How to stand out to an MBA admissions staff in a crowd of resumes? Here are four resume rules you need to know if you want to get noticed.
1) ONE IS USUALLY ENOUGH. When it comes to that of a pre-MBA professional, a resume rarely needs to be more than one page. Don’t leave out the important stuff, but don’t feel the need to extend your resume longer than appropriate. In this case, more doesn’t always mean better.
2) GIVE THEM A NUMBER. It’s great to describe your responsibilities, but don’t miss the chance to quantify your results whenever possible. Managing a staff is interesting, but the fact that you managed a staff of over 30 employees and improved profitability by 25%, is something a reader can understand. By giving the reader a number, you give them the chance to see just what kind of leader you were, and will be.
3) KEEP IT RECENT. Unless you have an amazing anecdote related to your lifeguard job when you were 16, you probably shouldn’t include that job on your resume. In fact, it’s best to focus on the past 4-5 years of experience, even if that doesn’t amount to much on paper. Remember, your resume is a tool to tell your story, so keep your resume focused on the experiences that highlight the story of you as a leader.
4) CALLING ALL LEADERS! It’s amazing that can code in three different languages, but when it comes to your resume we’re not that interested in niche skills. Emphasize skills that are MBA-related like leadership and mentoring rather than niche skills that are best talked about in a job interview. But of course, if you were the leader of the Java club and helped young coders, well that’s resume appropriate.
This post by Stacy is part of a new series, B-School Admissions Tips You Can’t Live Without, originally published on the MBA website Poets & Quants.