I’ve received a number of messages from students wondering about the possible impacts COVID-19 might have on career prospects. Does hiring stop now? What if there’s a recession? Should I just wait until the crisis is over? Should I stay in school another year? I understand the anxiety that this uncertainty can cause, especially if you’re in your final year and looking to start your career in consulting.
COVID-19 is a serious global health crisis. Almost every aspect of everyday life will be impacted and everyone – including potential employers – needs time to adjust. And re-adjust.
We all need to do whatever we can to stay healthy. We all need to have patience. But there is no reason to “down-tools.” There is a lot of preparation that you can undertake, even (and especially) during this time. Here are some tips:
Continue to Monitor Job Postings
If you are job-hunting, continue to monitor job postings (here’s a recent post you can check out “3 Tips for a Better Consulting Job Search“). You can also bookmark our Featured Jobs section for a curated list of consulting internship, new graduate, and early career job postings in Canada (hint: if you opt-in for the mailing list, we will send you an email notification when the list has been updated).
The situation is rapidly evolving and so too will be the demand for talent. In addition, most job postings don’t show closing dates – if you don’t regularly monitor, or delay (e.g. “I need to work on my resume first”), you might miss it altogether. Regular monitoring of job postings ensures that you stay in the loop.
Develop a Cover Letter and Resume Customized for Consulting
I cannot stress this enough: proactively work on your cover letters and resumes. While the demand for talent has been strong in recent years, so too has the candidate pool.
A competitive consulting application takes time; in my experience, at least three revision cycles and with the right set of reviewers. The best applications are customized for consulting in general, for the service line, for the firm, AND for the role (more on this another time).
Peer Review Your Consulting Application
This is a great way to stay connected while social distancing! Ask 2-3 of your peers to review your cover letter and resume. A few pairs of fresh eyes can go a long way in helping you refine your application, and is especially helpful for improving readability (does it make sense?), and for catching grammar mistakes and typos. If you have a Career Advisor (e.g. your university’s career development centre, etc.), ask them to help you with a quality review as well.
Having worked in consulting for 20+ years, I have seen the industry move through challenging times. While demand (and thus the need for talent) will shift, we have always recovered. And, there is always a demand for great talent. So, during this time while you’re social distancing, be proactive so you can always be ready to click “APPLY.”
Wishing you the best of health,