10 Mistakes Doctors Make When Applying for Management Consultancy

The world of management consultancy is a popular choice for doctors; many applying for the wrong reasons and without being properly prepared. CV and Interview Skills Consultant, Sara Sabin, shares some top tips and common mistakes doctors make when applying or in the interview.

Here we explore the top 10 mistakes doctors make when applying for Management consultancy….

1. Going into it for Negative rather than Positive Reasons

I often hear from doctors that because they are tired of being mistreated in the NHS, they would like to go into management consultancy. That is a negative reason for wanting to go into something, i.e. I am jumping ship because I’m unhappy and I’d like somewhere to land.

Think about it: in an industry that is massively over-subscribed and you have two equivalent interviewees before you: one absolutely passionate about management consultancy and can articulate the reasons why; the other, looking for somewhere to go. Who would you pick?

2.Not doing research

Do you know what management consultants do?

There are many different types of management consultancy firm – small to large; general consulting for all industries to focussed consulting work; strategy to operational. If you have not done your research, how can you provide justification for your application? Don’t just randomly apply to everywhere – think of the reasons why!

3. Not being honest with yourself

What do you really want? Does your passion lie with more creative pursuits? If so, then be honest and think it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, do what’s right for you!

4. Not drafting a Corporate CV

Your ten-page medical CV is not going to cut it – a corporate CV should be 1-2 pages maximum. In those pages, you have to bring out your best qualities – your academic and other achievements; your skills etc.

Do not waste space writing long lists of courses, audits, publications which have no relevance whatsoever to the job you are applying for! Think about the skills the employer is looking for and only put down things that add value and further your case.

Check out our webinar on our Non-medical CV Masterclass for Doctors.

5. Not tailoring your Cover Letter

Your cover letter should say why you are applying for a specific job at a specific company, therefore it needs to be changed depending on where you are applying to.

So use the space to demonstrate the skills you can bring, which match the specific job requirements.

6. Not putting yourself out there

As soon as you think you may want to change career, that’s the time to start networking! Go to relevant events, connect with relevant people on social media, and talk to other doctors that have made the career transition.

Apart from this having a practical purpose of helping you to connect with people that could get you through the door, it will also help you in the research process of finding out whether this career path is for you.

7. Not self-promoting

You have to learn to promote yourself in paper and in person. Be your own cheerleader!

Know the skills you have, know the skills you don’t have (and either fill in those gaps or be prepared to learn!), and learn to sell them in a way that’s appealing to any prospective employer.

8. Not preparing properly for the interview process

Preparation is key for interview – you need to:

  1. Look up common competency based questions and prepare answers of how you would tackle that question if you got asked it in interview. Remember always use actual real examples – paint a picture for the interviewer.
  2. You need to practice lots and lots of business case studies. Chances are you will not have come across it before, so you need to know how to approach one before you get to interview.

9. Believing that the grass will definitely be greener

There are down sides to working in the City too. If you have done your research, you are more likely to have made an informed choice but the reality is you won’t really know until you try it.

Go into it with open eyes: there will be cons but remember to focus on the skills you pick up along the way, even if it doesn’t turn out as you hoped!

10. Putting all your eggs in one basket

Apply to a range of different firms that you believe you might like rather than pinning all your hopes on one or two firms.

For more on how to get into management consultancy, check out our management consultancy career guide for everything you need to know about a career in this field.

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Sara Sabin

With a solid corporate background, Sara specialises in advising doctors in how to prepare a non-medical CV and how to prepare for a non-medical interview. She is also the Co-Founder of Medic Footprints.