Tuck Resume Tips From The Experts
One critical component of your MBA application is the resume.
What exactly do admissions officers look for in a resume and how can you ensure you’re positioning yourself for success?
Valeria Wiens, Associate Director of Evaluation for Admissions at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and Mathias Machado, Director of Career Services and Resources at Tuck, recently offered some tips on what a well-crafted resume looks like.
“Your resume should be a snapshot of experiences and achievements, and show that you have the transferable skills needed to succeed, not only in an academic setting but beyond the classroom as well,” Wiens and Machado write.
SMART, AWARE, NICE
At Tuck, admission officers follow a “Smart, Aware, Nice” criteria when looking at applications.
Smart refers to an applicant’s intellectual aptitude and their ability to succeed in Tuck’s rigorous and demanding environment.
“That said, being smart goes beyond your raw intellectual horsepower; it also matters how you use it,” Luke Anthony Peña, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Tuck, writes.
“Tuck students use their smarts to continually learn, which means first acknowledging you don’t know everything, and then exercising curiosity to seek out new perspectives, experiences, and challenges.”
Aware refers to how well you know your goals and how they align with your future.
“Demonstrating awareness entails three things: knowing who you are, knowing where you’re going, and knowing how Tuck helps you chart your path forward,” Peña writes. “These three aspects are rooted in our desire to see you contribute and thrive at Tuck and beyond.”
And lastly, nice is exactly what it sounds like. Being nice.
“At Tuck, being nice means you are invested not only in your own success but also in the success of others,” Peña writes. “On one hand, this means being in the habit of supporting others… On the other hand, this also means demonstrating the courage to challenge others.”
Wiens and Machado recommend applicants to limit their resume to one page in length.
“Your resume should be one page in length to allow us (and everyone else looking at your resume) to navigate to key information quickly,” Wiens and Machado write. “In addition to fitting everything you’d like to highlight on one page, pay attention to the margins (not too narrow), spacing (1.0 suggested), and font size (no smaller than 10 point).”
QUALITY IS KEY
When it comes to content, Tuck experts stress that quality is greater than quantity.
Wiens and Machado highlight three important steps when it comes to showing quality over quantity: listing achievements, quantifying performance and showing the how.
The first step involves focusing on achievements rather than responsibilities in your resume.
“One way to differentiate between the two is to ask yourself—’If I Ieave this job, will the next person who takes my place be able to write exactly the same bullet point?’ If the answer is yes, then there is room to improve,” Wiens and Machado write. “Your goal should be to show the value that you brought to the role.”
The second step is how you quantify results.
“You could add a level of detail to the above bullet such as ‘Introduced automated processes that decreased the customer application processing time from one month to two days,’” Wiens and Machado write. “This helps the reader understand the scale of your achievement, but every bullet does not need to include a numerical result.”
Lastly, it’s important to show admissions officers how you achieved the result.
“As we evaluate your alignment with the Accomplished criterion, we want to see how you approached a task or problem rather than simply jumping to the result,” Wiens and Machado write. “What were the steps you took that were essential drivers of success?”