McKinsey APD / PhD CV Format for Consulting

twitter Facebookgoogle_pluslinkedinmail

McKinsey APD CV Question:

I've struggled with how to edit my academic CV into a more digestible format. As you interviewed APD candidates, perhaps you have some guidance here. I'm of course interested in any rules of thumb on presenting the CV in general (i.e., do you recommend summary statement?).

My Response:

I did not screen APD CV's or resumes from applicants with PhD and non MBA, JD graduate degrees. When I was at McKinsey, resume screening, even for just a McKinsey internship, was typically done by the alumni of that school.  So MIT PhD grads screened PhD CVs from MIT, etc...

However, I'll answer your question in the general sense of what I and my colleagues looked for in resumes / CVs in general.

1) The University you attended (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Dartmouth, MIT, etc... all very good.  Internationally, IIT, Insead, Oxford, Cambridge, and basically the most respected university in every country)

2) GPA (or equivalent), Standardized Test Scores (SAT, MCAT, GMAT, GRE).  Basically, we're looking for objective quantitative measure that you're really smart in an analytical way... so really smart in a creative, but non linear thinking kind of way is great, but a person of that kind of background usually does not do well on the job (unless that happen to also by very analytical in a mathematical kind of way too).

In many cases, if your most recent job/educational experience can't be evaluated in this area, we'll go back further in your professional and academic history to find some data point that's more objective that we can compare versus others in the applicant pool.

For example, if you're an English PhD (not normally favored by the McKinsey recruiting process) from Oxford, but undergrad you went to Harvard had a 4.0 GPA in Chemistry, that would be considered favorable.

So basically, it's very important to include your numerical numbers (GPA, GMAT, GRE, etc..) on the resume/CV somewhere and preferably at or near the top (it's the first thing that gets looked at).

If you don't have a famous university name at the top along with some impressive numbers, your consulting resume /CV generally gets put at the bottom of the pile.

For APD applicants, it's important to highlight any distinctive or prestigious labs you've worked in. The golden rule of thumb of is to demonstrate "selectivity" (accomplishing things that few people are chosen for).

For more information, see my post on McKinsey & Company PhD Candidate Criteria and see McKinsey's guide to APD CV requirements.

Additional Resources

If you found this post useful, I suggest becoming a registered member (it's free) to get access to the materials I used to pass 60 out of 61 case interviews, land 7 job offers, and end up working at McKinsey.

Members get access to 6 hours of video tutorials on case interviews, the actual frameworks I used to pass my interviews, and over 500 articles on case interviews.

To get access to these free resources, just fill out the form below:

First Name *
Email *

Note: All registrations require you to confirm your email address.
Please type your email address carefully, entering your email also subscribes you to my Case Secrets Email Newsletter.

Facebookgoogle_pluslinkedinmail twitter

Comments on this entry are closed.