Pyarapopat recently wrote about the challenges of preparing an MBA application résumé and included the key factors of readability, impact, and uniqueness. Here are a few tips on how to achieve each of those.
- Eliminate extra lines: Keep your address and contact information on one line if possible, avoid listing your job titles and company names for each position on 2 separate lines, and trim the writing of each bullet point to keep it to a maximum of 2 lines.
- White space: Make margins no less than around 0.8 inches and instead of pressing the Enter key twice between positions or sections, use MS Word’s Format, Paragraph, Spacing Before box to add a bit of white space between lines and sections more compactly.
- Think in terms of numbers: How many people did you lead? What value budget did you manage? What percent of costs did you eliminate? What rate of productivity improvement can you point to? By how much did market share jump? These numbers and others give the reader a strong sense of the size of your impact.
- Professionally: Look around at your peers within your own organization, its peers and competitors. Do you fill a role traditionally filled by someone much older than you? Have you become one of only a few to transition to a coveted department or role? Have you earned awards for your work that far surpass the average rate of recognition? You can list these types of data points in a Highlights section at the top of your document.
- Personally: Fight negative stereotypes about your profession to show that you are exceptional. If you are an accountant, admissions committees tend to assume you are risk averse, so you need to add material that shows some of the bigger risks you’ve taken: entrepreneurial efforts, motorcycle racing, etc. If you’re a finance type, you might be perceived as conceited or aloof, so you should be sure to include evidence of your social skills and humility: community service efforts, mentoring, etc.
Accepted has several MBA resume resources to guide you in these and other key areas so you present a killer résumé.
Jennifer Bloom is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer. She actually gets excited about the challenge of putting everything that is special about you into one document!
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