Consulting gear 101

Before you become a consultant, you gotta walk the walk and talk the talk. Here’s your insider’s guide to the consulting gear :

1) Brooks Brother Dress shirt

Why : Old school professional look at a price an analyst can afford. When you hit manager level, time to upgrade and mozy up to Savile Row.

Optional :

Monogram
Cuff links

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Random resume tip : make yourself memorable with your interests

Yes this is one of my geeky interests :)

One of the most overlooked and forgotten section of the resume is the interests section. Usually it’s at the very bottom and thus, most people don’t include it or don’t put much thought in it. But for a resume screener who looks at 10+ resumes daily, this is probably one of the few parts he or she is actually are excited to look at. The world is a big place, and thus, no matter how unique your background is, there’s a good chance that they’ve seen many people with a similar profile. Thus, many look at the interests section to help “label” you and you should use the section to differentiate.

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Finding a consulting job through the internet

First of all, internet searching should not be your default strategy to search for consulting jobs (or jobs in general). It’s the laziest outlet for job searchers and recruiters alike. I’ll dedicate a later post on the best ways to find a consulting job in which you’ll find that internet searching will near the bottom of the list. But for right now lets focus on the internet – even if it is a flawed channel for job hunting.

How to use the internet to find a consulting job

The key to any job search is to find channels that aren’t clogged with applicants and have a real person on the other end. The worst thing you can do is brute force your job applications by sending your resume to a black box for resumes (i.e. Monster). Here are some channels that are a bit better than a black box :

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is probably one of the best internet channels to find jobs. The best method for finding a job, however, is probably not through its jobs section. Instead, look through your social network to find people in your 1st or 2nd network who work in strategy consulting. Give a blurb on your interests and background  and ask them if they are willing to grab coffee with you to discuss your career goals. The goal is to build a mentor relationship because building a human network is the best way to find a job in consulting. If you can build a relationship, they will pass your CV to a partner instead of HR and will talk about you to their friends in other consulting firms.

If you don’t have any connections in the consulting industry, the next thing you should do is to use the jobs section. Use the search string “management consulting”  “strategy consulting” or “corporate strategy” to find relevant roles. Also visit the company sites of the usual suspects (you can find Vault’s rankings here). Most of the top firm’s recruiters will post jobs on LinkedIn. Again, before doing a generic submission on their job site, try to contact the recruiter directly who posted the job. Give them your usual spiel on your interests and try to start a discussion about your interests.

Finally, turn the table by having recruiters contact you. Make sure you optimize your LinkedIn profile so recruiters can find you easily. Continue reading

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5 ways to clean up your resume for consulting

The last few weeks I’ve been editing resumes for friends applying to MBA programs and the strategy group I work with at Google. I tend to see the same issues  over and over again so I wanted to address this by grouping them into 5 key points.

  1. Have a clear readable and consisting format

    Your resume gets about 60 seconds of attention from a screener so you shouldn’t waste his or her time by making it hard to read. Apply a simple format, make sure text is aligned and indented as needed, and use styling such as bold and italics sparingly and consistently.  Consultants are hardwired to notice formatting issues so don’t distract your screener from your content by being lazy. If you need help, I’ve attached a sample of how my resume looks.
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Good & bad reasons to become a consultant

SPG : A quantifiable measure of your self worth :)

Consulting is a pretty weird industry in that a lot of people want to join the industry but have no idea what the it is. What results, I think, is a lot of confused undergrads (and MBAs) who go into consulting expecting something completely different from the reality.

So here are some good (and bad) reasons to join consulting : Continue reading

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Welcome to Pareto Thoughts!

This blog is intended to help those trying to navigate the murky waters of management & strategy consulting. Hopefully it’ll be helpful to those entering or planning to enter the industry.

But why?
So about three years ago, I was frustrated with my job as a research engineer, and was looking for a career switch. I decided to look at management consulting, but I was surprised by the general lack of blogs for consultants. Unlike, i-banking there just isn’t that much out there.

Luckily, I had a good friend who helped me break into the industry. Now I’ve got two years of consulting experience so hopefully I’m a little older and wiser. So now that I’m out of consulting and actually have a work life balance, I’m starting this blog to help others interested in the industry.

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