but have a lasting financial impact.