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MBA Admission: Tips for Improving Your Resume

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While sharing similarities, the MBA resume differs from an employment resume. An employment resume showcases your understanding of the industry, your depth of experiences and your knowledge of the tools used. The admissions team at an MBA program, however, seeks to understand your background that speaks to your potential. The MBA resume also gives the opportunity to showcase your personality through your involvements and interests.

Like other facets in the MBA application, submitting a strong resume that elucidates aspects of your background is pivotal. The resume is the basis from which universities evaluate your relevant work experience, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and interests. A one-page synthesis of your accomplishments will set the stage for your entire application. 

Outlined below are a few important aspects to keep in mind as you prepare your MBA resume. 

Content

You should not attempt to write about every aspect of your work in the resume – focus instead on one or two interesting elements. Consider your resume in relation to the essay - if you are going to write extensively on a part of your experience in the essay, then give it less space in the resume.

The resume gives you the opportunity to boast about your achievements. Provide the AdComm the information they need -  do not expect them to be detectives. 

Be sure to include critical differentiators that make your profile unique, which include:

  • Management experience
  • Global experience (even if it contains personal travel)
  • Leadership experience
  • Academic achievements and honors, including GPA
  • Career progression
  • GMAT Score (only if it adds value to your application)
  • Volunteer work
  • Extracurricular activities

Interests

The AdComm is comprised of people, and they expect to see a person in your admissions profile; therefore, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Be specific! Instead of writing that your interests include “cooking,” paint a picture that showcases measurable insight. Inform the AdComm that your love of cooking led you to help make meals at a local soup kitchen, for example. There is no magic number; one activity is better than none. The idea is that you bring your interest to life.

Language and Style

Your resume should be jargon-free, technical-term free, and insider-acronym free. Provide the AdComm great clarity to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Avoid complex or long-winded sentences, and do not make the reader guess about specifics, so avoid “etc.,” “e.g.,” or “various.” Instead, use similar language employed by the university and use active verbs for every bullet. Pay close attention to words used in the resume (and everywhere else for that matter).  

Details speak volumes about you, and the admissions committee notices. Like every aspect of the application, pay attention to detail and reduce your resume length to one page. Here are a few tips on how to do that: 

  • Complete sentences are not required
  • Minimize the use of articles (“a,” “an,” and “the”)
  • Numbers: use Arabic numbers as opposed to spelling out (use 6 instead of “six”)
  • Be consistent. If you choose to add a period (.) after each bullet, then consistently do so throughout the resume

Sloppiness can ding you. Why? The reader can interpret it as you not having cared enough to pay attention to details. Therefore, edit, edit, and edit again. Then ask someone to edit for you (preferably, multiple someones). Print the final draft, and then edit again. 

Submitting a concise and perfectly edited MBA resume could be the final detail that tips the scale in your favor and gets you admitted to your top choice.

 

ABOUT SIA ADMISSIONS:

Sia Admissions Consulting is a boutique firm based in New York City. We specialize in coaching students of diverse background navigate university admissions process. Our goal is to partner with students to help them characterize and reflect their individuality in all areas of the admissions application. 

At Sia, we firmly believe that “one-size” does not fit all—each student has his or her story that, if communicated properly, a university admissions committee is eager to hear; therefore, we coach each student in originally telling his or her story. Our partnership with each student consists of  – (i) recognizing the student’s story by asking poignant questions which help us (ii) identify the quintessence of his or her strengths and aspirations, so we may (iii) build an idiosyncratic strategy that helps the student distinctively present his or her story. Our aim is to coach student in showcasing a unique application that communicates their individuality as an ideal candidate for the field and institution of choice.