Business school resumes may look different than your application resume. What you present to the admissions committee will likely have little in common with the resume you graduate with and that is ok. The purpose of your application resume is to help you get admitted, only to get admitted.
MBA application resume
Admissions committees typically want to see your existing resume when you apply for admission. They don’t often want you to spend any extra time getting your resume into a specific format. If a school requires you to put your resume into a specific format just to apply, you are less likely to apply to that school. There are lots of schools out there and admissions directors are afraid you will simply apply elsewhere so they have incentive to keep the hassles to a minimum. It is rare to see a school that wants the resume is a specific format for admissions.
Writing a business school resume
If you don’t already have a resume, here is how to create one. Remember though that your admission resume is focused on one thing: getting you admitted. Use these templates and guidelines to create a resume that represents your experience well.
MBA application resume sample
There are different formats for varying levels of experience. Choose the template that most suits your experience profile.
Resume template for recent graduates
Recent graduates have little work experience, except maybe for an internship or two, so their resume is heavily focused on educational qualifications. Leadership experiences, extracurricular activities, and coursework are prominently featured on resumes for recent graduates. Include organizational involvement (especially when you were a designated leader). Include committee or event involvement and highlight the leadership or complex challenges you faced in those roles. The achievements in all cases are also important.
- Increased number of on-campus speaker events by 15% through direct outreach to corporate HR offices.
- Chaired biennial biotech symposium marketing committee. Implemented electronic sales strategy that increased ticket sales by 20%
Example resume early career professionals
Early career professionals may have a summary of qualifications but more often have an objective statement. They also generally list experience in reverse chronological order with education at the top or bottom. Education may be more important at the top if you are trying to change industries, but experience may be more important if you are trying to move up in the same sector. For an MBA admissions committee, however, there is no difference. It is fine either way.
Sample resume for 7+ years of experience
This format is characterized by having done away with reverse chronological listings in favor of achievement based descriptions. Think Action words. You may have a summary statement at the top with a few bullet points showing skills, but the main attraction is the bullet list under each prior experience. They start with a verb and show a result followed by a short statement of the action that caused the outcome. For example:
- Grew market share by 4% over one year by designing new customer relationship management system.
- Reduced product cost by 8% in two years by applying six sigma concepts to manufacturing process.
- Increased subscriber base by 35% in six months by implementing affiliate marketing strategy.