HOW TO BUILD AN EFFECTIVE RESUME FOR MBA
On an average, your resume is given 15% weightage as an admission criterion in the decision-making process for full-time MBA programs.
The first stage for entering into your dream B-schools is to appear for the competitive exam and perform well, the final stage is the Group Discussion and Personal Interview process that finally secures a seat for you in the B-school. But there is an intermediate stage which I feel is the game changer. Candidates get calls from the top B-schools not only on the basis of the exam score but also the profile that they have. Your profile is extremely instrumental in obtaining a call from the B-schools and many a times, it serves as an asset in case the score that you have is not as good as your competitors. Not just it helps in getting the calls and making you stand out; the personal interview is based completely on your profile or the resume that you have prepared. If it is not taken seriously, it can make you lose the seat even if you have a brilliant percentile. So, along with the preparation for the exam, candidates must also focus on building their resume and gather some brownie points for your profile which makes you unique.
When it comes to the admission committee to evaluate the candidates, your MBA resume is generally the first component of your application that is read by the committee in evaluating your candidature for their MBA program.
Purpose of Resume in MBA Admissions
The main purpose for the admission committee in MBA application process is to evaluate the leadership potential in the candidate 15-20 years after you graduate from the MBA program. Also, they are trying to find out if you are a suitable fit for the culture and pedagogy of the institute. Thus, they are looking to assess your leadership and interpersonal skills through your resume.
Major Components of MBA resume
- Major 3-4 highlights of your profile
- Educational qualification
- Work experience (Roles & responsibilities and Achievements at workplace)
- Academic achievements
- Live Projects/Training
- Academic Projects
- Positions of responsibility
- Extra-curricular activities
- Professional and other certifications
- Interests and hobbies
Tips to improve your resume
- Keep it simple: The resume should not be more than a page and the language used should be simple and clear. There shouldn’t be any usage of technical jargons, abbreviations or complex nomenclature. A standard font size of 11-12 can be used and a sophisticated font style should be chosen for the resume.
- Quantify your achievements: Everything should be accompanied with an evidence. If you are mentioning an achievement in your resume, it should not be vaguely presented. It should be backed with the quantifiable metrics that you have positively affected. For example: Increased the sales of XYZ company by A%.
- Emphasize your leadership skills from your Position of responsibility: It is vital to showcase the skill behind each of your POR. It should tell what differentiates you from others and what did you learn from it. Avoid vague adjectives, be precise and to the point. For example: Created a proper enterprise management solution
- Distinguish yourself in terms of hobbies and interests: In a Personal Interview, many times you’ll face a situation where the entire interview is based on your hobbies and interests. They ask you about your interests in order to identify how much passion you have for something you love doing so that they are able to know your willingness to put in sincere efforts in 2 challenging years of MBA.
- Less is more: Keep short sentences and bullet points in the resume. Drop any word that is not likely to promote any driver for your profile. If there is a chance to deliver the same message in a shorter way, write that. The reason is that the admission committee has to review thousands of resumes and they want to just skim through it more often than not. So, writing short meaningful and effective points should be the first and foremost thing to do while preparing a resume.
- Avoid using personal pronouns: The use of ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘we’, ‘us’ etc. should be avoided. The points should always begin with a verb and should only define an action rather than who did what. It is self-explanatory that the resume is yours and you have only done the work mentioned in it.
- Incorporate things that will set you apart: A few highlights of your achievements so far in your life need to be mentioned at the top in bold. This gives a good first impression to the viewer that he/she has done these things or held such positions in career and that he/she might well be able to fit in for the available MBA program. The examples are ‘Academic Excellence’, ‘President, XYZ Committee’, ‘Ex-ABC Company Employee’, ‘Product Manager’, ‘Ex-Placement Committee Member’ etc.
- Work experience should be properly presented: In case you have an experience of working in the industry before going for MBA, the roles and responsibilities should be clearly written in 3-4 points. This should include the projects that you led and work that you were assigned. The achievements at workplace should be mentioned in a separate section where you can showcase how you made a difference by bringing efficiency at workplace with your work, any competitions/hackathons that you won and appreciation that you received from the company for your work.
- Editing and rechecking is important: Once you have collated all the points in your resume, it is extremely essential to get it rechecked from someone who is experienced and who knows what exactly should be highlighted and what is not important and hence can be removed. Candidates generally skip this step and this can hurt them later as they are not able to get their profile distinguished from others. Keep editing the resume based on suggestions and prepare the final draft once you have taken enough reviews on it.
So, consider this as a serious process as your MBA resume will get you accepted for your dream B-school. Take as many suggestions from your seniors as you can since this resume is different from the one you must have created in your under-graduation days. The structure and presentation are key factors in your resume for your selection for the further stages.
At last, I would say that show off and sugar-coat as much as you can. There is no shame in it. Everyone does that and there’s nothing wrong in it as long as you have valid proofs for the points you have mentioned in the resume.
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