The resume you use for your MBA application should speak volumes about your professional and/or academic career. Your resume will represent your entire career and educational experience, so you will need to carefully craft it to make sure it has the necessary impact you need to gain the Admission Council’s attention.
Create an attention grabbing resume
Include your contact info. First and foremost, your resume should identify who you are. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, e-mail account, etc. (no silly or risque e-mail accounts or voice mail recordings!)
Use a clean, professional design. A professional looking resume makes a big difference. Type with a simple font, and use headings and bullets for organization. Use plain white paper and black ink.
Be clear and concise. Write action words to state your accomplishments, roles, and highlight your leadership attributes. Delete fluff words that do not add value.
Remove jargon. Don’t assume the person reading your resume has intimate knowledge of the words that are specific to your industry. Most of the time they won’t. Write so that someone from outside your industry can easily understand what you did for your organization and how you did it.
Quantify statements when possible. Which sounds better?
- Participated in making new computer organization system to track all of our company’s inventory.
- Led 12 person team in developing $3 million inventory tracking system responsible for maintaining information concerning location and status of 287,000 company assets valued at $108 million.
Include your professional history. You should demonstrate leadership growth through promotions, tasks, projects managed, etc. Don’t forget to include internships and other work experience that took place in a professional environment
Include professional certifications, awards, and accomplishments. These are important items that give the Admissions Council insight into your professional makeup and abilities.
Include extracurricular activities. List the professional organizations, clubs, volunteer groups, athletic teams and other groups you participated in. Be sure to highlight any leadership positions or offices held. This is important to the Admissions Council because you demonstrate the ability to be part of a team and show them you are not just living a singular existence.
Items not necessary for your MBA resume
References – You will have reference letters to accomplish this. Instead, use the space for more valuable information about your professional and educational background.
Mission statement – The Admissions Council knows why you are applying, and you will have essays to tell your story. Instead, use this valuable space to a write one sentence summary statement of who you are and why you will be a valuable addition to their program. For example, I have 8 years experience developing statistical based software models and leading teams in a project management based environment.
How to organize your MBA resume
Order your resume as follows:
- Contact information
- Summary Statement
- Work history
- Community Involvement and Activities (include awards, offices held)
- Educational background
Bonus tip: If anything on your resume changes between the time you send in your application and the time the admissions committee makes their decision, you may consider sending in additional information. I would only do this if it is a substantial change relevant to your application – for example, you move to another company, receive a promotion, or a substantial award. Some programs do not accept additional information, so be sure to call your respective school’s admissions office for more details.
This is Part 2 of a series on applying for an MBA program. Please read the rest of the articles for more information!
- Applying For An MBA – Series Introduction
- Part 1: Application
- Part 2: Resume
- Part 3: Transcripts
- Part 4: GMAT Scores
- Part 5: Essays
- Part 6: Letters of Recommendation
- Part 7: Interview
- Part 8: Other Factors
For more information about selecting an MBA program, please check out my 8 part series: