This second installment in a two-part series on Crafting a Standout Resume for the MBA Application targets essential dos and don’ts every candidate should know. Most candidates are too modest on their resume – they don’t want to “brag.” But making the effort to dig deep, then succinctly communicate how much you contribute is vital for your MBA job application expertly. It’s also important to tailor your resume to your brand-new market – the MBA admissions committee at the top schools – which, as underscored in part one of the two-part series, is distinctly different from potential employers.
Too often, business school candidates reduce a resume for an uninspiring roster of job-game titles, dates, certification, and places – what you do, rather than why you are a rock star. The resume should be considered a concise overview of what you’ve accomplished that sets the stage for the others in your application, and – hopefully – for your own future MBA admissions interview. So how is it possible to best convey your key qualities and prioritize the attributes and experience that speak to your future potential?
From my experience as a career trainer at Wharton and in my own current role at Fortuna Admissions, I’ve narrowed four best practices down, as well as four deathly pitfalls, that every applicant needs to know. 1: Take the time to invest in your individual passions section. Your MBA job application should highlight personal achievements, volunteer work, and extracurricular more than your standard curriculum vitae.
Know that nearly every candidate will list something similar to “travel, photography, cooking food, running” in this section, but that is a wasted opportunity to be memorable to your interviewer or reader. How can you distinguish yourself and show that you work hard and achieve goals beyond any office or classroom?
- Agricultural Law and Contemporary Food Production and Safety Issues
- Mention two items which are not documented in amended cash book
- 2100 Michigan Avenue, October 2014. Photograph by the author
- The office at home deduction is a red flag for an audit
- Thesaurus Engine – Permits better serp’s by growing related words
- About AEA
- 260 km for a 3 hours trip
Even one stellar accomplishment is better than a generic set of interests. 2. Include key differentiators. This consists of specifics around management of people, global experience (even if it’s just personal travel), management positions based on selectivity and academic honors or honors. Be sure to showcase your job progression by listing all the titles you’ve held within an organization so an admissions reader can obviously see when you were promoted.
Career Progression: “Promoted in 2015 after receiving top position of ‘ 5’ in all performance reviews. 3. Be Mindful of formatting. This isn’t a medium where creativeness is rewarded, so avoid distracting graphics, pictures, and colors. Make your resume easy on the optical eye by choosing an agreeable, size-appropriate font, and format your document with white space to be scannable enough.
Your goal is clear, compelling, and concise, so include no more than 3 to 5 bullet factors under each position. Business colleges have a distinct preference for the one-page application. 4. Keep the language simple and jargon-free. Use concise phrasing and steer clear of excessively complex or long-winded sentences. Search for using language similar to that used by the school – the admissions reader can make the connection and become much more likely to see you as a “fit” for the program.