Right cover letter for consulting

What is the Right Cover Letter for Consulting?

by Laurent Thomas | Jun 30, 2023 | Consulting Career, Landing a Job in Consulting

The consulting industry is a highly competitive place where every little advantage counts. With exceptional problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and impeccable communication as the minimum requirements for success, crafting a well-written cover letter can set you apart from the rest of the pack.

In fact, a persuasive cover letter can be your ticket to getting noticed, standing out from the crowd, and landing your dream job or contract. In this article, we’ll first understand the purpose of a cover letter, what are the basics, what is the right cover letter for consulting, and more.

Understanding the Purpose

Crafting a standout cover letter may seem daunting, but understanding its purpose is crucial before diving into the specifics. Your cover letter is not just a piece of writing, but a narrative that introduces your personal and professional journey while highlighting your connection to the consulting industry.

It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your skills, achievements, and qualifications that set you apart from the competition. With a well-structured and engaging cover letter, you can establish a connection with the reader and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the consulting field.

It’s a chance to showcase your critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and effective communication—an essential skill set that every consultant must possess to excel in their profession.

Basics of a Consulting Cover Letter

When writing a cover letter, it’s important for you to remember that it accompanies your resume and serves as an opportunity to give the reader more information about your qualities and motivations, and to show them who you are as a person.

In a consulting cover letter, there are three crucial qualities that you should always demonstrate:

Leadership Skills: Show your ability to influence people’s decisions and guide them towards successful outcomes.

Achieving Mindset: Emphasize your unwavering determination to consistently strive for the best results and exceed expectations.

Analytical Problem-solving: Highlight your capacity to approach problems in a structured and methodical manner, showcasing your strong problem-solving abilities.

Key Elements to Include in a Cover Letter for Consulting

Your cover letter is similar to your consulting proposal in more ways than one. Just like consulting proposals help firms pitch how they are uniquely positioned to solve an organization’s problems, in the same way, your cover letter explains how your skillsets can contribute to the company’s future success.

To help you craft a compelling cover letter, here are some key elements you should include:

#1. Salutation and Personalization

Start your cover letter with a professional salutation, such as “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team.” Whenever possible, address the letter to a specific person to demonstrate your attention to detail and research.

#2. Introduction and Purpose

The “introduction” section is the best place to capture the reader’s attention. Begin by providing a compelling reason for the recruiter or evaluator to read your entire cover letter. Introducing your Unique Selling Points (USPs) for the role is an excellent way to commence your cover letter.

For instance, you can emphasize a particular accomplishment in the introduction section. However, the key is to present it in a manner that distinctly showcases the expertise you have gained through this accomplishment.

It is essential to demonstrate how the acquired qualifications align with the requirements of the position. By doing so, you effectively convey your relevant skills and experiences to the reader, further enhancing your candidacy for the role.

#3. Key Qualifications

In the body of your cover letter, focus on highlighting your key qualifications and experiences that align with the consulting role. Tailor this section to the specific job requirements mentioned in the job posting. Emphasize your relevant skills, academic achievements, and industry knowledge.

#4. Accomplishments and Impact

Provide specific examples of your accomplishments and the impact you made in previous roles or projects. Quantify your achievements whenever possible to showcase your ability to deliver results. Use metrics, such as increased revenue, cost savings, or client satisfaction ratings, to demonstrate your value.

#5. Problem-Solving Skills

Consulting is all about solving complex problems. Use your cover letter to showcase your problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. Highlight any instances where you successfully analyzed challenges, developed strategic solutions, or implemented process improvements.

#6. Research and Company Fit

Demonstrate your knowledge of the consulting firm by mentioning specific projects, clients, or initiatives they have been involved in. Explain how your skills and experiences align with their goals and values. Show that you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in working for that particular company.

#7. Passion and Motivation

Let your passion for consulting shine through your cover letter. Express your eagerness to tackle new challenges, work in a dynamic environment, and contribute to the success of both the clients and the consulting firm. Showcase your drive, dedication, and ability to thrive in a fast-paced, results-driven industry.

#8. Closing and Call-to-Action

Wrap up your cover letter by reiterating your interest in the position and expressing your enthusiasm for the opportunity to discuss your qualifications further. Politely request an interview or the chance to discuss how your skills can benefit the company. Thank the reader for considering your application and provide your contact information.

#9. Professional Tone and Formatting

Maintain a professional tone throughout your cover letter. Be concise, clear, and avoid any jargon or overly complex language. Keep your paragraphs short and use bullet points or subheadings to enhance readability. Proofread carefully for grammar and spelling errors before submitting.

Key element in a Consulting Cover Letter

Enhancing Your Consulting Cover Letter: Key Questions to Ask Yourself

Now that you know the basics and what key elements to include in your consulting cover letter, it’s now time to switch your focus to the next step – asking yourself some key questions.

Question 1: Why do I want to work in this particular consulting firm?

Let’s say, for instance, that McKinsey is the firm in question. What is the reason behind your desire to work at McKinsey? Is it simply to impress your family members, or is it because you genuinely believe it is one of the top-tier consulting firms?

Perhaps it’s due to the firm’s involvement in numerous significant projects. Nevertheless, if you prefer working with smaller or more specialized firms, it might be worth exploring alternative options.

To help you in your exploration, you can utilize the Improveo App, an incredibly diverse platform that provides comprehensive lists and information about various consulting companies. This resource will undoubtedly assist you in identifying the ideal company to target with your application.

Question 2: And then, why me?

This question is especially relevant if you are a recent college graduate or an established professional in the field. Tailoring your cover letter to address the specific requirements of the job you are applying for is crucial.

Take a close look at the job description and identify what the employer is seeking, then align your skills and experiences accordingly.

If you’re a recent college graduate, emphasize your academic achievements and any relevant internships or projects that demonstrate your ability to tackle complex problems.

While you may have limited professional experience, focus on highlighting your potential, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn. Showcase your transferable skills, such as critical thinking, analytical abilities, and effective communication, which are highly valued in the consulting industry.

On the other hand, if you’re an established consultant, you already have a wealth of experience to draw upon. Take this opportunity to showcase your accomplishments and the value you can bring to the organization.

Share concrete examples of projects you have successfully completed, highlighting the outcomes and impact you have made. Demonstrate your expertise and your ability to solve intricate business challenges.

By doing so, you will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer and strengthen your chances of securing the consulting role.

Question 3: What sets me apart from others?

Consulting firms are inundated with resumes that all seem to blend together, so it’s essential to develop a distinct profile. Take a moment to reflect on the question: “Why am I different from others?”

Consulting firms regularly receive an overwhelming number of resumes, often filled with similar qualifications and experiences. To truly stand out, you need to uncover what makes you unique. What sets you apart from the crowd?

Delve into your background, experiences, and skills to identify your distinguishing factors. Perhaps you possess a rare combination of expertise, or you’ve tackled challenges in unconventional ways. Emphasizing these aspects will help you create a cover letter that captures attention and highlights your individuality.

Final Thoughts

Composing the right cover letter for consulting is a must-have if you want to stand out from the competition. You should be comfortable with knowing what your purpose and key elements of a consulting cover letter are before you can convince a hiring manager that you’re the ideal candidate.

Taking the time to ask yourself the three questions (why you want to work for this firm, why me, and what makes you different) when crafting your cover letter will set you apart from other applicants.

Additionally, make sure your document looks attractive and has custom formatting; this could be the deciding factor between getting called in for an interview or having your application passed over as there are many candidates vying for limited roles.

Lastly, investing time and efforts into writing an effective cover letter before applying to consultancies is ultimately beneficial to anyone hoping to get ahead of their competition and land their dream job in consulting.

Good luck!

Laurent Thomas
Chairman and Co-founder at 

Laurent is the Chairman and Co-founder of Consulting Quest. Focused on greater value creation, and being thoroughly familiar with Consulting, Laurent has sourced and sold millions of dollars worth of Consulting over the course of his career. Prior to joining Consulting Quest, Laurent was Executive Vice President Oil and Gas at Solvay and Senior Partner Transformation at Oliver Wyman.

The Future of Food: Strategies for a Healthier Planet | This Week in Consulting
The Future of Food: Strategies for a Healthier Planet | This Week in Consulting
In this edition of "This Week in Consulting," we aim to uncover answers and sustainable solutions to the growing demand for food from our expanding global population, exploring ways to bring about positive changes in the food value chain and its ecosystem.
Investing in Change: The Power of Social Impact Initiatives | This Week in Consulting
Investing in Change: The Power of Social Impact Initiatives | This Week in Consulting
In this edition of "This Week in Consulting," we explore the multifaceted world of social impact investing --investor profiles, government roles in fostering the social finance market, and more.
The Inflation Horizon: What Lies Ahead for the Economy | This Week in Consulting
The Inflation Horizon: What Lies Ahead for the Economy | This Week in Consulting
In this edition of "This Week in Consulting," we delve into the multifaceted issue of inflation, examining its diverse impacts across different sectors, and how inflation in essential sectors continues to be a formidable challenge.