Resume is one of the most critical components of an MBA application and is often the most ignored one.
Resume speaks volumes about one's breadth and depth of experience and is a good indicator for one's potential to be a corporate leader post-MBA. Resume also serves as the basis of the MBA admission interview.
Needless to say a weak resume is a recipe for disaster. Here are the key things which you need to keep in mind when preparing your MBA resume:
- Know your audience: Resume for an MBA application is not being read/reviewed for you next job but is being reviewed by the admission committee. Avoid stressing on technical skills or industry-specific jargons.
- Acceptable: Created an algorithm for the company to optimize the transportation route for good delivery which resulted in 10% improvement in delivery time.
- Not acceptable: Delving into the technologies which you used (or mastered) to deliver the project.
- Do you have the potential to be a future corporate leader? MBA admission committee wants to know if you can be a successful corporate leader post-MBA. Are you answering these critical questions in your resume?
- Can you take initiative and take ownership of a problem or a challenge which you identify in your company? Vs. Do you wait for things to be assigned to you?
- Can you build a team or a company vs. just being a member of a team?
- You do not need to list each and everything which you did in your job. Use a one-two liner preface for your job title and then jump into the extraordinary things which you have done.
- Follow SAR (Situation, Action and Result) format. Present results in a relative context so that the audience understands the impact of your actions compared to status quo (before you got involved).
- Reverse chronological order: List your roles in a reverse chronological order so the most recent (and hopefully the most impactful) role should be listed at the top.
- Assigning weightage: Assign weightage to recent experiences and number of years in a role. If you have six years of experience and your first job was at an entry level for a year then it is not too relevant. Don’t waste too much space on old, low-impact experiences.
Now some laundry list of absolute to dos:
- One page format – Sounds hard? Yes, it is. Constraints are always good and they force you to get creative. One simple solution would be just focus on the CRUX and if there is something in your resume which does not strengthen your candidacy then it should be out.
- About two to three bullets for each role with. Try to limit each bullet to two lines.
- Mission statement at the start of the resume: Absolutely unnecessary for MBA applications. We are not sure if it helps even in job interviews. You have the essays to talk about your goals in life.
- Font: Size- 10 to 12. Stick with common fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial.
- Personal information- Date of birth, religion, marital status is irrelevant for the MBA resume. Omit!
- References available upon request- Seriously? Omit!