Frustrating as this experience is, you need to set aside your ego (and we all have one, particularly when applying for jobs) and view the situation as follows.
• Is it efficient – Yes, absolutely. It is probably the single most efficient way for a global-sized firm to filter out the 80% of CV’s that they get that are a waste of time.
• Is it effective – Yes, very effective. It filters exactly as expected.
• Don’t they miss some good CV’s? – Yes, but the efficiency with which they get rid of the 90% makes it worth the cost.
• Then why do they advertise in such a way as to attract so much dross? They don’t do it deliberately, but it is a by-product of their brand which runs across both recruitment and client marketing – i.e. we’re Accenture, we’re the best at everything and you can trust us to do everything really well.
• Are they truly a top consultancy firm? Not any more. Most of their work (and revenue)derives from IT delivery, outsourced system maintenance, IT projects with some business (operational) transformation, off-shoring and system solution build.
• Does that mean they’re rubbish? No – it means they are more of an IT system integrator than a pure play management consultancy.
• Does that mean their recruitment process is more like other system integrators and large IT shops? YES!!!
Strategy at Accenture is and has been for some time, a very small revenue earner and is more important as window dressing than revenue generation. It positions the firm, but it does not drive growth.
Now let me also play devil’s advocate. You ask what qualities and experience should be referred to in an entry level strategy CV. Why do you ask this? Surely if you simply write your CV to reflect what you have truly been doing, you will either be a match to the opportunity/specific firm or not? On the other hand you might feel that with internet access and careers forums, you could glean an insight that you do not have personally and re-write your CV to contain some “keywords”?
That is exactly why many firms now employ fairly rigorous filtering activities – to separate those who have “done” from those who copy perfect template off the internet.