All top MBA programs require a resume/CV from applicants. Use this CV builder for guidelines.
How long should my CV/resume be?
1 page. Conventions vary in different workplaces but for MBA applications 1 page is almost always best.
Which sections should I include?
It’s common to break an MBA resume into three sections: Education & Qualifications, Work experience and Additional Information.
Using bullet points:
Within each section include 2-5 bullet points describing your 3Rs: Role, Responsibilities, Results. More recent and longer-held roles should have more bullet points.
Begin bullet points using verbs:
Start each bullet point with a verb. Good verbs for a resume include Structured, Negotiated, Advised, Managed, Researched and Coordinated. Use numbers as evidence wherever possible and avoid subjective comments. Instead of saying an ‘important’ deal, quantify the deal size.
Avoid using industry jargon and abbreviations. If you’re unsure about a term, consider whether it would pass the ‘HR test’:
The HR test: Would a generalist Human Resources colleague at your company fully understand the term? If not, avoid it.
Consider including internships:
Consider whether you want to include internships on your resume. MBA candidates tend to have around 4 years of work experience. Applicants with 8+ years of work experience may consider omitting internships to focus on more recent, relevant experience.
Choose a standard format:
Use a standard, simple font. You can’t go wrong with Arial. Then widen the margins on both sides of the document to create more workable space.
Include certain contact details:
Use a professional email address if possible. If you can’t, for example because you’re unemployed or want discretion from your employer, use a professional-looking personal email address. Your gamer email address for the forums isn’t appropriate here.
In some places it’s common to add a photo to a resume. This isn’t the case for MBA applications. Do not include a photo or any other potentially discriminatory information such as age, race or sexual orientation.
Careful with languages:
Just because you studied a language once, don’t necessarily include it on your resume. If your interviewer happens to speak the language you can expect them to throw you a question in that language. If you can’t understand and answer the question, you’ll have failed the test and the credibility of your entire application is at risk.
Use a template if possible:
Some schools encourage applicants to stick to a certain a template, for example Oxford uses the following: https://apply.sbs.ox.ac.uk/apply/CV-template.pdf
The resume component of your MBA application is fundamental and crucial. Get in touch if you’re in any doubt about yours.
Example MBA CV/resume:
I help determined applicants get admitted to top business schools. Get in touch if I can help you with your application. Book a chat here.