Business School Resume: Keys to Success
The resume is an integral component of the business school application process. It is the one document that summarizes an applicant's entire story: education, work experience, personal and professional achievements, and additional skills and abilities. To set yourself apart from the competition, you should spend considerable time updating and revising your resume to create a compelling document for the admissions committee. The following are three key suggestions that will help you prepare your resume.
Do you talk about responsibilities in your resume? If you do, then you are making a classic mistake. Resumes are about achievements, not responsibilities. The admissions committee (as well as recruiters) does not care about what you "were supposed to do." They care about what you actually did. Achievements are past success stories that start with powerful action verbs and in very few words explain the situation, action, and result. Remember to list your achievements in order of importance (resumes are oftentimes scanned).
Powerful resumes show impact. It is not enough to simply talk about what you did for an organization, but additionally you must answer the question of why it matters. If you wrote a report, how was it used by the organization? If you performed a financial analysis, how was the analysis used by decision makers? If you created a database or improved an internal process, how much time or money did it save the organization? The answers to these questions show the value you bring to organizations.
Most resumes are too focused on "you." This may seem confusing considering the purpose of the document is to sell yourself. There are two reasons why talking about teamwork is important. The first reason is that acknowledging the work of others shows integrity. Most work is performed on teams and you should be honest and give credit where it is due. Second, remember that you are trying to show several qualities about yourself on your resume. Teamwork is a very important quality for success in the business world and it benefits you to show past experience and success working with others. Use phrases such as "worked on a team," "facilitated," "managed a 5-member team," "co-authored a report," etc.
Igor Khayet is the President and Founder of My Resume Shop. He is a former Admissions Interviewer for the Yale School of Management and a current member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.