BCG Cover Letter: Our Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

  • Last Updated September, 2023

Former McKinsey and Bain recruiter

The most common question I was asked as a recruiter, and now as a recruiting coach, is “Do I need to write cover letters for my consulting applications?” This is usually followed up with “And do I need to tailor my cover letter for every firm?”

I think most people hope I’ll say no to both questions, as writing a cover letter can be pretty daunting, and tailoring it for every firm seems way too time-consuming to be worth the effort.

At My Consulting Offer, we’ve helped over 600 clients land offers with consulting firms. Our approach to how to write a great consulting cover letter has, for many, been a deciding factor in them landing interviews.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What makes a great consulting cover letter.
  • How to tailor your consulting cover letter to what BCG is looking for – a step-by-step guide.
  • How BCG and other consulting firms review your cover letter.
  • A sample BCG cover letter that successfully landed an interview.
  • 5 tips for writing a BCG cover letter.

Let’s get started!

What Makes a Great Consulting Cover Letter

The consulting cover letter works alongside your resume to show the firms you’re applying to that you have the potential to be a great consultant.

Think of it as a flashy introductory accessory to your resume that highlights your most impressive and unique qualities, and grabs the reader’s attention so they’ll be excited to read your resume.

However, it’s important to get it right. 

A Strong Consulting Cover Letter: The Basics

As a recruiter, I saw way too many examples of applicants who had clearly not put any effort into their cover letter. Getting the basics right, such as ensuring the company name is correct, is essential (but not everyone gets that right). 

On the flip side, I received cover letters from applicants who were perhaps a little too eager to stand out. Poetry and “love letters” were not uncommon but a little ill-judged. The urge to be distinctive should not outweigh your consideration of the audience. Professionalism and appropriateness are key.

The consulting cover letter not only needs to have the impact required to engage the reader, it also needs to show them that you’ve done your research and thought about how you’re a great fit for consulting, and for their particular firm. It must also show how you’ll bring value to the role through your experiences and appetite to learn relevant skills.

You definitely can’t send the same cover letter to every consulting firm you’re applying to and assume that you’ll be successful. You’ve got to show each and every firm that you’re worth an interview.

That’s a lot to think about, right? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.

A Strong Consulting Cover Letter: Stand Out from the Crowd

After you’ve got the basics right, you need to identify what the consulting firm you’re applying to is looking for. Consulting firms typically seek candidates with great problem-solving, analytical, creative thinking, communication, team working, and leadership skills. 

So how can you include these in your cover letter while also tailoring it to an individual firm?

We recommend you focus on the firms’ values. These are how consulting firms distinguish themselves from other consulting firms.

You can easily find out what a firm’s values are by either typing “[firm name] values” into your search engine or by visiting the firm’s career page where they typically list these and provide detail on what they mean.

Now think about your own professional and personal experiences. Focus on experiences that you are proud of, received great feedback on, or demonstrate how you overcame a particularly tough challenge. Give some context of the situation, the actions you took, and the outcome that was reached, quantifying the results where possible. Try to ensure they include at least one of the consulting skills mentioned above.

Once you’ve outlined a few stories, you can then see how they might fit with the values of the firms you’re applying to. You may need to tweak some slightly, but you’ll probably find it pretty easy to link your stories to each firm’s values. 

And you don’t necessarily need to address all of the values, particularly if a firm has more than four, as you don’t want your cover letter to be more than a page.

The additional benefit of approaching your cover letter in the way we recommend is that you don’t need to explain your “why” for each firm. It will be clear by how your experiences resonate with their specific values. This shows how you’re a great fit. 

You can find out more about writing consulting cover letters by reading A Consulting Cover Letter that Lands Interviews: Our Complete Guide . For this article, we’re going to break it down by focusing on just one firm – BCG.

Tailor Your BCG Cover Letter to What BCG is Looking for

Step 1: Find out who to address your cover letter to at BCG.

It may differ between offices, depending on size, but you can usually find the key recruiting contact on the career page or by searching on LinkedIn. It may be a recruiter who handles recruiting for your university across regional offices for instance, or perhaps a recruiter who manages experienced professional recruiting for the office you’re applying to. 

Addressing your cover letter to someone specific and relevant helps to show that you’ve done your research and that you care about the impression you’re making. Firms often display their key recruiting contacts on the careers pages of their websites. Alternatively, you could search LinkedIn for roles such as Talent Acquisition Manager, Recruiting Manager, or Senior Recruiter and then locate the relevant person who looks after either the stream you’re applying through (for instance, experienced professional, undergraduate) or the office they recruit for, which is usually detailed in their profile.

Step 2: Create your opening paragraph.

Keep it concise, ideally no more than four or five lines. Introduce yourself and express your interest in applying to BCG and the specific role you’re applying for, which will typically be Associate or Consultant but may be a more specialist role, for instance, within BCG Gamma. You may also want to write a short sentence on “ why consulting ” here. Talk about how your experiences resonate with their values and state specifically which ones.

You can find BCG’s values by Googling “BCG values” or by visiting their “ our people and culture ” page directly. This content gives you a really good feel for how having the right people and developing a unique culture is so important to BCG. 

Scroll down to where they talk about the values driving their culture. There’s a great mini slideshow of their values and what they mean. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Integrity – as an expression of courage and accountability
  • Diversity – of thought, expertise, experience, and background
  • Respect for the individual – as their capacity for desire and personal growth
  • Clients come first – we measure our success by our clients’ success
  • The strategic perspective – enabling clients to deliver superior results in a sustainable manner
  • Value delivered – in the form of tangible, positive, and lasting change
  • Partnerships – a long-term view guides BCG’s relationships both internally and with clients
  • Expanding the art of the possible – because the goal is not simply to apply best practice but to invent it
  • Social impact – make the world a better place

These values are created to be meaningful and inspiring, representing what BCG stands for, and making you want to be a part of BCG’s unique culture.

BCG has more stated values than most other firms, but this can actually make it easier as you can select the ones that resonate most with your own values and the stories you’ve written. I’d recommend choosing three or four, depending on the length of your stories.

Step 3: Organize your stories for the greatest impact.

Once you’ve chosen your stories to meet the values you’ve selected, list your strongest first and the weakest in the middle (although it should still be strong). List your stories in bullet point format and use the value as a heading.

Step 4: End your cover letter by reiterating your interest in BCG and how you appreciate their consideration. And don’t forget to sign off. Electronic signatures are the norm these days, just don’t use a script font here as this can look too artificial.

In addition to this publicly available information about what BCG looks for in its candidates, my colleague Valentin has written an article with the insider perspective on what’s important to BCG . This includes drive, a tailored approach, and the BCG attitude. Check it out to make your BCG cover letter to be extra special.

How BCG & Other Consulting Firms Review Your Cover Letter

As a recruiter for seven years with McKinsey and then a recruiting manager for nearly five years with Bain, both in London, I’ve read tens of thousands of resumes and accompanying cover letters. London is one of the most coveted offices, so applications came in thick and fast during recruiting season and continued throughout the whole year. 

I received cover letters from undergraduate students, postgraduate students, MBA students, and experienced professionals throughout my recruiting career, all eager to impress, but not always getting it right. 

I had letters consisting of just a few lines that didn’t tell me anything about the person, and others that provided their life story across multiple pages. Some were addressed to another company, others had lots of spelling mistakes or poor grammar. I’ve read very entertaining letters (although perhaps not always appropriate) as well as letters that were lacking in any engaging content at all.

The ones that grabbed my attention in a good way, were those that were concise, clearly laid out, showed me that the applicant had done their research on the company I worked for, demonstrated their unique qualities, and told me how they would be a great fit for us.

To make it easier for recruiters who read hundreds of cover letters every year, follow these basic principles. 

And to ensure your cover letter then stands out from the competition, I recommend you use My Consulting Offer’s approach. The more experienced a recruiter is, the easier it is for them to skim through cover letters, so you need to be able to impress them really quickly.

Successful BCG Cover Letter Samples

5 tips for writing a bcg cover letter that stands out.

  • Find out who at BCG will be reviewing your application and address your letter to them (and their team).
  • Research BCG’s values and select the 3 or 4 that resonate with you and your experiences.
  • Create or adapt your stories to fit the values you’ve chosen, focusing on specifics and structuring them so that they include the context, challenge, actions you took, and the results you reached.
  • Ensure you’re also demonstrating relevant skills in your stories such as problem-solving, leadership, and communication.
  • Get the basics right. Ensure you’re referring to BCG in your letter throughout, keep it to one page, use bullet points for ease of reading, and check for spelling and grammar errors.

In this article, we’ve covered:

  • What a consulting cover letter looks like
  • A step-by-step guide to how to tailor your cover letter to BCG
  • How recruiters at consulting firms review cover letters
  • A sample cover letters that landed our client an interview with BCG
  • Our top 5 tips for writing a successful BCG cover letter

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about the Boston Consulting Group cover letter, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s recruiters will answer them.

Other people looking for advice on BCG cover letters found the following pages helpful:

  • Consulting Cover Letters
  • Consulting Resumes
  • Consulting Networking
  • BCG Recruiting
  • BCG Case Interview

Help With Your Consulting Application

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on case study interview prep. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 85% of the people we’ve worked with get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Afrah Arif was able to get her offer at Deloitte .

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consulting cover letter

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I need some tips on writing a good cover letter.

I was able to secure a great FT position at a BB with a ton of analytic work and valuations... however I've always wanted to get into consulting and am gearing for it.

Do we NEED to have a cover letter? I got a good amount of interviews from places without a cover letter... but after getting a year at my current job under my belt.. I'm thinking I should write one.

Thanks in advance!

looking4anything's picture

any websites I can look to for cover letters? besides management consulted

The Sour Patch Kid - Certified Professional

looking4anything: any websites I can look to for cover letters? besides management consulted

The management consulted one is really helpful though. Any particular reason that you don't want to use that one? Or do you just want another resource to use in conjunction with it? Either way, the management consulted one has really served me well this recruitment season.

BikerGuy's picture

This is pretty good: caseinterview Dot com/consulting-cover-letter

oowij - Certified Professional

Cover letter is one of the most important parts of your application in consulting unlike IB . Definitely check out management consulted and refer to their samples and formats, its a great starting point.

shirking's picture

I'm still inclined to think it varies by company, by office, by whatever. Case in point: a girl I knew applied for summer internships with MBB , wrote " McKinsey " in her cover letter to BCG and she still got a BCG internship interview - and they weren't even recruiting on-campus. Better safe than sorry though, when it comes to cover letters.

pfitzy - Certified Professional

It is not a matter of "needing" a cover letter; you should want one. No matter how stellar you look in resume format the cover letter allows you to add color to those achievements and capabilities by expounding on a couple choice experiences. Plus, you get to show your communication chops which will be especially important for consulting, since you are client-facing earlier on in your career. I'd view the cover letter more as another opportunity to shed light on your qualifications as opposed to some nuisance that you "need" to complete.

thanks for the replies guys. Will get started!

pnb2002 - Certified Professional

Disagree that cover letter matters so much in consulting. I've spoken to many entry-level consultants who pick first round interviewees at different firms ( McKinsey , Bain, BCG , Deloitte , LEK, etc.), and they all agree that they don't read most of the cover letters (~80/90%). Most of the decisions are made based simply on resumes. Yes, you need to submit a cover letter, but it's not an integral part of your application. They said that they don't have enough time to go through all the cover letters.

Maybe things are different for experienced hires. But for undergraduate recruiting, cover letters don't make much of a difference.

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