Carey School of Business
When you are applying for any type of MBA program, such as a no GMAT online MBA, there are several essential parts of your application package. One of them is to have a fully updated resume that details your work experience. This is importaant because many MBA programs require you to have at least two or three years of work experience. Many MBA programs will require you to have several years of managerial-level work experience. Some executive MBA programs will even require you to have up to eight years of experience.
This is why it is so important for you to have a strong, updated resume. Getting into a competitive online (Jump to 9+ Top MBA degrees online for 2017) or campus-based MBA program can be difficult, and the better your resume looks, the better your chances. Below are some strong tips to improve your MBA school application.
Focus on Action, Results and Metrics
When you are assembling your pre-MBA resume, you want to be able to create resume bullet points that really pop out. How do you do this? By focusing on action, result and metrics.
Remember that your resume is intended to be a highlight reel of your professional career. It should have a great deal of ‘action’ in it. Every bullet point on your resume should be an action verb. Try to make sure that each verb has you in action in the lead. You should try to use verbs such as ran, managed, led, and spearheaded.
A strong resume bullet tells the reader about what results you achieved, along with your team. If your bullet point does not have an ‘ending,’ it’s not very interesting for the MBA admissions panel. They want to know how things turned out and if you were able to accomplish much in your position. Each bullet point in your resume should show that you moved your firm or your project in the right direction. Always remember that leaders get things accomplished, they don’t just show up for work. Make sure each bullet point on your resume reflects this.
You need to try to make sure that your job accomplishments can be easily measured. Many MBA school applicants struggle to quantify their successes. You should think about how each success you had was measured. How many partners did you sign up as you ‘built strategic alliances’? How much revenue exactly was generated? Did you design a new customer survey? How much did the recommendations that came out of the new survey affect customer satisfaction?
And of course, one of the most important parts of having a strong resume for your MBA application is to ensure that you are highlighting your accomplishments, not just what your responsibilities were in your positions. If you only highlight what you did in your jobs, the admissions team at the university is not going to know how successful you were in your positions.
For instance, consider the following example, which only shows responsibilities:
- Brand Manager, Acme Corporation: Responsible for the management of $21 million marketing campaign; supervised a staff of 12 junior managers; monitored sales volumes daily and ensured supply of product to five facilities.
As you can see, this example really is not providing the admissions staff with much information about how good you were in your position. How successful was the campaign? Did the junior managers get better? Did the volume of sales go up? These questions are left unanswered.
A rewrite focuses more on effectiveness and successes:
Brand Manager, Acme Corporation
- Initiated $21 million Internet promotion to introduce new dish soap – exceeded first year sales target in four months.
- Supervised 12 junior managers – each was promoted to full manager within three years
- Analyzed sales volumes each day, identified opportunities to increase price points in several markets – led to 25% margin improvement.
What Recruiters Are Looking For Often Is What Admissions Is Looking For
Lastly, having a strong pre-MBA resume can really help you after MBA school, too. Surveys show that having a strong MBA resume as you go into MBA school will help you down the road. A 2008 recruiters survey found that employers that hire MBAs usually are looking for these attributes in their hires:
- Knowledge of business management
- Strong communications skills
- Quantitative skills
- Ability to use business discipline in any position
Because this is what people who may later hire you are looking for, you would be wise to demonstrate these attributes in your pre-MBA resume, too. In fact, there is no doubt that admissions officers are looking for many of the same things that recruiters want. So, by writing a strong resume for your MBA application, you really can kill two birds with one stone.
The bottom line is, by focusing in your resume on your accomplishments, and on action, results and metrics, you will be a much stronger MBA candidate, and will wow the MBA admissions staff.