These Three Bullets Should Be On Your MBA Resume
With Round 2 deadlines roughly three months away, now is a great time to get started on your MBA resume, if you haven’t already. As an MBA admissions consultant, I often find that clients underestimate the importance of the resume portion of their application and are surprised by the number of iterations we work through together (often ten or more!). Think of it this way – your resume is like your executive summary: it should concisely tell the story of how you’ve grown and developed over the course of your career as well as provide an indication of your focus areas and motivations. However, not all resume bullets are created equal!
Simply describing what you did or what you accomplished doesn’t always paint a complete picture of how and why you will be successful in the future, which is truly what the admissions committee is assessing. As such, below is a list of three types of bullets you should include on your resume to demonstrate not only your career progression but also your leadership potential. You can pick from experiences in college, work or the community; but before you hit submit, we recommend that you have all three of the stories below embedded in your resume in some way, shape or form.
- A Time When You Created: Someone who creates is often someone who takes it upon themselves to innovate in hopes of producing “lasting value”, as Kellogg would say. They can conceptualize a solution and take steps to execute it – selling the idea, solving problems along the way, and (often) motivating a team to help them. These are requisite skills for success in virtually any post-MBA career path! So, whether you developed a new logistics plan for your team (like one of my clients right now) or established a fundraiser for a cause that you care about, make sure you are able to provide evidence that you are someone who can create and innovate.
- A Time When You Fixed: Taking the time to fix something that’s broken or suboptimal signals that you have a strong work ethic, that you care, and that you are a team player. So often things stay broken because finding a solution is daunting, has been tried before, or simply isn’t ‘fun’ work. So many people walk by or around problems and issues; leaders and game changers take the time to stop and make it better because they know it’ll help everyone in the long run. Perhaps you took the time to go back and adjust the data in your company’s CRM so that you could make better data driven decisions or rewrote the onboarding program for your company so that it was brought up to current times. Whatever the case, providing evidence that you “fix what’s broken” can go a long way in demonstrating your character and leadership potential.
- A Time When You Enhanced: Some of the best business leaders are those who subscribe to the notion of continuous improvement. Even if something isn’t ‘broken’, it can often be done better. Leaders keep asking questions and making improvements. Perhaps you questioned whether the algorithm your company was using was the best option or maybe you pushed back when senior leadership wanted to delay the launch of a new service. Whatever the case, and whatever the action, telling a story about a time when you enhanced or improved a process, project, or even product can signal that you are the type of person who believes in pushing the boundaries and working towards excellence (e.g. you don’t just take orders and not care whether it’s the best it could be).
If you have multiple stories for each of these categories, great! But at a minimum, try to weave at least one of each of these categories into your resume to ensure that your leadership potential shines through!
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