A Consulting Cover Letter that Lands Interviews: Our Complete Guide

  • Last Updated August, 2023

Rebecca Smith-Allen

Former McKinsey Engagement Manager

The recruiting season is approaching fast, and there’s one thing you’ll need to get your foot in the door for an interview at a top-tier consulting firm: an impressive cover letter.

What should you talk about in your consulting cover letter?

How do you distinguish yourself from the tons of other candidates applying to Bain, BCG, McKinsey, and other top consulting firms this year?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, don’t worry! 

In this complete guide to writing a consulting cover letter, we’ll tell you exactly what points you need to address in your cover letter to put your best foot forward and land that interview.

We’ll discuss:

  • What a cover letter is
  • The RIGHT way to structure one
  • The Red Flags that get candidates rejected and how to overcome them
  • 5 Tips on writing an effective consulting cover letter

We’ll  also share:

  • 2 cover letter examples that landed candidates interviews at the top firms.

Let’s get started!

Consulting Cover Letter – Why It Matters

What is a consulting cover letter.

The consulting cover letter is a separate document from your resume; it puts the work experience you outline on your resume into context to show why you’re a great candidate.

The WRONG Way to Structure Your Management Consulting Cover Letter

Most of the Internet articles on writing a cover letter talk about structuring them with the following sections:

  • Why are you interested in consulting?
  • Why are you interested in the firm you’re applying to?
  • What makes you a good fit?

This is not the best way to approach writing your consulting cover letter. My Consulting Offer has helped hundreds of clients land interviews and get offers with top management consulting firms like BCG, Bain, and McKinsey.

We’ve even helped people who faced extra hurdles because they had low GPAs, majored in subjects other than economics or business, or attended non-core schools.

Our clients received interview invitations and job offers because our cover letter process works.

The RIGHT Way to Structure Your Management Consulting Cover Letter

Want to know the best way to structure a cover letter that has statistically been shown to get more interviews?

Watch this video before proceeding.

Now that you watched the video (Watch now if you haven’t yet because the impact of the rest of the article is only 10% of what it could be if you watch it). 

As you found in the video, the best  way to structure your cover letter is to Google the characteristics the consulting firm you want to work for seeks in consulting candidates and then show you have those characteristics .

Yes, you read that right. Go to the Bain Careers page and read about what they’re looking for in candidates. You’ll find it on this page . 

Every consulting firm has values they take very seriously, and that drive the candidates they target, so you will want to know what they are for each firm you apply to. 

As an example, Bain wants consultants with:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • The ability to lead
  • Results delivered

You will use each of these to develop a paragraph or section of your consulting cover letter.

For each, choose a specific time from your professional or personal experiences that shows you possess that characteristic. 

If you have more than one experience that shows you exemplifying a characteristic, pick the strongest example.

Then, create a story that briefly explains the context around your example, describes the action(s) you took, and shows concrete results. 

Quantify the results of your actions whenever possible.

  • Results delivered – When I took over as the leader of my sorority’s annual fundraising event for a local food bank, I wanted to make it even more successful than in prior years. Each year, we threw an event and asked people to bring packaged food products or a donation. I went beyond that by asking the college’s academic departments to collect donations from faculty and staff as well. Packaged goods contributions to the food bank increased by 50%, and financial donations increased by over 300%.

Join our FREE Webinar:

How 600+ candidates have landed consulting offers at mckinsey, bain, and bcg.

Proof the My Consulting Offer Cover Letter Structure Works

This strategy of showing how you’ve exemplified the characteristics the firm is looking for in applicants works particularly well if you are applying to management consulting firms from a non-traditional background. 

If you’re a student with a liberal arts major, in a non-MBA master’s degree or doctorate, or attending a non-core school, you should definitely use our approach. It shows the reader that you’d be an asset to their team and have what it takes to be a successful consultant at their firm. This makes them focus less on your non-traditional background.

One of our early clients was an undergraduate who’d spent his summers interning in Michelin-star restaurants in New York City because he aspired to run a Michelin-star restaurant as a career. 

He didn’t have high-level positions in these internships; he worked in the kitchens. He cut the tomatoes for the tomato soup and did similar food prep.

He wasn’t even in charge of making the tomato soup!

As graduation approached, he decided that while he knew all about the kitchen side of the restaurant business, he wanted to learn about running the front of the house. To do that, he looked into consulting jobs.

But he had no business experience.

In his cover letter, we developed stories about:

  • Managing the kitchen effectively, even on hectic Saturday nights
  • Managing chefs with many years more experience than he had himself
  • Landing jobs at top-rated restaurants by showing up at the restaurants before they opened and networking his way in with perseverance

These stories showed he had the leadership experience, people skills, and drive needed in consulting, things that wouldn’t have been clear from his resume alone.

Why My Consulting Offer’s Approach to Writing Consulting Cover Letters Is So Effective

My Consulting Offer’s approach highlights the characteristics consulting firms value in applicants to develop your cover letter.

  • You don’t need to explain “Why McKinsey/Bain/BCG?” because you’ve taken your bullet points from their firm career pages .
  • Your stories explain why you’re a good fit.
  • You can cover the question “Why consulting?” in just a sentence or 2 because you’ve demonstrated you understand what consulting firms look for in candidates through your stories. This question is especially important for applicants with non-traditional backgrounds or experienced hires. 

Just add a short opening, 1-2 sentences on “Why consulting?” and a short conclusion to these paragraphs, and your cover letter will be ready to submit. 

Mistakes People Make with Their Consulting Cover Letters that Lead to Rejection

There are red flags that can get applicants’ resumes placed in the “no” pile. These are:

  • A gap in their work history.

A low GPA  can be a problem because management consulting firms target people who can solve tough business problems. But if your GPA  is low due to extenuating circumstances, such as a problem with your own or a family member’s health, or if you needed to work many hours each week to finance your education, firms will often overlook this.

Small offices at top consulting firms often have a problem. People choose them because they think they’ll have a better shot at getting an offer from the firm. But later, these same people want to move to a different office, leaving that office understaffed. 

If you’re applying to an office because you genuinely want to live in that city, tell the recruiters why you want to live there (examples: near family, proximity to outdoor activities, etc.) They need to see that you are not planning to try to transfer to another office or they won’t want to invest in you.

If you have a gap in your work history, a consulting firm might think you were fired and had difficulty finding another job. If health or another issue was the cause of the gap in your work history, it’s important to explain that.

If you have any of these or other red flags in your consulting application, take the time to explain them in your cover letter so that they don’t derail you from getting an interview.

Writing Your Management Consulting Cover Letter – A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Opening – keep it short and sweet. Just introduce yourself and express interest in working for the firm you’re applying to, mentioning the specific position you want. Include your 1-2 sentences on “Why consulting?” here.
  • Central paragraph 1  – As explained above, find what the firm is looking for in consultants from their Careers page and dedicate one paragraph to each characteristic.
  • Central paragraph 2 – Create a story from your experience that shows you have that characteristic. You should include 3-4 stories in your cover letter.
  • Central paragraph 3 – Quantify results whenever possible.
  • Central paragraph 4 – Order these stories in the way that works to your advantage, with the strongest story first, the second-strongest last, and weaker (but still good) stories in the middle.
  • Address any red flags.
  • Express your interest again and close the letter.

That’s it! You now have an impressive cover letter.

5 Tips for Writing a Cover Letter that Lands the Interview

  • Tip #1 – Start with the characteristics valued by the consulting firm you’re most interested in. You should tailor the cover letter for each firm to the characteristics they list on their Career page. You’ll find, however, that you can re-use stories because all consulting firms value leadership, drive, teamwork, and creating impact.
  • Tips #2 – Pick the most compelling stories from your experience. You probably have multiple stories you could use for some values. Choose just one story. If in doubt, the one where you solved the biggest problem or where you had the biggest impact is probably the best. Don’t worry if you have another great story, you’ll get to talk about it in your consulting interviews.
  • Tips #3 – Quantify results wherever possible. Showing that you increased revenue/ attendance/ donations by x% quickly and effectively displays you can get things done. Same with cost reductions or reduced time/effort to get work done.
  • Tip #4 – Tighten your language to show your point as efficiently as possible. Never say more than you need to in order to make your point. Recruiters screen thousands of applications, and they appreciate communications that get right to the point. Consulting partners will also appreciate this skill once you’re on their team and drafting PowerPoint slides for client meetings. Keep your cover letter to one page. 
  • Tip #5 -Use Fiverr or another service to ensure you have no grammatical or spelling mistakes. You only get one chance to make a good impression. Don’t send out a letter with a big mistake, especially if you can prevent it with $5. 

Consulting Cover Letter Examples

The best way to get a sense of what an effective management cover letter looks like is to read one. 

We’ve got 2 examples of letters that helped My Consulting Offer clients land interviews: one from an undergraduate student’s application to McKinsey and one from an experienced-hire candidate’s application to Bain.

Undergraduate Consulting Cover Letter Example



Dear [RECRUITER] and members of the McKinsey recruiting team,

Thank you for considering my application for Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company. I am attracted to McKinsey because of the firm’s commitment to create an unrivaled environment for exceptional people by developing one another through apprenticeship, mentoring, and sustaining a caring meritocracy.   

Given the opportunity to join McKinsey, I would bring to the firm my entrepreneurial drive, problem-solving skills, and collaborative approach.

  • Entrepreneurial drive: I was a scholarship athlete on the [UNIVERSITY] football team and was expected to arrive on campus a month before classes started. This reduced summer availability left me at a disadvantage for traditional summer internships, so I founded my own landscaping business. It was grassroots, and I conducted business relationships built on trust and relied on word of mouth. To ensure superb deliverables, I taught myself Google Sketchup to model my projects before building them. I learned about drainage and construction techniques using YouTube videos and manufacturer websites so that I could build retaining walls and outdoor structures. Using self-taught skills, I netted $30,000 in profit over the course of 3 summers which was a major source of funding for my education.
  • Problem-solving: To increase the competitiveness of our off-season testing, the [UNIVERSITY] strength staff started an event called the “Tricolour Draft.” As a captain in this draft, I was responsible for drafting a team of my peers. Rather than relying on my perception of players, I took a more empirical approach. After seeking out the previous year’s testing numbers, I entered them into Excel and added projections for players who were new to the team. I was then able to rank all my teammates based on their average performance across all the tests. I drafted my team strictly according to the unbiased rankings on this list and let the opposing teams draft based on their subjective feelings. My team ended up winning the competition and, using the exact same approach, I won the following year’s Tricolour Draft as well.
  • Collaborative: When I was 4, my parents took roles as expats and moved our family to Khartoum, Sudan. I went to an international school but lived among the locals. This resulted in a unique environment to grow up in and one where I developed some great relationships. One such relationship was with a company-employed driver, for whom I was the best man at his wedding at the age of 7! I quickly realized that everyone, from my peers to the locals, brought something to the table. I learned that people from all walks of life possessed valuable perspectives and input worth considering. This recognition of diversity and drive to collaborate has given me the skills to produce results on teams and to form meaningful relationships with people of varied backgrounds.  

I hope to bring these same attributes to McKinsey. Thank you for your consideration.


Why Is This Undergraduate Consulting Cover Letter Sample Effective?

This consulting industry cover letter written by an undergraduate is effective because it addresses key characteristics that McKinsey looks for in their applicants, as you can see   on their careers page :

  • Personal impact
  • Entrepreneurial drive

While it only calls out 2 of the 4 characteristics McKinsey is looking for, entrepreneurial drive and problems solving, these stories also showcase the candidate’s personal impact. 

The 3rd characteristic the cover letter calls out, teamwork/ collaboration, is also highly valued by McKinsey and other consulting firms. 

The entrepreneurial drive paragraph is effective because it shows this candidate works hard and overcomes obstacles that would stand in the way of other candidates.

The problem-solving paragraph is effective because it shows the candidate’s structured approach to solving a problem. It also shows this approach worked.

The collaborative story works because it shows that this candidate was able to make strong personal connections from a very young age and that they respect people from all walks of life.

The candidate makes clear with his/her stories that they understand what McKinsey is looking for and that they’ve demonstrated those characteristics.

Experienced Hire Consulting Cover Letter Example


Dear Ms. LAST NAME and members of the Bain recruiting team,

Thank you for considering me for the position of Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. If given the opportunity, I would bring to Bain my passion for results, drive and character, and ability to have a lasting impact, as the following outlines. 

  • Passion for Results: During a recent work-related project for COMPANY, I was placed in an innovative concept location for healthcare and lifestyle services that had previously accounted for a monthly loss of $60,000 per month. I arrived as a transitionary replacement for the managing director with little time to adjust. Knowing that I had to quickly turn around a loss-making business, I began examining the most relevant products, services, costs, and customers. After translating this analysis into a strategy, I convinced management through my presentation of recommendations to pursue a number of key steps in order to turn around the business. Three months later, we’d created a business that generated $20,000 per month. Through the use of a structured analysis, combined with consistent execution of plans, I came to understand the value of an external consultant in a challenging business situation. Indeed, this project has motivated me to continue this type of result-driven work as a consultant at Bain & Company.
  • Lasting Impact: At NAME OF UNIVERSITY, I was elected president of NAME OF ORGANIZATION, a residential community of internationally minded members with over 1000 members worldwide. Heading a board of six representatives, I developed valuable teamwork and delegation skills throughout our meetings. One day, a member of the board abruptly stopped communication. I saw it as my responsibility to ask for clarification and how I could support him. However, upon learning that his father had been diagnosed with cancer, I immediately and discreetly took steps to delegate his workflow to other board members and myself so that he could focus on his family. As I led the other board members through a process of working overtime, we still managed to deliver results on time. This experience underlines my belief to always care for all members of a team and to be a leader by enabling them to perform.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. 


Why Is This Experienced Hire Consulting Cover Letter Sample Effective?

  • Problem-solving skills (addressed in Passion for Results and Lasting Impact.)
  • The ability to lead (addressed in all 3 stories.)
  • Results delivered (addressed in Passion for Results with quantified impact.)
  • Passion (addressed in Drive & Character)

Each of the 3 stories in this cover letter presents the applicant as someone who has the characteristics top management consulting firms look for. 

Moreover, the 3 stories together demonstrate that he or she has “the whole package.” He or she isn’t smart but a poor team player or good at problem-solving but lacking the passion needed to get things done in a difficult, real-world environment.

The fact that the applicant could speak to all of the things Bain looks for helped them land interviews and then offers with multiple top firms.

What About Firms Like McKinsey, Which Don’t Require a Cover Letter?

Some management consulting firms, such as McKinsey & Company, have made submitting a cover letter optional. 

Should you bother to spend the time to write one if they don’t seem to care?

If your resume clearly shows you are a good fit for the consulting firm,  you don’t need to submit a cover letter. Things that would make you look like a good fit include:

  • Attendance at or a degree from a core school where the firm recruits through on-campus interviews and hires consultants every year
  • An undergraduate degree in business or economics or an MBA
  • Leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills clearly demonstrated through work and volunteer experience on your resume

If your resume doesn’t clearly communicate that you’re a good fit for the management consulting industry and their firm, in particular, your application will be strengthened by including a cover letter. 

You should also submit a cover letter if you have been previously rejected from that firm so that they know you have taken steps to improve your application since last applying.

You’ll want to think about stories to use in your behavioral interviews   anyway, so if you’re unsure whether you need a cover letter, it’s safest to write one.

To see the power of an improved cover letter, watch this video on how My Consulting Offer helped Cynthia get invited for an interview at every consulting company she applied to.

Are you ready to write your management consulting cover letter?

We bet you are since you now know:

  • What a consulting cover letter is
  • The red flags that get candidates rejected and how to overcome them
  • Our 5 Tips on writing an effective consulting cover letter
  • Plus, you’ve seen 2 Consulting cover letter examples that worked

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about writing effective consulting cover letters, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s former MBB recruiters will answer them.

Other people who were writing their cover letter found the following pages helpful:

  • Consulting Resumes
  • BCG Cover Letter
  • Consulting Networking
  • Case Interview Prep : The Ultimate Guide
  • Our List of  Top Consulting Firms and their company values
  • The Non-MBA Master’s Student’s Guide to Landing a Consulting Job

Do You Need Help Writing a Perfect Consulting Cover Letter?

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on writing your cover letter. We’ve helped over 700 people get offers in consulting and 89.6% of My Consulting Offer clients land  interviews and offers with a consulting firm. Most land more than one. We want you to get that opportunity to interview with McKinsey, Bain, BCG and other top firms!

For example, here is how we helped Tao land interviews at Bain, BCG, and McKinsey.

How 600+ Candidates Have Landed Consulting Offers At McKinsey, Bain And BCG

2 thoughts on “everything you need to know about the consulting cover letter”.

Thank you Davis for this powerful tool you shared. Really, I havent thought of cover letters telling stories or narrating how you used the needed skills and the value you added using them in your past roles. No wonder I have been getting rejections based on my red flags – not having to work with the big 4s or having multinational experience. All these does not matter as long you can demonstrate the skill set you used to add value in your previous roles which must be inline with what the prospective role needs. I really aporeciate this exposure and I look forward to getting calls from recruiters going forward as I apply your strategy to my cover letters subsequently. Thanks a lot. Esther.

Hey, Esther, We’re so glad the tips we discussed about writing your consulting cover letter were helpful! Good luck in your job search!

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

We are excited to invite you to the online event.

Where should we send you the calendar invite and login information.

cover letter for consulting proposal

Consulting cover letter guide (for McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

Consulting cover letter

Today we’re going to explain everything you need to know about writing consulting cover letters.

We’ll start by reviewing an example cover letter that got interview invitations from ALL the MBB firms (McKinsey, BCG, and Bain). 

And then we’ll explain exactly how you should write your own cover letter to land consulting interviews. Here’s a full list of the topics in this guide:

  • Example cover letter

How to write your consulting cover letter

Consulting cover letter tips.

  • The skills consulting firms look for

Consulting cover letter screening process

  • Get help with your cover letter

Let’s get to it! 

Click here for a consulting letter/resume review with an ex-MBB consultant

Example cover letter (which got interviews at mckinsey, bcg, and bain).

Below is an anonymised cover letter from a candidate who got interviews at McKinsey, BCG and Bain. So you can trust that this template works.

The image here highlights the different sections of the cover letter, but we’ll dive deeper into the text later, and you can also get a downloadable copy below.

Consulting cover letter example

Free download of the consulting cover letter example, here. 

In the next section, we’ll go step-by-step through each part of the cover letter and explain how to go about writing it. But before we dive in, please note the following points about the above template:

  • A lot of people use this template. Get inspiration from it, but every sentence in your letter should be written from scratch.
  • This cover letter might sound impressive. It's one of the best ones we’ve seen. But even if you have not achieved as much as this person, you can still get an interview.

With that said, let’s dig into the cover letter writing process!

As a starting point, this video provides a nice overview of the full writing process for a consulting cover letter. 

Now let’s break things down further.

1. Introduction

Example - Introduction

Mary Taylor - [email protected]


Dear Sir / Madam,

I would like to apply for an Associate position at McKinsey in London.

This section is a formality. It should simply state the following information:

  • Your name and email address. You can replace your email address with a postal address although those are not commonly used anymore.
  • The date on which you are sending your letter
  • The position, company, and office to which you are applying

Keep it short and sweet.

2. Why you? 

Example - Why you?

I started working as an Analyst at Big Finance in New York in September 2020 and was quickly promoted to Associate in a year and a half instead of the average four years. While at Big Finance, I advised a broad range of clients who constantly gave me positive feedback and regularly asked to work with me again. Before joining Big Finance, I graduated as the top student of my MEng in Chemical Engineering at Prestigious University in the UK. While studying, I received two competitive scholarships and awards. In addition, I developed my leadership skills as the President of the Prestigious University Consulting Club. High energy was essential to lead a team of 5 managing the club and growing the number of members by 20%.

This is your "GOLD MEDALS" section. It is the first section of your cover letter and therefore the most important one.

It should state the TOP 3 achievements of your life to date that are relevant to consulting. These achievements should be as unique and as memorable as possible. When your reviewer reads them they should think "Wow, that's impressive. I want to know more about this person."

To write this section you need to step back and ask yourself "What are the most impressive things I've done with my life so far?" This is not an easy question to answer. 

In our experience discussing this with a close friend can help. It's sometimes easier for them to quickly point out the impressive things you have done as they are an external observer.

In addition, notice how achievements are QUANTIFIED in the example above. Saying you have been promoted "in a year and a half instead of the average four years" is much more powerful than saying you have been promoted "quickly." You should quantify your achievements whenever possible.

This section is your chance to grab the reader's attention. If there's nothing impressive in it, they will stop reading and just scan the paragraphs. So don't miss your opportunity!

3. Why consulting?

Example - Why consulting?

There are several reasons why I want to pursue a consulting career. To start with, I know I will enjoy being a strategy consultant because I have already worked in a strategy team in the past. This was in summer 2019 when I was a Strategy Intern at Big Grocery Retailer in London. In addition, I think consulting is a unique opportunity to comprehensively learn about business management by working on a variety of company situations. Over the past two years, I have started building my business skills while advising clients on financial matters at Big Finance. I now look forward to learning more about companies’ management at McKinsey. Finally, I want to work in consulting because I truly enjoy interacting with clients. Throughout my work experiences I have built a successful track record of developing and maintaining relationships with clients including, for instance, the senior strategy team at Big Grocery Retailer.

Once you have convinced your reviewer that you have impressive achievements under your belt they'll be thinking: "Ok, this person is impressive. But do they REALLY want to be a consultant? Or are they just applying because they're not sure what to do with their career."

The third section of your letter should therefore answer the  "Why consulting?" question . But here is the thing about this question: There are some reasons to go into consulting that you should tell your reviewer about. And some reasons that you should really keep to yourself.

For instance, one of the mistakes candidates commonly make in their cover letter is to write something along the lines of "I'd like to spend 2 or 3 years in consulting to learn more about business in general and then decide what I want to do." This is a HUGE mistake. 

Consulting firms want to hire FUTURE PARTNERS. Not employees who will stay for a couple of years. You can watch the video below for more details about this.

The best approach for your "Why consulting?" section is to write about past experiences that really show you know what you are getting into. The perfect situation is if you have done an internship in consulting or in corporate strategy and have enjoyed it. If that's the case, this is the perfect section to write about it.

But even if you haven't done related internships, there are plenty of angles you can use to connect your past experiences to what you will do as a consultant. For instance:

  • You might have enjoyed working with clients when you were in M&A or in Sales
  • You might have enjoyed structuring and solving tough problems as an engineer

You should use these experiences to say that "working with clients" or "solving tough problems" is something you KNOW you enjoy doing; and you look forward to spending more time doing this as a consultant.

When they read this section, your reviewer should think: "Ok, this person is impressive AND they know what they are getting into."

4. Why McKinsey / BCG / Bain / Other?

Example - Why McKinsey?

McKinsey appeals to me for three reasons. To start with, the different people from the company I have met and worked with all told me they had truly enjoyed their time there. For the past two years, I have worked for Michael Smith, a former Engagement Manager from the London office, who now works for Big Finance. Additionally, I regularly read McKinsey’s reports on financial services and think the insights delivered by Sarah James and others in the Finance practice are truly superior to that of other consultancies. By joining McKinsey, I therefore think I would have an opportunity to work with and learn from the best consultants in the industry. Finally, the fact that McKinsey was selected by Finance Supercorp to shape its digital strategy also played an important role in my decision to apply. This was a first-of-its-kind contract in finance and it shows that while at McKinsey I could get the opportunity to work on truly unique projects.

If you have managed to convince your reviewer that you have an impressive background and that you really want to be a consultant, you have a VERY HIGH chance of getting an interview. 

The only question that's left for you to answer is: " Why McKinsey  / Why BCG? / Why Bain? "

Top consulting firms  have a lot in common. In most regions, they cover the same industries and work for similar clients. They also pay similar salaries, and the career path is more or less the same from firm to firm. So what should you write about in this section?

In our experience, the most efficient way to set yourself apart in this section is to write about three specific elements:

When you write "I've met with Michael Smith," or "I've read report X," or "I've heard about project Y," you are making an argument that's SPECIFIC enough for your reviewer to think: "Ok they've done their homework."

If you stay too GENERIC, your argument will be much less credible. For instance, writing something like "While at McKinsey, I'll be exposed to a broad range of industries which I'm excited about" is a weak argument because you could swap McKinsey for BCG or Bain in that sentence.

In fact, this is the ultimate test. If you can swap McKinsey with another name in your "Why McKinsey?" section you are not being specific enough. You need to work on your paragraph again and mention SPECIFIC people, reports, or projects that you find interesting.

5. Conclusion

Example - Conclusion

For all these reasons, I am very enthusiastic about the chance to work at McKinsey. I am available for an interview at any time and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Mary Taylor

The last section of the cover letter is a formality again. It should include the following elements:

  • A sentence or two saying that you are enthusiastic and available for interviews at any time
  • Your final signature

So how do you make it easy for your reviewer to put your cover letter on the "Accept" pile? We have put together the 10 tips below to make sure you can achieve this and avoid common mistakes.

Consulting cover letter tips

Tip #1 Don't use a template letter

Writing cover letters is painful. But trust us, reading hundreds of them can be at least as painful. That's why you should make every effort to make your letter interesting and genuine. 

It's ok to get inspiration from templates such as the one we provide in this guide. But every sentence in your letter should be written from scratch.

Tip #2 Keep it to one page

One of the unwritten rules of consulting cover letters is that they should not be longer than one page. The trick to achieve this is to only select the MOST RELEVANT experiences from your  resume  and to summarise them. 

The points you decide to highlight should clearly demonstrate that you would make a great consultant.

Tip #3 Standard format and font

It's tempting to use an eye-catching font and format. But that's actually a bad idea. You only risk your interviewer thinking: "I've never seen this font, it looks really weird. Who is this person?" Your cover letter should stand out because of its content, NOT because of its format.

Tip #4 Not the time to be shy

Your cover letter is not the time to be shy. If you went to Harvard and have three Olympic medals, now is the time to say it! Most of us don't, and that's fine. But the point is that you should really push yourself to bring your most impressive accomplishments forward.

Tip #5 Network, network, network

This might sound surprising, but a big part of the cover letter is  how much networking you have done . Having networked with people from the firm you are applying for pays dividends for multiple reasons. 

First, they might recommend you to the HR team. But most importantly, these people will give you insight into what makes their firm UNIQUE. Then you can quote what you've heard in your cover letter (and name drop the person you heard it from) to show that you really understand the firm you are applying for.

Tip #6 Read, read, read

Unfortunately, networking is not always easy or possible. In these cases, your second best option is to read as much as you can on the firms you are applying for. You should read about the firm's projects, reports, and partners and find pieces of information you are really interested in. 

For instance, if you did your master thesis on electric vehicles, try to find who works in this area at the firm and what they have to say about it. And then mention what you have found in your cover letter.

Tip #7 One letter per firm

One question we often get is: "Should I write one letter per firm?" The answer is YES. But it's not as hard as it might sound. 

Every cover letter needs to answer three questions: Why you? Why consulting? And why this firm? The only paragraph you will need to change in every letter is the one about "Why this firm?" For each firm, you will have to do the networking and reading mentioned above.

Tip #8 Start writing early

Writing an outstanding cover letter is VERY HARD. Most candidates underestimate how much time it takes and start this process too late. You'll need to take a step back and reflect on everything you have done to date to highlight your most relevant experiences. 

This takes multiple iterations. Start early.

Tip #9 Get feedback

In our experience, great candidates all look for feedback and iterate on their cover letter until it's truly as good as it can get. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.

It’s best to get feedback from peers or consultants. These people will be able to point out which parts of your letter they don't get or don't find impactful enough. If you’d like to have an expert review your cover letter, check out our team of  ex-consultant coaches .

Tip #10 Proofread multiple times

Finally, you should check and double check your letter for typos and grammar mistakes - multiple times. A cover letter is (not so secretly) a writing test and you should really treat it like one.

What consulting firms look for

To get multiple interviews at  top consulting firms , it’s extremely important to understand what those firms are actually looking for. 

The good news is that most of the leading consultancies are looking for basically the same skills. 

To illustrate this point, here’s what  McKinsey  and  Bain  say that they’re looking for in candidates, along with our own translation of what they mean:

What consulting firms look for

There are also a few unofficial items that consulting firms will look for on your resume, and you can read about those in our  consulting resume guide .

Next, let’s talk about the typical cover letter screening process.

Screening process

Now let's talk about HOW your cover letter will be handled once you send it. Here's how it works.

Your application will be sent to a JUNIOR CONSULTANT who recently graduated from your University. They will score your documents based on a grid provided by the HR team. 

Consultants usually have to score 200 to 400 applications in about 2 weeks. And this is sometimes on TOP of their normal project. It's not uncommon for them to leave the job to the last minute and to have to do it on a Friday night just before the deadline.

Why is this important? The point we are trying to make is your application is part of 100 other applications. And the person who will review it will be tired by the time they get to your cover letter. If they don't understand something, they won't Google it. It's your job to make their job easy.

Why consultancies ask for a cover letter

There are two main reasons why consulting firms ask for cover letters.

First, partners bill several thousand dollars per day to their clients. The opportunity cost of interviewing you is HUGE for the firm. Put yourself in the shoes of a consultancy for a second. What are the top 3 questions you want to answer before investing money in interviewing a candidate?

  • Have they demonstrated the skills needed to be a consultant?
  • Do they know what consulting is and what they are getting into?
  • Are they genuinely interested in working for our firm?

If you don't answer these three questions in a structured and impactful way, your chances of getting past the screening process are very low. This is why every cover letter should be structured as follows:

  • Why consulting?
  • Why this firm?

The second reason consulting firms ask for a cover letter is to test your writing skills. Consultants write all the time: emails, PowerPoints, Word documents, etc. They spend about 50% of their day writing. And a lot of the time their job is to summarise very large quantities of information in a succinct way.

This is exactly what you have to do in your cover letter. You have to a) look back on all your past experiences, b) select the relevant experiences to convince the reviewer that you are the right person for the job and c) summarise all these experiences in a way that's easy to read and digest.

Cover letters are a disguised writing test. Candidates who end up getting invited for interviews recognise this early on. Making a good impression on paper is way harder than making a good impression in person.

Are many candidates ready to invest HOURS in writing the perfect cover letter? No. That's the whole point. That's how you can set yourself apart. If you spend enough time making sure that your letter is as impactful as it can be, you stand very high chances of getting invited for interviews.

Another reason that it can help to have a cover letter is to explain anything on your resume that may look unusual to a reviewer, such as a time gap or a non-traditional background for consulting. 

Whatever your unique situation is, if you’re not confident in how your cover letter looks today, then we can help you. 

Get an Ex-MBB consultant to review your cover letter

The guide above, in addition to our guide on  consulting resumes , should go a long way in helping you craft documents that will get you interviews. 

But if you still feel you need additional help, we have a team of ex-MBB recruiters and interviewers who would be happy to provide feedback on your cover letter.

You’ll get feedback on how to immediately improve your cover letter, including what experience to focus on, how to optimise your phrasing, formatting, etc.

Start by browsing profiles for available coaches.

Interview coach and candidate conduct a video call

  • Work With Me
  • Education & Training
  • Free Resource Library
  • Contractor Application

Proposal Cover Letter: How to Write to Win

You’ve slaved over your proposal for weeks, uniting win themes , tweaking the design, checking the boxes. All that’s left is the proposal cover letter. What’s the big deal? It’s just a formality. You can copy and paste something from the last proposal, right?

It’s so easy to fall into cover letter traps – using a form letter, not treating it as a core part of your proposal – I know, I’m guilty of it too.

That’s right, I used to have a copy and paste proposal cover letter. No judgment, please.

I thought it made my life easier. One less piece to worry about, so I could put more attention into crafting an amazing business proposal. Having a form letter also meant I didn’t have to start my cover letter until an hour before production.

Oh how I cringe at those past cover letters, and the poor, doomed proposals they topped.

*Sigh.* I’ve seen the light though, and I’m going to share my three favorite tips for writing a killer proposal cover letter. I like to call them “hook”, “highlight”, and “hustle”. These three H’s have elevated my proposal cover letters, taking them from boring formality to client-hooking machines.

Your cover letter isn’t really about you.

Seriously, it’s not.

Your cover letter is about your client. The faster you can get to their problem, the better chance you give your proposal of being read.

By fast, I mean the first sentence fast.

Take a look at your last five proposal cover letters. How many of them start with something like:

[Company name] is pleased to submit this proposal for… [Company name] is a full-service, award-winning firm… For the last 20 years, [Company name] has provided excellent customer service… [Company name] has exceptional experience in projects similar to…

Oh boy. Sounds a little narcissistic doesn’t it?

Best case scenario: most of your competitors are probably stuck in a similar cover-letter loop. Worst case scenario: you’ve just relegated your proposal to the bottom of the pile.

It’s okay! With a good hook, you’ll never have to worry about hitting the bottom of the stack again.

So how do you write a killer hook?

Go straight for the metaphorical jugular, of course, and find your client’s pressure points.

Think about the biggest challenges of the project. Maybe it needs to be completed in a certain amount of time, or the budget is limited, or the last project they had isn’t quite what they wanted so this one needs to be twice as good.

Figure out the pressure point and then take it one step further. Identify the why behind the pressure point and try to present a solution right there in the first sentence.

Once you’ve made your hook about the client, you can start bragging about yourself a little bit. Keep your introduction light and concise, and let it flow into your highlights.

Here we go – your opportunity to finally talk about YOU.

Highlights make up the meat of your proposal cover letter. They respond to the client’s pressure points (identified above) in more detail, supporting the solutions you provide with your past experience.

Your highlights might be additional challenges with teased solutions, or they might be attributes and advantages your firm brings to the table to overcome the initial challenge you’ve identified in your hook.

There are a few rules I follow with my highlights.

First, your primary highlight must expand your hook! If your first point isn’t the most important one, then the hook it expands on probably isn’t the right pressure point. Don’t open with the schedule and jump into the budget, okay?

Second, keep your points concise . Open with the problem, “tease” the solution and why you’re the best choice to provide it, and move on. Don’t give it all away on the first page.

Third, three highlights are sufficient If you don’t have three points, dig deeper and see if you can find another challenge within the project. I can almost guarantee there’s a third. If there isn’t, or there’s one major challenge that you should be focusing all of your attention on, then it’s okay to keep your letter short. The client will appreciate it. If you have more than three highlights, see if any of them overlap and can be grouped together. If not, stick to the three most important points.

The problem with most cover letters is that they lack a call to action . There’s no hustle, no passion for closing the deal.

Go back to your last five cover letters again. How did you close? What was the thought you left the client with?

We look forward to working with you on this important project. We would be honored to work with you. We appreciate the opportunity to submit our qualifications.

There’s nothing wrong with these closing thoughts, but there’s also no motivation behind them. As a reviewer, all they tell me is that you’ve left the decision in my hands and you’re hoping for the best.

You open with a hook, highlight how perfect your company is for the job, and then… fall flat?

I don’t think so. Let’s add some hustle in here.

Remember your hook? You know the client’s pressure points, you know how to solve them.

Here’s the hustle secret: Close with your first step.

What’s the first big action you’ll take with the client to solve their problem?

Close your proposal cover letter by starting the project. This lets the client know you’re ready to take on their project, and you’ve thought through exactly how to implement the solutions you’ve proposed.

You don’t have to overthink this too much, either. For example, if the project has an accelerated schedule, simply acknowledging that you’ll be ready to go on day one might be enough. Your closing for that challenge might look like:

Thank you for this opportunity. We look forward to meeting with your team on September 1 to kick off the project.

Presumptuous? Maybe. Proactive? Absolutely. Sprinkle in a few details on what you’ll discuss in that meeting to achieve an accelerated schedule, and you’ve caught my interest as the client.

Hook, Highlight and Hustle Your Way to A Killer Proposal Cover Letter

Alright – now you know my secrets for writing a killer proposal cover letter. Hook, highlight, and hustle your way to more business!

proposal cover letter

Bonus: Sign up for access to my Killer Cover Letter worksheet in the FREE Resource Library !

cover letter for consulting proposal

Share with a fellow marketer:

Related Posts

Leave a comment cancel reply, ready to start writing better proposals.

cover letter for consulting proposal

  • More Networks

How to Write a Winning Proposal Cover Letter (Plus 5 Real Examples)

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Loopio

First impressions are important—especially in the world of proposals.

That’s why writing a good cover letter is an essential step towards winning a bid. In the request for proposal (RFP) process, this single-page letter marks your first opportunity to grab a prospect’s attention and make it clear that your company is uniquely positioned to solve their problem. So if you’re currently using boilerplate copy… Stop. Immediately .

In this blog, you’ll learn how to write custom proposal cover letters that grab a prospect’s attention and increase your chances of winning RFP responses . Plus, five examples of real proposal cover letters from industry pros.

In this article, you’ll learn: 

What is a Proposal Cover Letter?

  • What to Include in a Proposal Cover Letter
  • How to Write a Proposal Cover Letter
  • Proposal Cover Letter Examples

Next Steps: Build Quality Proposals Faster

A proposal cover letter is a single-page document used to pitch your business offerings to a potential client. In it, the customer can tell whether you’re genuinely engaged and have done your research—or if you’ve simply copy and pasted generic language from past proposals.

It’s also your first opportunity to convince a client to why they should continue reading your proposal. Considering the average team spends 23 hours writing a single RFP response , it’s critical that your proposal cover letter makes a good impression.

Eileen Kent, President, Custom Keynotes LLC

What Should You Include in a Proposal Cover Letter?

Like any good cover letter, your proposal should open with a unique offer or positioning. It’s important to establish early on why your team is best suited to solve a client’s problem.

Strong proposal cover letters include:

  • A greeting : Introduce your company and what you do.
  • Clear summary: Describe your value propositions at a high-level. Be sure to connect these points to your client’s needs.
  • Personalized offer: Explain to the client what you can uniquely provide to solve their problem.
  • Relevant references: Help the prospect understand why they should choose you over competitors.
  • Visuals: If you have a designer on your team, include visuals that help emphasize the most important content on this page. For example, use callout boxes to make value propositions stand out for busy procurement teams who are skimming the page.

From the offer you present, to the visuals you include, the details in your proposal cover letter should be all about the client. The goal is to show how your company shines before they even get into the details of your proposal. Demonstrate the qualities that you bring to this potential customer by starting out your relationship on the right foot.

Jon Williams, Managing Director of Strategic Proposals , shares the key points you should concisely hit to be successful.

cover letter for consulting proposal

How to Write a Winning Proposal Cover Letter

From reading the RFP thoroughly, to outlining a clear offer, there are six critical steps that seasoned proposal professionals recommend you take to craft a quality cover letter. ( Psst…you can fast-track these steps by using AI for proposal writing . )

Step 1: Read the RFP Cover to Cover

This step seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many teams skip it. You must read the RFP thoroughly, from cover to cover, before beginning your letter.

While reading, take note of any recurring themes from your prospect. Perhaps they focus on quality of design and ease of use. Or maybe they emphasize needing certain functionalities or features—whatever the case, Kori Warriner of KCI Technologies recommends you consider the following questions as you read through the request for proposal:

Questions to consider:

  • What is the client’s reason behind the project? (revitalization, aging infrastructure, etc.)
  • ​​Where is the funding for the project coming from?
  • Does the client have any hot-button issues regarding the project?
  • What is the desired end-result?
  • What would speak to the client? (retirement-friendly, aesthetics, budget, etc.)

Kori Warriner, Marketing Coordinator

While questions may differ by industry, the idea remains the same. Reading the RFP thoroughly helps you better understand the problems your prospect is facing. Which in turn help you paint a clearer picture of how your company can support them.

“Instead of saying ‘we are pleased’ or other overused statements such as that, I introduce my company, and then switch back to talking about what we can do to help the client reach their goals,” Kori explains.

Step 2: Capture Your Prospect’s Attention Early

Chances are, your prospect is extremely busy. They’re likely to skim your proposal cover letter—which is why you should focus on making it memorable. Use it to create a connection to your prospect and capture their attention early in the proposal.

In the structure of a proposal , the first paragraph is the best place to earn your reader’s attention, shares Senior Proposal Consultant Kelly Allen.

“Try to capture the reader in the first paragraph by relating to them in some way. If they are a current client, leverage your relationship. If not, demonstrate a clear understanding of what they need.” Kelly Allen, Senior Proposal Consultant, UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group)

Step 3: Use Clear, Competitive Win Themes

Once you identify their distinct needs, you can formulate which key themes need to be identified in your cover letter. Then, narrow it down to the most persuasive reasons that your prospect should choose your proposal over a competitor. Eileen Kent, President of Custom Keynotes, explains that these are also known as “ win themes ”.

Win themes should be based on what the customer told you they wanted. Position yourself as the one company that can deliver exactly what your prospect is looking for. To do this well, it’s essential that you also understand what your competition is doing.

Here’s how to brush up on what your competitors are offering:

  • Review competitors’ websites
  • Read competitors’ financial statements
  • Look at review websites like G2
  • Ask if clients are willing to share competitors’ past RFPs (You never know, unless you ask)

At this stage, you’ll want to focus on how you can stand out from the competition. Eileen also recommends acknowledging any elephants in the room. By that, she means anything that the client may consider your team’s weakness.

She recommends addressing weak points head on to leave a good impression, “The elephant in the room could be your business size. Address it by talking about how you formed a tight team who have exceeded performance expectations, and worked together for years, so they see that as a strength instead,” she explains.

Step 4: Provide a Personalized Offer

Now that you’ve grabbed your prospect’s attention, you need to maintain it. Do this by outlining clear benefits, which speak directly to their pain points in an enticing and clear way.

You should outline how your product will positively impact the buyer and identify what they will get out of your partnership.

Cristina Miller, Proposal Writer, Gallup

Step 5: Use a Strong Closing Statement

Your closing statement should be concise, reiterate your capabilities, and highlight the value you deliver. But don’t forget that it’s also an opportunity to connect with your prospect.

“To build a connection, you have to ignore outdated writing advice and not be afraid to use real language” says Rebecca Baumgartner, Sr. Manager, Proposals, PFS .

“Whoever is reading your cover letter can immediately tell if you’re hiding behind jargon or parroting the language of the RFP because you don’t understand what they need,” she explains.

“But when you write authentically, you have the opportunity to show the client you’ve been listening.”

Rebecca Baumgartner headshot

Step 6: Add the Finishing Touches

When crafting your proposal cover letter, there are a few final checkpoints to leave your prospect with a good impression.

Graphics aren’t necessary for a proposal cover letter, but they can be helpful. For example: highlighting a quote from a customer in a different font, or using callout boxes to emphasize your key value propositions. Use visuals that help to emphasize your main points, not distract from them.

Here’s what Izane Cloete-Hamilton, CPP APMP, of nFold recommends.

  • Use a company letterhead
  • Address the letter to the individual specified in the RFP
  • Sign the cover letter from a senior person at your company
  • If the response is from a strategic partnership between two companies, use dual signatures
  • Ensure your letter is no longer than one page

Izane Cloete-Hamilton, nFold

Proposal Cover Letters (5 Real Templates)

Now that you know what steps to follow, it’s time to look at some real examples of proposal cover letters. While you don’t want to copy a boilerplate letter, these templates may provide helpful guidance for your next proposal.

Rachelle Ray, RMR Consulting

To make more time for writing winning proposal cover letters, you’ll need to make some efficiency gains in your overall RFP process. Start by setting your team up with a proposal software that can improve speed and collaboration amongst your team.

Take Aspen Medical for example. Their business development team started using Loopio’s proposal platform in October of 2019. Within a few short months, they were putting together proactive proposals in just 15-30 minutes and seeing a big return on investment (ROI).

In fact, a survey of 165 companies RFP ROI found that those who consistently use proposal software have achieved results of:

  • 37% more RFP responses
  • 10% shorter sales cycle
  • 35% less time spent answering proposal questions

If you’re looking to improve the pace of your next proposal, try Loopio’s software.

Related posts

The raci chart: how to respond faster to security questionnaires, 51 fascinating rfp statistics on the state of bidding in 2023, how to transform your rfp process: best practices used by alight.

Consulting Cover Letter: a comprehensive guide

  • Understanding Consulting Cover Letters
  • Practicalities of Writing Your Cover Letter
  • Section-by-Section Breakdown
  • Quality Control

Work with us

A stellar cover letter is going to be a basic pre-requisite if you want to land a top-tier consulting job at the likes of the MBB’s, Kearney, LEK, Deloitte etc.

More than half of consulting candidates are rejected based on their applications alone , before they ever make it to interview. This means that, for all the emphasis on case interview prep, your resume and cover letter between them are the single greatest determinant as to whether you land your dream MBB job or not .

Candidates typically have some realisation of the importance of applications, but make the mistake of devoting all their time to the resume alone as they assume it is the "important one". They assume that the accompanying cover letters are always fairly generic and/or are merely a formality that don't actually get read.

However, the idea that your cover letter is any less important than your resume is a hugely damaging misconception.

In fact, speaking to consultants currently involved with recruitment at MBB firms, we are told that cover letters have been becoming more and more important recently. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • More and more resumes are coming in basically perfect (the proliferation of material like our excellent free resume guide has a part to play here). This means that cover letters are increasingly being focussed on as a way to differentiate top candidates.
  • Cover letters are more indicative of your soft skills and personal fit with the office culture than a resume. Since firms are having particular difficulty finding candidates with the right social skills (especially post-Covid), cover letters become more and more salient in the filtering process.

To up the ante even more, add to this the fact that applications are increasingly read by AI tools as well. Whilst a human reader working in a hurry and skimming a document in a hurry might have simply missed an error, you can be sure the computer will pick up on any mistakes you make.

So, how do you get things right?

Putting together a decent consulting cover letter can be tricky and will probably take longer than you think. The demands are different and quite a bit more rigorous than for cover letters you might have written for other industries.

Luckily though, the strict demands on consulting cover letters mean that there is an equally strict set of rules to follow when writing them - as long as you follow these and put the time in to do things properly, you can reliably turn out an excellent document.

This guide will help you understand what it is recruiters want to see in a good cover letter and take you through the steps to draft your best possible offering. To make things as clear as possible, we discuss a template cover letter section-by-section.

Help is at hand!

Writing applications can be pretty daunting, especially with a dream job on the line.

Before we dive into all the complex nitty-gritty of how to turn out your cover letter, we should let you know that we have an editing service where a 5+ year experienced MBB consultant helps you draft your best possible resume and/or cover letter. You can read more here:

Explore Professional Editing

This isn't obligatory, but is a great option for those who feel overwhelmed and want some help to get things right, as well as for those who want the inside track in terms of optimising something that is already close to the mark.

This application editing can also be done as part of a broader mentoring package, where that same experienced mentor helps you through the whole consulting selection process, from networking, through to case interview prep. You can find out more here:

Learn More About Comprehensive Mentoring

1. Understanding Consulting Cover Letters

Close up of intricate cogwheel mechanism illustrating our gaining a better understanding of consulting cover letters

To write a good one we will first need to understand the demands it must meet. That is to say, we need to understand the function of the cover letter and precisely how it will be assessed.

Let's start by going through some important points:

1.1. Function of a Consulting Cover Letter

The basic function of a consulting cover letter is to tell recruiters three things:

  • Why you are worth employing
  • Why consulting is a perfect fit for you
  • Why you are interested in the target firm in particular

As we will see later, a standard management consulting cover letter is broken down into three paragraphs, addressing each of these issues more-or-less separately.

In many ways, the demands of your cover letter sit between your resume ) and your fit interview (which you will be invited to only if your resume and cover letter make the cut).

A consulting cover letter helps demonstrate the same skillset as your resume and you will effectively be selecting a few of the key points from your resume to amplify in the cover letter.

However, the objective of this document is not simply restating the facts on your resume, but rather creating a persuasive link between your personal story and the job you are applying for. In effect, the main purpose of your cover letter is to show that you are a great fit for the job you are applying for across the board. As such, you need to convey your personality and your motivation to do the job - things that are not readily assessed via your resume alone.

These are exactly the qualities that are also assessed in your fit interview. Indeed, just as with the Additional Information section of your resume, the information in your cover letter is very likely to form the basis of questions in your fit interview - where your personality and motivation are assessed again. Thus, just as with the Additional Information section of your resume, when you are drafting your cover letter you should be keeping half an eye on how you would be able to work the items you select into compelling fit interview answers.

All this means that our article on the fit interview is especially worth a read as you get started on cover letter writing!

1.2. Motivation

Consulting is a tough life and the average consulting recruit only stays in the industry for around two years - which means that many of those applicants who are lucky enough to land jobs will have left within 12 months.

Beyond this, many of those entering consulting only ever intend to stay for a couple of years before bailing out into roles in private equity or internal strategy, becoming a start-up founder, or any of the other typical roles where consulting experience will enhance their career chances.

This constant loss of talent is a big problem for consulting firms, who don't want employees to disappear as soon as they have accrued the training and experience required to be genuinely useful to the company. In effect, firms want to ensure they get a positive return on investment on training you.

As such, recruiters will be trying to identify candidates who are genuinely in it for the long haul - who want to make partner someday and who have the necessary motivation to push them through the years of long hours and tight deadlines en route.

Of course, we realise that you the reader might well be one of the candidates who only really plan to stick with consulting for two years before parachuting out into another industry. Realistically, this is a perfectly sensible career trajectory and we're certainly not going to tell you not to do so.

However , if this is the case, your application and subsequent interview are really not the time to discuss it. If you have ever had any inkling that you might consider sticking around and making a long-term career in consulting, then this is the inclination to channel during the selection process.

We return to discuss your rationale for entering consulting in our section-by-section breakdown of the letter itself.

1.3. A Test in Itself

Art installation of telephones to illustrate the different ways in which your cover letter conveys information to the recruiters of your target consulting firm

Your target firm uses your cover letter to learn more about you in a couple of ways. Obviously, they receive all the information you communicate explicitly - all the achievements and experience and positive character traits you tell them about. However, your cover letter is also used by the target firm as an implicit (but very real) test of your writing skills and other qualities. It is important to realise this dual function and keep it in mind during drafting.

At a basic level, using correct, industry standard formatting etc shows that you have the professionalism and diligence to find out and follow the rules. As we will discuss later, writing a letter specific to the firm you are applying to also demonstrates your commitment to that employer.

More directly, though, your cover letter is used by consulting firms as a test of your writing skills. Writing consulting cover letters is not an easy business - if it were, you wouldn't be reading this guide! Composing a good cover letter requires you to assemble a body of information, synthesise it and present it in a compelling form.

Importantly, this is a set of skills - summarising complex information into compelling prose and extracting key points in data - that consultants use every day. Your cover letter is one of the main ways firms check for your competence here.

Similarly, readers will be very interested in your ability to use your cover letter to market yourself. In effect, consultants must constantly sell themselves, their firm, and their recommendations to clients. Indeed, this is becoming a larger and larger part of the job as more of the analytic side of consulting work is automated. As such, the ability to communicate persuasively is a key management consulting skill.

1.4. The Reader

With any piece of writing, the first thing you need to consider is who the intended reader is. This is especially important for consulting cover letters.

During the application screen, as well as filtering by AI tools and HR staff, your cover letter will be placed with one or two hundred others and passed to a junior consultant (often a recent alum from your university) to assess. Generally, this will be piled on top of that consultant's normal workload and often they will end up with very little time to get through this mound of applications. As such, your reader will be tired, possibly slightly grumpy and in a hurry - probably only skimming what you have written.

Keep this reader in mind at all times and write in a way that makes their life easier. This means making everything as clear, easy to read and precise as possible!


Hand about to write on a blank piece of paper, illustrating you beginning to write your cover letter

So, we have a good idea of the basic job of a cover letter needs to do, what ground it needs to cover, and how it will be assessed. Now it's time to get down to business and actually get the thing written!

To this end, we'll look at a few practical points about how to meet the requirements mentioned above, before focusing one-by-one on the five main segments of a management consulting cover letter.


Sheep standing in pens, illustrating the importance of conforming to standard formatting rules when drafting a consulting cover letter

Just as with your resume, formatting a consulting cover letter is really not the time to embrace your creative side. Failing to stick to the standard rules of formatting risks being rejected immediately, without your letter even being read.

The tired junior consultant tasked with plowing through a pile of cover letters is unlikely to be in the mood for a strange font or weird layout and will simply send your application directly to the bin.

As noted above, standard formatting shows that you are professional enough to take the application seriously and that you have bothered to find out what is expected from your cover letter. The best way to understand how you should format this document is simply to take a look at our examples below, which are formatted in a standard "safe" manner.

In particular, though, you should make sure your letter conforms to the following basic standard:

  • Standard typeface at a normal size
  • No longer than one printable page
  • Normal size margins etc - no extreme formatting to pack more words on the page!
  • Name, contact information, and date at the top, in the manner of a traditional letter - you can include a postal address if you like, but an email address is perfectly sufficient nowadays - and will save space
  • Standard structure explained below - opening, three main paragraphs, closing

2.2. Content - Being Unique!

A peacock with spread tail, illustrating the importance of your cover letter content being unique and making a strong impression on recruiters

You might have to keep the format strictly in line with everyone else, but it is absolutely crucial that the actual content of your letter is unique!

Always remember that your cover letter will be part of a stack of 1-200 deep. The content needs to really impress the reader if you are going to stand out from the pack and earn yourself an invitation to interview.

To achieve this, you are going to have to draw on your most impressive achievements and experiences and then portray them in the best possible fashion, to really make your reader pause and take note, rather than toss your letter towards the bin with the others.

Content that is unusual is also helpful in making your application memorable and might prompt interview questions where you can be well prepared to shine. During an application process with so many competitors, it pays to have something unique to you - a USP - to differentiate you from your peers.

However, this will only add value if it is relevant to management consulting!

In our discussion below on how to introduce yourself and your abilities, we'll discuss how you can emphasize your personal "spikes" - which help make your cover letter more unique.

2.3. Be Specific!

Your letter needs not only to be unique, but also highly specific .

Many candidates think that they can save a bit of time by just writing a one really "good" cover letter and using that for all their applications without any modifications. This might be true (or almost true) of a good resume. However, if you think that the cover letter you wrote for McKinsey will be able to be used without any changes to for Bain and BCG as well, we can tell you now that that letter wasn't good enough to get you a job with any of those firms!

As noted previously, a major function of your cover letter is to gauge your motivation to stick with the company if you are lucky enough to be hired. Your recruiter wants to make sure that you are genuinely keen to work for their specific firm for the foreseeable future. Any suggestion that your cover letter is just a generic chunk of text sent out to everyone in scattergun fashion obviously makes this idea pretty difficult to maintain - and will see your application heading towards that bin in short order.

To avoid this, then, take the time to write a separate letter for each firm you apply to. In these letters, you should include content that is specific to your particular target firm. What is more, this specific content should not be something generic or some kind of empty platitude.

If the best you can come up with is an obvious truth - or even worse, a common misconception - you will betray only a very shallow level of engagement, and will only succeed in vexing your reader.

Instead, you should be able to make specific remarks which show genuine insight. This will clearly demonstrate both your commitment to and knowledge of the firm.

These points will be particularly relevant to the section of the cover letter where you explain your decision to apply to your target firm, and we will pick up this discussion again later in this guide. However, there is room for material specific to your target firm in all sections of your cover letter.

3. Section-by-Section Breakdown

Disassembled smartphone, illustrating our section-by-section breakdown of the cover letter writing process

Let's go through the different sections of a standard management consulting cover letter one-by-one.

We will give examples as to how you might approach each section - however, it is imperative that you don't simply copy from specimens that we or anyone else have written. The examples here are only a guide as to how you should approach the different elements of a cover letter, not components to be lifted as-is.

Your own cover letter needs to stand out from a very strong field. Think about it - how can you possibly stand out by copying others? Beyond this, though, any hint that you are just copying from another source will see your whole application rejected immediately.

On a similar note here, we strongly advise against using an AI chatbot like ChatGPT to write your cover letter. Aside from that tool not knowing enough about your own life experiences, interests etc to say something with the correct degree of specificity, you run the risk of sending in a cover with the same writing style - or possibly even the same turns of phrase - as everyone else who did the same thing. Indeed, recruiters across many industries are already getting used to spotting AI-generated applications .

As we noted earlier, there are three main questions your cover letter must answer - why you, why consulting and why that firm in particular. The three main paragraphs of your cover letter will answer these three questions in sequence.

Provided you are careful to link everything together properly, there is actually some flexibility to vary the ordering of these paragraphs. You will always introduce yourself first, of course, but you can then state why you are interested in the specific firm before you explain what drew you to consulting, or deal with these in the reverse order.

In the interests of simplicity here, though, we will just deal with why-consulting-in-general first, followed by why-that-firm-in-particular.

The following examples are taken from an entry-level cover letter from an applicant to Bain London - and the detailed content is obviously tailored to that office.

In contrast to the relative ease with which a resume can be repurposed, you will have to significantly change the specifics of your cover letter as you apply for different offices and firms. Obviously, our candidate below can't just send this off to Bain New York without changing quite a lot of content. Similarly, this won't work as a cover letter for the London offices of McKinsey, BCG or Deloitte a wholesale rewrite.

With all this said, what is crucial is that the overall structure and format is maintained. This will be the case whether you are a recent graduate, Ph.D. or MBA. Even experienced hire cover letters will maintain the same fundamental format - though there will be (even) more expectation on the quality of the content.


The opening to your cover letter is very straightforward and is pretty much impossible to mess up if you follow basic rules.

First, you should record your name, email address, and the date of sending. You can include a postal address if you like, though this is no longer a strict requirement and takes up a lot of space. Your first sentence should state the specific position to which you are applying at the relevant office and firm.

The only issue that should give you any cause for concern here is to Whom the letter is addressed. Where possible, you should be addressing the letter to a named person - usually the recruiting manager of the office to which you are applying. However, where you cannot find a name to address your cover letter to, it is perfectly acceptable to begin "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam".

Jane Wu [email protected] 05/05/2019

Dear Ms Douglas,

I am writing to apply for the Associate Consultant position at Bain and Company's London office.

3.2. Introducing Yourself

After this brief opening, proceed straight to introducing yourself. Don't be shy - this is not the time for understatement or modesty! Top consulting firms are looking for exceptional individuals. Here, you need to leave the reader in no doubt that you are just such an exceptional individual!

To do this, looking at all the information you assembled for your resume, ideally, you should recount the three most impressive achievements in your life so far.

Of course, do this with an eye to achievements that are particularly relevant to consulting (your golf handicap might be good, but nobody in the workplace cares). Also, realise that the things we are most proud of personally might not actually be the ones that are most impressive to others (your golfing probably isn't great anyway). Try to look at your resume as if you are reading one from someone else. Alternatively, ask a friend what stands out to them.

It's your resume's job to paint a balanced picture of you as a well-rounded candidate with all the skills required to excel in consulting. However, in your cover letter, it can be beneficial to emphasise one or two particular strong suits, where you are exceptionally gifted. These are what consultants call "spikes". What recruiters are really looking for is well-rounded, generally capable candidates with a few "spikes" that might be especially useful.

I have recently graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first-class BA/MSci in Physics. At Cambridge, I was consistently near the top of my year academically and won a number of competitive scholarships and prizes; including the award for the best final year research project. During my third year, I was selected as the best of a very large field of applicants to take part in a prestigious summer research project at MIT. I was also elected as a Student Representative for two consecutive years.

3.3. Why Consulting is a Good Fit

Your job here is to provide a strong narrative demonstrating why consulting is a good fit for you and why it makes sense at this point in your career as a natural progression from what you have done before.

This is much the same as what is required from your answers in any subsequent fit interviews you receive. As such, our article on the fit interview , as well as our more comprehensive fit interview course and/or lessons in the MCC Academy , are highly relevant here.

Now, as we noted above, it is important to remember that there are some reasons to get into consulting that your target firm will be happy to hear about and others that will very definitely not impress.

We're not here to judge your reasons, whatever they are, for wanting a consulting job. However, there are certain reasons that you should probably not highlight if you would like to actually get that job.

Some candidates are not sure what career they actually want yet and think consulting would make a good first step, exposing them to different industries and keeping their options open for the future. The worry, from a firm's point of view, is that these individuals will not be sufficiently motivated to actually stick with consulting when they come up against the stress and high workload that come with the job.

Alternatively, some applicants are fully intent, right from the start, on bailing out into another industry after two years - when a sufficiently long stint in consulting has given them transferable skills and boosted their opportunities elsewhere.

Many candidates actually state these kinds of intentions - though they will certainly not be hired! As we noted above, firms want to retain staff and are looking for candidates who are committed to consulting for the long term.

3.3.1. Proving You Know What You are Getting Into

Given how many recruits drop out, firms want to be sure that you know exactly what you are getting into when you apply . When you explain why you have decided that consulting is a great fit for you, you obviously need it to be clear that you are doing so with a real understanding of what the job entails.

Ideally, you will have done an internship in consulting or a closely related industry. Alternatively, you might be moving sideways from a parallel sector, such as finance or tech, having worked alongside consultants in past roles and observed what they do first hand. In either such case, it is clear that you understand the demands of the job.

However, many of you will fall into neither of these camps and won't yet have any first hand experience of the consulting world. If this describes you, be aware that there is a particular onus on you to demonstrate that you know what is required of a working consultant - and that you have what it takes to meet those requirements.

Don't dismay, though, as this is definitely possible - it just requires a bit more thought from you. Really, you are limited to a strategy of identifying key consulting skills and showing that you have already had significant past experience (and ideally achievements) demonstrating that you are capable and comfortable in these areas - and, importantly, that you enjoy this kind of work!

This is similar in principle to some of what you should have already done in bullet point form in your resume. Our resume guide is useful here in listing the relevant consulting skills and giving examples that demonstrate them. However, your cover letter differs from the resume here in that the focus will be less on technical skills and more on personal character. You also can't be so schematic as in your resume, but must weave everything into a compelling narrative that leaves your reader in no doubt that you are well suited to, and prepared for, the job.

3.3.2. Finding Things to Say

Some candidates feel the need to embroider their accounts when they explain why they want to be a consultant. Maybe they genuinely think that the only reason they have chosen consulting is for the high salary and exit opportunities. Since they can't include either of these (as discussed below), they then cobble together an insincere-sounding road-to-Damascus story about how they had an epiphany that they should work at BCG or Bain.

However, introspection on the reasons that informed your own decision making can actually be a great source of material here. You might not be able to explicitly state them just now, but there are probably better reasons than you think for your choices.

Think about what exactly it was that led you to believe that you could do a consulting job and why have chosen to apply to jobs in that sector, rather than going into something else. If you want to be totally pragmatic, remember - it's a lot easier to answer interview questions on something approximating the truth than a tissue of lies!

I believe that I would be particularly well suited to the Associate Consultant position as consulting would provide real intellectual challenges, but placed within contexts allowing me to make use of my strong interpersonal skills. As a student representative, I instigated "Student Week" in the Physics department. This was a week where time was given over so that students could organise their own conferences and workshops. In order to make this initiative a success, I faced two main challenges: creating a committed team and getting the academic staff's support. I began by offering all students a stake in shaping the week and created teams in charge of all aspects of an organisation, delegating responsibilities to team leaders. Most of all, this experience taught me how to motivate people, leveraging their potential impact and the rewards to be gained from positive results. In the end, the teams were able to invite an outstanding line-up of speakers. Presenting the week as a chance to promote the school in the media enabled us to gain the final approval of academic staff. Understanding the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and identifying what they really cared about enabled me to transform an ambitious plan into reality. I loved this experience and would look forward to employing a similar skillset as an Associate Consultant.

3.4. Why that Firm?

Now finally, you need to show that you are committed to the particular firm to which you are applying . This is a crucial part of demonstrating your motivation as well as a way of showing your diligence in doing your research before applying. Needing to address why you want to work at your target firm in particular is why you fundamentally can't just re-use the same letter for all your consulting applications.

So, how should you do this?

In practice, there are three main ways to generate firm-specific content:

3.4.1. Contacts and networking

Whilst you might not have seen consultants at work first hand, there is nothing to prevent you from meeting them at career fairs, networking events, and the like.

You can also reach out to consultants in your target office via LinkedIn and potentially even schedule calls with them. You can do this from anywhere in the world. An experienced consultant can also guide you in this process within one of our mentoring programmes

The very best cover letters will grow out of substantial networking with current or former employees from your target firm - ideally from the specific office to which you are applying.

The individuals you speak to might be in a position to recommend you to recruiters. Otherwise, though, they will definitely be very well placed to tell you what is really unique about the company in general or your target office in particular. This is a surefire way for you to be able to make your cover letter specific in a way that actually rings true to those who read it.#

Also, don't be afraid to drop in the names of your contacts where they are relevant (and where this is appropriate, of course). The recruiter might know the people in question and they will lend credence to your application.

3.4.2. Reading

Of course, this kind of networking will not always be feasible, and certainly not at short notice. If you don't have access to anyone who has worked for your target firm, you should be able to get access to some of their output in the form of reports and similar material. Being able to comment on these demonstrates your enthusiasm to work at the target firm, as well as your diligence and intelligence. Indeed, mentioning report authors is a good way to shoehorn in the names of company employees whom you have not actually met in real life.

3.4.3. Observations

Of course, you would ideally be able to write about the first hand experience of working alongside consultants at a company that was a client of your target firm. Otherwise, if you have done your research, you will be able to discuss a successful project in which you have not been involved, but have taken a particular interest (possibly in an industry in which you have experience). This should convey genuine interest and, at the very least, shows you really have done your homework.

An example of how to approach this paragraph is as follows:

Bain specifically appeals to me for a few reasons. At a more personal level, all of the individuals I have spoken to who have worked at Bain have loved their jobs and seemed like people I would relish working with. Recently, I spoke to Sarah McKinney and Benedict Philips from the London office at a networking event. Both were very helpful and encouraging of my application. In particular, I was very excited to be able to talk to Sarah about Bain's recent work with capacitor technology firm NuCell. This was a project I had become aware of via my physics background and was very impressed with the sophisticated but wonderfully elegant solutions that Bain implemented. This was a significant influence in my decision to move towards consulting in general and Bain in particular.

3.5. Closing You Cover Letter

As with the opening, it is easy to get your cover letter's closing right simply by following a few standard rules.

Closing a consulting cover letter really just follows the same rules as a standard formal letter. Note that technically the form of your sign off depends on whether the letter was addressed to a named recipient or not. If you did manage to address your cover letter to a specific individual at the target firm, you should sign off your letter "Yours Sincerely". However, if you addressed the letter "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom it May Concern", then you should sign off "Yours faithfully".

Not everyone will pick up on this, but some certainly will!

I very much hope that I can be considered for an interview. If you have any questions about my application or would like to know more, please do not hesitate to be in contact by email or on +44 7933023234. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely, Jane Wu

3.6. An Aside - Blurring Boundaries

Image of circuit board showing complex connections between large components. This echoes the blurring of boundaries between the discrete cover letter sections we have described in this guide

For the sake of clarity, we have given quite a schematic picture of how a cover letter is structured. In practice, the separation between the content of the three main paragraphs is often not quite as clear as has been shown so far.

This is something to bear in mind as you are writing. Certainly, it is not a problem that the content of the three main paragraphs somewhat bleed into one another. Indeed, it might well be that the optimal version of your letter gives you more bang for your buck in including points with more than one positive function.

For example, you might make mention of people or reports from your specific target firm in explaining why you chose to enter consulting in general. Simultaneously you will likely be able to include some impressive achievements, relevant to your initial description of yourself, in that same explanation as to why consulting was for you.

4. Quality Control

Mentor helping a student edit a document, illustrating the importance of receiving high quality feedback when you proof your cover letter

By now, you should have a completed document in front of you. However, this doesn't mean that you're finished!

Just as with the resume, quality control should be taken very seriously when you are writing your cover letter, and will almost certainly take longer than did writing your initial draft.

First, you should make sure you have followed all the rules we set out for formatting and structuring a consulting cover letter. This is the easy bit, after all, and you shouldn't be making mistakes here when it's something you can easily control for yourself.

The following checklist is useful to make sure that the major elements are in order. Thus, you must make sure that any management consulting cover letter:

  • Does not exceed one page
  • Is formatted sensibly
  • Contains no spelling mistakes (double check names of the company, position, HR manager and your contact information)
  • Mentions skills that are relevant to the job
  • Has relevant examples to back up those skills
  • Reinforces skills that are not adequately explained in your resume
  • Explains how your skill set relates to the job you are applying for
  • Is tailored to the target firm

Of course, to hammer the point home, it should go without saying that spelling, punctuation, and grammar should be perfect throughout - especially these days, where AIs will be reading applications thoroughly, besides harried humans skimming them.

In particular, though, you should triple-check spelling around the opening where you list your own contact information and state the name of the target firm and specific role. Imagine making the cut to for interview only to have your invitation dispatched to the wrong email address!

You wouldn't believe how many candidates we see making mistakes here - indeed, outside consulting, the former Graduate Recruitment Manager at City law firm Mayer Brown found that 20% of applicants got the firm’s name wrong. If so many high-end, detail-oriented lawyers can make that kind of mistake, so can you - check!

4.2. Feedback

As with any important piece of writing, you will want another set of eyes on your cover letter. However, a consulting cover letter is not quite the same as for a more "normal" job, and there is only so much that your classmate, your buddy or your mum is going to be able to tell you . These people might be able to help you with spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but not a great deal else.

If you have access to a careers adviser, they will certainly be more knowledgeable and be able to give you more specific feedback. That said, the very particular demands of consulting and how cover letters are assessed means there is no real replacement for someone with actual consulting experience .

As always though, real consultants are incredibly busy people and their time has a high price tag. You might be lucky enough to have access to a consultant who will help you out - perhaps a friend or relative or maybe one of your networking contacts who likes you enough to take the time to look at your application.

However, for those who aren't so lucky, there are still ways to get top quality feedback. MyConsultingCoach offers cover letter review and feedback , both alone on its own and in a package with resume review.

With this service, a deeply experienced MBB consultant mentor, with a minimum of five years at McKinsey, Bain or BCG, will provide the kind of granular, nuanced feedback you simply can't find elsewhere. You can read more here:

Explore Application Review

You can also have the same kind of 5+ year experienced MBB consultant do this kind of editing for you as part of a wider personal mentoring programme. Find out more here:

Mentoring Programmes

Of course, none of these services are strictly necessary, and this guide is here to help everyone. However, professional editing will help you close the gap with your competitors who have the advantage of pre-existing inside contacts.

4.3. Iterate

It is easy to become attached to what you have written. Especially after pouring time and energy into a document, constructive criticism can end up being taken personally and ignored. However, if you actually want to get a job in consulting, you need to swallow your pride and be prepared to make substantial changes if they are advised .

Once you have re-drafted the document, you need to cycle through the same stages of quality control again, always making sure that everything is formatted correctly with no typos and then getting decent feedback on what you have produced. To get the whole thing just right will likely take at least a couple of these iterations. Indeed, this is precisely why MyConsultingCoach's review packages all include three rounds of feedback as standard .

Finally, then, you will have completed your cover letter and be ready to submit your application. You can give yourself a pat on the back for getting everything so far done. However, you still have a lot more work ahead of you if you are serious about making it into consulting!

Man on mountain top looking across cloud covered landscape, illustrating the fact that completing one's application is only the first step in the journey to landing a consulting job

If you are interested in getting an interview at the likes of the MBBs, Kearney, LEK, Deloitte, or any high-end consulting firm, it is absolutely crucial that your cover letter is the very best that it can be .

To this end, we have given a detailed guide on how to optimise a cover letter, breaking down all the relevant sections. Examples were provided from a sample cover letter for a Bain London application, though it was explained that you should never simply copy from such example cover letters.

We encourage you to read further - starting with our resume guide - and to consider editing from one of our ex-MBB consultant coaches. However, what we have given you here is a very good starting point for you to carve out a great draft cover letter.

If you have followed this guide and ideally found someone to provide decent feedback, you should have every chance of being invited to interview. However, nobody is going to do well if they prepare for a consulting interview the way they would for a more "normal" job.

Management consulting interviews area very different beast to what you might be accustomed to elsewhere. You can read more about the characteristic consulting case interviews here here . Suffice to say, though, that a large volume of preparation is both necessary to so well and explicitly expected by the firms themselves . Putting together your consulting resume or cover letter might have seemed arduous or time-consuming, but what was just the tip of the iceberg!

In particular, you will need to learn how to solve case studies. You can start with our intro to case interviews , which links to other useful resources.

It's important to learn to tackle case studies the right way if you want to perform in the more demanding interviews at higher-end firms. The old-fashioned frameworks you will often find promoted online can be dysfunctional in more complex case studies. By contrast, we recommend the slightly more demanding, but much more capable, from-first-principles method used in real consulting work. You can find out more in the followng video:

To make your preparation as effective and time efficient as possible MyConsultingCoach has developed a comprehensive consulting interview prep course . This teaches everything you need to give your best possible showing in an interview. Included are all the mental maths, business and finance theory and logical principles needed not only to solve cases but to do so in a way that will impress the interviewer - the way a real consultant would . Also included is a set of lessons on how to address "fit" questions about your character and motivation to enter consulting.

Find out about our resume editing services

Account not confirmed.

Consulting Cover Letter Samples and Writing Tips

  • Cover Letters
  • Skills & Keywords
  • Salary & Benefits
  • Letters & Emails
  • Job Listings
  • Job Interviews
  • Career Advice
  • Work-From-Home Jobs
  • Internships

What to Include in Your Cover Letter

  • Tips for a Successful Cover Letter

Consulting Cover Letter Samples

How to send an email cover letter.

When applying for a job as a consultant , your cover letter should include your career history and key accomplishments, as well as providing a glimpse into your personality. If you do not have previous consulting experience, highlight relevant projects completed in college or graduate school. 

By its nature, consulting positions call for flexibility. Not only do consultants frequently travel for work, visiting businesses around the world, but they need to be able to quickly understand how companies do business, identifying problems, and proposing recommended improvements. 

Before you start writing, read the job description carefully to learn which types of skills, experience, and expertise the employer wants in a job candidate. For example,  consulting jobs  often require statistical analysis, research, interview skills, public speaking and presenting, as well as job-specific software knowledge and experience. 

Take the time to match your qualifications to the job to increase your chances of landing an interview.

Research has shown that hiring managers spend seconds reviewing application materials. If you have a contact at the company, mention them right up front so that the reader can’t miss it. 

Demonstrate Your Flexibility

Make sure your cover letter demonstrates your flexibility, along with other skills that are essential for consultants, such as communication and  leadership skills .

Tell a Story

Your cover letter should go beyond the resume to tell the story of why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Think of it as a sales pitch: you’re trying to get the hiring manager interested enough to read your resume.

Reference Your Relevant Experience and Skills

But don't just write a list of positions and responsibilities (that's what your resume is for) or make statements about your abilities and skills. Instead, tell a story—follow the classic writing advice of "show, don't tell."

Share an Example

Instead of saying, "I'm a hard worker and good with the details," provide a specific example of a time when you demonstrated grit and follow-through with a project. Employers are most impressed by measurable results. So, if you’ve made or saved a company money, or increased an important metric by a certain percent, be sure to mention it.

Tips for Writing a Successful Consulting Cover Letter

In your cover letter, as in any cover letter, you are making a case for your candidacy. Follow these strategies to make an effective case: 

Personalize the Letter You Send

While it may seem like a timesaver, avoid creating a generic form letter and sending it off with every consultant application. Your cover letter will be more persuasive if it's targeted to the specific company and job at hand. In your letter, explain why you are eager to work for this company in particular. For instance, maybe the company specializes in helping businesses based in Asia expand to the United States, and you wrote a thesis on that very topic.

If you have a connection at the company, you can mention the person's name (with permission) to strengthen your cover letter. 

Proofread Your Writing

Check and double-check your cover letter for grammar and wording. Before you hit the send button on your email or place your letter in an envelope, read through it carefully. Make sure it follows the correct cover letter format. Proofread carefully, checking for typos and grammatical errors .

Check Your Attachments

Confirm that any attachments mentioned in the email are indeed attached and that the recipient's name and the company name are spelled correctly. 

The following is an example of a cover letter for a graduate-level consulting job. Also, see below for an entry-level cover letter sample. Use these sample cover letters as a guide, but remember to adjust the details to fit your situation and the specific position you are applying for. You'll find more advice on how to craft an effective, successful consultant cover letter below the examples. 

Consultant Cover Letter Template

You can use this cover letter sample as a model. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

Consultant Cover Letter Sample

John Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-1234 john.applicant@email.com

February 22, 2021

Sean Lee Manager  ABC Consulting Group   123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Lee,

I am a second-year Smith Business School student interested in interviewing for a full-time consultant position with The ABC Consulting Group. I believe that the ABC Consulting Group has the ideal culture in which to pursue my goal of becoming a strategic business leader and thinker.

My professional experience and Smith Business School education have prepared me to be successful at The ABC Consulting Group. Leading a high-level project to develop a China entry and growth strategy in the new media industry for Television Networks Asia gave me invaluable global strategy experience.

Furthermore, interviewing senior executives and entrepreneurs of top media and technology companies gave me the unique opportunity to engage in high-level business discussions with leaders of the industry.

While at DEF Consulting as a consultant, I managed global information security projects, which gave me experience in the consultative and client service approach. As a joint-degree student (MBA/MA International Studies), I have the flexibility in both language and culture to operate successfully in many different contexts.

Finally, as a musician and producer of my own record, I have developed the capacity to think creatively and entrepreneurially.

I firmly believe that I will be a good fit in The ABC Consulting Group's collaborative, entrepreneurial, and intellectual culture. I am excited at the prospect of working for The ABC Consulting Group upon graduation and have enclosed my resume for your review. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

John Applicant

Entry-Level Consulting Cover Letter Example

Louise Jones 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-1234 louise.jones@email.com

Mr. John Doe A.T. Killen 222 West Dover Street Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Doe:

I had the opportunity to work closely with Jane Smith, an A.T. Killen consultant in the Higher Education Practice, as a member of XYZ University's Presidential Search Committee. This was my first exposure to the consulting profession, and it was a perfect match for someone with my academic record, communication and leadership skills, and drive to succeed.

I have shown initiative, creativity in problem-solving, and a commitment to building consensus and excellence throughout our college community during the last four years. As an intern in the Office of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, I worked with the Senior Advising team to provide accurate, effective, and concise statistical and anecdotal data to a variety of constituents in order to support legislative proposals. I combined the written and oral skills I have gained from courses in American Studies and Government with quantitative and analytical training in a high-intensity environment.

As Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Student Government Association and a student representative on several college committees (including the one which nominated the sixth President of XYZ University), I have learned:

  • to use language precisely and effectively
  • to articulate well to a range of audiences
  • the value of integrity and persistence in working toward short- and long-term personal and institutional goals

The opportunity to effect positive change for a range of institutions is the most attractive aspect of consulting for me. Employees have described A.T. Killen as "down to earth" and as having an "open culture."

I feel lucky to have been part of a college community whose openness has allowed for measured risks and the candor necessary to achieve its goals, and I hope to begin my career in a similarly rigorous and collegial environment where I can learn from industry leaders. I look forward to exploring further my opportunities at A.T. Killen and will call next week to see if it is possible to arrange an interview.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

Louise Jones

If you're sending a cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message. Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer's contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.

Subject Line Example

Consultant Position - John Doe

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

9+ Consulting Cover Letter – Word, PDF

Like any other type of business entity, applying for a consulting job at a consulting firm entails a job application process. An applicant is required to submit the necessary requirements such as a hard copy cover letter and resume to the company’s hiring personnel. Just as prompt submission is important, it is much more essential to make an effective resume and cover letter.

consulting cover letter word pdf

  • Cover Letter Formats
  • Cover Letter Template in Word
  • Consultant Letter Templates

Consulting Internship

consulting internship

Consulting Proposal

consulting proposal

Management Consulting

management consulting

Business Analyst Cover Letter

business analyst cover letter

Writing a Consulting Cover Letter

  • Contact details. Write the employer’s and your contact information. Include your name, address, email address, and contact number. Every free cover letter template presented on our website shows different formats in writing these details.
  • Opening salutation and introduction. Put a formal greeting to the person you are submitting the letter. Always write the name of the person. In introducing yourself at the start of the letter, include the name, the position you are applying, the degree you acquired, and the source where you learned of the vacancy.
  • Market yourself. In job cover letter templates , this section is usually written on the second paragraph of the letter’s body. Do some research of the company and state the values and abilities you have that align with the interests and needs of the company.
  • Conclusion and closing salutation. End your letter by stating your availability and your interview request. Similar to all Word cover letters , you close the letter formally, write your name, and affix your handwritten signature.

Financial Consulting

financial consulting

Healthcare Consulting

healthcare consulting

Job Cover Letter

job cover letter

Professional Cover Letter

professional cover letter

Restaurant Consulting

restaurant consulting

Tips in Writing a Cover Letter

  • Keep your cover letter short. Limit cover letter to one page. Be direct and clear in writing the content of your letter. Always address the letter to a person. Remember to always know to whom the cover letter will be given to. Indicate the name and address him formally.
  • Grab attention. Make the potential employer have a closer look at your cover letter and resume by writing a first sentence that would get his attention.
  • Highlight on how you benefit the entity. Focus on the content of your letter where you indicate how you can be of asset to the company. Have some research about the company to know what they need.
  • Use positive action verbs. Show your passion for the position by using words that will identify your enthusiasm.
  • End your letter on a positive note. Close your letter by showing your gratefulness and telling the employer of your interest in being contacted by them and in undergoing an interview.

More in Letters

Get instant access to free & premium , ai tools & daily fresh content.

Get access to 1 million+ FREE, PRO, template bundles with professional written original content. Advanced AI, design, document editing tools

  • PDFelement for Windows
  • PDFelement for Mac
  • PDFelement on Mac App Store
  • PDF Reader for Windows
  • PDFelement for iPhone/iPad
  • Get from App Store
  • PDFelement for Android
  • Get from App Google Play
  • InstaScan - PDF Scanner for iPhone
  • Document Cloud
  • PDFelement Pro DC
  • PDFelement SDK

Educational Users

  • Annotate PDF
  • Combine PDF

Personal Users

  • Convert PDF
  • Compress PDF
  • Organize PDF

Professional Users

  • Protect PDF
  • Extract PDF Data
  • AI-Powered PDF Tool
  • eSign PDFs Legally
  • Pricing Pricing
  • Mac Software
  • OCR PDF Tips
  • Sign PDF Tips
  • Edit PDF like Word
  • Business Tips
  • PDF Knowledge

Why PDFelement

  • Industry Solution
  • Customer Stories
  • PDF Software Comparison
  • Contact Support
  • PDFelement for iOS
  • InstaScan for iPhone

Explore More

  • Reviews See what our users say.
  • Free PDF Templates Edit, print, and customize free templates.
  • PDF Knowledge PDF-related information you need.
  • Download Center Download the most powerful and simple PDF tools.
  • Download Download Buy Now Buy Now

Free Consulting Cover Letter Sample

Most candidates do not take the consulting cover letter seriously. They underestimate the importance of a well-written letter. Think about this for a moment. Most companies will read your cover letter consulting before they read your resume. That means the cover letter is your first impression. A weak and not properly written consulting cover letter sample, chances are, the hiring manager will not read your resume. The employer will discard it as unread. A weak cover letter might get you a brief look at the resume but will not warrant an interview. Therefore, you need to leave a great impression with the cover letter . With that in mind, let's take a look at one sample, and discuss some tips.

  • # Consulting Cover Letter Template
  • # Consulting Cover Letter Sample
  • # Tips for Writing Consulting Cover Letter
  • # How to Edit Consulting Cover Letter Template

Free Consulting Cover Letter Template

consulting cover letter

This is a free cover letter template for consulting. Free Download and customize it according to the sample text below.

Supported formats

Consulting cover letter sample (text).

[ Date ] [ Company Address Company City, State, Hiring manager email]

Dear Mr., Mrs., or Ms. [ Hiring Manager's Name] / Respected

I am writing in response to your job posting at [website] for the consulting position. My projects at [former company], where I led a group of 3 analysts on implementation projects for 3+ years, have made me a strong candidate, providing me with great leadership and communication skills.

In my previous projects as a consultant, I have always shown initiative and creativity in problem-solving. My goal has always been to build a consensus within the team, and excellence throughout our community. But most importantly, I always strive to provide accurate, concise, and effective statistical data that will help your company excel on the market.

Being that I prefer to let my work speak for me, I would like to highlight a few of my achievements in previous stops:

  • During my time at [company], I managed to improve the working environment thanks to my communication skills and improve the efficiency and workflow by 10%. At my stop at [company], I managed to develop business solutions through effective analysis of effective processes, which translated to improved efficiency.
  • During interviews with senior executives and entrepreneurs of top media companies, I got a unique opportunity to engage in high-level business discussions, which has translated to better communication skills and a better understanding of how to manage the discussion.
  • As one of the leaders at [project], I managed to develop a China entry for our startup.
  • Most importantly, my five-plus years' experience in the field has helped me understand the value of integrity and persistence in working toward both short and long term institutional goals.

I am excited about the opportunity to join your team, and I firmly believe I can make huge contributions to your company, and your clients. But most importantly, I will fit your entrepreneurial and intellectual culture.

Sincerely, Your name

Tips for Writing Consulting Cover Letter

  • Always state in the first sentence you are applying for a specific job, many people forget to do it.
  • Provide the company with a well-structured and evidence-based argument about why they should interview you.
  • Make sure the closing paragraph is brief, and again restate why you would make a good fit.
  • Never use a form letter. Hiring managers and employers hate form letters. Always make a personalized cover letter. Yes, you can and should use a sample, but insert some info that signals you apply for that specific company.
  • Do not give hiring managers a reason to throw your resume. That includes typos, grammar errors, and poor writing in general.

Use a sample

No matter what position you are applying to, it is always a good idea to use a sample. Using a sample makes sure that you try something that is already proven as successful. However, make sure to build upon the sample, not use it 100%. Personalize it.

Think of writing a consulting cover letter like writing a sample test. If you cannot write a good and interesting cover letter with your career on the line, why should an employer trust you to write a memo with the reputation of the company on the line? If the company cannot trust you, they will not waste their time to look at your resume.

The first thing you need to highlight in your cover letter for a consulting position is your previous work and projects. Make sure to list them in bullet points, making your cover letter more organized and easier for reading. But you should also highlight your skills, mainly your problem solving, communication, leadership, and creativity skills.

Never write more than one page. If the cover letter doesn't fit with size 12 font and 1" margins, it is too long. This is not a set in stone rule, but more of a guiding principle. However, the practice has shown it is best for reading, and the length is more than enough. If you write in a font smaller than size 12, it hurts the reader's eyes, meaning he won't read it.

Double check

When you finish writing the cover letter, make sure that it is addressed to the right person and company. If you are applying in several positions, you might mess up. For example, a cover letter for Company A might end up in the email of the hiring manager for Company B. You do not like it. Double-check at the end to ensure the name, address, and the position you are applying for is correct.

No matter which company you are applying for, as cover letter for consulting should highlight 4 key skills. Those are problem-solving, achieving, personal impact, and leadership. These are the four keywords you should base your cover letter on.

How to Edit Consulting Cover Letter Template

To save efforts both for the employer and yourself, you should start your cover letter in PDF format. If you use a PDF cover letter template, you can try Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor , the best PDF editor, to modify and make changes to the template. It is very easy.

consulting cover letter

Step 1. Open the Consulting Cover Letter Template

cover letter consulting

Step 2. Click on "Edit" and Enter Your Text as You Like

consulting cover letter sample

Step 3. Complete and Save Your Consulting Cover Letter

cover letter for consulting

Posted by Elise Williams to Updated: 2023-07-31 16:04:49


Recommend Articles

  • Tutor Cover Letter Sample - How to Write
  • Supply Chain Cover Letter Sample - How to Write
  • Property Management Cover Letter Sample - How to Write
  • Software Comparison
  • Birthday Wishes
  • Holiday Wishes
  • Cover Letter
  • Real Estate
  • Infographics
  • Mac How-Tos
  • Mac Comparison
  • macOS 10.14

Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Skip and Download Skip and Download



  1. Consulting Proposal Cover Letter Sample

    cover letter for consulting proposal

  2. Consulting Cover Letter Example, Skills, and Achievements (2023)

    cover letter for consulting proposal

  3. 10+ Consulting Cover Letter Templates Example

    cover letter for consulting proposal

  4. Consulting Cover Letter—Examples & Ready-To-Use Templates

    cover letter for consulting proposal

  5. 9+ Consulting Cover Letter

    cover letter for consulting proposal

  6. Cover Letter For Proposal From Testing Consultant

    cover letter for consulting proposal


  1. Consulting Proposal Deck Template

  2. Consulting Proposal Deck Template

  3. Consulting Proposal Deck Template

  4. Consulting Proposal Deck Template

  5. Consulting Proposal Deck Template

  6. Fully Automated Engagement Letter for Advisory Services


  1. What Is the Correct Salutation for a Cover Letter?

    The correct salutation on a cover letter should always include the word “Dear” followed by the contact person to whom the letter is addressed. This should be followed by either a comma or a colon, then a blank line and the first line of the...

  2. Stand Out from the Crowd: Writing a Compelling Cover Letter

    In today’s competitive job market, it is crucial to make a strong impression with your cover letter. An effective cover letter can be the difference between landing an interview or being overlooked.

  3. What Employers Look for in a Well-Written Cover Letter

    When it comes to job applications, a well-written cover letter can make all the difference. It serves as your first introduction to potential employers and gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills, qualifications, and enthusiasm fo...

  4. Write a Management Consulting Cover Letter that Land Interviews

    The consulting cover letter is a separate document from your resume; it puts the work experience you outline on your resume into context to show why you're a

  5. Consulting Cover Letter: Ultimate Guide

    I would like to express my sincere interest in becoming Associate Consultant with Bain & Company. I developed a passion for consulting as a

  6. Consulting cover letter guide (for McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

    See an example cover letter that got offers from all the MBB firms, download a free template, and write your consulting cover letter with

  7. Consultant Cover Letter Example and Template for 2023

    Aim to explain why you chose consulting and what makes this position especially attractive to you. Relate this information back to your previous

  8. Consulting Cover Letter Tips (and Template)

    It means that your cover letter should highlight the unique achievements, skills, and experiences (relevant to the position) that make you stand out from other

  9. Proposal Cover Letter: How to Write to Win

    Hustle · We look forward to working with you on this important project. · We would be honored to work with you. · We appreciate the opportunity to

  10. How to Write a Winning Proposal Cover Letter (Plus 5 Real Examples)

    What Should You Include in a Proposal Cover Letter? · A greeting: Introduce your company and what you do. · Clear summary: Describe your value

  11. Consulting Cover Letter Guide

    Consulting Cover Letter Guide: comprehensive, step-by-step instructions with examples and free templates to help you land an interview at a top firm!

  12. Consulting Cover Letter Samples and Writing Tips

    Sample cover letters for consulting positions, with information on what to include and writing tips, and advice for applying for consultant

  13. 9+ Consulting Cover Letter

    Writing a Consulting Cover Letter · Contact details. Write the employer's and your contact information. · Opening salutation and introduction. Put a formal

  14. Free Consulting Cover Letter Samples

    After studying a lot of consulting cover letters, we conclude the most important aspects in writing consulting cover letter.