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MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid!

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MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  07 Oct 2013, 07:44
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MBA Résumé- Mistakes You Can Avoid

The analogy is so apt. If your essays show a movie about you, your resume shows the trailer of that movie. True!! Your resume is a trailer of your career progression, accomplishments, leadership and team working skills, your interests, and extra-curricular activities that will be shown in detail in the movie of your essays. Therefore, in order to make a good ‘first impression’, you need to invest your time and effort to make your résumé strong and impactful.

You can build a strong résumé by avoiding the following most common errors.

1. Lengthy Résumé: First, resist the temptation of writing a lengthy resume. It’s about quality, not quantity, so make sure not to go over one page limit. Most schools want to see only one page résumés. Let your résumé be short and sweet The resume should be the shortest document in your application but the most impactful one that provides an overview of not only your professional career and accomplishments, but also your interest and extra- curricular activities.
Please use 10 or 11 font and do not try to squeeze in loads of information by using 8 font.

2. Omitting dates: When listing job positions, sometimes applicants forget to mention employment dates. Without specific dates, the Ad Com will not be able to garner your career progression and your promotions.

3. Writing Sentences/ Paragraphs: Please do not write sentences or paragraphs even if you have a lot of information to convey. Instead use bulleted points. Each bullet should be limited to two lines of text, and there should be no more than five bullets per job position. You may use 2 bullet points for listing job responsibilities and 2-3 for job accomplishments.

4. Use of Fancy Fonts: Typical fonts for a resume are Times New Roman, Verdana, Cambria and Arial, with Times New Roman being the most common. The business résumé is not the place to use fancy fonts. So don’t use crazy fonts or intricate borders.

5. Use of Jargon: One of the most common mistakes applicants make is using technical terms of their industry. Do not assume that Ad Com will understand your industry jargon. This is not a job resume that you are writing for your prospective employer. This is your MBA resume that is scanned by the Ad Com of business schools for career progression, leadership qualities, team- working skills, initiative and other interests/activities of future business leaders. So make sure to make your résumé jargon free. The following example is jargon free:
Example:
• Created and implemented new checklists and guidelines, helping reduce the cost of the projects by 10-15%

6. Lack of Strong Verbs: Do not start a bullet point with nouns or adjectives (e.g. ‘responsible for’ or ‘in depth understanding of’). Begin with a strong action verb. Verbs make you sound like a dynamic individual who is always ready for action. Also, try to avoid overusing verbs like “led”, “managed” or “developed”, and consider using other verbs such as “accelerated,” “delivered,” “established,” “implemented,” “initiated,” or “spearheaded” etc. Use verbs that demonstrate your collaborative attitude e.g ‘assist’, ‘contribute’, ‘support’, ‘provide’ etc.
Example:
• Collaborated with multiple stakeholders and built a team of 7 analysts that resulted in revenue growth of $400K/ year 7. List of job responsibilities: Another most common mistake some applicants make in their MBA résumé is making it a long list of job responsibilities. The Ad Com will not look at your résumé for the number of years you have worked or for your simple job responsibilities. Instead, they will look for the quality of professional experience i.e. the skills you have acquired and the impact you have made on your organization. When listing your professional experience, follow the reverse chronological order so your current professional experience gets the utmost attention. 8. Lack of Quantifiable Accomplishments: Résumés that do not quantify the outcome of your accomplishments fail to make an impression. So please make sure to quantify your impact on your company/organization with measurable results or achievements. Try to provide specific details such as: ➢ How much or by what percentage you reduced expenses? ➢ How many people were on the team that you supervised? ➢ How much or by what percentage you increased sales ? Example: • Spearheaded a flagship project - “Change In Terms” for the company– built a team of 5 analysts, translating into revenue of$ 100K

9. Details of high school: Sometimes applicants fill precious space with high school accomplishments and grades. Please do not discuss your high school activities unless you did something exceptional for your age. You have come a long way after high school; and you are applying for graduate school, not college.

10. Omitting extracurricular activities/ interest: Sometimes the applicants get so involved in the details of their professional experience that they tend to ignore extracurricular activities/community service and other interests/ hobbies. Please note that the schools are looking for well-rounded individuals, and not only professionals who have no interests beyond their work. So do not hesitate to include 2-3 hobbies that you feel passionate about and pursue in your non-work hours. Please do not include too many hobbies or interests. Also, include community service activities you have been involved in.

11. Beginning with Education Section: Beginning with the educations section is one of the most common mistakes the applicants make. Please place your education section after professional career section and keep it short. It should show the schools you have attended,the areas of study, and accomplishments/ranking etc.

12. Additional Information /Skills: If you have some certificates or awards, if you have learned some foreign languages, or if you possess advanced computer skills, you may use this section for this information. Also, if you have a long list of awards/ honors, you may create a separate section of ‘Awards and Honors’ to include that information.

13. Providing Personal information: Please do not provide your height, weight, date of birth, and marital status on your résumé. Also, there is no need to provide your picture on your résumé.

14. List of References: An MBA résumé is not a place for providing references. So do not use precious space in providing references or even mentioning ‘References on request’.

Lastly, and most importantly, edit and proofread your resume multiple times before you submit it. You do not want to ruin your first impression by careless spelling, grammar, and style errors. Get it reviewed by a second a pair of eyes to ensure consistency and accuracy.
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  10 Oct 2013, 11:29
where did you get information that MBA wants only 1 page resume?
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  11 Oct 2013, 07:54
1111111 wrote:
where did you get information that MBA wants only 1 page resume?

That's common knowledge. I recruit for my job (engineering) and even we don't like to see resumes longer than a page.
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  11 Oct 2013, 10:41
ohsballer wrote:
1111111 wrote:
where did you get information that MBA wants only 1 page resume?

That's common knowledge. I recruit for my job (engineering) and even we don't like to see resumes longer than a page.

There are a lot of mythes around admission, unless some Dean of top school will come out and say that "we do not like resumes longer than 1 page." It still will be a myth.
I doubt that people with resume with 2 - 3 pages do not get into school because of it.
Job recruitment is totally different
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  14 Oct 2013, 05:39
1111111 wrote:
ohsballer wrote:
1111111 wrote:
where did you get information that MBA wants only 1 page resume?

That's common knowledge. I recruit for my job (engineering) and even we don't like to see resumes longer than a page.

There are a lot of mythes around admission, unless some Dean of top school will come out and say that "we do not like resumes longer than 1 page." It still will be a myth.
I doubt that people with resume with 2 - 3 pages do not get into school because of it.
Job recruitment is totally different

I talk to a lot of Admissions folks and 1 page is pretty much the standard. Will you get rejected if you have 2-3 pages? No, but you have to understand that these people read a TON of applications and if you're going to triple the size of a standard resume, you better have a REALLY good reason for doing so.

I'd say 95% of people applying to business school can condense their resume to one page.
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  14 Oct 2013, 23:05
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Hmmmm, I've seen a lot of 2 page resumes too. And I've never seen it harm anyone's application. A few schools want ONLY one page, but besides that I'd say that if you really need 2 pages (like you have a very long career, or have done a ton of volunteer work) it's probably even a good idea to write two pages.
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  25 Oct 2013, 19:36
Hmmmm, I've seen a lot of 2 page resumes too. And I've never seen it harm anyone's application. A few schools want ONLY one page, but besides that I'd say that if you really need 2 pages (like you have a very long career, or have done a ton of volunteer work) it's probably even a good idea to write two pages.

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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  17 Nov 2014, 22:37
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  17 Mar 2015, 09:29
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Is it appropriate to include my year-end performance ratings (i.e. 1 out of 5) in my work experience section if they are strong ratings? Would obviously like to get the credit for achieving a top rating, and it is certainly qualifies as a quantifiable accomplishment. That said, is it too forward to include such a thing?

Also, while it would be great to be specific and say "received 1 rating, awarded to top X% of analysts", unfortunately I don't know exactly what the percentile cutoff is for a top rating? I know anecdotally that a "1 rating" it is is somewhere around the top 10-20% of analysts, but the company does not release an exact figure. Any thoughts on how to represent this?
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  17 Mar 2015, 11:17
andy3590 wrote:
Is it appropriate to include my year-end performance ratings (i.e. 1 out of 5) in my work experience section if they are strong ratings? Would obviously like to get the credit for achieving a top rating, and it is certainly qualifies as a quantifiable accomplishment. That said, is it too forward to include such a thing?

Also, while it would be great to be specific and say "received 1 rating, awarded to top X% of analysts", unfortunately I don't know exactly what the percentile cutoff is for a top rating? I know anecdotally that a "1 rating" it is is somewhere around the top 10-20% of analysts, but the company does not release an exact figure. Any thoughts on how to represent this?

I have the same issue. Any thoughts?
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  19 Mar 2015, 07:39
This is very useful, thanks for the info! I really liked the part that involves what words to use in bullet points.
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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid! [#permalink]  23 Mar 2015, 06:31
Expert's post
andy3590 wrote:
Is it appropriate to include my year-end performance ratings (i.e. 1 out of 5) in my work experience section if they are strong ratings? Would obviously like to get the credit for achieving a top rating, and it is certainly qualifies as a quantifiable accomplishment. That said, is it too forward to include such a thing?

Also, while it would be great to be specific and say "received 1 rating, awarded to top X% of analysts", unfortunately I don't know exactly what the percentile cutoff is for a top rating? I know anecdotally that a "1 rating" it is is somewhere around the top 10-20% of analysts, but the company does not release an exact figure. Any thoughts on how to represent this?

Basically how to present hings in your resume is up to you. Of course while keeping things factual and truthful, but you have a certain amount of flexibility.

I mean for example, let's say you work on a 10K project, you COULD write "Worked on a 10K project", but that can seem very small. But maybe its HUGE for your industry.. maybe you are into plastic buttons and that's like a billion buttons sold, and it was your biggest contract of the year, then you could rewrite. "Worked on company's biggest project!" Sounds nicer, yeah?

Same thing here. It's okay for you to extrapolate your percentage based on what you know to be true (although not hearsay), but maybe in your case "Received highest rating possible" would sound nicer than "being in top 20%" which seems a bit "normal" to me.

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Re: MBA Resume - Mistakes you can avoid!   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2015, 06:31
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