Ingredients to build a top MBA resume

Are you prepping for an MBA application?
Don’t forget to make a winning resume for that first impression.

What does your resume share?
It brings to light your business acumen, education, and professional experience along with your soft skills. An effective and impactful resume if one where the applicant has invested time and effort to understand and define their core skills, key accomplishments, workplace influence along with highlighting their soft skills. A resume is also a powerful tool to reflect one’s strong communication skills.

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Seems like a lot to integrate into a single page, right?
We are here to help you build a resume that is comprehensive, crisp and reflects your core skills in the apt manner. Here are the ingredients you need to build a top-notch MBA resume:

Layout and section

Now, this is an essential aspect many forget to pay attention to. When crafting your MBA resume, you need clearly defined sections and make sure to choose an easy to consume layout that is used by Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and other leading universities. These are easy to find on a simple search and offer you sections to work on. Remember to bring an order to the chaos for all your content. What sections are most essential? Here you go:

-Profile Summary
-Personal Information
-Professional Experience
-Certificates, awards, volunteer services and others

The basics

Some of the most essential aspects are often overlooked. Let’s get the basic right, this includes your personal information:
1. Your name
2. Your contact information (email and phone number are a must)
3. Links – website, portfolio link, article/ press related links
4. Education – what you have graduated in and where from
5. Awards/ honours/ achievement – during school, graduation or at work.

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Profile summary

Let’s start with avoiding common mistakes, one of merely mentioning your total years spent in marketing or finance. This section is your personal branding section that will define an outline to your whole resume. Leverage on your core skills. Make a draft paragraph of 4-5 lines that highlights your core work skills and you’ve been effectively applied them to achieve tangible results. Do not forget to support them with quantifiable achievements like if you secured 7 new partnerships – be sure to mention what they resulted in. Maybe a 10% revenue growth.

Keep in mind that this should ideally be within 100 words reflecting your core abilities and highlighting your accomplishments. You want this section to be crisp and engaging building up the narrative to your resume.

Key Impact at work/ accomplishments

Another common practise most individuals have is to mention in their work experience their job descriptions. What you need to mention however is how your presence has aided the brand in sustenance and growth. Highlighting the key achievements at work under the apt heading is crucial.
If you worked at Google as Sales Manager for XYZ range of their products, do mention you were able make a 15% increase in team sales. Bring out the areas where you profile has made a key impact towards making a project successful.

Highlight your leadership projects that reflect your managerial skills, communication, and ability to handle large teams.

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Impactful headings

Resume is all verbal communication – what will help you stand out is if you are able to highlight key aspects of your resume with catchy, impactful, and engaging headings. Make use of strategic keywords that are relevant to the work you do, sector you work in and the school you are targeting. Apt and effective heading can guide the reader through your journey and accomplishments.

Technical skills

Do not miss to offer a limelight to your technical skill set.
Are you an expert in Adobe, Illustrator, Data Analysis, WordPress, CRM, a chartered accountant, or digital marketing software’s?

We live in a digital era where these technical skills can help to set you apart in the application process. Make sure you highlight the use of software’s and your expertise in them. Highlighting your proficiency in programming languages, CRM software’s, digital marketing tools or data analysis.

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LinkedIn Profile

This professional network needs as much attention as your resume. A link to your LinkedIn profile must be present on your resume and maintaining an updated LinkedIn profile is a must. Treat LinkedIn as your growing professional network and a live resume that is always present for people to understand more about your professional career. Ensure that your resume aligns with your online LinkedIn profile.

If you are sharing your profile website or a portfolio link, update the page, make sure your best projects are highlighted on it and there are easy navigation links for the viewer.

Proofing, editing, and formatting

Last but not least making sure the formatting is clean, proof read to eliminate grammatical errors. Make use of a single consistent font and bullet points where necessary. Make sure your document has easy readability on various devices and take care of – Font, Margins, Line Height, Footer, and other minor details. If you are still wondering about the resume being clean and easy to read, the best way to test is to share with your trusted friend, colleagues, or get a professional opinion.

Invest time to understand where you are applying and build an impactful resume. Focus on key differentiators where possible – what makes you unique, what have your achievements been in tangible form. Understand to prioritize your key accomplishments and best experiences. Offer the reader an in-depth and holistic resume that isn’t focused on just your education but highlights your core passion and skills via your achievements at work, skill set and other activities.

Where possible highlight your achievements with numbers and examples but be sure not to stuff your resume. Remember the C’s – Be Crisp, Clear and Concise in your communication and offer the reader information that makes you truly unique and throws light on your work accomplishments highlighting your leadership and managerial skills.

If these tips helped you in your application journey, give us a thumbs up and stay tuned for more tips on your MBA journey.

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Author: Mankiran