Finding a management consulting job: a step by step guide

A successful management consulting career doesn’t happen by chance.

Finding a management consulting job requires more than luck. Adopting a structured approach and taking time to assess your career objectives will maximise the likelihood of finding the perfect job and enhancing your CV.

Time spent considering your career may seem like a luxury, but will make finding and securing an offer of your ideal management consulting job much easier. Devoting time to planning and developing a career strategy will ensure you have the best opportunity to be in the right place at the right time. It will also reduce the possibility of an impulsive career move which may not be viewed positively by future employers.

We take you through the process step by step:

  1. Career planning
  2. Preparing your marketing plan
  3. Updating your CV
  4. Perfecting your LinkedIn profile
  5. Managing the application process
  6. Preparation for an interview
  7. The interview itself
  8. Accepting a job offer
  9. What to do if it doesn’t work out

Career planning

A useful first step in career planning is to decide what is important in your life. It may be money, interesting work, status, or perhaps work-life balance. This will require a degree of self-examination, perhaps with the help of your family or a close friend. It may change over time so aim to repeat the exercise every 4 or 5 years as your priorities evolve.

After identifying your overall goal you can go on to consider how your strengths and personality might influence your choice of management consultancy firm or sector. The choices available to you in your consultancy career have a significant bearing on your career path so it is important to think ahead.

How to plan your career

Preparing your marketing plan

Once you have analysed your career goals you can develop your career strategy and prepare your marketing plan. As a management consultant you are thorough and logical in preparing marketing plans for your clients, so apply the same approach to yourself.

This will ensure your skill-set and career will be enhanced by each job on your CV, you will save time by focusing only on management consulting jobs which meet your objectives, and you will therefore perform better at interviews.

Our guide explains how to identify and approach potential employers using the most effective channels.

Preparing a marketing plan

Updating your CV

The importance of preparing a good CV cannot be underestimated. It is your passport to being selected for an interview and as such requires careful preparation to showcase your skills and relevant experience to the reader.

For better or worse, anyone recruiting management consultants (whether via an agency or in-house) has limited time to study your CV. Less than a minute. It is therefore imperative that you present information on your CV in an effective and accessible way.

It should be tailored to the roles for which you are applying and contain a sufficient number of ‘keywords’ to confirm your suitability as a candidate. ‘Why Keywords are crucial for your job search’ is a topic in itself and increasingly important as employers and some recruiters use their applicant management systems to screen applicants for suitability.

Our guide to what to include and how to present your achievements covers all this and more.

Guide to writing a top CV

Perfecting your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile can make the difference between your being shortlisted or rejected from a management consulting job you have applied for. It is also critical to being approached by head-hunters.

We consider the importance of your Linkedin profile to your personal brand and explain how you can make it stand out to management consultant recruiters by the use of keywords and effective presentation. The key to being visible to head hunters and potential employers is ensuring your LinkedIn profile sells your skills and experience to your target audience.

Perfecting your LinkedIn profile

Managing the application process

Whatever the job market, the key to success is organisation and making sure you explore all the main avenues for finding a new job in a management consultancy firm.

This stage will be time-consuming and if you are currently in a job you may have to break it down into manageable structured stages. If you are not currently working then as you have no doubt realised, the job search is a full-time job.

In our comprehensive guide, we consider in turn the five main channels for finding a management consulting job.

The application process

Preparation for an interview

Preparation for a management consulting job interview is more than just interview technique and performance in the interview itself.

Effective pre-interview preparation should include researching the company, its products and services, culture and values. As well as a detailed study of their website you should aim to look at LinkedIn, financial results and any recent news about the company. It is also sensible to learn more about the interviewer. Do you have any contacts or a network in common for example?

Effective interview preparation can give you confidence and help you stand out from the crowd. Our guide tells you how.

Preparing for interview

The interview itself

If you have been thorough in your pre-interview preparation you should be confident and knowledgeable about the firm you are hoping to impress.

However, there are still challenges to navigate:

We cover these topics in our comprehensive guide to interview questions

Interview excellence

Accepting a management consulting job offer

This should be the easy part!

However, sometimes there are complications: the salary is not quite right, your current employer makes a counteroffer, or perhaps you need to choose between two or more management consultancy job offers.

We can help with these situations because as a specialist management recruitment agency we have the expertise to guide you to a decision which is best for you and your career goals.

Your job offer

What to do if it doesn’t work out

Despite best efforts, it sometimes happens that a new consulting job doesn’t live up to expectations. This can happen for a number of reasons, but the main concern is to manage the situation as effectively as possible to make the right decisions going forward.

Before doing anything it is wise to consider why you are unhappy with your management consultancy job and whether there are other options. We can advise on this and how best to present this on your CV if you conclude that a move is inevitable.

Read our guide