Resume

Resume

Your resume is a one page snapshot of your accomplishments. One page isn?t much real estate to work with so you have to be sure to use each word wisely ? and for maximum impact.When the Adcom reviews your resume, a few key ideas should pop out: leadership, initiative, awards, grades, extra curricular activities and how you are different (stand out ? for all the right reasons!).

Each bullet point on your resume should be results oriented and give the adcom a sense of the size and scope of your accomplishments. Revenue figures, market cap, profit numbers will illustrate the impact your work has made on the organization that you work for.

If you are from a non-business industry, the bullet points are the opportunity to connect it to the business world or make the experience/accomplishment relevant to the business world. In our work with candidates, often they describe what they do in terms of what they do all day or the types of projects that they work on. Rarely do they relate their projects to the larger organization. In other words, if you manage relationships with clients, how many do you manage? How much revenue does your book of business bring to the company? If you work in a technical role, what is the result of your efforts? What is the impact on the product or suite of products? How does it impact the flow of business for your organization?

If you have a very technical job, describe what you are working on in language that someone could understand from outside your industry. No jargon here, either. This will enable future employers and the adcom to identify your transferable skills. In a market as tight as the 2008 and 2009, it became incumbent on students to figure out how to articulate their story ? not just report on what they used to work on but the skills they developed and how they might transfer to their next position.

Format

The standard for business resumes is one page ? no more. Even seasoned business professionals cap their resumes at a page. Candidates should use a format that looks fairly standard for the country where they intend to go to business school.

Content

Be careful to use action words (led, organized, invested, discovered, initiated, managed, started, elected, researched) to describe the work that you do. When you are done, compare the first word in each bullet to be sure you aren?t overusing words and to confirm that all of the verbs are in the same tense.

Education

Include leadership and extra curricular activities, special projects, courses and electives, list only relevant courses, research and teaching if you have that experience

Work experience

Spend more space on recent jobs rather than jobs held long ago, make sure each bullet focuses on results (not just what you did on the project butthe impact the project had on the firm as a whole),? on-campus experience counts as experience (extra-curriculars do not)

Leadership/Activities/Projects/Awards

Do not include languages (not interesting, they will assume that you speak English). Generally speaking, employers will assume you know Word/Excel/Powerpoint but adding them and similar skills is important in this job market as employers will want to see that you are ready to hit the ground running. Think about your extra-curriculars and activities in light of the business schools you are applying to ? are they looking for something in particular? Have you run a club that they don?t yet have on campus but might look to start in the future? Alumni activities are helpful, particularly fundraising.

Additional Information

Interests ? list activities and passions that make you unique, but not odd. We have read resumes that made us laugh out loud and that is not the response you are looking for. Be careful to choose words that make sense for a business school application ? funky isn?t one of them. List memberships in professional organizations. Be sure to include community service as it shows another aspect of your leadership and general awareness. It also gives you the opportunity to highlight something you are passionate about. Be colorful and specific: ?reading, travel and music? won?t help the adcom learn anything about you.

Red flags

Be sure to include your email address in the address section but also be sure you?re your email address is plain and simple. Don?t try to do anything cute or even remotely questionable. Remember, everything you submit to the adcom tells them something about you. Name your resume file appropriately (full name plus resume) if you send on an electronic document. Send word files, or maybe pdfs. Not any other fancy document type. Do not include an ?objective? as it isn?t really helpful information. Your objective will be spelled out in painstaking detail throughout the rest of your application.

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