Recently I’ve been working a lot on my resume. Whether applying to MBA programs or jobs this is a very important tool to help you secure a position. Some recommendations:
1) Make it unique – This is a marketing tool for yourself. Imagine you were “selling” yourself (keep it clean people). Who’s your target buyer? And how would your advertisement look? Your resume is just an advertisement or another marketing tool, but instead of selling a product, you’re selling yourself. That said, know your audience and tune your resume for them showing them why you are unique.
2) Explain HOW you did it, not what you did – So what if you sold a bagillion doohickies, made your own company or scored the biggest client in the world. These companies and schools care about that, but they really care about how you got there. What was your thought process, who did you work with, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? That said, your bullets don’t have to be confined to one line. For example, I have some bullets in my resume that are 3 lines long! Use that space to tell a story!
3) Run it by others – If you’re looking at schools, ask the reps what kind of help the career services group will give you. At Mccombs we have an entire class devoted to career preparation lead by the career services team. Our team is one of the best and I’ve needed their help on multiple occasions and they’ve been there every single time. If you’re still in the application process, run your resume by a mentor or friend. There is a good chance you missed something
4) Make an “Additional” or “Extra” section that highlights the person you are outside of work/school – You could have been a valedictorian or the best i-banker in NYC , but if you have the personality of a rock, you’re going to have a hard time. I seriously doubt you have a person life that resembles a rock, so show it in your resume. These are talking points in your interview that you can use to build rapport with the interviewer. For example, I use my passion for photography and cycling in my “additional” section.
Good luck and hopefully this helps during your application process whether potential MBA, 1st or 2nd year.