Session 3: More work on the Resume & Office Strategy
Samantha has now translated her resume into an understandable, quantitative and elegant format. It reads in a crisp and straightforward way which anyone will understand, especially those who have no experience in her background, and into an achievement format which consulting firms like. We refer to this format as the first draft.
Despite all the work, it is just that, the beginning. Now we can truly understand her profile and need to sift through each bullet to make sure it meets consulting’s high standard on achievement and clarity. We can cut parts, shift the order and build a clear profile from many disjointed parts. Moreover, there needs to be clear use of power-words like “led” or “awarded” as well as examples of leadership, teamwork, analytical skills and conflict resolution.
The resume must get the right type of attention and although these final steps lead to just the final 10% of changes to be made, it is easily the most difficult and painful to do. Most candidates want to stop at this point and go into cases. But it is important to stick through it.
Moreover, when Samantha networks, likely through LinkedIn, given her weaker consulting network, we need to use the new resume to structure her LinkedIn profile to ensure people want to speak to her after reading her new consulting-focused profile. That is how most people will decide she is worth speaking to. When we get the resume done, the networking can begin. If it is not done right, even when we update LinkedIn and people see her profile, they will remain unimpressed.
In terms of office strategy, we never advise candidates to try to “game” the system and find an office with the highest demand for candidates and least supply. We encourage candidates to think very carefully about their backgrounds and reasons for working in regions and sectors, and then find offices which fit this profile. We then help them make this linkage explicit. Even if an office like Atlanta is not, relatively speaking, heavily in demand by MBA candidates, it does not imply a candidate could build a credible case to join that office.
It is far easier to get an interview with a unique and insightful reason for an office. Choosing the office first means you will be forced to manufacture a reason and this at times tends to reflect poorly on the candidate. Our job will be to help the candidate develop insightful and plausible reasons for selecting the office which is appropriate for their profile.
In the session descriptions which follow, we are using one description for 4 different candidates. Yet candidates do not perform the same, and while the descriptions are mostly accurate, there will be some differences as a few cases are brought forward, others moved back or candidates fail to prepare adequately. While these differences are minor, they sometimes occur.