Thanks for your reply. I was hardly going to post my CV on here for obvious reasons, and it seems a little unfair to judge me based on my post, which is nowhere near what I would pitch to a prospective employer. However, as you requested more detail, allow me to elaborate and perhaps you can give me more specific advice.
I was actually looking for different ways of getting into consulting, a back door if you like, because I’m fed up of filling out long application forms. I wanted ideas on how to make myself stand out from the crowd, get noticed. That was all. My guess is that the readers of this forum are management consultants, so my real questions are “What is your ideal candidate and why? What experiences/ skills would give them a competitive edge above the normal candidate?”
In response to your comments:
“I thought…you are being incredibly vague by saying…you are working in retail and administration to get 'real business experience' - basically, I think that you are lying to me. If…you did go into these roles to get ‘business experience’, then what was your plan? why the change of heart now?”
Actually, I left university and wanted any old random job, part time, to fund my expenses while I hunted for a long term graduate role. You might judge it as “couldn't get a job elsewhere so got sucked into minimum wage roles”, but actually I was being proactive about my finances and my intention was that it would only be temporary until I found something better – is that such a bad thing? I hardly think I have to explain myself in my CV in this respect – space is premium, and on a CV it’s the skills you have and how you use your time that matters. At least in my opinion – please correct me if I’m wrong.
What then happened was I started working full time as a Customer Service Assistant in August (after spending a month in Africa). Full time was unintentional – pressure from home to earn my keep. When I saw that the company had an opening in the office, I applied. I had wanted office experience because that was something I had not yet had, and thought would help with my employability (time management, professionalism, working with senior managers, responsibility…). Another motivation was that some companies, Deloitte for example, stated office experience as a requirement for Analyst roles.
In November I started in the office. I enjoyed the job because I got to see the behind the scenes operation of a business – hence “real business experience”. But while there was a lot to learn, I felt like I was no longer being challenged, so I left in May. All the while I made a few applications to graduate roles, but I found it tough finding the time and energy alongside a full time job. Therefore another reason for leaving was to concentrate on the graduate job hunt.
Furthermore, I have a variety of other work/volunteering experience which I have used to evidence particular skills such as leadership, team work, communication, persuasion, empathy and innovation. And to also demonstrate evidence of achievement beyond that that was required of me.
“'Some months' makes it sound as though you are a recent graduate...Also important…is your academic record…You should seriously consider whether you have the credentials to actually get into consulting.”
My academic record is very strong actually, no dressing up required. I always check the entry requirements, and for 90% of the companies I have come across I am fine. But for the sake of clarity, here’s what the British educational system rates me as:
- BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences (2:1), Durham University 2009.
- 5 A levels graded AABBB
- 10 GCSEs graded A*/A
My course was based in Geology, Geography and Biology. The majority of data analysis assignments were graded 1st class, and involved data handling and modelling, using ArcGIS/ Past/ Matlab/ SPSS software, together with evaluation using subject principles. Other assignments also included group presentations. I cite these in particular on my CV as these competencies (analysis, presentation and IT skills) are core to consulting roles.
So, I hope I no longer come across as vague and not focussed/ not really sure that consulting is for me but hey let’s try it anyway. Because actually I can’t tell you how much I want this, how much I want to be given a chance. I’ve been trying, and not been successful, so I’m looking for other ways. So far my way has been to close my skills gap with jobs and weekend courses. I don’t think it vague and sloppy. Do you still?