MBA Career Advice: Three Tests for Your Resume: Weak to Wow!

In this weekly series, our mbaMission Career Coaches dispense invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, click here.

No matter which industry you plan to enter, your resume needs to make sense to the reader. In our past three blog posts on resumes, we have attempted to convey how you can create compelling bullets—you must ensure that each individual one passes these three tests:

The High School Test: A high school graduate with no exposure to your industry could understand every word and concept named.

The CEO Test: If the CEO of your company were to read each bullet, they would care because the results of your work are clear and your impact on the company’s profit and loss statement, or bottom line, can be directly seen or at least inferred. If direct-to-bottom-line results are not available, then meaningful qualitative results are offered instead.

The Cause and Effect Test: The reader can understand exactly how your work translated to, influenced, or related to the result indicated in each bullet; your specific contribution is clear and not disguised by an emphasis on group work or by implying total credit for a team result.

When you keep these three tests in mind, you can begin to turn your weak bullets into “wow” bullets. Consider the following examples:


  • Interoperability Test (IOT) Engineer for testing of data card with access points in the network layer for new wifi network


  • Achieved 100% closure of critical field issues found during network infrastructure trials in Asia, thereby directly influencing the successful acquisition of an $8M contract by the company


  • Mentored team in UNIGen Fin product innovation case comp


  • Led a six-person team of rising college juniors in a case competition as part of firm’s recruiting efforts, after which all six students applied for an internship (versus firmwide 50% application rate)


  • Redesigned business reporting structure and metrics to reflect new direction and to drive accountability


  • Designed a business reporting structure with increased accountability and measurability for a 50-person division with $300M AUM, leading to 100% regulatory compliance the following year

Keep these three tests in mind as you construct your resume, and you will create wow bullets every time, which will, almost inevitably, lead to a wow resume.

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