What should my MBA application resume look like? With the launch of the 2017-2018 MBA admissions season, this is a critical question applicants around the world will be asking themselves over the next 6-8 months. The good news is the answer is simple: your resume should be a forward-thinking advertisement that markets your strengths. Your essays should elaborate the strengths. The execution of that simple design, however, comes with a number of important caveats:
Structure & Format
1. Subheadings should be as follows: work experience, education, and additional. Objective is an outmoded practice still en vogue with some resume-writing services; however, it is not the standard of top MBA programs or elite corporate recruiting.
2. Applicants with limited or no work experience should find other ways to express leadership impact through a new subheading, such as extracurricular or nonprofit leadership. To learn what aspects of leadership should be highlighted, read Winning MBA Essay Guide from Chapter 18.
3. Font: Size 10, Times New Roman. Margins should be close to 0.7-1 inch.
4. Length: for most applicants, even those with 5-8 yrs of professional experience, a 1 page resume is sufficient and preferred.
1. Each role should have no more than 4 bullets, and most well-developed bullets should occupy two lines.
2. Lead with strong, active verbs. ‘Was responsible for’ might be replaced with ‘spearheaded,’ ‘facilitated,’ or ‘managed.’ Keep verbs in present tense for current roles and ongoing responsibilities, past tense for past roles and projects.
3. Each bullet should reflect situation, action and result. What was the situation? What action did you perform to solve it? What was the outcome?
4. Quantify and qualify your impact. Include % and $ signs where possible, which are also great visual cues for your reader.
5. Key questions to ask yourself: do your bullets present the full dimension of your job function and business skills? Do they seem overblown or convincing?
1. If you have only one professional role to draw from, consider bucketing project experience to show leadership development and multi-dimensional business expertise.
2. What type of career goals have you detailed in your essays? Your resume can reinforce this brand and your full application package, and show your readiness for the next step or even career transition.
3. Capture leadership roles, academic accomplishments, and extracurricular activities under your college education. This will show the type of student you’ll be.
4. Additional: this is a great place to include more humanizing details and strengths. Most applicants will include languages, advanced computer skills, volunteer work, and hobbies.
Of course, many applicants will also deliberate on the differences between a resume and a CV, and which to submit for their MBA application. At one time, CV’s were more prevalent in European countries (they are still the standard in academia as well), but in a more global, fast-paced business culture, that convention is beginning to shift. A recruiter or admissions committee member may spend 30-45 seconds, at most, evaluating your resume. Through crisp language, straightforward design, and some strategic thinking around capturing your strengths, your resume can catch their eye, strengthen your MBA candidacy, and get your foot in the door.
Related: Learn how to promote your Leadership & Emotional Intelligence (Two Qualities that Business Schools measure) by using Contexts, Persuasion Techniques and Storytelling.
About Janson Woodlee
Janson Woodlee graduated from Yale University, his studies focusing on cognitive science and music. As a college student, he was a Senior Editor with EssayEdge immediately after graduation, he worked with Katzenbach Partners, a management consulting firm and McKinsey offshoot. Ivy Eyes Editing was founded on the elements from his diverse background--including grammatical rigor and client collaboration--as well as a distinctive commitment to strategic admissions guidance, writing with style and authenticity, and deep ethical standards
Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide
"Pressed against the deadline, I ordered F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide as their blogs always had something interesting to say. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Going through the Essay Guide, I learned the art of storytelling, using various ploys mentioned in the book. Most important one being the “W pattern,” a strategy of information sharing that creates a sense of excitement in the mind of the reader." - MIT Sloan MBA Candidate
Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.
ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?
You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?
Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.
F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.
Who Should Buy The Winning MBA Essay Guide?
If your essay looks too bland, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", Using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.
If you are stuck in the Writing process, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to silence the Analytic Mind and overcome mental blocks.
If you feel that the essays are not persuasive, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will teach you how to use the W-Pattern narrative, Contexts, Turning Points and "The Show Don't Tell Approach" to write a Winning MBA Essay.
If you don't have enough leadership experience, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to highlight non-obvious qualities like Trust, Focus, Listening Skills, Personal Responsibility, Humility, Self-Knowledge, and other secondary traits to prove your leadership.
If you don't know how to review your essays, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will demonstrate how to improve readability with the power of iteration, and maintain your original voice by removing review biases.
Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (318 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (667 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness) (776 Words)
+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(399 words)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)
Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2: New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology) (248 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma) (244 Words)
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)
Cover Letter Checklist
Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+ Haas MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit
Sample MBA Essay: Technology
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing
Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired
Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture
Sample MBA Essay: Leadership
Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (452 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Water Conservation Kit (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Misreading Market Conditions (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Dominance in Chess (97 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone(extra-curricular) (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone (Daily Science Show) (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Simplifying Operations for Manufacturing (extra-curricular) (90 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Leadership and Culture) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Technology Project and Last-minute change) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Making Business metrics relevant to a Creative team) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Laziness)(100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Pessimism) (96 Words)
Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
London as the Financial Hub
London as the Technology Hub
London as the Consulting Hub
Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)
Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things
Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
5 Examples with Images
7 Professional Gains
Sample Wharton MBA Essay 1: Gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)
Sample Wharton MBA Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value (388 Words)
+ The Art of Storytelling
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses