Whether you’re aspiring to join a consulting giant like McKinsey or a boutique consulting firm, one thing is for certain—you need an impressive consulting cover letter to land the job.
However, it’s not that easy to do your expertise justice when you need to encapsulate it on a single sheet of paper. Not to mention, other candidates might not have any less experience than you.
So, how do you write an effective cover letter that reflects your skills and experience while helping you stand out from your competition?
As difficult as this may sound, it’s quite possible to do—and we’re here to help with it.
Keep reading to learn how to write an effective consulting cover letter for BCG, McKinsey, Bain, or any other firm you’ve been dreaming of joining!
Your consulting cover letter should be easy to read and fit within a single page, so choose a professional font and ensure it doesn't exceed 400 words.
Tailor your cover letter to the job by greeting the hiring manager directly, highlighting any skills they’re looking for, and explaining why you want to join the company.
After expressing gratitude to the hiring manager, add a call to action to leave a lasting impression.
To ensure your consulting cover letter catches the hiring manager’s attention from the get-go, use a professional cover letter template instead of a word processor.
How to Format Your Consulting Cover Letter
At its core, a consulting cover letter is a form of business correspondence, which means there are certain formatting guidelines you want to follow when writing it. Otherwise, as harsh as it sounds, it may get tossed in the trash.
Needless to say, formatting your consulting cover letter the right way is key to crafting a professional, easy-to-read document that leaves a positive first impression on the recruiter.
On that note, here’s everything you need to know to format your cover letter properly:
Cover Letter Format
Choose a professional font. Leave Comic Sans out of your consulting cover letter and opt for Arial, Times New Roman, or another font that’s easier on the eyes. Depending on the specific font, set the font size to 10–12 points.
Start with a header. Here, simply list your contact details, the date of writing, and the recipient’s contact information.
Keep the body concise. Start your cover letter with a formal salutation, add an attention-grabbing first paragraph, show off your experience, skills, and achievements in 1–3 paragraphs, and add a cherry on top by including a call to action.
Close your cover letter. Use a formal closing and write down your name and surname. Optionally, you can also include a postscript.
Mind the length. Your cover letter should show that you’re capable of expressing your ideas effectively. Not to mention, recruiters are too busy to read multiple-page letters, so make sure yours fits within a single page (with 1-inch margins) and doesn’t exceed 400 words.
If you follow these steps, your consulting cover letter should look something like this:
How to Structure Your Consulting Cover Letter
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go over the step-by-step process of structuring your consulting cover letter and discuss every element—from the header to the sign-off—in greater depth.
As mentioned above, the header of your consulting cover letter should include three key things:
Header Mandatory Details
Your contact details (name, title, phone number, and email address)
Date of writing (use the mm/dd/yyyy format)
The recipient’s contact information (the hiring manager’s name, company name, and address)
Looks easy, right? Well, that’s because it is!
The only potentially tricky part here is finding out the name of the hiring manager.
While this may take some time, ultimately, it can help you stand out from other candidates. So, don’t be shy to flex your research skills—Google the company, scout their website, or visit its LinkedIn to find out to whom you should address your cover letter.
Optionally, you can also mention your location, LinkedIn handle, professional website, or anything else you deem valuable for your job application.
Here’s an example of how this section of your cover letter should look like:
Aiden Baron Management Consultant 012-345-6789 firstname.lastname@example.org New York, NY linkedin.com/in/aidenbaron60 New York, 08/18/2023 Addison Rivera Hiring Manager Company XYZ 3316 Settlers Lane New York, NY 10007
Once you finish the header, you’re ready to move on to the body of your consulting cover letter.
To start it on a high note and establish a personal connection with the hiring manager, greet them with a “Dear Mr./Ms.” followed by their last name.
If your research didn’t go as planned and you couldn’t find their name, a simple “Dear Hiring Manager” will do the trick. The key is to keep it polite and professional.
Next, it’s time to grab the hiring manager’s attention with a compelling first paragraph.
To do it right, you should not only introduce yourself and mention the position you’re applying for but also sprinkle one or two relevant achievements you’re most proud of. This way, you can show the hiring manager right off the bat that you’d be an asset to their company.
Let’s see an example of an eye-catching introductory paragraph in a consulting cover letter for Bain & Company:
I am thrilled to express my interest in the position of Management Consultant at Bain & Company. As a management consultant of 8+ years, I’ve helped 20+ large enterprises streamline their business processes.
Most notably, I redefined the long-term business strategy of Enterprise X, leading to a 37% increase in profitability. I am excited to bring my expertise to your company and contribute to your client’s success.
#4. Skills & Qualifications
The next step in writing a job-winning consulting cover letter is highlighting your relevant skills, qualifications, and work experience to convince the hiring manager that you’re the right fit for the position.
It’s safe to say that there will be dozens—if not hundreds—of people applying for the same position as you, and many of them will be just as qualified for the job.
For this reason, you should take advantage of any opportunity that helps you stand out from your competition. Rather than listing all the skills you possess or repeating the contents of your consulting resume, tailor this part to the specific job you’re applying for.
Read the job listing thoroughly and pick out any soft and hard skills the company is looking for. Then, let your cover letter do the talking by crafting a story that describes your skills and experience in detail.
In other words, don’t just say what you can bring to the table. Instead, prove it with real examples by focusing on quantifiable achievements.
Not sure how to do it? We’ve got you covered!
Here’s a great example to get you inspired:
By consulting large businesses across different industries—from healthcare to technology—I have developed strong business and project management, analytical thinking, and strategic planning skills.
I also led a team of 10 associate consultants at Consulting Firm Y, delegating tasks and ensuring the timely delivery of projects. As someone who values efficiency, I initiated a company-wide adoption of Asana, improving employee productivity by 28%.
#5. Reasons for Applying
If there’s one thing most candidates overlook, it’s that hiring managers are looking for more than just skills and experience. They also want to know that you’re a great cultural fit for the company.
For this reason, the last body paragraph of your consulting cover letter should ideally express your motivation for working in that particular company. Focus on mutual values, goals, or anything else the company does or believes in that resonates with you.
This is another opportunity for you to set yourself apart from your competitors by tailoring your cover letter, so try to be as specific as possible about what drives you to join the company. Don’t overdo it, though, or you risk sounding desperate.
Here’s how you could do this if you’re writing a consulting cover letter for McKinsey & Company:
I have long admired your firm’s unparalleled reputation and commitment to fostering innovation, and I believe my passion for continuous development aligns perfectly with your organizational values. I am excited about the potential to contribute to your company’s legacy and make a positive, substantial impact on your client’s business performance by harnessing my expertise.
#6. Call to Action
If you take a look at 10 random consulting cover letter samples, you’ll see that at least half of them—if not more—end with a simple “thank you.”
Being polite never hurts, and you certainly should thank the hiring manager. However, you don’t want your cover letter to fizzle out, especially if you put a lot of effort into perfecting other sections.
So, wrap up your consulting cover letter and finish strong by adding a call to action. It can be an invitation to check out your website for more information, a proposal to discuss how you could contribute to the company in person, and so on.
Check out this example:
Thank you for considering my application. Should you need any additional information on my professional background, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how my expertise could help your clients achieve sustainable growth.
If you followed this guide step by step, congratulations—you’re almost done crafting a job-landing consulting cover letter!
The only thing left is to end it with a formal closing. As long as you avoid anything overly casual (unless you’re applying for a firm that might appreciate that sort of thing), you can’t really mess this up.
Here are some foolproof sign-offs:
Follow any of these up with your name and last name, and you’re done!
Consulting Cover Letter Example
Need some inspiration?
Here’s an example of a consulting cover letter that ticks all the boxes:
3 Tips for Writing a Consulting Cover Letter
If you want to make sure your cover letter is nothing short of perfect, follow these consulting cover letter tips:
Tips for Writing a Consulting Cover Letter
Proofread your cover letter. If there’s one thing that can deter recruiters from hiring you, it’s a cover letter packed with typos and grammar errors. So, before you send out your application, run your consulting cover letter through a free grammar checker.
Save your cover letter as a PDF file. Unless asked to do otherwise, always save your cover letter in PDF format to ensure it looks as intended across all devices and operating systems.
Use a cover letter template. Most candidates will likely use Word to create their cover letters. As such, a professionally-designed cover letter template can make you stand out in a blink of an eye, especially if you match it to your resume.
And that wraps up everything you need to know about writing a job-winning consulting cover letter!
Now you have all the tools and knowledge you need to create one that’ll impress any hiring manager.
Regardless of which consulting firm you’re going for, don’t forget to tailor your cover letter to the position and the company. While it takes effort, you can rest assured that hiring managers can easily tell a generic application from a well-thought-out one.
And don’t forget to let your personality and achievements shine—that’s what cover letters are for, after all!