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The anatomy of a Resume

Getting into the MBA application process, it might be tempting to think that writing your resume would be the easiest part because you have been accustomed to writing it for recruiting purposes. The truth might be far from this!


Up until now, you have been writing a professional resume for an audience (read recruiters) who is looking to assess the depth of your industry knowledge and the skills necessary to perform the job. For instance, on a professional resume, merely mentioning the projects you worked on and the level of proficiency you possess in certain tools might be enough. Not on the resume you use for applications.

When the admissions committee reads your resume, they are not just looking to understand the industry perspectives and experiences you bring. They are also assessing whether or not you possess problem-solving capabilities, can collaborate seamlessly with diverse individuals and that you have the makings of a leader in you. Conveying these skills and facts to the admissions simply and lucidly should be at the core of writing the resume for applications. Here are three key things to keep in mind as you go about writing your resume for MBA applications.


Share stories and not job descriptions

Because stories live longer than facts! Avoid writing just a description of deals or cases you worked on. Avoid bullet points that say Manage a team of x, responsible for y. These do not help the admissions committee assess your capabilities fully. Provide context of the circumstances in which you performed your job, specific details about the stakeholders you worked with and the size and quantum of benefits your work created for your organization or the client’s organization.


Empathise with your audience

In writing these stories, explain your work environment and actions in simple terms. Appreciate that the admissions committee might not be thoroughly familiar with your industry, role and market realities. Avoid jargon and provide vivid details. Instead of using ‘MAU’, say ‘active users. Instead of quoting ‘TAT’, share man-hours saved.


Demonstrate the impact of your work

Show Impact and Quantify Results! Your capabilities are only as valuable as the benefits it generated. With that in mind, when you mention results on your resume bullet points, avoid the classic trap of operational metrics, near term results or absolute results. A classic example is writing something like – saved $50K in costs annually. Go back and ask yourself- how important is $50K? How much is that as a % of the total cost-base? Ask what the 3-yr benefit of the savings you identified from the analytical exercise is. How much more significant is this saving as compared to the last cost transformation project?


If our thoughts inspire you, connect with us and get in-depth advice that helped government employees, political strategists, doctors, and oil-tanker engineers write a compelling resume for their application and gain admits to top business schools.


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