Networking is a great tool to get a management consulting job. Make sure you use it in your job search. Here is the best way to do it.
Networking is important in job hunt in several ways.
- Getting to know the industry and the firms
- Evaluating which firms would be a better fit for you
- Getting an interview
- Showcase your knowledge of the profession and the firm, demonstrate your interest
If you are still in school and the firms you would like to join are recruiting in your school, you can go through the campus recruiting route to line up interviews. It is possible to find out whether they will come to you campus to recruit from careers services in your school. If your dream firm(s) are not recruiting where you are, or if you’d like move to consulting from other industries, networking can be critical to get the interview.
Where to find the right people to talk to?
- Your school alumni lists
- Campus events
- Your friends who know consultants
- Linkedin and other online websites
HR people do not hire consultants. Consultants hire consultants. In a high turnover industry, most firms are in constant hiring mode. So, any consultant you meet would be interested to hear your story and why you would be an asset to their firm. They are usually willing to give you information about their firm, culture, lifestyle in return. Many firms offer an incentive to refer candidates, so consultants who are persuaded about your qualifications could be willing to send the resumes to the right people in their firms.
Many firms have online applications, but the reality is a your resume with a referral has a much greater chance of landing in the right person’s (mostly likely a consultant, not an HR person) desk.
Even if you submit your resume online, use your contacts to send them via referrals. Many of these firms are large, the more ways you can have your resume submitted (to different groups and practices), the higher the chances of success.
I landed an interview, should I continue networking?
Well, yes. Most important you can do if you land an interview is to talk to the people who work for or who have interviewed for that firm. There are many differences in the type of cases the firms give and what they are looking for in a candidate. Even though you may have prepared for cases, make sure you do mock interviews with people in that firm and solve cases and answer their interview questions. Since all consultants are active in recruiting, they can help you greatly in what to expect with that particular firm.