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# Creating strong MBA resume

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Creating strong MBA resume [#permalink]  04 Sep 2013, 10:03
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Creating strong MBA resume

Most MBA programs require a 1-2 pages resume in their applications. Your MBA resume should focus on your professional and educational background, and highlight your achievements in these areas.

Here are some tips from Aringo for creating a strong MBA resume:

"CV Speak"
- Less is more.
o Drop any word that is not likely to promote any admission driver.
o If you can say something in two ways, say it in the shorter way.

- In CV's, use "word economy" as much as possible. For example:
o Instead of: a project worth $1 million --> a$1 million project
o Instead of: the financial status of the company --> the company's financial status
o Instead of: negotiations that lasted one year --> one-year-long negotiations

- Words such as "of", "for", "in", "which", "that" should raise a flag: here's a place where you may be able to change the text to "word economy" structure.

- In "CV Speak" you may omit "a" and "the" although it's grammatically incorrect. This is common practice for resume-type documents, to keep them short. For
example: "Led company's negotiations" instead of "led the company's negotiations".

- However, in about half the cases, it's impressive and better to keep the word "the".
o We keep the word "the" when we want to emphasize that something or someone is "The real thing" (singular).
o Examples: "Received the Distinguished Soldier Award", "Presented the company's annual plan to the CEO"

- Try to use the word "and" as little as possible. We need the sentences to be brief and crisp.
Either say just one of the things instead of two - one is often enough.
Or
Break one long sentence into two short sentences. We need the sentences to be short.
o For example:
The candidate wrote: "Negotiated deal terms and structure with the CEO".
The word "and" raises a flag – maybe there's room for improvement here.
Two alternatives:
1. One wing is enough: "Negotiated deal terms with the CEO"
2. Break into two sentences:
Negotiated deal terms with the CEO.
Negotiated deal structure with the CEO.
o Obviously, in this case alternative 1 is better.

- Try to avoid using words such as "I", "my", "our"

Work Experience

- Work experience is comprised of responsibilities (less important) and achievements (more important).
- Avoid using subjective terms such as "excellent" or "fast", use facts and objective terms only.
- If the numbers related to the responsibility/achievement are large/impressive, provide them. Otherwise, don't.
o Often you can turn an unimpressive number into an impressive number by using %.
o For example, if sales went up from $10,000 to$30,000 - these numbers are not impressive, you don't want to use them.
o Instead, you can say: "sales went up 200%". This is true, and more impressive.
- Consider including work in the family business (if there is any) - part time or full time.
- If a person was only doing projects, one after the other, there may be no responsibilities, just achievements.
- Try to describe any position in laymen terms. Avoid technical/professional explanations.

Responsibilities

- Responsibility examples:
o "Manage a team of 4".
o Conduct development review meetings.
- Responsibilities in the current position start with verbs in the present simple tense ("manage").
- Responsibilities in past positions start with verbs in the past tense ("managed").
Teaching assistant positions: if a teaching assistant position included leading class sessions of 50 students - say it (gives us points on presentation and leadership skills).

Achievements

Achievement example:
- Achieved a 120% increase in Department's net income within 18 months.
o Reorganized the three import activities to fit with the new zero inventory model.
o Re-structured the costing, pricing and financing models of the activities.
o Re-negotiated supplier and client contracts.

- Achievements are a critical component in the CV. We need strong, impressive achievements.
- An achievement is often connected with a specific project.
- An achievement is comprised of "action" and "result".
- You may use sub-bullets, which are sub-components of the general action or of the result.

The result part of the achievement

- The result sentences are specific facts.
- The result should include numbers if possible.

Placing the Result in the Achievement
- Four recommended options for placing the result:
o Option 1: The main, upper bullet will be short. It will hardly include anything but the result. We often use this option if the result is exceptionally impressive. Example:
• Led the second largest sale in the company's 20-year history.
o Managed…
o Negotiated…

o Option 2: Put both the action part and the result part in the main bullet and connect them with words such as:
that cut
that generated
which saved
which netted
which created
which increased
that decreased, etc.

Example:
• Led creation of system that cut quarterly analysis costs by \$12,000.
o Managed…

o Option 3: Put both the action part and the result part in the main bullet. Put them in two separate sentences. For example:
• Led post-merger strategy development [[action]]. Net income increased by 15% within two years [[result]].
o Managed…
o Presented…

o Option 4: if the result is not that impressive -
Either include the result in a sub-bullet.
Or do NOT mention the result at all.
If the action part is also not impressive, consider dropping the achievement.

- Try to avoid "spoon-feeding" words such as "resulting in" and "leading to" ("…resulting in a 20% increase in annual profits").
- Which of the above 4 options to choose?
o The more impressive the result, the more conspicuous (glaring) it should be.
o Use your judgment and practical (content) considerations.

The Best Results

- The best descriptions of results are relative (descriptions that compare the result to other results).
For example:
o "Fastest promotion in the Division's history"
o CEO Alan Corey cited project as "one of the three most successful projects in the company's history" (company's annual conference, 11/02/09).

- If needed: develop, together with the client, a metric that measures the result.
For example:
o "defect occurrence rate":
Reduced defect occurrence rate by 50%.
o "on-time delivery ratio":
Increased the on-time delivery ratio from 70% to 90% within one year (2002).
o "labor costs":
Led a training program for customer integration teams which generated support-labor cost savings of 50%.
Manager
Joined: 31 Mar 2013
Posts: 126
Location: India
Concentration: Sustainability, General Management
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
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Re: Creating strong MBA resume [#permalink]  05 Sep 2013, 20:47
Wow.

This is just outstanding. I have gone through tons of resume posts all over this site as well as the web but after reading this post, i would say its just the best one of all. Really straight to the point, clear and easy to understand. After going through the above rules I made atleast 10 changes to my resume. I highly recommend this to everyone working on their resumes. Thanks Aringo!
Intern
Joined: 10 Sep 2013
Posts: 6
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Re: Creating strong MBA resume [#permalink]  18 Sep 2013, 06:27
Thanks.. it looks great!
Current Student
Joined: 23 Oct 2010
Posts: 386
Location: Azerbaijan
Concentration: Finance
Schools: HEC '15 (A)
GMAT 1: 690 Q47 V38
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Kudos [?]: 200 [0], given: 73

Re: Creating strong MBA resume [#permalink]  26 Mar 2014, 00:17
Should one mention only post graduate work expierence or the whole picture should be displayed?

Posted from my mobile device
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Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true

Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 4073
Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Creating strong MBA resume [#permalink]  01 Apr 2014, 07:32
Expert's post
LalaB wrote:
Should one mention only post graduate work expierence or the whole picture should be displayed?

Posted from my mobile device

Most MBA programs only really care about what you did after graduation. BUT if you have something interesting/significant/relevant, by all means, include it.
_________________

Jon Frank

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Creating strong MBA resume [#permalink]  03 Aug 2014, 23:35
Expert's post
Dear all,
Here is some info we gathered on the resume requirements at the top MBA programs:

Berkeley Haas - Required (unlimited)
Chicago Booth - Required (1 to 2 pages)
Columbia - Required (1 to 2 pages)
Cornell - Required (up to 500 KB)
Darden - Required (unlimited)
Duke Fuqua - Required (1 page only)
Harvard - Required (1 to 2 pages)
IE - Required (at most two pages long)
IESE - Required (1 to 2 pages, one page is preferable)
Kellogg - Required (unlimited)
LBS - Required (1 page only)
Michigan Ross - Required (1 to 2 pages)
Sloan-MIT - Required (no more than 1 page, up to 50 lines)
Stern-NYU - Required (unlimited)
Stanford - Required (suggested length is one page)
Tepper - Required (limit 2 pages)
Tuck - Required (unlimited)
UCLA Anderson - Required (2 pages maximum)
Wharton - Required (1 page only)
Creating strong MBA resume   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2014, 23:35
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