In the world of recruitment, what matters first is how you sell yourself to the company through your cover letter. If this document can’t grab the attention of the recruiter during pre-screening, chances are you won’t be contacted for further assessment.
Your cover letter gets across your personality and capability to perform consulting responsibilities. By just reading it, recruiters can gauge your communication skills, ability to organize ideas and meticulousness. Because these are significant in consulting, you should avoid committing the mistakes described below.
One common mistake that traps applicants is rehashing information written on the resume. To steer clear of redundancy, create a framework that summarizes your work experience, skills and accomplishments. This stirs the recruiter to refer to your resume for additional information. You can also make the most of this document by using it to explain your career objectives, gaps in employment, shifts in career and other inconsistencies in your resume. The recruiter will be able to understand your career status better because of your comprehensive explanation.
Second, many candidates make use of a generic letter for all their applications.. An indicator of this is using the salutation, “Dear HR Manager,” or “Dear Sir.” This one-size-fits-all approach makes it faster for you to apply to different companies, but it won’t create an impact to the recruiter. Your cover letter will be just one the thousand impersonal documents that have passed by his or her hands. Hence, if you want to create a lasting impression, exert extra effort by researching facts, carefully organizing your thoughts and customizing your letter. It might take your time but it will take you places.
Third, some applicants enter inaccurate details due to lack of attention to details. When you’re sending your application in series, you sometimes forget to change the recipient’s details, position you’re applying for and the firm’s name. If the recruiter notices this, it might be assumed that you’ve mistakenly sent it to them. In worst scenarios, some candidates enter wrong contact details. This usually happens when they move to another place, change their email address and use another mobile number. As a result, recruiters just put their application aside and prioritize other applicants. In a nutshell, with wrong details, you will lose the opportunity of being selected to undergo the rest of the screening process.
Another common mistake applicants commit is rambling too much on the cover letter. The document must contain only relevant information. It is not an autobiography but a tool to market your services. About four to five paragraphs is enough to highlight your qualifications for the management consulting position. Make sure that you include your skills, the names of well-known companies or institutions you’ve previously worked for, your high GPA and other keywords that catch the recruiter’s attention.
Some management consulting applicants also get too casual in writing a cover letter and in choosing their style. A cover letter with a tinge of your personality is interesting, but professionalism must be always the guiding factor. Never use slang or vulgar words. Structure your thoughts using the correct language, style and tone. Fancy and colorful fonts are not encouraged. For recruiters, it’s not only what you know, but also how you manifest it. You need to have both the knowledge and the right manners to prove your worth.
Lastly, some consulting aspirants send out their application without proofreading their letter. In effect, some grammatical errors and mistakes are not corrected. Blunders, such as “Deaf Mr. Roberts,” and “I cope to hear from you,” considerably affect your candidacy. Management consultants are expected to have a flair for writing as they will be preparing presentations and reports for clients. Hence, your cover letter errors might be interpreted as incapability to produce quality written deliverables.
One effective way of reviewing your letter is through the assistance of a third party. Ask help from your friend, a professional or a team who offers job application review services. At times, when you are so familiar with what you’re doing, you tend to neglect little but embarrassing errors. If you want your cover letter to be reviewed with objectivity, a pair of fresh eyes can absolutely do it for you.