Scott Edinburgh
June 7, 2017

5 Ways An MBA Resume Should Differ From A Professional Resume

Your MBA application is not complete without your resume. Every candidate has one and it can be tempting to use the resume you already perfected to get your most recent job. However, a business school resume differs from a professional resume. Here are the key differences and our tips for optimizing your business school resume!

1. Stay away from industry jargon

In a professional resume, the reader is much more likely to be familiar with the industry and wants to know the details and specifics about your relevant experience. It matters to them which tools you used and industry buzzwords are key. However, the terms you regularly discuss at the office may be foreign to others, including admissions committee members. When in doubt, don’t assume the reader is familiar with everything about your job. Focus on language that is more general and easier to use to compare you to other applicants. Adcom members do not need or want all of the technical details anyway!

2. Focus on leadership and transferable skills

While it may be crucial in your current role that you are an expert in SQL, this is much less interesting to admissions committee members. Instead of all of the technical skills you have amassed, focus on the transferable skills you have developed and how you have emerged as a leader. How have you been a thought leader or managed a team/project? If you are going to name professional skills, think about ones relevant to many industries such as analysis or strategic thinking or research. These will be much more compelling in convincing the reader that you can excel in business school and beyond.

3. Don’t just list your job description

Admissions committee members don’t need to know every detail of your job and what specifically it entails. Instead, think about your key accomplishments and highlights. What key initiatives did you lead? What projects did you succeed in? How did you go above and beyond in your role? How did you excel, particularly in relation to your peers? Focus on the highlights. It is ok to leave some things you worked on out, especially if they wouldn’t sound impressive to someone outside of your company.

4. Include results!

Learnings, takeaways and results are the most important items to include in your business school resume. This can and should include both personal growth over time and your impact on business performance. The more specific and measurable your results are, the better. Think of items such as increased performance 30% over previous year or drove $1M in new business through x, y, z.

5. Show them another aspect of your profile

Successful business school students are active outside of work: in their communities, in athletics, with organizations, etc. They have hobbies or specific language skills. They won awards or earned certifications. They got involved on their campuses or at work outside of the scope of their jobs. These details are important to show readers another aspect of your candidacy. However, keep in mind quality over quantity! A laundry list of activities or an organization you volunteered with once won’t help (and including such might even hurt your creditability.)

Personal MBA Coach has worked on countless resumes over the years and there has never been a resume we couldn’t improve! Don’t hesitate to reach out today and discuss how we can help! We have been helping clients get into the schools of their dreams for over 10 years with a 96% success rate. See the difference our boutique one-on-one approach can make. Call +1-617-645-2424 or email: today!