I have been seeing a lot of inconsistencies across resumes lately, so I put together what I consider to be a good guideline of ten tips for writing a winning resume for b-school:
10 Tips for RESUME writing:
1. Make formatting consistent-no more than two fonts on the page and no more than two font sizes. Indent same information the same way (companies, positions, dates), so reader can easily scan for like information. Use small headers - Use smaller-sized headers and top margins. Make your header 2-3 lines max in 10 font.
2. Personal Branding Statement - Instead of a summary, use a crystal clear, very concise personal branding statement.
3. Briefly describe the company - Directly under your personal branding statement, list your experience. Don’t waste too much space describing your prior companies, unless they are very unusual or obscure - your hiring manager isn’t hiring your past company…you are asking them to hire you.
4. Emphasize the important - Make the first three bullet points relevant to your post-MBA vision, Do research to determine what the most burning problems are, and demonstrate how you’ve already solved them. Highlight four things all schools are looking for on your resume: Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork and Maturity. Your reader’s attention will focus most on the first three bullet points, so to go beyond that is usually wasted space.
5. Use short bullets - no more than 2 lines. The human eye doesn’t scan detail in bullets longer than two lines. Use bullets, not paragraphs. The human eye doesn’t scan details well in paragraphs.
6. Make it chronological-information on resume should be most recent at the top down to most distant ant the bottom, usually beginning with Experience and ending with Education. Never list internships or work done during college in your experience section (this communicates that you don’t think you have enough experience). Put such experience under your college in the Education section.
7. No more than one page, or two pages for mid-management or executive level
8. Brevity is key-this is not an all-encompassing dossier, but rather just enough information to trigger an interview and/or provide a good key or reference to the rest of your application.
9. Have a section for additional information - to include hobbies, areas of interest, professional memberships, community service and other things which will demonstrate depth beyond work.
10. Quantify your qualifications and key experiences-numbers can orient the reader and provide perspective on your achievements.