Prospective MBA students spend a lot of time on a variety of things to prepare their application packages. For the typical candidate, some parts of application prep — like studying for the GMAT or drafting responses to essay questions — takes up a disproportionate amount of time. However, the application component most admissions committee members look at first is, in fact, the professional resume.
Your resume represents one of the most important aspects of your candidacy. It is one of your first opportunities to make a positive impression on the admissions committee. Let’s explore a few ways you can create a breakthrough resume for your business school application.
Stick to a Clear Structure
A clean and consistent structure is one of the first things a reviewer will notice when looking at your resume, so make sure whatever format you use is consistent and readable. Avoid over-packing your resume and leaving no white space. Also, do not treat your resume like a book report; it should not exceed one page, so exercise the skill of brevity and keep it concise, including only the most relevant bullets.
Share Accomplishments, Not Tasks
Your resume is not your job description! The admissions committee is looking to learn what you have accomplished in your career, so avoid simply highlighting your day-to-day tasks. MBA programs want to create classes of accomplished students who can leverage their programs to take the next step in their careers. If you only communicate the tasks that were outlined when you first took on your role, your case for admission to these classes is much less compelling.
Again, do not feel like you need to include in your resume everything you have ever done over the course of your career. Focus on the accomplishments that resonate most and that you have been most directly a part of, keeping in mind to highlight important interpersonal skills like leadership and teamwork.
Show Your Impact
The MBA application is all about impact, and your resume is one of the best opportunities you have to show this. You should aim to make sure each bullet in your resume carries some significance.
Of course, the more quantifiable the results of your impact, the better — but do not feel that you have to limit your resume to only numbers. Qualitative influence is also important to mention, and, if framed properly, will be well received by the admissions committee. It can be challenging for some to quantify the specifics of their resume; if you fall into this category, then try using reasonable estimates of your impact, which will provide the admissions committee with greater context for your experiences.
Don’t treat your business school application resume as an afterthought. Make sure you include the elements above to maximize your chances for admissions success!
Work with Veritas Prep to improve your resume and your entire MBA application. Save up to $1,000 on MBA admissions consulting during their Black Friday sale. If you have questions, give them a call at 800-925-7737 to speak with an MBA admissions expert, or request a free MBA admissions consultation for personalized advice for your unique application situation!
Dozie Azotam is a consultant at Veritas Prep, the largest privately owned test prep and admissions consulting company in the world. Since 2002, using its team of experienced consultants and a personalized game plan for each client, Veritas Prep has helped thousands of applicants gain admission to their dream schools.