Friday, December 9, 2011

Hiring practices at elite firms

Just came across a blog entry by Bryan Caplan who summarizes fascinating research by Kellogg's Lauren Rivera on hiring practices at elite firms in consulting, law and investment banking.  Rivera interviewed 40 hiring managers in each of these industries.  Her major findings:
  1. Most resumes land in the trash
  2. There is no standard rubric used to evaluate candidates; each manager uses his/her own criteria
  3. Having a degree from a super-elite Ivy League school matters a lot; GPAs not so much
  4. These credentials are important, but not because the super Ivies provide a better learning experience.  Instead the fact that a job candidate survived the admissions process at Harvard or Princeton was taken as a signal this person was smarter or more able.
  5. Extracurriculars matter as well, especially if you achieve elite status in that regard (e.g., don't just swim at the gym, instead be an Olympic swimmer)
So do not be surprised if you get dinged by McKinsey.  Apparently even the top "public Ivies" like Michigan and Berkeley are considered second tier by these elite firms. 

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