Four Resume Rules To Get Noticed

Stacy Blackman is the founder and managing director of Stacy Blackman Consulting. She is writing a series B-school admissions tips candidates can't live without.

Stacy Blackman is the founder and managing director of Stacy Blackman Consulting. She is writing a series B-school admissions tips candidates can’t live without.

How to stand out to an MBA admissions staff in a crowd of resumes? Here are four resume rules you need to know if you want to get noticed.

1)    ONE IS USUALLY ENOUGH.  When it comes to that of a pre-MBA professional, a resume rarely needs to be more than one page. Don’t leave out the important stuff, but don’t feel the need to extend your resume longer than appropriate.  In this case, more doesn’t always mean better.

2)    GIVE THEM A NUMBER.  It’s great to describe your responsibilities, but don’t miss the chance to quantify your results whenever possible. Managing a staff is interesting, but the fact that you managed a staff of over 30 employees and improved profitability by 25%, is something a reader can understand. By giving the reader a number, you give them the chance to see just what kind of leader you were, and will be.

3)    KEEP IT RECENT.  Unless you have an amazing anecdote related to your lifeguard job when you were 16, you probably shouldn’t include that job on your resume. In fact, it’s best to focus on the past 4-5 years of experience, even if that doesn’t amount to much on paper.  Remember, your resume is a tool to tell your story, so keep your resume focused on the experiences that highlight the story of you as a leader.

4)    CALLING ALL LEADERS!  It’s amazing that can code in three different languages, but when it comes to your resume we’re not that interested in niche skills.  Emphasize skills that are MBA-related like leadership and mentoring rather than niche skills that are best talked about in a job interview.  But of course, if you were the leader of the Java club and helped young coders, well that’s resume appropriate.

This is the seventh post in a new series: B-School Admissions Tips You Can’t Live Without

Week One: Be a Heat-Seeking Missile

Week Two: Top Application Mistakes 

Week Three: Don’t Be A Delusional MBA Candidate

Week Four: Overused MBA Essay Topics To Avoid

Week Five: No Mute Button In An MBA Interview

Week Six: Quick Fixes To Improve Your MBA App

An MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BS from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Stacy Blackman founded Stacy Blackman Consulting in 2001 and has helped thousands of MBA applicants gain admission to the most selective business schools in the world. The Stacy Blackman team, comprised of MBA graduates, former admissions officers and expert writers, editors and marketers, helps clients develop and implement a winning marketing strategy. 

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