Screening McKinsey Resumes

Application Documents Screening McKinsey Resumes


This podcast introduces and discusses the steps firms like McKinsey use to screen and review resumes. Consulting firms and recruiters essentially look for five things:

1 Your school
2 Grades at school
3 Stature of employers
4 Achievements at work
5 Personal experience

It is crucial to remember that this is for the average person. Excellent networking and more can overcome weaknesses in many parts of a resume. That said, all other things being equal, you want to focus on this sequence.

Withing this sequence, firms also look for:

1 A track record of leadership
2 Consistency in “getting the job done”
3 Consistency in taking initiative

Finally, always consider the format. A great format helps you develop good content and NOT a mere cosmetic issue. We insist all our clients use a standard format and it makes a dramatic difference in their success rates.

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4 responses to Screening McKinsey Resumes

  1. You are welcome Houda.

    It is never to late to late to fix these things and 4 years is a small hurdle to overcome.


  2. Your point about continuous development is valid also for industry professionals.
    I remember 3 years ago, I had an outstanding resume (for the time). Fast forward 2 years later as I was approached by a head hunter, I was shocked at how outdated it was. Had I updated it every 4 or 4 weeks, it wouldn’t have been so out of phase from my level then.

  3. Hi Sandro,

    Two pages is only useful if you truly have amazing achievements to fit two pages. That is very rarely the case. Your resume should capture your most significant achievements, and not all your activities.

    You also need to consider what a consulting firm finds important versus what you find important. We do not worry about conferences etc.

    When you add in everything, it makes it very very hard to find the major accomplishments buried within all the less remarkable things you did. Your resume should be written like Alice’s in Season 2 and Felix in Season 1. You should only add in relevant material.

    I cannot know what to cut since each resume is unique and no one approach works for all. In very rare situations I allow a two-page resume, like Samantha in Season 1.


  4. Hi Michael, I am an considering applying this summer as an industry hire to the MBB companies. I am 34 and have worked for 10 years as an circuit designer (electrical engineer) in a reputable semiconductor company. Due to my 10 years in industry though, I have accumulated a multitude of achievements including many successful projects, publications, conference presentations, patents, etc. As a result, my resume is two pages rather than one. Why would a two page resume not be ok in my case? If two pages is not a good idea, what do you recommend to cut?

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