MBA Resume Guide

Resume Tips for MBA Applicants

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Purpose of an MBA Resume

Most business schools request that applicants submit a resume as part of the MBA admissions process. The resume is meant to serve as an introduction to you and your work experience. It tells the admissions committee where you have worked and what you accomplished while you were there.

Length

Business schools sometimes specify how long (or short) they want the resume to be. For example, they may request a one-page resume.

In cases like this, you should ALWAYS follow instructions and defer to the school's request. If they ask for a one-page resume, do not give them a two-page resume.

More commonly, though, the admissions committee will simply request an MBA resume, leaving decisions about length up to the applicants. In this case, you should try to limit the resume to one or two pages. A one-page resume is preferable. Most admissions officers will spend just a minute or two (sometimes less) reviewing your resume and don't have time to sift through multiple pages. Get free one-page resume templates.

It can be difficult to cram a lot of information about yourself onto one page. Be thorough and clear, but concise. Save words by using bullet points rather than paragraphs whenever possible. Format the resume in a space-saving manner. And remember to choose your words carefully: you want vivid details and solid action words, not just a bland list of job duties.

Content

The content of your resume should be professional in nature. Do not include personal information. The admissions committee doesn't care what you look like, whether or not you are single, or how many kids you have. Your MBA resume should highlight two things in particular: career progress and leadership capability.

The admissions committee will want to know how you have progressed through your career. Have you accomplished anything? Did you receive any promotions? Did your job duties and responsibilities evolve and increase over the course of your career? Demonstrating these things through your resume is important and will give you a slight edge.

The other big concern for admissions committees is your leadership capability. If you have leadership experience, your resume is the place to mention it. Have you supervised others? Have you managed any projects? Do you have any leadership experience outside of work? In short, you need to demonstrate that you are a leader and not a follower. If you don’t have any leadership experience for your resume, get some. Now. It's important. Get more tips on demonstrating leadership experience.

Formatting

There are many different ways to format an MBA resume. The important thing is that it looks clean and professional. Do not use colored fonts, images, strange paper, or any other gimmick to make your resume stand out.

Your resume should be organized and easy to read. Include the most important details at the very top. This is the part most often scanned by admissions committees.

Try to include a brief summary of your most impressive accomplishments here. See 7 sample MBA resumes for examples.

Additional MBA Resume Tips

There are a few other things that you may want to keep in mind while crafting your MBA resume:

  • Always be truthful. Lies can be discovered, and they will hurt your chances of acceptance.
  • Do more than just tweak your standard resume. The resume you would use to apply for a job is not the resume you want to show to an admissions committee.
  • An MBA application resume is more about accomplishments and results than responsibilities and job duties. Focus on the right things.
  • Do not be ambiguous when it comes to accomplishments or results; include quantifiable data whenever possible.
  • Don't focus on profits over people.
  • Use clear, straightforward sentence structure.
  • Polish and edit. Polish and edit. Polish and edit. When you think you're done, polish and edit some more.