All MBA applications require a resume. You may be thinking, “No problem, I already have a resume.” Unfortunately, it is not that easy. A business school resume differs considerably from a professional one as each accomplishes a different goal. A professional resume shows potential employers that you have the specific skills and experiences they are looking for. You are selling your ability to do the job and should include industry specific terminology and jargon.
An MBA resume, on the other hand, should provide evidence that you have been successful and demonstrated leadership. You are selling your future potential.
After years of detailing your specific technical and industry expertise, you may be wondering HOW you should develop your MBA resume.
To guide you, we have outlined our four top tips, based on the mistakes that we see again and again.
Bonus, by focusing on your resume NOW, you will have one less thing to do when essay questions are released this spring and summer.
- Do not outline your job description
Too often I read resume bullets that list a candidate’s tasks and responsibilities. This might be great for proving you can do a specific job, but it does nothing to differentiate you from other applicants. Anyone in your role could copy and paste these bullets from the job description. Admissions committee members do not need to know each detail of your job and what specifically it entails. Instead, think about your key accomplishments and highlights. What initiatives did you lead? What projects did you succeed in? How did you go above and beyond in your role? How did you excel, particularly in relation to your peers? Focus on the highlights. It is ok to leave out some things you worked on, especially if they would not sound impressive to someone outside of your company or industry.
- Include results!
Learnings, takeaways and results are the most important items to include in your business school resume. This can and should include both personal growth over time and your impact on business performance. The more specific and measurable your results are, the better. Think of items such as increased performance 30% over previous year or drove $1M in new business through x, y, z.
- Focus on leadership and transferable skills
While it may be crucial in your current role that you are an expert in SQL, this will be much less interesting to admissions committee members. Instead of detailing the technical skills you have amassed, focus on the transferable skills you have developed. Share how you have emerged as a leader. Leadership can come in multiple forms so even if you have not managed a team or a project (if you have, include this!) there are many ways to demonstrate leadership. Teamwork and communication are other important skills to include.
As you select professional strengths to share, prioritize those that are relevant to many industries, such as analysis, strategic thinking or research. These will be much more compelling in convincing the reader that you can excel in business school and beyond.
- Show multiple aspects of your profile
Successful business school students are active outside of work: in their communities, in athletics, within organizations, etc. They have hobbies or specific language skills. They won awards or earned certifications. They got involved on their campuses or at work outside of the scope of their jobs. These details are important to show readers another aspect of your candidacy. However, keep in mind quality over quantity! A laundry list of activities or an organization you volunteered with once will not help (and including such might even hurt your creditability.)
Need personal support? Founded by a Wharton and MIT graduate, Personal MBA Coach regularly helps applicants navigate their applications each year. Our comprehensive support includes mock interviews with a team of former M7 interviewers and customized GMAT/GRE tutoring with tutors who scored in the 99th percentile.
Personal MBA Coach has been guiding candidates through all aspects of the MBA application process for over 11 years with a 96% success rate. Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!