Experts say the best MBA resumes tell applicants’ success stories, showing how they achieved results for clients and advanced in their careers.
MBA applicants should give admissions officers a reason to say yes by demonstrating strong character on their resume, say admissions officers and consultants. They say they enjoy applicants’ stories about overcoming obstacles and learning from adversity.
Proof of leadership ability is a necessity on an MBA resume, according to U.S. News columnist Stacy Blackman, founder of an MBA admissions consulting firm and author of the MBA Admissions: Strictly Business blog.
“Business schools want to see applicants who already have strong leadership skills,” Blackman said in a blog post. “You’ll further groom your management abilities during your MBA program, but the admissions committee wants to know that the foundation is already there.”
An MBA resume should describe accomplishments in detail using concrete language, experts say – admissions officers are rarely swayed by unproven assertions about strong performance.
Blackman wrote in a blog post that being able to quantify results adds heft to MBA resumes. “Admissions committees like to see results-oriented phrases in resumes, so for every bullet point, try to quantify results in dollar amounts or percentages whenever possible.”
Keep It Short
Experts say an MBA resume should ideally fit on a single page and not exceed two pages.
Stephan Kolodiy, a senior admissions officer for the business school at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—Newark and New Brunswick, told U.S. News last year that some misguided MBA applicants submit exceptionally long resumes. “Sometimes we get a resume that’s five to six pages long, and that’s way too much information.”
Tell the Truth
Experts say a big part of MBA admission officers’ job involves judging applicants’ credibility. It is foolish to inflate credentials on your resume.
Experts say that deceitful MBA applicants who are caught during the application process are automatically rejected, and those who are mistakenly admitted are typically expelled if their lies are discovered.
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