Make Your Resume MBA-Ready

First, the bad news:

it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use the current version of your resume for your business school applications. In fact, you’re probably going to want to spend a significant amount of time on a complete resume overhaul.

The good news:

Your resume is a very important part of your materials, and the extra work you put into revising it could be what makes the difference between a ding and an interview offer.

From this document, they should be able to clearly understand what sort of work stories you’d be talking about in class, or what sorts of “lessons learned” you’ll be able to speak to from either your professional or community-service experiences.

Few tips I recommend:

  • Reworking your resume so that it functions more as a narrative about your career and outside interests (versus a dry list of responsibilities and achievements).
  • Getting rid of acronyms and industry jargon, and then rephrasing your accomplishments so that anyone could understand them.
  • Doing away with any bullet points (or sub-headlines) that only list general, vague or high-level responsibilities for a given role.
  • Deleting unnecessary company or casework/deal descriptions (which are especially popular on consultants’ and bankers’ resumes). You’ll be able to include this information on the school’s application, so no need to repeat it here.
  • Using the space you have to explain exactly what YOU did on a project, showcase specific achievements and results, and highlight your skill progression and increased responsibilities over time.
  • Since admissions committees and alumni interviewers are looking for people who others will enjoy being around both inside and outside of class, it’s also a great idea to include at least some brief mention of your interests and hobbies at the bottom of the document.
  • Golden rule 1 page CV – No matter how many achievements you have make then fit on 1 page. (Unless until you are James bond)
  • Do not put you picture in your CV for USA schools (kind of not allowed/illegal) whereas european schools would love to see a smiling face.
  • Times new roman or arial font size 11 or 12. Keep the number of different font sizes to a maximum of 3.
  • Mention achievements only, no participation.
  • Start your achievements with a strong verb.

A CV is one of the most important thing in an application. Most often any admission officer will check your CV before reading your application essays.

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