Are you working on your MBA resumé and wondering whether you have crafted the best possible version of it? To improve your odds of admission, check if you have made any of these common mistakes. It's not too late to smooth them out — until you apply!
#1 The resumé is too long
It can be difficult to cram many years of business and leadership experience into just one or two pages, but this is the resumé length recommended by experts. Ultimately, it has to be simple and easy to understand because MBA admissions committees look through numerous applications every day. If you're pressed for space, select only the most important and impressive of your many achievements.
#2 It is not specific enough
The MBA resumé is a window to your professional experience and to your personality. "Admissions committees like to see results-oriented phrases in resumés, so for every bullet point, try to quantify results in dollar amounts or percentages whenever possible," advises MBA admissions consultant Stacy Blackman.
#3 It is not tailored to the MBA program's values
If you are applying to a business school that places great importance on sustainable management or social entrepreneurship, your resumé should demonstrate how your background is connected to these values.
#4 The language is inappropriate or uses jargon
Admissions committees may not understand any technical or industry-specific terms you use in your resumé. You need to turn complex terminology into simple language. Ask a family member or friend to read your resumé — they should be able to point out any jargon that is difficult to understand.
#5 The role descriptions are not relevant
With many years of experience and diverse job positions, it can be tempting to list all kinds of details. However, your resumé should tell a story. Show how you have advanced as a professional and demonstrate your steady growth as a leader.
#6. It overemphasizes high school education
Experts say that you should include details from that time only if you have had very significant achievements as a high school student. As an experienced professional, your university background and professional roles will be sufficient in showing the admissions committee why you are the right fit for their program.
#7 It neglects extracurricular activities
Professional accomplishments are important but extracurricular activities and volunteer experience can be just as impressive. Admissions committees want to get a glimpse of what motivates you in life, beyond your career. Make this section specific. If you like sports, give examples of competitions you have participated in or sports organizations you are part of.
#8 The visual formatting is ill-fitted
Nobody will expect to see a masterfully designed resumé template. On the contrary, including too many colors or visual elements will overwhelm readers. However, this does not mean that the MBA resumé should not look aesthetically pleasing. You might want to stick to the practice "simple is best" and work on a clear structure and consistent formatting.
#9 The resumé contains typos or other inaccuracies
So, you have crafted an impressive MBA resumé that contains all important information about you and your career. You are probably impatient to be done with it, especially if you have worked hard to make it look good. Yet, admissions committees will easily notice any typos and inconsistencies which will reflect badly on your commitment and preparation. As with #4 above, showing your work to a friend can help you catch these errors.
Get ready to impress the admissions committee!
Still trying to decide on the right MBA program for you? Check out these Access MBA events across the country to network one-on-one with top business schools: