Finding a management consultancy job in the UK. Five essential job search tips

Are you considering relocating to the UK?

Many international management consultancy job seekers consider gaining work experience in the UK. Whether for personal or career reasons the UK remains an attractive destination.

Or the reverse applies: UK management consultants work abroad and seek to return.

As a result, management consultancy recruiters and employers see many CVs from applicants not currently resident in the UK.

The good news is that in recent years, with the rise of Zoom and Teams, remote and video based recruitment is now commonplace and gone are the days when you had to be in the UK or fly in for the final interview.

However there are still barriers to getting a job here and most are not the obvious ones around visas and Right to Work etc. Indeed this article does not address that topic except in passing: we are not experts in that complicated and forever changing field!

A strong application, following Prism’s tips, will significantly improve your chances.

Your primary tool and “door opener” is your CV. We have some general CV tips but for an international management consultancy job seeker the essentials are:

1. State that you intend to relocate to the UK

Make crystal clear, ideally at the top of the first page, that you are actively seeking a role in the UK and if you name a city e.g. London, so much the better. If you can give a timescale “planning to move to London in August 2022” that’s perfect. Even if aspirational rather than set in stone! You could also say “Location: London from August 2022”. Stating this in an email or cover letter is not enough as it may not get read. It must be included on your CV. NOT stating it risks looking like you are applying a scatter gun approach to your job search with the possibility that your application is not taken seriously.

2. Right to Work

Also make clear, at or near the top of the CV, your visa situation or Right to Work. The default assumption if you say nothing is that you will need employer sponsorship. That may not rule you out, but many employers are either unable to sponsor or have strict limits on numbers. You should of course be honest, but you don’t need to go into detail at this point: the time to do so is when you get to interview. If for example you have a Spousal visa, a Work Study visa or Youth Mobility visa simply state “Able to work in the UK without employer sponsorship”: the fact you may need sponsorship in future is irrelevant to your initial application. If you are British or have Settlement Status you should clearly state this.

3. UK work experience

If you have any work experience in the UK or countries with similar economies, or with well-known global brand names (either as an employer or a client) make sure this is clearly stated on the CV. If there is any risk that your employer or clients are not widely known, ensure you have a few words of explanation around their activities and scale.

4. Qualifications

The same applies to academic credentials: ensure grades and prizes are listed and (unless obvious) some explanation of the academic stature of the University or Business School.

Applying to management consultancy job adverts

The next key hurdle is job boards and LinkedIn. We have information on our website about perfecting your LinkedIn profile.

It is perhaps not widely known that many sites will filter out your CV and application if they think you are overseas. Regardless of your merit or Right to Work or how you answer “qualifying questions”.

So, for example LinkedIn may often mark applications from people based outside the UK as ‘not a fit’ so your application will not be seen. The employer or recruiter can access them or could change the settings but may not be aware of this or decide for simplicity not to do so. The same is true of other well-known job boards. You will probably have no way of knowing if this has happened.

What is the solution?

5. Your current location

You should change your location on LinkedIn and other job boards, to the UK. This is after all where you wish to move to. This (along with 1 to 4 above) will significantly increase your visibility to recruiters and prospective employers. The downside with LinkedIn is that this will be publicly visible which may cause trouble at work! Another option if you find a job on LinkedIn is to seek an alternative application route. For example, a direct email address or via the employer or the management consultancy recruiter’s websites.

Of course you can’t mislead people so it’s important your CV makes your situation and location clear (as per above).

Other UK job search channels

Apart from job boards and LinkedIn there are many other routes that you should be considering as part of your search for a management consulting job.

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

  • Networking
  • Direct approaches
  • Applying to advertisements
  • Placing your CV online
  • Working with recruitment firms

All of these should apply if you are overseas and seeking to move to the UK.

You may not consider you have much of a UK network but once you start digging may uncover a treasure trove of (possibly long lost!) friends (or friends of friends), family, former colleagues and of course contacts (or contacts of contacts!) on LinkedIn.

Direct approaches are well worth considering, perhaps to a carefully researched list of target employers. Putting together a Marketing Plan is an important and valuable exercise .

You should also contact a specialist management consultancy recruiter or two as well of course! They will have first hand

Inevitably there will be frustrations and many many unanswered messages, emails and applications but, like any endeavour the more effort you put in and the more ground you can cover the more successful you will be.

Good luck!

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