Resume Building for your MBA Application Part 1 of 3 (Aesthetics)

By - Feb 1, 08:00 AM Comments [0]

By Mona Abdel-Halim

Curriculum Vitaes and resumes are often referred to interchangeably, but to the professional world, these documents are very different. Resumes are the accepted norm in the United States, while CVs are the accepted norm in European and Asian countries -- different in title, but very similar in content.

Conversely, CVs in the United States are expanded documents focusing on research, teaching, coursework, and publications. These are typically only used in the academic environment, while some components are the same as resumes you’ll need to apply to business school, the format is noticeably different.

If you already have a CV, you are halfway there...just follow these simple guidelines to help you turn it into a winning resume.


Length: U.S. resumes are typically no longer than one or two pages long. Resumes are not intended to be laundry lists or detail everything you have ever done. Keep them short and sweet, ensuring only the most important details relevant to the position or program are provided.

Format: There are a variety of formats you may use for a resume. Choose your format based on the following tips:

  • Chronological -- Chronological resumes are typically the simplest formats providing your work history with your most recent employer listed first. This is the format typically preferred by employers, and it works well when you have a lot of prior work experience.
  • Functional -- Functional resumes are good for hiding gaps in work history and typically highlight your skills and experience. But, this is precisely why most employers don’t like functional resumes.
  • Combination -- Combination resumes highlight skills and experience followed by work history. These resumes allow you to provide your professional education, but work well if you are trying to change careers or are applying for a program that doesn’t align perfectly with your qualifications.

No matter what format you choose, make sure your resume is targeted. This means making your resumes very position-specific which requires more work than a traditional one-size-fits-all resume. Targeted resumes can be very effective in capturing a reviewers attention and are almost always worth the extra time spent making them.

Check back for Part 2 and 3 dealing with the content of your resume.

Have you converted your CV into a resume before? What other tips would you share?

Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of, the world’s only resume builder for MBA candidates. You can find Mona and Resunate on Facebook and Twitter.

~Article provided by the courtesy of Kaplan GMAT

[0] Comments to this Article

Comments are closed.