These days, job recruiters are spending very little time going over any particular resume. The amount of time a management consultant – or any other job seeker, for that matter – usually has to get the recruiter's attention is 30 seconds or less. This is why CV writing is becoming more of a skill than it needed to be only a decade ago, before e-mail, online job application forms and job boards became the most convenient ways to conduct everything except job interviews and made everything instant and easy.
In spite of this, most people still do not see their resume as anything more than a summary of their skills, qualifications and previous jobs. This is why it is important to keep in mind that the resume also creates the first impression that the employer or job recruiter will have of you. You need to do what you can to make sure it is a good one.
There are several elements that are a necessary part of any resume:
Job seekers sometimes include things such as previous employer references, a photograph, redundant tidbits of personal information, hobbies, salary expectations, career objectives, etc. These are not only unnecessary, but can distract from the primary content that the job recruiter is looking for. Unless the employer asks for any of these things in particular in the job advertisement, you are much better off leaving them out. This particularly applies to any information regarding your race, religion and marital status.
When it comes to the form and layout of the resume, the font size should be no smaller than 10,5 or bigger than size 12, with the exception of headings. The line spacing that you use in your resume must not make the document appear too crammed or too thin. The entire CV should not be shorter than a page and a half or longer than three pages. The paper on which you print your CV and cover letter must be clean and you must make sure to check for grammar and spelling errors several times before sending the documents to the recruiter. It is also advisable to use bullets instead of commas wherever you can as they make the CV more scannable.
When deciding on the format of your resume, unless you are a recent graduate or have absolutely no experience in management consulting jobs, the chronological format, with the list of your previous positions laid out in reverse order, is the better choice for you.
If you are completely new to the field you are applying for, you are better off with the functional resume, with your work experience broken down into related areas of interest – for instance, human resources, communications, advertising – rather than chronologically. In this way, you place the emphasis on the skills you do have rather than the qualification which you do not and avoid the trap of stuffing your CV with a history of employment that reveals few or no requirements for the position for which you are applying.
Other than the facts and stats, what any prospective employer wants to find out about a future employee is that the person has integrity, a good work ethics, a keen analytical ability and communication and people skills, so it is a good idea to indirectly weave these into your previous work experience and the projects you worked on. You can do it by referring to specific aspects of your old jobs or, better yet, by focusing on your achievements since they are the best evidence that you do indeed possess the desirable attributes that the employer is looking for.
Finally, in recent years, resumes have become more dynamic. Instead of just citing one isolated fact after another in your CV, it may be a better idea to combine the facts and play them off one another. For example, instead of saying that your work for Firm A involved developing a HR strategy, training a team of marketing experts and that the objective was to boost the sales of a product made by one of the firm’s clients, it may be more effective to present the facts in more dynamic way and say: “I led a team to a 10% sales increase by implementing a HR strategy to improve communication and support to the advertising department.” In this way, you highlight your achievement and results of your efforts and the prospective employer gets a more multifaceted insight into you as an efficient, accomplishment-driven employee.
Here is a sample management consultant’s resume:
Experienced Human Resources Strategist and marketing advisor, excellent team leader and project manager with 10 years of work experience in the consulting industry, part time lecturer and online columnist, best known for his successful projects in the corporate sector, seeks an opportunity to join a leading management consulting company and to make a positive contribution in Strategic Human Resources Management.
1991 – 1995 King’s College London – 8 O Levels
2003 – 2005 London Business School – MBA
Executive Consultant (2005-2006), Vice-President (2006-)
Senior Management Consultant
Associate Programme Analyst