Your resume has the potential to be the single most important page of your application. Do you want to know why?
It is the only document that comprehensively reflects your professional and academic background. This snapshot is important for giving the Admissions Committee (AdCom) an idea of who you are before they dive deep into your story.
Most schools have ‘blind’ interviews. This means your interviewer would have only read your resume before they meet you (‘non-blind interviews are ones in which the interviewer has seen your entire application. HBS and MIT have non-blind interviews).
Most candidates applying to business school haven’t had to make a resume for at least three or four years. Also, they last made a resume when looking for a job. Here is what you need to look at to ensure your resume is business-school-ready.
MBA Resume Examples
Here are some examples of MBA resumes to help give you an idea of what to write.
Here is the first MBA resume template.
Experienced marketing executive with a proven track record, boasting over 5 years of expertise in spearheading digital product launches. Successfully devised and executed seven online campaigns for Deluxe products, contributing to a 30% surge in revenue. Demonstrated a keen ability to elevate customer retention rates by an impressive 60%. Eager to harness the knowledge framework offered by Harvard to pioneer innovative marketing solutions tailored for the dynamic digital landscape.
Zyna Deluxe, Dallas, TX
Managed a team of ten to develop and execute successful social media campaigns resulting in client revenue gains of 40%
Implemented a successful multi-platform SEO campaign that improved organic hits by 50% and brought 10,000 new subscribers in 1 year
Increased conversion rates by 30% by innovating targeted campaigns based on qualitative data analysis models
Zyna Deluxe, Dallas, TX
January 2016-August 2019
Created TV and print campaigns for the perfume division that resulted in revenue increase by 30%
Published a white paper in the Content Marketeers Associate Quarterly on “Qualitative Data Analysis and Targeted Advertising in the Digital Age”
BA in English Literature, Minor in Business – UCLA, CA
September 2013-April 2017
GPA 3.8, high honors
Winner of Dean’s Award for collaborative research paper “Evolution of Privacy in Advertisements and the Impact on Social Media Business Practices”
Selected for the Adam Wright Business Leadership Program
Presented at the AMA Annual Conference 2019 on the topic of Growing Cross-Platform Social Media Engagement via Quantitative Data Analysis
Led the UCLA Sparks Collegiate Gymnastics team to victory at the 2016 NCAA tournaments
Accomplished marketing strategist with over 7 years of experience driving digital product launches. Successfully conceptualized and executed ten online campaigns for Premier Solutions, resulting in a 25% revenue surge. Demonstrated expertise in elevating customer retention by 50%. Excited to apply Harvard's knowledge framework to revolutionize marketing strategies for the rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Digital Marketing Manager
Premier Solutions, San Francisco, CA
Led a dynamic team of fifteen, executing impactful social media campaigns that contributed to a 30% increase in client revenue.
Spearheaded a comprehensive SEO initiative, resulting in a 45% boost in organic hits and the acquisition of 20,000 new subscribers within a year.
Achieved a 40% increase in conversion rates through innovative targeted campaigns grounded in qualitative data analysis models.
Senior Marketing Analyst
Premier Solutions, San Francisco, CA
June 2015-July 2017
Pioneered TV and print campaigns for the electronics division, contributing to a 25% increase in revenue.
Published a white paper in the Marketing Insights Journal on "Revolutionizing Digital Advertising through Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis."
BA in Communications, Minor in Business – UC Berkeley, CA
September 2010-May 2014
Graduated with a GPA of 3.9, earning highest honors.
Received the Berkeley Excellence in Business Research Award for outstanding contributions to collaborative research on "Consumer Behavior in the Digital Era."
Selected for the Berkeley Leadership Development Program.
Presented at the AIMA Digital Summit 2019 on "Strategies for Enhancing Brand Visibility in a Crowded Digital Landscape."
Coached the UC Berkeley Rowing Team to victory at the 2013 Collegiate Rowing Championships.
Accomplished finance professional with over 8 years of experience excelling in investment management. Proven track record of driving portfolio growth and delivering exceptional returns. Led strategic initiatives resulting in a 20% increase in assets under management. Eager to leverage Harvard's comprehensive knowledge framework to pioneer innovative investment strategies for a dynamic financial landscape.
Quantum Investments, New York, NY
Successfully managed a diverse portfolio, achieving a consistent 15% annual return on investment.
Spearheaded strategic partnerships and new investment initiatives, contributing to a 20% increase in assets under management.
Implemented data-driven investment strategies resulting in improved risk-adjusted returns and client satisfaction.
BlueStar Capital, Chicago, IL
June 2012-August 2016
Conducted in-depth financial analysis, leading to the identification of profitable investment opportunities and risk mitigation strategies.
Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop and implement innovative financial models, resulting in a 25% reduction in portfolio risk.
Published research reports on emerging market trends and investment opportunities, contributing to the firm's thought leadership in the industry.
BSc in Finance, Minor in Economics – University of Chicago, IL
September 2008-May 2012
Graduated with honors and a GPA of 3.7.
Recipient of the Finance Excellence Award for outstanding performance in investment analysis and portfolio management.
Engaged in the Chicago Financial Leaders Program.
Presented at the CFA Institute Annual Conference 2018 on "Navigating Volatility: Innovative Approaches to Portfolio Management."
Co-founded the University of Chicago Investment Club, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among finance enthusiasts.
Strategic investment management
Analytical risk assessment
Innovative financial modeling and analysis
Now that you’ve seen these MBA resume samples, make sure that yours looks similar to this format. It’s important that you use these MBA CV templates as inspiration, and not copy directly from them!
Format and Layout for an MBA Resume
Before you start your MBA admission resume, you should look at the format and layout of one. Here is what you should expect your resume to look like.
MBA Resume Formatting
Ensure your resume is one page long. The admission committee has little time to read a lengthy two-page resume. You might have something interesting and impactful buried away on the second page. It’ll be a shame if the AdCom never gets to it.
Don’t focus on internships and college experiences unless you apply for deferred admission.
Unless there is an extremely impactful college experience, don’t mention it in your resume. There is a premium on real estate when you are drafting your resume. You are already listing the name of your institution and degree. Beyond this, make sure the college experiences you list are extraordinary.
This does not hold for college seniors or graduate students applying to deferred MBA programs. Don’t worry about focusing on college experiences if you are a college senior or graduate student – you will be evaluated on a different set of criteria.
Font and Spacing
Choose a simple template that is easy to read, has enough space between lines, and uses a clean font. You should choose Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial font style and size in 11 or 12-point size. Also, don’t use elaborate or over-designed templates that might be appropriate for marketing or design professions.
For an MBA program resume, opt for a professional and understated color palette. Use classic neutral tones such as black for text and headings and shades of gray for depth. Maintain a clean and readable look with a white or light background.
Consider sparingly adding deep, rich colors like burgundy or navy for elegance. Consistency in the color scheme is vital for a polished appearance. Avoid overly bright or distracting colors, focusing on presenting qualifications and achievements clearly and cohesively.
It's recommended to use the PDF file type. PDFs maintain formatting consistency across devices and are universally accepted. They are secure and less prone to alterations, providing a professional, standardized presentation for print and digital submissions.
Cover Letter Format
For an MBA cover letter, use a professional format. Begin with a formal greeting and a brief introduction. Explain your motivation for pursuing an MBA, linking it to your career goals and the specific program. Highlight relevant experiences and skills in the body paragraphs. Close with a strong conclusion expressing gratitude.
Keep the letter well-formatted, error-free, and tailored to the program or job requirements. Maintain a professional tone and aim for a concise, one-page length.
MBA Resume Layout and Sections
Depending on how many years of experience, your resume may look different, but not by a lot. Here are the resume layout and sections for experienced applicants and applicants with less than two years of experience.
For experienced MBA applicants, a well-structured resume begins with a clear header and a concise summary stating career goals. Prioritize the professional experience section, detailing roles in reverse chronological order, focusing on achievements. Include a skills section showcasing key competencies, followed by education details and relevant honors.
Optionally, incorporate sections for certifications, affiliations, and community involvement. Maintain a clean and organized design, tailoring the resume to align with the specific MBA program's criteria.
Applicants With Less Than 2 Years of Experience
For MBA applicants with less than two years of experience, the resume layout should prioritize academic achievements and potential. Begin with a clear header and an impactful objective statement outlining career goals within the MBA context. Emphasize the education section detailing degrees and honors.
Include internships, part-time roles, or relevant projects under the experience section, focusing on skills gained. Highlight key competencies in a skills section and showcase extracurricular activities, certifications, or volunteer work. Maintain a clean design, using bullet points for readability, and tailor the resume to connect with the specific criteria of the MBA program.
MBA Resume Writing Style
For an MBA resume, adopt a clear, concise writing style focused on achievements and skills. Start with a strong summary statement. Use action verbs to emphasize accomplishments and quantify achievements in professional experience. Clearly articulate transferable skills relevant to an MBA program, maintaining a formal and professional tone.
Organize information logically with bullet points for readability and tailor the content to align with program or industry requirements. Proofread diligently for accuracy and coherence.
Language to Incorporate in Your MBA Resume
Here are what you should incorporate in your resume.
Punchy and Accessible
Your resume should be direct. Don’t over explain or provide unnecessary detail about your background and experiences. For example, if you are listing language skills in your resume, English doesn’t need to be there.
Your entire application is in English, so the AdCom knows that you speak the language. However, it’s worth adding a language skills section if you have extraordinary language skills and are fluent in say six different languages.
Quantify the impact of your work as much as possible. Numbers speak louder than just words. For example, saying that you ‘grew the revenue of a business line’ is not as impactful as saying your ‘strategy led to a $15M increase in revenue in 6 months’.
Don’t Use Industry Jargon
You never know what the background of your AdCom member will be. They might not be familiar with your industry. It is always good practice to write a resume that anyone with a general business background can understand.
Content to Include in Your MBA Resume
Here is what you should include in your resume.
Include your full name, phone number, email address, and, if relevant, a link to your LinkedIn profile. This section is essential for prospective admissions committees to reach you.
Resume Summary or Profile
Begin your resume with a concise summary or profile discussing your career goals and key strengths. This section provides a quick overview of what you bring to the table.
Outline your professional journey in the work experience section. Emphasize achievements, responsibilities, and quantifiable results from each role, showcasing your practical skills and contributions.
Present details about your academic background, including degrees earned, institutions attended, graduation dates, and any academic honors or awards. This section helps establish your educational qualifications.
Additional Information and Achievements
Use this section to highlight additional relevant information, such as certifications, languages spoken, or any notable accomplishments that contribute to your overall profile.
Conclude your resume with a dedicated skills section. Highlight key competencies that align with the MBA program or industry requirements. This provides a quick reference to your abilities and strengths.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Substance, Not shine
Use adjectives where necessary, but don’t overdo it. Words such as ‘Led’, ‘Founded’, or ‘Created’ can create a lot of impact. However, you should avoid using adverbs as they rarely add value to a resume. Also, don’t just focus on your tactical day-to-day responsibilities when writing your resume.
Instead, focus on the impact that you had. When writing your resume, entire sentences are not necessary and words such as ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’ aren’t always needed.
The AdCom is interested in seeing your career and leadership progression. This is especially true for applicants from industries that have non-traditional job titles. Engineering is one such industry. Be sure to highlight moments in your career when you assumed a leadership role and delivered results that were not expected from someone with your tenure.
Complement Your Essays
Your resume should not feel disjointed from your essays. For example, if one of your essays focuses on the impact that you had during a particular project at your job, make sure that project is mentioned in your resume. Another example is when none of your essays focus on extra-curricular experiences. In such cases, you don’t want the AdCom to think you don’t have any extra-curricular experience so be sure to write about some in your resume.
If you still have questions, check out these frequently asked questions.
1. How Do You List an MBA on a Resume?
You should list your MBA on a resume by including the name of the university or business school alongside the dates of study or date of graduation. Then, include the official name of the course.
2. What Makes a Good MBA Resume?
A good MBA resume is concise and emphasizes achievements in a compelling summary. It includes relevant work experience and clear education details while highlighting additional information and skills aligned with program or industry requirements.
3. How Do I Write a CV for an MBA Graduate?
Creating a CV for an MBA graduate involves presenting academic achievements, skills, and professional experience. Start with a summary outlining career goals. Highlight academic successes, emphasizing relevant coursework and projects. Focus on achievements in the work experience section, showcasing leadership and strategic thinking.
Tailor the CV to the specific industry, ensuring a professional and consistent format. Conclude with a strong summary that underscores your eagerness to contribute effectively and professionally.
4. How Many Pages Should an MBA Resume Be?
Your MBA resume should be one page. Admission committees are busy and don't have the time to read much unnecessary information. Be concise and include a detailed summary of your achievements.
Now that you better understand how to write an MBA resume, ensure you implement the tips we’ve provided. You must create an impactful resume because admission committees will reference this when deciding whether you’ll get accepted.
About Inspira Futures
At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.