Startup Stock PhotoThe consulting industry is a highly competitive one, which is full of people who have all kinds of professional experience and years of knowledge-building under their belts, or young, eager people who performed well at top schools. Making yourself stand out among the best of the best can seem like a daunting task. But the truth is, there’s more to success in this industry than simply having a perfect resume. Here are a few tips to help you reach success in the field of consulting.

1) Be reliable

One key to being a good consultant is being a “safe pair of hands”. This means that you can be trusted to do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. While this may sound obvious, it is less common than you think in today’s society. Nowadays, people often get busy and end up doing things late or not getting to them without a reminder. Being a top notch consultant means not being that person. Keep your promise and keep the quality of your work consistent.

2) Pay attention to detail

I’ve said this in a previous blog post, but it bears repeating. One of the ways that a consultant builds trust with a client is by producing deliverables without errors. Make sure there are no grammar, spelling or calculation-related mistakes in your work, because this reflects your entire team. Some people are born with a natural attention to detail, but if you’re not one of those people, there are ways to improve. If you’re doing math, show your work. This may sound rudimentary, but it is a great way to make sure you’ve thought of everything. It also demonstrates to your manager the steps you took. Another good idea is to make lists of everything that you need to double check before submitting something.

3) Remain flexible

While being organized and meeting deadlines is a crucial part of being a consultant, that doesn’t mean that you have to be rigid. In the field of consulting, and in any field for that matter, things are bound to change. You will be faced with new projects, new colleagues, and changes to the work culture. One of the best qualities of a good consultant is being able to adapt to these changes. You will need the soft skills and technical expertise to take on roles without difficulty, as well as the agreeable nature to be go along with changes that occur in the workplace.

4) Be persistent

When you’re working in the field of consulting, it is important that you don’t give up easily. When you’re given negative feedback, take it and learn from it. When frictions or unforeseen circumstances arise, keep pushing. Analyze each and every setback you experience so that these setbacks don’t occur again. Being a strong consulting professional comes from learning from your mistakes.

5) Become the “Go-to” person for a certain skill

During your first few years working the consulting field, you are likely to work in a number of industries with a number of clients. These broad experiences are likely to leave you good at several tasks, but not exceptional at any. Make sure you begin to develop a skill that will differentiate you from your peers. The consultants who tend to do the best are the ones who excel in one particular area, often an area that nobody else seems to be skilled in. Make time to figure out what you can become the “go-to” person for.

With the stiff competition, reaching success in the consulting industry is difficult, but not impossible. If you work hard to make yourself stand out, you can be sure to reach success.