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McKinsey Cover Letter Example

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McKinsey Cover Letter Example
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A McKinsey cover letter is a little different. While the resume should cover the myriad of amazing consulting assignments, the cover letter for someone applying to McKinsey needs to add that little bit of personal sparkle.

Sure, results are important, but if you want to work for McKinsey, then how you achieve those results is equally important. You need to show that your personal approach is carefully thought out and replicable for any client that you might work with.

Such nuances are difficult to include into a resume, but the free-flowing nature of a cover letter means that you can select a couple of aspects of your story to explain in a little more detail. In this cover letter guide, along with our McKinsey cover letter example, we will explore the following:

  • How to format a cover letter to make the most of your consultancy story
  • What to write in the introduction, middle part and end of the cover letter.
  • How to include as much of your relevant consultancy experience as possible.
  • When you have a host of personal expertise, how do you choose what to share?
Expert tip

Resume.io is a leading resource for job seekers in all fields and of all experience levels. Find more inspiration among our 125+ cover letter examples and writing guides.

Best format for a McKinsey cover letter

While every consulting assignment will follow a different path, the decision-making process for writing a cover letter is not so tricky. The format is tried-and-tested by countless generations of job seekers and there is no need to diverge from it. Hiring managers don’t have time to take in any sorts of radical formats, so go with what they know and pack the McKinsey cover letter full of compelling detail. This structure will work for you:

  • Cover letter header
  • Greeting / salutation
  • Cover letter intro
  • Body of the cover letter
  • Ending paragraph
Expert tip

This guide has been written with an emphasis on McKinsey applicants, but there is a more comprehensive cover letter example guide that offers some tips that may be useful in a more general sense.

The following McKinsey cover letter example might make you think:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Sands,

Having worked as a retail consultant with Delta for sixteen years, I would like to bring my wealth of boutique retail consultancy experience to McKinsey upon my move to New York.

My speciality lies in helping boutique retailers take their in-store offer online, without losing the sense of exclusivity and luxury. Over the past four years I have been awarded nine top industry awards for various ecommerce transformation projects – a retail trend that is only increasing. Modern tech is allowing retailers to bring aspiration to the devices of their customers, but only in such a way that it does not damage their brand.

My specialty lies in designing virtual reality fashion offerings for high-end customers, involving immersive shopping experiences with top-end VR tech and ultra-realistic garment selection options. My clients have seen up to 900% sales uplifts after project completions. This area is currently at the cutting edge of the industry, and I know that this knowhow is vital for your consultancy’s clients.

I have partnered with all the leading technology providers – the importance of being able to translate each retailer’s operational requirements is critical to success. With an average of 15 partners in every project, a consultant needs to be able to facilitate success.

I would welcome the opportunity to visit your offices for an interview if my retail portfolio is of interest. We have several overlapping clients and would love to share my thoughts on what you might be able to achieve with them in the future.

Sincerely,
Clive Anderton

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Cover letter header

The cover letter header is only effective if you include everything that is required. Your full name, email, mobile phone and any relevant social media details are standard practice. You should include these in your cover letter as well as your resume – you never know when someone might think to get in touch with you.

Including your social media accounts (normally LinkedIn) is becoming more common as they will want to check out your social presence. You will be representing them as a consultant, so they need to know that you do not post about anything particularly controversial. On the contrary, a great social media account can be a positive for your job search so don’t be shy.

An attractive header of the cover letter will cause the hiring manager to pause and take a look, even as they sort through numerous candidates. So make sure to put some thought into your page design. A cover letter template can help.

Goal of the cover letter header: Keep it functional and make sure that you include all the required information.

Cover letter greeting

Every consultant knows the importance of remembering people’s names. Getting the greeting right on a cover letter is the most basic of professional courtesies, so don’t neglect it. Check the job description and even phone the company to make sure that you get the name and salutation correct.

It is best to avoid lazy greetings such as “To Whom It May Concern.” It sounds formal, but actually a warmer “Dear McKinsey Hiring Team” would be more appropriate. Details matter in consultancy, so show that you can do a bit of digging.

Goal of letter greeting: The greeting will be skipped quickly, but only if it is correct. Get it wrong and the first couple of sentences will be tainted as the reader lingers on the mistake. 

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Sands,

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Cover letter introduction

The introduction of the cover letter is the hardest to write for any consultant. You will doubtless have a long list of project successes that you are aching to talk about, but where do you start?

Well, the only place to start is from the point of view of your future employer. What sort of projects will you be undertaking with them? Pick the most similar “win” from your past and start the conversation. You won’t be able to include every detail and it might be difficult not to include your absolute career highlights first off, but you need to be as relevant (and brief) as possible. The aim is to pique their interest, not to tell them everything.

As you never quite know which other consultancy projects they may have in mind, following the introduction with an action-packed body of the cover letter is essential.

Check out the introduction from our McKinsey cover letter sample.

Goal of the cover letter intro: Make sure to include some impressive numbers in your McKinsey cover letter – that will capture their attention and fire the imagination for what you can achieve with your future employer. Excite them with your achievements.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Having worked as a retail consultant with Delta for sixteen years, I would like to bring my wealth of boutique retail consultancy experience to McKinsey upon my move to New York.

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Cover letter middle part (body)

The 200-250 words in the middle of a McKinsey cover letter could be the most important words that you write this year. Your resume will likely be packed with consulting assignments and the resume itself is likely to be more than two pages if you have a long career. That is a lot of detail to take in.

In your cover letter, you have a choice. You can either pack the McKinsey cover letter with your projects or you can use a sentence or two to give a sense of your personal approach. McKinsey consultants succeed thanks to the force of their personality as well as their ideas, so sharing a couple of personal details is a good idea. They don’t want to hire a robot, after all. Share some back story to one of your projects and create the start of an emotional connection.

Lastly, do not forget to share your educational achievements in the middle part of the McKinsey cover letter. Many McKinsey consultants have an MBA and other consulting qualifications, so make sure that you show that continuous professional development is a key part of your ongoing journey.

Check out the body of our McKinsey cover letter sample for more ideas on how to write this section.

Goal of the body of your cover letter: Use those words wisely as they will be your calling card. Unlike other professions, the consultant’s cover letter may be read more carefully than others, simply because you are picking highlights from such an action-packed career.

Adaptable cover letter body example

My speciality lies in helping boutique retailers take their in-store offer online, without losing the sense of exclusivity and luxury. Over the past four years I have been awarded nine top industry awards for various ecommerce transformation projects – a retail trend that is only increasing. Modern tech is allowing retailers to bring aspiration to the devices of their customers, but only in such a way that it does not damage their brand.

My specialty lies in designing virtual reality fashion offerings for high-end customers, involving immersive shopping experiences with top-end VR tech and ultra-realistic garment selection options. My clients have seen up to 900% sales uplifts after project completions. This area is currently at the cutting edge of the industry, and I know that this knowhow is vital for your consultancy’s clients.

I have partnered with all the leading technology providers – the importance of being able to translate each retailer’s operational requirements is critical to success. With an average of 15 partners in every project, a consultant needs to be able to facilitate success.

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How to close a McKinsey cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

Every consultant knows the value of a great closing argument. You sum up the key message from your speech and end on a close.

Bring your McKinsey cover letter to an end with one last selling point and then let the employer know how much you are looking forward to the opportunity of meeting and finding out more. Consulting assignments involve a lot of influencing and personal connection, so getting to know each other is a natural first step.

Goal of the ending: Have the confidence to ask for the opportunity of an interview – no salesperson would turn down the opportunity to close.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion & sign-off example

I would welcome the opportunity to visit your offices for an interview if my retail portfolio is of interest. We have several overlapping clients and would love to share my thoughts on what you might be able to achieve with them in the future.

Sincerely,
Clive Anderton

Copied!

Key takeaways

  1. Only pick the best bits from your long consulting career – they will be read.
  2. Ensure that the cover letter contains enough about your personal approach.
  3. Stick to a basic structure of a clear intro, body and ending – don’t try to be different.
  4. Check out our McKinsey cover letter sample for more ideas on creating a great page design.

If the McKinsey cover letter guide was useful, check out our other business and management resume examples:

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