A Career in Management Consulting 
Published: Apr-15-11
The request I hear most often from candidates, especially those who haven’t worked at a consulting firm before, is how to land a job in management consulting. Consulting positions at a large successful firm such as Accenture can provide great experience for just about anyone.  The illusive question is how does one land a job without previous consulting firm experience? Here are a few suggestions that may assist your pilgrimage into the world of consulting. Keep in mind that every group is different and every role comes with different requirements, but here is my general advice for Accenture consulting roles.

1. If you haven’t done so already, try to gain some consulting-like experience in your current position. Consultants work at a client site eighty to hundred percent of the time. Although job descriptions are written for their positions, many times specific assignments are very ambiguous. Consultants frequently start a new project and have to prove their worth with very little direction. Consulting roles are goal-based, not task-based. Consultants have to prove the value of their project to an organization. If a task falls outside of their daily responsibilities, then it just has to get done – not passed along to someone else or ignored.

There are a few ways you can gain this type of experience. At work, pitch a project to a department or group that’s different than your own. Lead this project from start to finish. Another option is to lead a large project outside of normal working hours. Internships and large charity organizations are great for this as well. To prove consulting experience, it’s vital to work outside of your daily tasks and responsibilities.
2. Be specific in your networking. My friend Katie, who is a consulting manager, landed her job through a friend who was also in consulting. Believe it or not, her brother was a JAVA Developer for our outsourcing technology services, not in consulting. Ultimately he didn’t help her land the job. Her friend Scott was in consulting and knew the senior executive that could assist her. It’s not that her brother didn’t want to help, he definitely did. Katie needed to find the correct hiring manager to land her consulting job. Don’t simply target Accenture; target the group within Accenture you are most interested in.
3. Improve your writing and communication skills. Accenture sees many resumes for consulting roles. As a recruiter, I am not as concerned with your formatting or even what type of font you used but how you can communicate skills. Is your resume easy to take in? Is it a traditional chronological resume? That’s right, chronological resumes with job history listed with each skill set for each role is preferred. See this example from Women for Hire.
Regardless of your layout, make your resume clear and concise. It’s true you may have done many, many things at your current position but focus on your strongest skills and experience. Candidates also like to list many personal attributes (hard worker, self disciplined, excellent team player, etc). A few are okay but I want to see those particular attributes shine during an interview, not on a resume. Don’t make it more than a few sentences. Also, long wordy paragraphs with run on sentences are hard to follow. Your resume should be filled with action statements.
Instead of “I have great communications skills” you could say “I research, write and post blogs to Accenture Recruiter’s Blog, an external facing site for potential Accenture candidates.”
Resumes with excellent writing and grammar always stand out. Yet another way to make your resume sound more professional is to stop writing like you speak. That’s a mistake many people make, including me.
For example: “I worked with people I never meet before”…you can leave that part out. It’s assumed that when you start a new job that there will be some people you haven’t worked with before. Any further clarification can be addressed in an interview.
Recheck your resume over and over again for grammar errors, awkward sentences and misspellings. Have a trusted friend or family member read and really critique it. Looking for easy ways for to brush up on your writing skills? Read classic novels and periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times or The Economist and enlarge your vocabulary. Writing can seem tedious but it’s worth the effort in the long run.
Dear Carolyn, I have been recently turned down for a management consulting job by a UK based consulting firm. The reason was that my credit report reflects a shortsale due to divorce. No credit card debt, no collections and etc. The firm did not want solicit any explanation for the shortsale even when I tried too. Can you tell me what is the Accenture policy on use of credit for employment? Will certain situations that are beyond individual's control (like the housing market) be given consideration?
Mary Nasser   |   Mar-29-12   |  12:45 AM

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About the Authors
Andrea Constantinides
Andrea Constantinides
I earned my bachelor’s from Stanford in History (Russian History, to be exact) and a master’s in Organizational Sociology. After graduation, I starte...
Jennifer Pollard
Jennifer Schwab
My name is Jennifer Schwab and I have been working at Accenture in campus recruiting for the past four years. Prior to joining Accenture, I graduated...
Betsy Paulose
Betsy Paulose
I have been with Accenture since 2006, primarily recruiting for our SAP Consulting practice. Originally from Miami, FL, I received a BA degree in Psy...
Kim Ahern-Wills
Kim Ahern-Wills
My name is Kim Ahern-Wills and I have been with Accenture since 2001. Prior to Accenture I worked with Destination Hotels and Resorts, Lucent Technol...
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