Four tips for a winning consultant CV | resume for consulting

13 April 2018

For (aspiring) consultants that are eyeing new opportunities, having the right CV is essential. It can help consultants secure a place on exciting projects, win client bids, and secure interviews with leading consultancies or organisations on the job market. Andrew Fennell, a former London recruiter who has recruited for, among others, Deloitte Consulting and the founder of StandOut CV, a CV writing service who help senior professionals land the jobs they want, provides four tips for a winning consulting CV.

Do your research

Any effective communication relies on a deep understanding of its target audience, and your CV is no different. Before you begin writing your CV, you must conduct some thorough research into the roles and clients that you will be approaching with it.

It is essential that you understand exactly who you are targeting, and the skillset they are looking for. Whether you are creating a CV for a client bid, or a job hunt in the consulting industry , you need to identify the most sought-after skills and experience for the positions you are hoping to land, otherwise you will simply be using guesswork to populate your CV.

Browse through the websites of consulting firms or organisations outside the industry if you are considering a consulting-exit, relevant job adverts and speak to anybody who may have some insider knowledge on the clients and roles in question. Once you understand what the core requirements are for your target roles, you can build your CV around them to ensure that it generates interest.

Four tips for a winning consultant CV | resume for consulting

Keep it brief

If you’ve ever reviewed scores of CVs for a proposal, or recruited for a client project, you’ll know it’s a tiresome job. Nobody has the time or desire to read a seven-page CV filled with details of every project you have ever worked on. Keep your CV under two pages in length to communicate your value without boring readers. Be strict about the information you include in your CV and only include details that are highly relevant to your target roles.

If your CV is coming in too long, cut down on older roles, giving yourself more space to focus on your recent roles. Hiring managers will pay most attention to your work within the last one to three years because this will generally be the best way to assess your current capabilities. Roles from many years ago will not come under much scrutiny, so you can summarise them in just a few lines.

Demonstrate your impact

Of course, it’s important to detail your skills, responsibilities and expertise in your CV, but these factors are all meaningless if you don’t show the impact they make. A successful CV needs to tell hiring managers how you apply your skillset to the projects you work on, and how they benefit your clients or stakeholders.

Throughout your CV, you need to demonstrate the effects that your input has, by showing the results that you drive. For example, rather than simply stating that you have risk management responsibilities within your role, you should explain the types of risks that you are managing, and show how this benefits the project. From a consultancy viewpoint, demonstrate the objectives and outcomes of engagements that you were involved with.

Quote metrics

Without seeing any numbers in your CV, it’s very hard for a hiring manager to understand your seniority and benchmark you against other candidates. In your roles especially, you should aim to include plenty of facts and figures to provide a clearer understanding of your work. Important stats include project values, budgets managed and delivery timescales, but there could be many more depending on the nature of your industry and role.

You should also aim to include quantified achievements for your recent roles, to give a real tangible indication of the value you added. If you have driven any cost savings in a project, or delivered months ahead of schedule, these are good values to use.

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8 tips for successfully buying or selling a distressed business

18 April 2019

Embarking on the sale of a business is one of the most challenging experiences a management team can undertake. Even serial dealmakers acknowledge that the transaction process can be gruelling, exposing management to a level of scrutiny and challenge through due diligence that can be distinctly uncomfortable.

So, to embark on a sale process when a business is in distress is twice as challenging. While management is urgently trying to keep the business afloat, they are simultaneously required to prepare it for scrutiny by potential acquirers. Tim Wainwright, an experienced Transactions Partner with Eight Advisory, says that this dual requirement means sellers of distressed businesses must focus on presenting their business in a way that supports buyers in identifying value, whilst simultaneously being open about the causes of distress. 

According to Wainwright, sellers of distressed businesses should focus on eight key aspects to ensure they are as well prepared as possible:

  • Cash: In a distressed situation cash truly is king. Accurate forecasting and day-by-day cash balances are often required to ensure any buyer is confident that scarce cash reserves are under proper control. 
  • Equity story and turnaround plan: Any buyer is going to want to understand the proposed turnaround strategy: how is the business going to enact its recovery and what value can be created that means the distressed business is worth saving? Clear presentation of this strategy is essential.
  • The business model: Clear demonstration of how the business model generates cash is required, with analysis that shows how financial performance will respond to key changes – whether these are positive improvements (e.g., increases in revenue) or emerging risks that further damage the business.  Demonstrating the business is resilient enough to cope with these changes can go a long way to assuring investors there is a viable future.
  • Management team: As outlined above, this is a challenging process. The management team are in it together and need to be consistent in presenting the turnaround. Above all, the team needs to be open about the underlying causes that resulted in the distressed situation arising.  A defensive management team who fail to acknowledge root causes of distress are unlikely to resolve the situation.

8 tips for successfully buying or selling a distressed business

  • Financing: More than in any traditional transaction, distressed businesses need to understand the impact on working capital. The distressed situation frequently results in costs rising as credit insurance becomes more difficult to obtain or as customers and suppliers reduce credit. Understanding how these unwind will be important to the potential investors.
  • Employees: Any restructuring programme can be difficult for employees. Maintaining open communications and respecting the need for consultation is the basic requirement. In successful turnarounds, employees are often deeply engaged in designing and developing solutions. Demonstrating a supportive, flexible employee base can often support the sale process.
  • Structuring: Understanding how to structure the business for the proposed acquisition can add significant value. Where possible, asset sales may be preferred, enabling buyers to move forward with limited liabilities. However, impacts on customers, employees and other stakeholders need to be considered.
  • Off balance sheet assets: In the course of selling a distressed business, additional attention is often given to communicating the value of items that may not be fully valued in the financial statements. Brands, intellectual property and historic tax losses are all examples of items that may be of significant value to a purchaser. Highlighting these aspects can make an acquisition more appealing.

“These eight focus areas can help to sell a distressed business and are important in reaching a successful outcome, but it should be noted that it will remain a challenging process,” Wainwright explains. 

With recent studies indicating that the valuation of distressed business is trending north. With increased appetite from buyers who are accustomed to taking on these situations, it is likely that more distressed deals will be seen in the coming months. “Preparing management teams as best as possible for delivering these will be key to ensuring these businesses can pass on to new owners who can hopefully drive the restructuring required to see these succeed,” Wainwright added.