This is a frustrating topic for many reasons. You will see it cropping up in TCO III a lot, and hurting one participant significantly.

Therefore, we want to address this topic via a podcast and hope it never comes up again.

Too many clients want to use a resume format because it (1) looks good, (2) was recommended by the school, (3) they spent a lot of time on it, (4) it is a better use of space or (5) they cannot understand why it should change. In this podcast we explain why a bad (in your opinion) resume format needs to be evaluated using very different metrics.

This is an important podcast. Listen to it.

resume format

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Comments

3 responses to What is the right resume format?

  1. Hi Michael,
    I have completed my MBA last year and now it’s been 9 months for me; working for a Fin Services firm.
    Being an experienced candidate does it still makes sense to put “Education” section on the top in my resume (as it exists in Harvard resume format), or should I put my work-ex on the top?
    Thanks,
    Pranav

  2. Hi Ryan,

    Our advice strictly applies to McKinsey, BCG and Bain. Though it has also worked at all other firms in their strategy practices. All our clients use this approach and with just over 900 clients, that is a fairly meaningful sample. This does not include the thousands more TCO members who have also used this advice.

    When you say a Deloitte recruiter, keep in mind that is a broad statement. Deloitte is a huge firm and each part will have its own recruiting practices. Even within consulting, it will be different. Even with S&O and between regions in the US it will be different. The same applies to Accenture, PwC etc.

    Therefore, it is not a good idea to talk about what Deloitte/PwC/Accenture recommends. You need to say a Deloitte recruiter in Human Capital in the Los Angeles office said…

    For Deloitte, Accenture, RB etc., we will use the very same format, but emphasize what those firms seek. As we routinely indicate, success/failure in a Deloitte interview will provide no indication of how you will do in a McKinsey et al interview. In fact, doing very well in a Deloitte interview means you probably will do less well in a McKinsey interview and vice versa. The firms seek very different things.

    That is why there is no point panicking if you are not invited for a Deloitte/PwC/E&Y etc. interview. It does not automatically mean you are not a fit for McKinsey.

    Hope that helps.

    Michael

  3. Michael,

    I just want to confirm my thoughts around some resume feedback I’ve seen/received.
    First and foremost, your commentary is strictly oriented at candidates targeting MBB, correct? When FC works with clients who inevitably place within Deloitte, Accenture, etc. do those candidates make changes or do they stick to the Harvard format?

    A Deloitte recruiter said to me (and this is parroted on their website) that the ‘personal’ section is best left off.
    Accenture indicates on their website advising candidates to have all sorts of weird items on their resumes such as a summary at the beginning and bolded callouts about themselves to get the attention of recruiters.

    I am taking the advice around the personal section from Deloitte as it simply wasn’t interesting enough. I am also assuming the advice that Deloitte and Accenture publish is oriented towards candidates that haven’t networked internally already.

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