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.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
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
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.
Consulting Cover Letter Samples
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
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
February 22, 2021
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)
Entry-Level Consulting Cover Letter Example
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
February 22, 2021
Mr. John Doe
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)
How to Send an Email Cover Letter
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