The 3 Qualities Consulting Firms Want To See In Your Resume

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

What are the 5 or 6 qualities a consulting firm likes to see? Does your resume reflect these qualities? Let's first talk about academic rigor and academic excellence. Are your GPA and program mentioned at the top? Is your GPA impressive? Have you given details of your coursework most relevant to consulting? If you have a graduate degree,  mention your GPA as well. You should certainly have your undergraduate credentials and standardized test scores. By having the most important information upfront, your reviewer need only eyeball this information to gauge your past academic performance.

At some schools like the IITs, or Indian Institutes of Technology, there's a standardized resume format; at times, the resumes run into 2 pages. I would strongly advise a 1 page resume, but if your school has a standardized format, it's important to work well with the space available. If there's a section for your academic performance, make sure that your test scores and your GPA are listed up front.

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What are the 5 or 6 qualities a consulting firm likes to see? Does your resume reflect these qualities? Let's first talk about academic rigor and academic excellence. Are your GPA and program mentioned at the top? Is your GPA impressive? Have you given details of your coursework most relevant to consulting? If you have a graduate degree,  mention your GPA as well. You should certainly have your undergraduate credentials and standardized test scores. By having the most important information upfront, your reviewer need only eyeball this information to gauge your past academic performance.

At some schools like the IITs, or Indian Institutes of Technology, there's a standardized resume format; at times, the resumes run into 2 pages. I would strongly advise a 1 page resume, but if your school has a standardized format, it's important to work well with the space available. If there's a section for your academic performance, make sure that your test scores and your GPA are listed up front.

The IITs are a group of 16 universities that focus on technology and engineering education. As for how to get consulting jobs in India, networking events on IIT campuses are a great place to drop off and add to your resume.

After academic performance comes work experience. Work experience includes internships and research projects in addition to prior jobs. How do you sell your work experience and show that you have the  skills which are transferable to get into consulting? Effective communication is the key factor in presenting your work experience. Use short, crisp points sans the braggadocio. Use words a consultant understands and appreciates. For instance, I had interviewed 100+ people to collect data used for some research, which I described as "having done primary research." If I had studied a company's performance during a finance project, I would use the term secondary research, or use the term “analyzed financial statements.”  The more you're able to connect your internship experience to transferable skills for consulting, the more effective you've been in creating your resume.

When explaining your work experience, avoid vague descriptions. Be specific in what you accomplished for the company (numbers are good), and show that you have initiative.

Leadership potential should be included in your resume. This doesn't have to be a separate topic, and can generally be inferred from the kind of work that you do. Put points focusing on leadership potential and extracurriculars together. If you've held positions of leadership at school-- if you led a cricket team for your state, were president of the consulting club, or chairperson of your student council-- present this in your resume under a separate header. In that case, your extracurriculars activities can be a separate section including sports, non-profit work, student councils, clubs, mentoring.
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