Five Things MBB Recruiters Will Be Looking for On Your Resume and How to Best Demonstrate Them

Securing a position at MBB requires more than just a standout resume; it demands a strategic presentation of specific attributes that recruiters are seeking. Coach Timothy F. delves into the minds of MBB recruiters, unveiling the five key elements they prioritize when reviewing resumes.

Timothy F.

By Timothy F.

Posted March 12, 2024

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When aiming to land a role in the competitive field of consulting, your resume becomes an essential tool for showcasing not only your experience but also the qualities that make you a strong candidate. Here are five of the top attributes that recruiters will be looking for in your resume and how you can demonstrate each.

1. Leadership: Guiding the Way

Leadership experience is a powerful signal of your ability to guide and inspire others. Recruiters value candidates who can show they've held significant leadership roles:

  • Were you the student body president of your undergraduate university?
  • Have you led a group of incoming graduate school students on a 2-week trip to Croatia?
  • Are you the president of the Management Consulting Club?

One caveat: recruiters want to see your demonstrated leadership. Highlight experience that establishes credibility to your individual leadership (vs. the leadership of a five-person team that you were a part of). It is more important to show meaningful impact in a less prestigious experience than mediocre impact in a prestigious one.

How to show it:

  • Highlight academic initiatives or student organizations you helped run.
  • Showcase leadership roles in internships or research projects.
  • Mention volunteer opportunities where you took charge.

2. Impact: Making a Difference Count

Recruiters seek candidates who make a meaningful impact. It's not about being part of high-impact initiatives; it's about your impact within those initiatives. Demonstrate how your contributions added value to the organizations and projects you were a part of. Numbers provide context, allowing recruiters to gauge the significance of your achievements.

How to show it:

  • Quantify your achievements whenever possible.
  • Go beyond stating your tasks; articulate the actual outcomes and results.
  • Add numbers to every accomplishment on your resume.

When describing your experiences, go beyond surface-level descriptions. Instead, provide tangible evidence of your impact:

  • Instead of stating, "Led a marketing campaign," say, "Led a marketing campaign that increased engagement by 35% and led to a 20% rise in conversions."
  • Rather than, "Contributed to a research project," highlight, "Contributed to a research project resulting in a published paper that received 500 citations."

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3. Bias for Action: Navigating Decisiveness

You will need decision confidence embedded in your consulting toolkit to be successful as a consultant. The pace of decision-making inside MBB firms is unprecedented, and recruiters will be looking to see whether you will be able to keep up. You need to clearly communicate that you think like an owner and will bring a positive and proactive mindset to your work.

How to show it:

  • Communicate your proactive mindset and decision confidence.
  • Use action-oriented language throughout your resume.
  • Show action orientation across various environments.

4. Perseverance: The Strength to Thrive

In your consulting job, you'll be asked to partner with very smart and sophisticated clients to solve their toughest problems. This will not be easy. Recruiters need to see that you will approach client questions with tenacity, and utilize the breadth of resources at your disposal to support them. The people who succeed in consulting are those who are willing to bounce back from setbacks and maintain a positive attitude amidst challenges.

How to show it:

  • Articulate adversity and lessons learned on your resume.
  • Show adaptability to changing circumstances.
  • Demonstrate your ability to maintain a positive attitude amidst challenges.

5. Attention to Detail: Precision Matters

Attention to detail is so important in the consulting role. You will be pulling information from multiple sources, clearly articulating high-impact outcomes in two sentences, and presenting the output to the C-suite of $30+ Billion corporations. The partner will not have time to fix small typos. Recruiters want to know that attention to detail is important to you and that you will hold yourself to a high personal standard; therefore, your resume must reflect meticulous attention to detail.

How to show it:

  • Ensure formatting is precise and consistent
  • Avoid verbosity; convey ideas succinctly
  • Proofread meticulously; grammar and typos matter
  • Seek external review from language experts (you don’t know what you don’t know)

Remember, your resume is a testament to your qualities even before the interview stage. A recruiter gauges your attention to detail through the document itself. Don't let a minor oversight overshadow your potential. By highlighting leadership, impact, bias for action, perseverance, and attention to detail, you can craft a resume that speaks volumes about your fit for the world of consulting.

Thanks for tuning in! I loved my MBB recruiting journey and love seeing others land the offer. If I can help you perfect your resume, navigate networking, or prepare for the case interview, please grab some time to get started.

Five more tips to help you:

1. Keep your resume to one page, and keep the formatting consistent throughout the page.

2. Clearly articulate as many details for each experience as possible.

3. Ensure that you’re providing sufficient context for the reader.

4. Show you're a human!

  • The recruiters want to see how you've learned and grown over time.
  • An “Additional Information” section can be a great conversation starter in your interviews.
  • Don't make your fun fact that you love to travel – so does everyone else.

5. Rely on others to support you. A word of caution: be careful who you ask for feedback. Not all advice is created equal :)

Read next: How to Succeed in a Consulting Career - An Expert Coach's Guide

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