Value of a recommendation letter when applying?

deprecated's picture
Rank: Monkey | 60

Hey Monkeys,

I'm a junior just finishing an internship at a boutique consulting firm. During my stay I got really well with the MD and will be receiving a recommendation letter from him. I'd like to know if its a good idea to send the letter of recommendation alongside my resume and cover letter when applying next fall for full time recruiting.

My ultimate goal is to land an offer with MBB next recruiting season and, aside from preparing the case interviews, I'd like to maximize my chances of getting invited to interviews just in case my networking doesn't reach too far.

My GPA is not stellar but I'm in the top 15-20% of my class at a target school in Spain. I have great extracurriculars and the experience I gained at my current internship is really great.

Here's my resume if you want to have a look:
So, how should I proceed with the recommendation letter. Should I send it alongside the rest of required documents (resume + cv); should I simply mention on my cover letter that I have a referral available upon request or should I not mention it at all unless they ask me?

Thanks in advance guys!

Comments (6)

May 30, 2011

Are you applying to consulting or to banking?

For the love of Christ, take out UNED.

May 30, 2011

Consulting (I mentioned that I was aiming for MBB in my fist post).

Could you elaborate more on why should I take out UNED? I really appreciate your tips on my resume, but the main purpose of the post is regarding the recommendation letter :)

May 30, 2011

Sorry about it, I completely oversaw that.

I do not know to what extent UNED is popular in Spain, but usually distance learning is bluntly disregarded (unless we are talking about CFA, FRM, CPA and other professional accreditations).

Regarding rec letters, I am not so sure about consulting, but in banking recommendation letters are unimpressive... unless the person recommending you is a really influential person.

May 30, 2011

UNED (or any distance learning school/university) by itself is not highly regarded at all.

But highly achieving students studying degrees at decent schools usually enroll at these universities to study another degree, because double degrees are not offered at the main university.

In my case I'm doing Business Administration at my main (target) university and industrial engineering at UNED whereas the rest of students doing B.Administration at my uni usually study law as a distance degree.

I also networked with a few alumni at MBB who did the same and gave me positive feedback on this. I believe this is due to the different education system since in the US an undergraduate in a university can double major in anything, and double graduate studies are not widely offered in Spain.

Regarding the recommendation letters, I really don't know up to what point my recommender is influential. But I do know that he knows some people at Mckinsey and BCG. Also, the boutique firm is a leader in the industry sector it competes in.

In any case, assuming that the rec letter doesn't get past unimpressive, would it actually hurt to include it in the application?

May 30, 2011

In that case, could him introduce you to those people at McK and BCG? That would be even better than a rec letter.

Or at least, ask him to compose a letter addressed to those persons. Generic rec letters are too vague; a customized letter is a signal that you are sincerely chasing that job.

May 30, 2011