Saturday, July 28, 2012

Management Consulting Resumes - Six Blunders That Get You Down

Your resume is effective if it creates an impact on management consulting recruiters within less than a minute. To go in this direction, ensure that it emphasizes your strengths, it contains no errors and it is written in a well-customized manner. If you, unfortunately, swerve to the wrong direction, you might commit any of the common mistakes of applicants.
Mistake 1: Providing Irrelevant Details
Brevity, not length, is the main principle to be followed when writing a resume. A long list of information doesn't necessarily mean you are better than other applicants. It can even mean you are not capable of organizing information in a concise manner. Include only the information that is relevant to the management consulting position. Unnecessary details just cause the document to appear wordy. Ideally, it should only have one to two pages. Anything more than that is quite dragging.
Mistake 2: Failure to Highlight Accomplishments
Too many applicants apply for a single management consulting position. Hence, recruiters are challenged to shortlist them based on the knowledge, skills and abilities stated in their resume. They will also look for your accomplishments in your previous workplace or as a student. If you place a description of your previous responsibilities, it will give recruiters an idea of what you used to do, and this is good. However, if you state a few bullets of accomplishments, it will tell them how you performed, and this is much better. Recruiters believe that past behavior predicts potential performance at work. If they appreciate what you have done in the past, they will most likely bank on your capability.
Mistake 3: Not Specifying ad Quantifying Performance
Numbers matter in a resume, especially if they uncover your performance. Thus, when stating your accomplishments, quantify it as much as possible. Instead of saying, "Led a team to investigate marketing issues," say, "Led a team in market segmentation and recommended measurable strategies in launching the new product within a month." The second statement is better because it's specific. Further, the recruiter will be able to appreciate your conscientiousness and dedication since you could finish the project within a month.
Mistake 4: Failing to Review Content of Resume
Grammatical errors and misspellings are a turn off for recruiters. If they see your resume with these blunders, more likely you will be rejected. There are three reasons for this. First, written communication skill is a must for management consultants. If you can't perfect your resume, how will you be able to write reports for your clients? Second, mistakes indicate you are not meticulous with details, another winning characteristic important in dealing with information. Third, remember that there are heaps of qualified applicants for the vacancy. Why would recruiters favor you over those who can describe their competence excellently?
Mistake 5: Using a Disorganized Layout
The manner of presenting information also matters. If you squeeze in too many details in a page, management consulting recruiters will feel tired to peruse your resume. Hence, make use of the features of the word processor you are using. Italicize, underline or bold phrases for emphasis. Insert white lines in between categories for the eyes to rest after reading a chunk of information. Using bullets is also a good way of breaking long sentences. It makes your document reader-friendly. It's a great idea not to use fancy fonts. Times New Roman, Tahoma, Arial and other readable fonts are more professional-looking.
Mistake 6: Sending a One-Size-Fits-All Resume
Management consulting firms are unique from each other; thus, you must ascertain that all given information is in line with their goals, work values and corporate culture. To be able to do this, conduct an intensive research about your target firm. Browse their website; almost all information is stated there. You can also refer to people in your network who are and were connected with the firm. If you send a generic resume, recruiters will feel your impersonality. However, a well-tailored resume is more attention-grabbing for them.
Do not take for granted the power of a resume to sell your services to a management consulting firm. It may be just a simple document, but it can pave the way to your promising dream job. Spend sufficient time in writing and proofreading it. You will be grateful for your effort once you are called for an interview.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five Steps to Network Properly for a Management Consulting Position

When recruiters make a hiring decision, they use all possible sources of information. This includes your job application, test results and interview performance. Also, they listen to recommendations made by key people in the firm or industry as they consider their testimonial reliable. This implies you must make use of your networking skills effectively.
Truth be told, it's not always "what you know" that matters in the field of recruitment. At times, if you have someone who can back you up, there's a greater probability that the process of your application will be fast tracked. You might find this a little bit biased but once you are in the recruiter's shoes, you will understand. Processing hundreds of qualified applicants for a single position isn't an easy job. They have to make the most of all resources, including referrals. Given this fact, you would love to learn the nitty-gritty of management consulting networking. If you are overwhelmed with the idea, keep reading for ideas on how to get this done.
First, develop your sociable disposition. Without this, you won't be able to make the most of this strategy. You can do this by being friendly with other people. Provided that you sincerely express your kindness through your smile and actions, you will pull people towards you naturally. Next, try to develop your communication skills. Learn some techniques in initiating and maintaining a conversation with strangers and acquaintances. Also, be confident enough to approach others. Waiting for people to reach out to you all the time won't take you anywhere. Come out into the open and take each day as an opportunity to do the next step.
Second, widen your network by joining clubs and organizations. This allows you to interact with more people and make significant connections. When you participate in various activities, you will meet new contacts who can possibly inform you of management consulting opportunities, recommend you to recruiters or managers and inspire you to follow your endeavor ardently. If you are still a student, this is quite an easy step. Most probably, there is a management consulting club at your school that facilitates assemblies, events and activities participated by aspirants like you. In most cases, representatives from McKinsey, BCG and other consulting firms also attend those events for recruitment, promotion and networking.
Third, try to network virtually as well. Keep an active profile on LinkedIn because management consulting recruiters look up for your name there. They want to confirm your professional brand and suitability to the job. To make this possible, all you have to do is to complete your profile, connect with other users consistently and be active in different groups. You can also look up for consultants on the site and check if any of your contacts are related to them. Moreover, you can also follow your target firms. This way, you will be updated with their new strategies, corporate activities and career opportunities.
Fourth, find a way to express what you need, specially to those who can lend you a hand. There are two ways of doing this. First, you can ask for help directly. Email or call those with whom you share a strong connection. These can be your family and close friends or buddies. If you want to ask for assistance in public, do this in an implicit manner. For instance, if you share an article about testing on your social media profile, and you say that it's helping you prepare for an employment test, then you're already informing them of your unemployed status.
Fifth, keep a quality network. To keep a quality circle, remember that all relationships exist on a two-way street. Networking should not be done for the mere purpose of stumbling into consulting opportunities. People network to share; hence, it is imperative that you think of your contacts' welfare, too. Have you referred them to an opportunity that fit their personality and credentials? Have you thanked them for their effort of recommending you to this or that person? Do you communicate with them once a while even if you're not looking for a job? Plant kindness, and you will sow opportunities in due time.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Proven Ways Of Acing Management Consulting Interviews

The most terrifying part of the screening process for a vacant management consulting position is the case interview. A 30 to 45-minute conversation with an interviewer can be nerve-racking. You need to answer questions about a complicated business problem. However, you must try hard in this challenge because it's the only way of breaking into the industry.
The first step to acing consulting interviews is to understand what it is all about. This includes knowing its purpose, understanding the process and familiarizing the types of questions that will be possibly posed. This can be easily done through web research. Management consulting firms, especially the well-known ones, provide sufficient information on their website. If you're still a student, seek advice from consulting clubs and university professors. People who are current employees of your target firm can also give their perspective from an insider's point of view.
This awareness is vital because it directs your preparation. For instance, if you know that the firm usually presents marketing-related cases, then you can concentrate on resolving problems in this area. If you hear that the interviewer prefers asking estimation questions, then you can practice resolving this type of question.
The next step to excellent performance is mastering the consulting frameworks. These are step-by-step guides that help you generate sensible recommendations.. By using this, you will know how to approach the vague scenario and identify the factors affecting the dilemma in a logical manner. You will learn how to break ambiguity into comprehensible chunks. Many applicants have excellent analytical capability but at times, they couldn't nail the questions down because they are not well-versed with the frameworks. Because of their disorganized answers, they are rejected for the succeeding interview rounds.
The third step is to practice as many cases as you can. This will consume your time because you need to go over them one by one, and there are tons of cases to review. As you dissect problems related to market strategy, operations, pricing, human resources and competition, choose which framework is the most applicable. If you're a student, join mock interviews organized by your consulting clubs. Some facilitate a peer-to-peer program to support each other in this endeavor. At times, they invite experts from top-tier firms to practice case interview with the students. You shouldn't miss developmental opportunities like this. If you're an experienced professional, you must have already encountered these cases, but you can't be too self-assured. Review those areas where you think you are weak at.
Another step is to enhance your mental math. When you deal with business cases during interviews or in real life, you will encounter numbers. If you need to compute for the possible sales of a new product within a year, can you do it in a few seconds without a calculator? If you need to determine the quick and dirty estimate of the market, can you do that without any delay? To enhance your mental math, use it as often as you can. When you go to the grocery store, try to add the total cost of all the items in your basket before you pay at the cashier. While reading books at a bookstore, try to estimate how much do they possibly earn per day?
Lastly, think how you will project yourself emotionally and physically. Sometimes, what it all takes is the right mindset and confidence. All your knowledge and preparation will be wasted if you don't believe in yourself. Relieve yourself from too much worry because it will only cause you to stammer, fidget and panic. If you've followed all our guidelines above, there shouldn't be a problem. Moreover, look professional when you appear for an interview. Wear a well-ironed business suit, fix your hair and clean your nails. This doesn't only build up your confidence; it also influences the way interviewers interpret your personality in a positive manner.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quiet Title: What You Need to Know

The real estate market has yet to recover and return to the booming days of the 90s, and the mess of countless foreclosures has left many homeowners and land buyers with a sticky situation on their hands. Specifically, fraud and questionable practices have made tracing a perfect ownership lineage difficult in many cases. When liens and claims are commonplace, it can make determining who has the right to a piece of property a challenge for even the wisest judge. If there is a cloud surrounding your ownership, you may want to file a quiet title action to eliminate the confusion. Here are some things you need to know to proceed.
Taking Ownership
There are several ways in which you can become the owner of a piece of real estate. You can go through sole ownership, wherein you own a house outright and your name is the only one on the deed. You can take ownership through a partnership, whether that be with roommates, a spouse, or with a business partner. A piece of property may also belong to a trust, waiting to be handed out to the beneficiary at a particular time. Because of these varied means of ownership, confusion can sometimes erupt as to the true owner.
Clearing Confusion
A quiet title action is often the best method of clearing up any cloudiness surrounding the question of true ownership. If you want to sell a house, build on a piece of land, or even rent to others, you may need to file a lawsuit to ward off any other individuals or companies that believe they have a legitimate claim to the property. An alternative method would be to purchase an insurance policy on the title, but this will only protect you financially against rights claimants. It will not clean up the legal issue in any way.
A quiet title action isn't a legal proceeding that is going to be over and done with in a week. It takes time, and it will take more time depending on how many defendants there are. A defendant would be anyone who claims to have a right to the property, other than yourself and your partners. If they have a case they can defend in court, the judge will have to weigh their merits against yours. The result in most cases is that the plaintiff is granted the quiet title and can move on with the confidence that legal ownership brings. However, if there are legitimate liens against the property-such as from a mortgage company or the IRS-it may not be so easy.