The MBA resume. Done right, this one-to-two-page list of accomplishments can woo the adcoms towards acceptance; done wrong, a resume could be your ticket to ding-hood. Here are 6 fatal mistakes to avoid when creating this important first-impression-making document:
Fatal Resume Flaw #1: Viewing your resume as an afterthought
Your resume should not be your last priority. It provides an amazing opportunity to share a snapshot of your candidacy with the admissions committee. This is your chance to introduce yourself and leave a positive first impression.
Fatal Resume Flaw #2: Providing basic job descriptions
When top b-school adcoms quickly scan a resume (which is what they do at first), they’re looking for career progression. Even a list of the most impressive jobs won’t mean nearly as much to an adcom as a list of impressive jobs that show that a candidate has achieved goals, been promoted, and has generally made an impact on their surroundings. In short, basic descriptions just won’t cut it.
Fatal Resume Flaw #3: Submitting a job resume as part of your MBA application
Your MBA resume should not include industry-specific or technical lingo that you might include on a resume for, say, an IT position. The details on your resume should be as accessible as possible to the widest circle of readers.
Fatal Resume Flaw #4: Formatting your resume creatively
When formatting your resume, standards always trump creativity! Review the resume standards for your target school. Check out resources at the school’s career services department to find out how you should standardize your tenses, punctuation, and formatting. Don’t bold headings if your school-specific format doesn’t bold headings, for example.
Fatal Resume Flaw #5: Offering information overload
That means no SAT or GMAT scores, no high school education, and no references. The school will have all of that information from other parts of your application. Needless to say, date of birth, marital status, height, and weight should be excluded.
Fatal Resume Flaw #6: Forgetting to edit
A resume that hasn’t been spell-checked, grammar-checked, and reviewed by an extra set (or more) of eyes, will probably have errors, and therefore won’t make a very good first impression.
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