The resume often gets the least attention and effort of applicants, overlooked among piles of other forms, essays, and letters. These applicants think they have valid reasons for that: they already have an up-to-date job resume to which making just a small twist would magically turn it into an MBA Resume.

This is not correct!

In this article, you’ll be provided with the perfect format of an MBA resume, which:

1. Is different from normal resumes: Sections not to put in MBA Resume; and

2. The standard order of sections & tips to nail each of it

But first, download our ready-to-go template before diving deeper to each section!

1. MBA Resume Format: What to Exclude

1.1 The “Objective” section

This is the heading statement of a normal resume that summarizes your experience into a brief proof of you being a good fit for the job, and shows your clear career goal. It is essential in resumes for job application

However, the thing with MBA Application Resume is that:

  • To be honest, your short-term goal for now is to get into that targeted prestigious B-school, and you don’t want to put that explicitly in the “Objective” section.
  • How about putting your long-term goal? 

Though not necessarily important in job-hunting resumes, your long-term Career vision is one of the AdCom’s key criteria in MBA application. 

Thus, this career objective should definitely be described not only once or twice in other parts of your application package (e.g. motivation letter, essays, application form…). Squeezing your potential career path into a brief and cliche statement, e.g. “To obtain a management position, in which I am given the opportunity to play a direct role in the unlimited growth and success of a solid organization” would just make the AdCom roll their eyes and sigh.

So, my advice: leave the precious space of this one-page (I repeat, one-page!) document for other important information to be conveyed.

1.2. The “Skills” section

Again, this is a section employers focus on, but not MBA Admissions Committees. Top B-schools look for the most well-rounded people, whose working experience and achievements will speak louder about their various skills than just a few bullet points.

Some people have yet to realize this fact, and tend to put these normally-mentioned skills in their resume:

“MS-Office Suite”

The AdCom has already assumed that you know these basic office programs if you have worked in the business field. These are not considered a merit, nor a point of differentiation. Just do not write it down, unless you’re under the exception of a non-businessman who’s not expected to know Excel or Powerpoint.

Technical skills within your field

“SQL, Python, Google Analytics, Adwords,…” Not only because the AdCom might not know these jargon, but also, these are probably required in your recent jobs, and AdCom would take for granted that you are good at your technical field providing all the impacts you list down the “Working Experience”.

e.g. If you have bullet points like “Recommended a new data entry method, increased effectiveness by 57% and saved 42% processing time”, then it’s obvious that you probably know some sort of data entry programs like Fluix or UIPath.

1.3 “Too-personal” personal information

To secure your professionalism and abide by the “culture” of your school’s country, and the widely accepted format, you might consider dropping these out of your resume:

  • Your photograph 
  • Your date of birth, and gender
  • Your marital status

2. Mba Resume Format: The Perfect Template

Now that we know “Objective”, “Skills” and other personal information are NOT to put in the resume, we’ll go on with WHAT to actually include, and how they should be ordered to best highlight your potential:

0. Name & Contact

1. Work experience

2. Leadership / Community Activities

3. Education

4. Additional information

2.1 Work experience

This section is the ultimate proof of you having potential to be an impactful business leader. The question is that, Are you someone who can upend an industry, a product, or create something innovative…, based on your dynamic professional experience and progress?

Work experience should be the most informational section of your resume, taking up about ⅔ of the total length.

AdCom’s expectation

How to prove

Career progress

List experience chronologically down the page, beginning with your current role

Your responsibility and impact should portrait an upward momentum throughout the years

Career achievements

Construct bullet points with the format:

The work: Use strong action verbs

Explanation of work: Elaborate the work, remember to 

a. Be very specific, 

b. Highlight the difficult nature of the work

The result: Qualify or quantify the output to specify your impact 

Leadership potential

Only list top accomplishments, skip day-to-day operational tasks

Highlight works involving interpersonal skills, especially high-level leadership roles

MBA Resume Example – Work Experience section

2.2 Community Activities

This is a perfect section for you to not only showcase your leadership abilities, but also how passionate you are in community engagement. A well-rounded candidate the AdComs look for should be investing his free time outside the office doing something great for the society, without bothering about compensation. 

It could be a Charity run, a Non-profit club, or an Environmental event that you take part in. Or if you don’t have that much time for the society, show the ways you’ve given back to your school or workplace (e.g. Led Student Ambassadors, Found LGBTQ alliance…).

Whatever the work you’ve done,  remember to differentiate you as a potential leader among other participants. 

  • What is that difficult nature of work that you handled? 
  • What is your impact after all? 

Apply the perfect bullet point format of: The work + Explanation of the work + The result, for this section’s bullet points. 

BUT if you still haven’t thought up any impressive and inspirational Voluntary work that you’ve done (because you have zero experience, or mostly done paperwork…), don’t be too worried! 

Instead of trying to stuff trivial activities in (, screaming “I’m not passionate in Voluntary work!”), you can leave the space for other stunning achievements, maybe lengthening your “Work experience”, or adding more uniqueness in “Additional Information” section.

You can cross this section out if Community work is not YOUR THING.

2.3 Education

This section is straightforward and consistent with your job resumes, where you list your schools, degress, academic achievements, etc. MBA programs are academically demanding, hence the high requirements in intellectual ability of applicants. 

Extracurricular activities that show campus leadership can, but not necessarily be listed down in this section (you can put it either here or count for a “Community Experience”).

AdCom’s expectation

How to prove

Academic capacity

GPA, Ranking, Academic Honors

Expertise in particular fields

Name of degree, Publications, Awards, Patents, Citations

Community engagement 

Campus leadership (could be expressed here or in “Community Experience” section

MBA Resume Example – Education section

2.4 Additional Information

If you still have one or two lines to spare and some uniqueness that do not fall under any header above to highlight, you could make use of this “Additional Information” section. However, people usually overlook this last part by freely cramming pieces of information that they consider “umm… interesting” about themselves.

This is a no-no. 

So how to ace this “Additional Information” section?

What to include?

  • Awards
  • Hobbies, interests
  • Charity or voluntary work

But before deciding to write it down, consider:

  • Is this info a point of differentiation?
  • Is it something you want to be asked about in the interview?
  • Does it round up your resume, painting a fuller and consistent picture of yourself?

To squeeze your profile into a one-page document is tricky. That’s why you need to allocate the most of your precious word count to information sections that weigh the most, and exclude unnecessary sections too!

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