Master of Business Administration (MBA) Resume tips
05 February 2023
What Should an MBA Resume Look Like
First and foremost, let's talk about how an MBA resume should look. It sounds small, but fixing a bad resume is not only a life-long affair but can also turn out to be disastrous, so starting afresh is a great way to get your MBA resume ready.
MBA jobs have been on the rise and no wonder the number of schools offering MBA degrees have been on the rise too. The increase in the number of MBA graduates means increased competition that one must face when applying to jobs. By keeping your MBA resume simple and punchy, you can increase your odds of success tremendously and earn that interview call. Of course, I am not talking about the campus interview scenarios.
Idea in Brief
When you are applying for jobs, you are competing with people whose experience and professional background match your own, so you're trying to stand out in a crowd of like applicants. This is why a professional resume can be tricky to craft. Keep simple rules in mind and you will have your stellar resume in no time.
Length of your resume
Get your MBA resume onto a single page — pure and simple. If you submit a three-page resume, or worse, a short novel, your application will go to the bottom of the HR recruiter's pile. Ruthlessly eliminate stuff that doesn't belong on the resume you are crafting for a specific job.
Read a few times, be frugal with words and eliminate those words that don't belong in your resume. When the resume is ready, take a break (i.e. go for a walk or do something other than editing your resume) and then come back to edit a little more.
Then ask one of your friends who care to read like it is theirs to read and give you a feedback on where else you can cut down. When you ask your friends for feedback on your resume, ask for one thing at a time - ask for feedback on the density of the words, repetitive use of specific words and the choice of words.
Font and Spacing
Don't get fancy, however it is tempting — go with the classics: Calibri, Arial, or Garamond. Personally, we recommend Times New Roman. 11 to 12 point font is the go-to, with 14 for the headings. Keep the margins at one inch.
These are small things but remember: HR recruiters and hiring managers will read hundreds of applications in a month, and you don't want them overlooking your resume because of small formatting issues. Remember, the HR recruiters and hiring managers also have other things to do as part of their work – like attending meetings, preparing budgets, reports, presentations etc., so they are already very hard-pressed for time and you want to be their saving grace by showing then very quickly how good you are.
If you are still fancying using some modern looking fonts for your resume, take my word and use Times New Roman size 12 with a line height of 1. Even if you don't like how old the font looks, the reason this font is super popular is because it is easy on the eyes and professional publishers hence prefer using this font.
Show you are an MBA
Before competing with fellow MBAs, in the first place you need to demonstrate to your hiring mangers you bring additional goods to the table because you are an MBA. So show by means of your student projects, internships or work experiences and achievements at work that you possess skills that MBAs are generally expected to possess.
Some sample MBA-specific skills you can mention on your resume are financial modeling, evaluation of company performances, organizational design, negotiation, system design, operations management, etc. Limit to two or three under skills, and you are good.
Also keep in mind that the job descriptions give you a great idea about what skills are primary to the job. If you have those skills that are primary, make sure to include them under skills.
Colors and File Type
Black and white. Colors will distract from the entire point of the resume: communicating who you are as a professional and MBA candidate. And, unless you are asked to send the resume in any other format, send your resume via emails in PDF - It's clean, clear, and looks professional.