Consulting Resume: Everything You Need to Know to Write One

management consulting resume. Picture shows consulting recruiters reviewing resumes.
Picture of Rachael Troughton
Rachael Troughton

Former Accenture

Everyone gets stressed when it comes time to write their consulting resume. How is it possible to stand out among the sea of applicants top consulting companies receive?

In this article, we’ll walk you through our step-by-step guide to planning, outlining, and then writing the perfect consulting resume. 

We’ll discuss:

  • Key skills management consulting recruiters look for
  • Our step-by-step guide on how to write a consulting resume
  • Consulting resume examples
  • 5 tips on writing your management consulting resume

Let’s get started!

Key Skills Management Consulting Recruiters Look For

how to write a consulting resume. Picture shows 2 consultants discussing candidates.

Your consulting resume and cover letter are the first things a recruiter will use to determine whether they would feel comfortable putting you in front of a client. This is otherwise known as “the acid test.”

It might seem like interpreting what recruiters are looking for when they assess consulting resumes is impossible to decipher. But the truth is that most are working from a fairly standard model. 

 There are 4 things the top consulting firms are all looking for.

1.  Leadership

Recruiters look for times you’ve taken the lead – whether that’s on a project, a sports team, or organizing an event.

2. Problem-Solving

More than just the ability to analyze information, this is about the ability to synthesize and interpret data to solve complex problems and deliver results.

3. Entrepreneurial Drive/Initiative

Recruiters love to see evidence of applicants taking initiative on a consulting resume. Consulting can be fast-paced, and the quicker new hires feel comfortable striking out on their own, the better.

4. Personal Impact

Great interpersonal skills will be required no matter which role or firm you want to be part of. Consultants work with a diverse range of stakeholders and the ability to effectively build relationships is key.

Our Step-by-step Guide On How to Write a Consulting Resume

  1. Map Your Work Experience and Extracurricular Achievements To The Key Skills
  2. Structure Your Consulting Resume
  3. Polish Your Language
  4. Avoid Pitfalls

Get your application noticed with these insider tricks from former McKinsey, Bain, and BCG Recruiting Managers.

Step 1: Map Your Work Experience and Extracurricular Achievements to Key Skills

We’ve identified the 4 key skills that you need to demonstrate on your consulting resume. Now let’s look at the best way to map your current work experience and extracurricular activities against those skills.


For “Leadership,” start by jotting down any examples where you’ve held a position of responsibility. This could be on a university sports team, in a club, or in a society. 

It could be in your community, previous employment, or as a volunteer. It could also be any time that you’ve had to manage people, coordinate resources, or organize an event. 

Example of demonstrating leadership on your consulting resume: 

  • Achieved 45% increase in client retention rates by reducing customer complaints and ensuring on-time delivery 


To gain credit for problem-solving, you’ll need to show evidence of where you noticed a problem in the way something was done and changed something to deliver a positive result. 

This could be about changing a process or the way something is organized to make it better. Or it could be fixing a problem that arose.

For those with a science background, describing experimental work that was carried out to prove or disprove a hypothesis can also be used as evidence for problem-solving.

Examples of demonstrating problem-solving on your consulting resume: 

  • Contributed $50M to revenue and reduced project delivery time by 15% by implementing best operational practices through analyzing data set for 20 past projects

Entrepreneurial Drive/Impact

Entrepreneurial drive is all about taking initiative. Recruiters look for examples of someone who is not content with the status quo, who likes to innovate and might use creative approaches to solve the problems they face.

Example of demonstrating entrepreneurial drive on your consulting resume: 

  • Helped tech startups employ over 20 students per year by organizing Brown’s first startup-focused career fair.

You can demonstrate personal impact by showing your contribution to a team or organization, or that you collaborated with others to complete a project. Work experience where you presented an idea or recommendation which was accepted by stakeholders is great evidence of personal impact.

Example of personal impact on your consulting resume: 

  • Improved the department culture and raised the morale of students from underrepresented backgrounds by working with administrators to organize mandatory diversity training for all TAs.

These key skills should also be highlighted in your cover letter.

Step 2: Structure Your Consulting Resume

A management consulting resume is different from a regular resume. There is a very standardized approach that is accepted across all the firms and trying anything creative will lead to rejection. 

The recruiters and consultants tasked with evaluating applications have less than a minute to assess each resume and they need to be able to make quick comparisons between those they receive.

Effectively Presenting Information

management consulting resume samples. Picture shows a laptop with a consulting resume up on the screen.

Use standard sections. A strong consulting resume should include the following sections (in this order):

  1. ·   Personal Information
  2. ·   Work Experience
  3. ·   Non-work Experience or Extra-Curricular Activities
  4. ·   Education
  5. ·   Other – Additional Skills & Interests

Leading with Work Experience rather than Education is especially important with on-campus recruiting where everyone is from the same school. Re-ordering the sections breaks up the monotony for recruiters and jolts them into paying more attention to your resume.

Fill up one page

It sounds pedantic, but any less and you won’t look accomplished. Any more shows you can’t focus or distill key information effectively.

Use consistent formatting

Use one font throughout and be consistent in how you treat similar types of words, e.g., always putting company names in bold and position titles in italics, always starting bullet points with a verb, etc.

Use bullet points.

Within each of these sections of your resume, use bullet points to show evidence of the key skills that recruiting teams will be looking for. Each of your bullet points should target one of the key skills and, where possible, the evidence should be broadly split across all key skills.

Step 3: The 3-Pass Process

Remember that creating an impressive, polished management consulting resume can take time, so make sure to start the process early. Don’t try and do it all in one go. 

Adopt what we call the 3-pass process:

First Pass: Get all the relevant content down in one place. Brainstorm all the examples you can think of for the 4 key skills. Ask friends, colleagues, former managers, and mentors if they have ideas about where you’ve demonstrated those skills. Don’t worry about including too much in the first pass – it is best to get everything on the page and worry about trimming it down to 1 page later on. 

Second Pass: Concern yourself with structure and formatting. This is where you can sort your examples into the relevant sections and make sure that all your bullet points follow the “XYZ” format described below.

Third Pass: Proofread, make final tweaks, and check grammar.

Polishing Your Language 

Make your achievements shine by using power verbs.

Signposting Your Impact Using the XYZ Format

Make it easy for recruiters to truly understand the impact of your actions. Make sure your content is relevant and signposts your most impactful contributions by using the “XYZ” format when describing your experience. Following the XYZ format means starting your sentence with what was accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).

For example, consider the statements below:

  •   Cold-called 48 companies to land $100,000 contract.
  •   Led 85-person football team to win league title over 7 other teams (1st team title in 20 years).

Sounds impressive right?

However, this is still not showcasing these examples in their best possible light as the result is somewhat lost at the end of the sentence. With the XYZ format, we place the result at the beginning which is important in a consulting environment. After all, they are paying you for the results you create not the work you’re doing.

So, if we rearrange our sentences, they now read:

  •   Increased revenue (X) by $100,000 (Y) by landing contract after cold-calling 48 companies. (Z).

This signposts key achievements to a recruiter quickly scanning your resume.

First (and Last) Impressions Count

The same principle applies to the order in which you place the bullet points for each section on your consulting resume. For example, if you have 3 or 4 examples where you‘ve demonstrated these key skills, make sure to order them with the strongest bullet point first in the list and the second-strongest bullet point at the end of the list. 

Other less impressive but still relevant information should go in-between. This classic “sandwich” technique means that recruiters get the most important information first and are also left with a great final impression.

Step 4: Check, Check and Check Again

Don’t forget to do a final pass for spelling and grammar checks. Have someone you trust read over your information to pick up on any small errors that can make the difference between impressing recruiters with your resume and it hitting the bottom of the pile. 

Finally, make sure you submit your resume as a pdf file. Many recruiters now read resumes on a mobile device and the last thing you want is computer gremlins ruining your well-formatted document!

Other Recommendations


  • Include your GPA. If you choose not to, recruiters will assume your GPA is low. As a strong GPA can provide additional evidence of intellectual curiosity and work ethic.
  • Include other relevant courses you’re studying outside your major. For example, if you’re a Biology major who has also taken Introduction to Finance, make sure you mention it. This presents a broader skill set and ticks the Entrepreneurial Drive skill box.

Skills and interests:

  • Include those that are relevant to consulting. For example, if you can program, only state those programming languages used in consulting, not others.
  • State up to 3 outside interests and indicate a level of commitment to them rather than just the interest themselves, e.g., Traveling (visited over 17 different countries).

Most Common Pitfalls in Consulting Resumes

1.  Overcomplicating things.

Your consulting resume should not be over-complicated in either content or format. McKinsey receives hundreds of thousands of applications each year, and you can bet that their recruiters do not have time to research a particularly complex science experiment you use as evidence of your brilliant problem-solving skills. 

It’s your responsibility to turn complex and technical subjects into evidence that is easily accessible and impactful to recruiters. Just as you would for a future client.

Also, don’t be the applicant that decides to include a glamourous headshot or use a wacky font or format.

2. Irrelevant information.

Your consulting resume is the first chance a recruiter will have to judge your communication skills. Make sure you value quality over quantity, choose your most impactful examples, and target the 4 key skills above. 

If you have something that makes you unique and differentiates you positively from other candidates, such as training as a trapeze artist or lion-tamer, it belongs in the Additional Skills section.

3. Lying.

This one is simple. Don’t be the candidate that gets caught out at the interview stage when you’re grilled on something impressive on your resume which turns out to be entirely false.

Consulting Resume Examples

Undergraduate Management Consulting Resume Example


MBA Consulting Resume Example

5 Tips On Writing Your Management Consulting Resume

1. Start the process early.

Preparing an impressive management consulting resume requires investing time and effort to carefully present your best examples and show evidence of the skills required.

2. Focus on quality, not on quantity.

Make sure all the examples you give target one of the 4 key skills that recruiters are looking for. Remove irrelevant information and lose any complex language or technical jargon.

3. Ensure all your achievements are clear.

Use the XYZ format to focus attention on the results you achieved rather than the things that you did. Use action words such as ‘Led,’ ‘Solved,’ or ‘Influenced’ to signpost recruiters to the information they need.

4. Use a classic management consulting resume format.

Keep it to one page and use standardized sections, fonts, and layout.

5. Check it!

Make sure you have checked and rechecked your resume before submission. Consider hiring a professional proof-reader to do a final check for any errors in spelling or grammar.

So there you have it. You’re now armed with:

  • The key skills recruiters are looking for in a top management consulting resume
  • Our step-by-step approach to matching your experience to the key skills
  • Our recommendations on the best way to structure the content of your resume
  • 2 consulting resumes examples to guide you
  • Our 5 top tips to craft the perfect management consulting resume

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about writing a consulting resume, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s recruiters will answer them.

Other people looking for how to write management consulting resumes found the following pages helpful: 

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