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What's wrong with my Resume

#1 What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 05:15


To everyone out there, thanks for contributing to this forum. I recently started following it and appreciate everyone's inputs.

I'm looking for some advice/feedback on where I'm going wrong in finding a break in the Consulting industry.

- I have 8 years of work experience (6+ Aerospace, 1+ Telecommunication and rest in Healthcare, Distribution etc). I have had job titles like Business Improvement Project Manager, Process Analyst, Industrial Engineer Performance Improvement Intern etc.

- I hold a MS in Industrial & Systems Engineering with a 4.0

- certified Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ)

- Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Trained (ASQ)

I have been trying to get into Consulting for 5 months now and not even a single interview call! I have gone through employee referrals (have lots of them). How can I sell myself better if I don't have prior external consulting experience. So far I was targeting Manager level jobs. Do you feel Senior Consultant/Associate is what I should target. After 8 years of experience, do I really want to get into non-manager level position?

Thanks for any feedback you can possibly provide.

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#2 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 14:19

DCF to leansixsigmaexpert (#1)

I think you may have answered your own question.

How long do you think it takes to get to manager if you start in a consulting firm as a graduate? Do you think your own experience is directly comparable - a 1-1 fit in terms of relevance, quality, duration etc etc?

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#3 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 15:28

leansixsigmaexpert to DCF (#2)

Thank you DCF,

I don't know if there's a a set number of years after which one can get a manager title. An average 5-6 years post master's should be plenty of time for someone to specialize in a specific field and justify the added value he/she can bring as a manager? That being said, you bring a good point on whether my past experience is a 1:1 fit in terms of relevance. I feel confident about quality and years of experience I have in the field but to play the devils advocate, relevance might not be a 1:1 only because I haven't worked with external clients which could be a different beast all together.

I guess now my follow up question is, will it come across as being desperate and work against me if I ask recruiters to consider me for Senior Consultant/Associate level positions when I already applied and got rejected for Manager level positions?

Do Big 4 recruiters have access to past applications through job portal and do they review all past applications/version of resume/cover letter each time I apply to a new one? Why I ask? because I'm targeting 2 different types of Consulting jobs within each firm and don't want to have conflicting stories to tell.

So far I have had some correspondence with big 4 recruiters directly and/or my profile created, applications sent in for manager level positions (through employee referral), got few rejects and some pending.

Thanks for any feedback and action plan that might help improve my chances.

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#4 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 16:14

DCF to leansixsigmaexpert (#3)

So what do you think being a manager involves? I sometimes hesitate to call management consultancy a "profession" because I'm not sure that it genuinely is, but nevertheless there is a career structure, and promotion and career progression does involve the mastery of certain skills - and not just the technical ones upon which you are perhaps focusing. A period of specialisation in your career to date may not necessarily map straight across to equivalent "seniority" in a consulting firm. Indeed it is unlikely that you will have developed the full range of skills to thrive as a mid-level consultant... because you haven't worked as one.

As a crude rule of thumb, it often appears as if consultancies will half your experience - i.e. count every 2 years worked outside as worth 1 year of consulting experience.

For these two reasons, most consulting firms take on experienced hires as senior consultants. Manager is not too common an entry point as far as I have seen. They do bring in people at director and partner but these are very experienced candidates who are very credible and have strong contacts in their sectors.

So joining the dots you are looking at entry as a senior consultant in my opinion. I don't think they will necessarily hold a "recalibrated" application against you. Certainly I have tailored my CV to apply for wildly different roles at a a certain Big 4 firm (both of which I felt capable to do) and no-one ever mentioned the earlier application during the process.

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#5 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 16:55

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to DCF (#4)

Consider the following:

If you put your post on a Dentistry board, saying you'd like to move across and become a mid-ranking dentist, what response do you think you would get?

Now, having considered that, how much different do you think the response on this management consultancy board should be (bearing in mind that your qualifications and experience are not quite as irrelevant as they would be to dentistry, but are nonetheless still pretty much discountable by 80% say)?

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#6 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 17:17

marsday to leansixsigmaexpert (#1)

If you are applying for Manager grade roles, and would make a solid SC but not yet Manager, interested firms will simply come back and say you are an SC level for them and would you be open to interviewing at that level? They don't think it is necessary to make a separate application for an SC role and a Manager role in the same service line, in the same company, as SC and M grades are points on a spectrum not drastically different positions.

I have been trying to get into Consulting for 5 months now and not even a single interview call!

This really does tell you what you need to know.

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#7 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 21:26

leansixsigmaexpert to DCF (#4)

Thank you, DCF

You are another insider who feels getting in directly as Manager might be difficult. I believed it initially, then started feeling it might be a stereotype because insiders were telling me it's not true, "We do a lot of strategic hiring". Anyways, I'll try not to generalize because there are so many factors that can come into play. I want to believe that you are correct, I seriously do.

Thanks for your feedback on application process. It gives me some assurance before I tailor my resume. I was skeptical because Deloitte for one doesn't let you delete any attachments. You can only overwrite which I didn't realize initially so ended up creating 2-3 versions of CV and Resume specific to job I was applying.

Interesting point you make on Consulting Experience = 2 X Industry Experience

Appreciate your feedback, it helps!

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#8 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 22:10

leansixsigmaexpert to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#5)


I haven’t worked in a consulting industry so can’t compare first hand. However, from what I hear, I feel my profession so far is similar to consulting…only discount being I’m catering to internal clients as opposed to external clients who are much difficult to please.


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#9 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
18/02/2013 22:17

leansixsigmaexpert to marsday (#6)

Marsday –

I wish you were wrong but I see your point. I prefer people to be blunt because then it becomes more of a challenge ;)

Anyways, I have some traveling coming up so will be putting my job hunt on hold for a month. Once I get back, I plan to re-do my entire resume, get away from highlighting technical skills (thanks to DCF, point well taken), target non-manager level opportunities and market this commodity only with a different wrapper. Let’s see where I get…


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#10 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
19/02/2013 14:15

Camster to leansixsigmaexpert (#1)

You need to highlight your strengths in a simple way for people to understand.

It can be something like this.

-I am an operational excellence specialist, with proven experience across the Aerospace and Telecommunications ecosystems (though I doubt you know much, with only a year in telecoms).

-Blah blah blah consulting.... (talk about how you can leverage industry experience within a consulting environment)

I am sure you can expand from here.

Having read your first post, I can confidently say that you do not possess the skills to come in at "manager" level with a consulting outfit.

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#11 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
20/02/2013 22:45

strattus99 to leansixsigmaexpert (#1)

Hey mate,

link me to your resume and I will critic the sh!t out of it.

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#12 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
21/02/2013 22:46

leansixsigmaexpert to Camster (#10)

Hello Camster,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm curious to understand what was it in my first response that made it so obvious? Is it purely based on the type of experience, number of years or something other than those..I can use any further feedback you can provide. Thanks


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#13 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
21/02/2013 23:14

leansixsigmaexpert to leansixsigmaexpert (#1)


One of the recruiter’s (Big 4), replied indicating their needs within supply chain were somewhat limited at this time and at Manager level and above they are only considering candidates with recent external consulting experience…

I replied indicating that this is what my experience has been so far and I feel confident that it has prepared me well to succeed in a consulting environment, maybe with a short learning curve (hinting open to Senior Consultant level as well)…Blah blah

I finally got a follow up response yesterday indicating “happy to have a conversation as to why we require external consulting experience at the Manager level”. I also see a new posting at SC level within the same geographic location..

Question to the forum –

Could this be a chance to try and sell myself? If yes, any tips on how to handle the call. Should I come out strong in trying to sell or stay open to simple feedback. I have this call in another 16 hours..

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have!

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#14 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
22/02/2013 08:56

tom1 to leansixsigmaexpert (#13)

I wouldn't over sell yourself. It sounds like the recruiter just wants to have a quick chat as to why you're not suitable for the Manager role.

Try and take the time to build a relationship, and perhaps put in a touch point in 2-3 months to get back in touch re an SC position.

If they say they have no slots at that level right now - recruitment wont budge (well rarely do), as they often have to stick to what numbers they have in front of them.

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#15 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
22/02/2013 09:44

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to tom1 (#14)

Sounds like HR might have a bit of spare time on their hands and needs to keep looking busy.

Having said that, it doesn't do any harm to build new connections, so I'd be inclined to go in with a non-salesy attitude and build the relationship first so that you're first in line for a call when the opportunity does arise.

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#16 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
23/02/2013 10:56

EarlyDoors to leansixsigmaexpert (#1)

Stop just sending in your CV. Find a way in. Get to a position where they know you and want you to apply.

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#17 RE: What's wrong with my Resume
07/03/2013 22:29

leansixsigmaexpert to tom1 (#14)

Thanks tom and bushy eyebrow,

I never got a chance to provide feedback earlier since I was travelling.

I had the call with the recruiter and to my surprise she was very receptive. She hinted that I was in good hands indicating that most of the jobs in the region funnel through her, especially those that suit me. I went in without a sales pitch and I felt it did work. She explained that I was strong on technical skills and had everything needed but only lacking sales experience. She went on to explain it's importance and why it's difficult for them to invest on training a candidate at manager/senior manager level. At that point I expressed my commitment, my willingness for SC role and if she advises getting an MBA is the only way in? She was kind enough to indicate that it won't be necessary and will be investment both in terms of time and money which is not necessary at this point. She explained why it might take longer, explained the process of submitting proposals which is happening right now and hinted 2014, maybe sooner. She also pointed out where I would likely fit in within the service line and that she is also looking at an alternative area for me based on my background.

At some point I inquired if a functional resume will help (I got some feedback that in consulting world one should use a functional resume blah blah). She said, 'ok, but I don't want you to spend 2 days just for this. If it's quick then yes, please do submit'. She knew that I was going out of country for a business trip so indicated that I can submit that once I come back.

So, here's my question back to the forum. Do you see any value in using resume editing service through Management Consulted? Cost $350 for resume + Cover letter


I know many of you will criticize my approach indicating that only I can describe myself and my achievements best. However, maybe I'm falling short on selling myself better to the consulting world? Tell me whether you feel I should put my money somewhere else?



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