As you prepare to start your MBA program, we recommend updating your resume prior to orientation. Once you are on campus, one of the first recruiting-related tasks you will need to complete is updating and submitting your resume, but you will already be busy with other activities.
So, take the time now to put together a compelling resume for landing your target internship. Here are our top three tips for creating a resume that will stand out from those of your peers.
1. Curate your resume content for your target audience.
Your resume is not intended to be your autobiography, detailing everything you have ever done. Research to understand what the most important skills are for your target role, read our mbaMission Career Guides, look at job descriptions, and talk with friends in your intended role.
Action Items: Read each bullet point on your resume. Next to each one, write down the main skill or theme that the bullet point communicates (hint: pay special attention to the action verb that starts the bullet point). Review the list and evaluate whether your resume shows that you meet the needs of your target employer. Remove any jargon that is overly industry specific.
2. Showcase your impact.
If your bullet points read like those in a job description, you are missing an opportunity to differentiate your candidacy and show your track record of success. Compelling resumes also help the reader see the scope of your responsibility and the level of complexity in your work.
Action Items: Reread each bullet point and ask yourself, “So what? Why did I do this task? Whom did it help? How did it help them?” Each bullet point should include a quantification of the impact you had on your department, company, or client (e.g., actual number, forecasted number, year-over-year comparison, scale or scope of work). If you cannot quantify the impact, look for qualitative metrics of success.
Try this framework for bullet writing:
- Verb (e.g., “led,” “created,” “collaborated,” “implemented”)
- What (i.e., the subject of your project or activity)
- How (e.g., by analyzing, negotiating, cold calling)
- Impact (e.g., improved efficiency, reduced downtime, amount of cost savings, increased revenue)
Here are a few examples of the bullet point transformation that occurs when you focus on showcasing your impact:
3. Pay attention to the details.
Your resume must have consistent formatting and be aesthetically pleasing. The format should never detract from the content.
Action Items: Proofread your document (multiple times). If you are a non-native English speaker, make sure that a native speaker reviews your resume. Look for typos or inconsistent spacing. Start each bullet point with a skill-based action verb. Limit bullet points to no more than three lines, and avoid having more than six bullet points in a row. Remove vague language (such as “multiple,” “responsible for,” and “successful”).
And finally, do not forget to update your document to adhere to your MBA program’s resume requirements. You can access the template—along with your school’s resume writing resources and (potentially free) resume reviews—through the program’s career management website.
With mbaMission’s hourly services, you can choose to work on any task relating to any stage of the MBA application process, including resume review. As an hourly client, you dictate the process and decide how and where you want to dedicate your purchased time with your consultant.