What to Include in Your Admissions Resume

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What to Include in Your Admissions Resume

I suggest that applicants begin assembling materials for their applications as early as possible in advance of admissions deadlines. One of the first items you should start working on is your resume, a document that all professionals should always have updated and at the ready.

6 tips for creating a rockin’ resume

Here are some tips on creating the ideal admissions-worthy resume.

Resume tip #1: Know how far back in time to detail in your resume.

As a general rule, if you are applying to graduate school and have at least two years of work experience, your high school activities should not be included in your resume. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you won a prestigious national award in high school, you may certainly consider including this important recognition.

Resume tip #2: Follow some general resume formatting rules.

These tips include:

  • There should be no more than four bullet points beneath each position.
  • Each bullet should ideally be no more than two lines long.
  • To ease the reader’s eye strain, the font should not be smaller than 10 pt.
  • Margins should be as close to one inch all around as possible – I, personally, will not reduce them lower than 0.7 inches.

Resume tip #3: Prioritize your bullets.

How should applicants to the top international graduate programs focus the resume on their most relevant and compelling experiences? Limit the number of bullet points describing your early entry-level roles and instead expand the space dedicated to those in which you made the most impact.

For instance, if you were promoted from an entry-level programming position with your company, then you don’t even need to dedicate a separate line to describe that first role. Instead, you can simply impress the reader by describing the fast pace of promotion in a line of the job description, like this:

Team Lead, IT Consulting Company      2017-Present

Twice promoted from Analyst (2017-2018) to Senior Analyst (2019) and then Team Lead in record 12 months, a full 4 times faster than the average rate of promotion.

Resume tip #4: Learn how to be succinct!

What if one position has allowed you significant leadership opportunities and impact? Or what if you have been in your current role for several years? How can you detail all that you have accomplished in just four bullet points? The trick is to break that down into sections, like this for example:

Private Equity Associate, PE Firm       2018-Present

Lines of job description here…

Leadership Accomplishments Include:

• 1st point

• 2nd point

• 3rd point

• 4th point

Financial Impacts Include:

• 1st point

• 2nd point

• 3rd point

• 4th point

Resume tip #5: Quantify your impact.

Keep in mind that the majority – if not all – of those bullet points should include quantifiable impact that you had on the organization. Breaking up a bulk of text with numbers and section headings makes the entire document more compelling.

Resume tip #6: Embrace the page’s white space.

To ensure that your document is easy to read and keeps the admissions officer’s attention, you need to include ample white space. To add some white space above each position in Microsoft Word, highlight the title line of each row (hold the Ctrl button down as you click to keep them all highlighted), then click on Format, Paragraph, then in the Spacing Before box try at least 4 pt. (if you have more space left on the page at the end you can go to 6 pt.). Do the same for the bullet points throughout the document and try 2 pt. or 3 pt. spacing before each of those lines.

Check out this pdf file to see the difference this little formatting trick can make.

For one-on-one guidance on your graduate school admissions resume, check out our Resume Services. Your personal advisor is standing by ready to help you optimize your resume and GET ACCEPTED!

Get started on your perfect admissions resume!
by Jennifer Bloom, accepted admissions consultant

By Jennifer Bloom, admissions consultant at Accepted for 20 years and Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at guiding you to produce application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, a free guide
• One Size Does NOT Fit All – Resume Writing Tips
• 18 Do’s And Don’ts For Your Application Resume

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

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