Student Resume for MBA Abroad - Writing Tips, Format, Guidelines, FAQs

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Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jul 27, 2022 05:19 PM IST

An academic MBA resume is one of the documents that you need to submit as part of your application for an MBA programme to study abroad. Scroll through the article to learn about the MBA resume’s format, layout, writing style, and things to include in your resume along with some tips and tricks.

Student Resume for MBA Abroad - Writing Tips, Format, Guidelines, FAQs

An attractive MBA application that gets you accepted into the institution of your choice begins with a strong MBA CV. Your CV, in combination with your MBA personal statement, will tell a story that will catch the attention of the admissions committee.

A resume for an MBA application is unlike any other resume you have written before, whether for a job or another school programme. It is not only a matter of understanding how to write a graduate school CV. To communicate the specific value that you can contribute to your chosen school, you must modify your MBA resume to make it concise, informative, and accurate.

An MBA resume is a one-of-a-kind document that must be meticulously written to impress the admissions committee. A spectacular resume is vital to receiving an admission letter from your preferred MBA school. It is regardless of how excellent your application is, whether you recently graduated from one of the finest undergraduate business schools or had incredible career success.

Our well-versed study abroad consultants have assisted numerous students to write principled MBA resumes efficiently and quicker. Almost all of them are studying at renowned MBA universities abroad.

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What is an MBA Resume?

An MBA resume differs from a standard employment resume that does not display functional abilities or specialised credentials, but rather highlights your business acumen, leadership potential, and collaborative skills. It is a tangible outline of your accomplishments and experiences that convey a story about your fit for business school.

Recruiters look for technical abilities and employment qualifications in an academic MBA resume that demonstrate your ability to do specified tasks. You will be competing against applicants with a wide range of professional and educational backgrounds when applying for an MBA. This makes deciding what to include in an MBA resume much more challenging.

Importance of an MBA Resume for Business School Applications

Your MBA application's CV is perhaps the most important component of the application process. It acts as an introduction to your life, experiences, accomplishments, and abilities. In the application process, it performs two crucial functions. First, it serves as a screening tool. Admissions committees will look at your resume before reviewing your short answers, MBA essays, or any other parts of your application. They are looking to examine if your overall history, biography, and accomplishments make your application worthwhile.

Second, if your application is chosen for an interview, the resume you sent will be used as a guide for the interviewers. This is because a resume serves as the template for any MBA graduate school application, and most grad school interview questions are based on the resume. Numerous MBA admissions interviews are conducted in a closed environment, the content of the resume essentially controls the subject of the interview.

MBA Resume Format and Layout

It is critical to format and design your MBA resume properly. Keep in mind that in each admissions cycle, the admissions committee examines hundreds of resumes. They would not look at your MBA resume for more than five minutes. During the first 30 seconds, they will make an opinion about whether you are an ideal candidate for their university. They will evaluate your formatting and design selections as a reflection of your professionalism and communication abilities. What good is an impressive list of accomplishments if your MBA resume is rejected due to an unappealing aesthetic or formatting errors? Let this not be your case, follow the MBA resume format outlined below to make your MBA CV look impressive:

MBA Resume Format 

Let us begin with the fundamentals of how to structure an MBA resume appropriately. The goal is to produce a document that is neat, professional, concise, and well-organised. Important things to bear in mind are summarised in the list below:

1. Font, Size and Spacing

Pick a simple typeface and stick with it throughout the paper, such as serif fonts. Tahoma, Times New Roman, Calibri, and Arial, are good examples. Avoid using sophisticated typefaces that are difficult to read.

When it comes to font sizes, a decent rule of thumb is to use 11-12 points for regular text and 14-16 points for headings. Do not cram too much text into just one page.

Your MBA resume should be minimalistic and tidy, with plenty of white space for easy reading. Keep document margins at least one inch wide and use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing to create this effect.

2. Length

A one-page MBA CV is ideal. Only if you have sufficient business experience of six years or more then you can cover two pages. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is a decent starting point. Simply cut out any irrelevant information and make sure you do not overlook any significant accomplishments.

3. Colours

Use subdued colours to break up the monotony of the page and make your resume seem decent. Avoid using bright, gaudy colours in your resume. For instance, a grey colour scheme with dark grey writing on a white backdrop, a light grey header, and black section separators may be used.

4. File Type

Make sure to save your MBA resume in PDF format, as this is the most professional format.

5. Cover Letter Format

In terms of colour scheme, font, space, and other elements, make sure that the structure of your MBA resume matches that of your cover letter.

MBA Resume Layout (Sections) 

Your MBA CV is the first sign of your business acumen and communication abilities for admissions committees. That is why a logical structure with a clear flow of information and well-organised sections is essential. The evaluator should be pleased by your one-page resume's ability to speak effectively.

The best method to present material in your MBA resume is in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent experience in each area.

Your degree of experience will determine which parts you include in your MBA resume. Typically, MBA applicants fall into two categories: experienced applicants with significant professional achievements and experiences. Another category is applicants with less than two years of professional experience who have recently graduated with another degree. The following are the pointers to include in an MBA resume for both categories of MBA applicants:

1. Resume for applicants with less than two years of experience:

  • Contact Information 

  • Resume Summary/Career Goals 

  • Education 

  • Professional Experience (if any) 

  • Awards and Honours 

  • Additional Achievements/Information*

  • Projects/Certificates (Optional)  

  • Skills 

Note: You can divide extra achievements of a certain sort into a different section if you have a lot of them. You can include them in the Additional Achievements/Information section if they are simply a couple of bullets.

2. Resume for an experienced Aspirant:

  • Contact Information 

  • Resume Summary 

  • Professional Experience Education 

  • Additional Achievements/Information 

  • Portfolio/Projects/Volunteer Service/Awards and Certificates* (Optional)

  • Skills 

Note: You can create a separate area for extra achievements of a certain sort, such as volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, projects, awards, or certificates if you have a lot of them. You can include them in the Additional Achievements/Information section if they are simply a couple of bullets.

Talk to Experts To Create an Ideal MBA Resume! 

What to Include in an MBA Resume?

This may seem apparent - if you are considering applying for an MBA, you most certainly have a long record of professional and/or educational accomplishments. You will simply throw it all in, right? No, not at all! When it comes to drafting an MBA resume, what you leave out is just as crucial as what you include. You cannot just cram in a list of everything you have ever done. You must carefully pick what information to include and how to deliver it. Let us go through each of the MBA resume components one by one.

Contact Information 

This is a no-brainer — include the following:

  • Your Full Name

  • Brief professional title or educational degree (experienced applicants) (less experienced candidates)

  • Contact number

  • E-mail Address

  • Portfolio Attachment (such as Dribble, Behance, LinkedIn etc.)

The list above can be tailored to your specific needs. If you have a large portfolio of work that you wish to advertise, such as your design portfolio on Dribble or creative projects on Behance, you may remove the portfolio link from this area and place it in its section.

Resume Summary/Statement/Objective 

In essence, your statement should be a concise overview of your experiences, aspirations, and most notable accomplishments. It should pique the reader's curiosity and encourage them to continue reading. It should, above all, showcase what distinguishes you as a candidate.

Use the following format:

Adjective + detailed professional or educational title + years of experience (if appropriate) + MBA application aim + top accomplishment (job or education) + (optional) what you bring to the table from your education/experience.

You may adjust the above format to fit your unique profile here as well. For example, an applicant with a pharmaceutical business profile and an M.Pharm degree would wish to include both his educational degree and his professional title in his MBA application, since both are important to his MBA path.

Work Experience 

This is a crucial area for experienced applicants, and it should account for around two-thirds of your MBA resume. As previously stated, your professional experience should be given in reverse chronological order, with the most recent experience listed first.

Remember to emphasise your rising career path and industry progress in this part. As a subheading, provide the firm name, position, and time spent at each organisation, and then list promotions as separate levels beneath that.

Cover just the most notable work achievements that differentiate you under each subheading or level, no more than five per level, in precise bullet points. Avoid talking simply about duties because this is a resume to establish your potential as an MBA applicant; instead, focus on real successes that highlight your leadership and effect on the company. In your essays, SOP for MBA, application, and interview, you might emphasise and give more detailed facts.

Education

For applicants with limited to less job experience, this part will be more elaborate, but even those with substantial work experience should cover the important aspects of their schooling. These should contain information about all of your degrees, including undergraduate and graduate.

For each degree, create a new entry with the degree name, university, graduation date, major, minor (if appropriate), Grade Point Average (GPA), honours, and achievements.

For applicants with greater job experience, keep each entry concise and highlight just the most important accomplishments (if any), as well as any research work, initiatives, or other activities that demonstrate your leadership abilities or excellent business qualities.

If you do not have much job experience, the education portion of your resume will be the most important. Such candidates should elaborate on their major initiatives, research efforts, important courses, and significant extracurricular accomplishments.

It is strongly advised that you provide your GPA for each degree, particularly if it is high. Only if you have a below-average GPA that you would prefer not to underline or if you have considerable professional experience that demonstrates your talents should you consider removing it from your resume.

Note: Do not provide information about your schooling previous to receiving your bachelor's degree. If you want to emphasise any noteworthy achievements from this period in your Personal Statement or essay, you can do so.

Additional Information and Achievements 

This is the part where you showcase your most noteworthy extracurricular accomplishments. It should contain a wide range of activities that showcase the unique experiences you want the admissions committee to know about.

Attention to high-stakes achievements that demonstrate your focus, ability to apply yourself, excellent work ethic, leadership potential, and teamwork abilities, rather than just adding any extracurriculars. Every point made in this section should be succinct and distinct. These entries should also be verifiable and support the information in your personal statement, essays, and other application components.

Skills

This should be a list of your most important abilities in bullet style. Avoid adding general soft skills or functional/role-specific abilities, and instead focus on developing industry or business skills.

Remember not to cram too many abilities onto your MBA academic CV; otherwise, it may appear as if you are just attempting to fill it up. Only include those that can be easily verified based on your previous experiences and accomplishments.

Optional Sections on MBA Resume

While the components listed above are required for all MBA resumes, you can add a few extra areas based on your profile's distinctiveness. You could, for example, have several creative projects that you would like to discuss in further depth, or you might want to emphasise a number of noteworthy volunteer activities as your application's USP.

You may include a distinct part such as ‘Projects’ or ‘Volunteer Experience’ instead of putting this material into the ‘Additional Achievements’ area, where it may get buried on the page. Remember that the following parts are optional and should only be used by people who have a specific area of expertise. If none of this applies to you, try to include it in your ‘Additional Achievements’ section.

Portfolio/ Key Projects (Optional)

This part may be more useful for people who wish to emphasise a long list of noteworthy artistic, intellectual, or professional endeavours. Otherwise, you may simply include a portfolio link in your contact information or a few project-related bullets in your MBA resume's ‘Additional Achievements and Information’ section.

Volunteer Experience (Optional) 

Volunteer work is not required for an MBA applicant, but it is highly encouraged. It may be a fantastic method to showcase your enthusiasm for a subject while also gaining valuable leadership and cooperation experience. The idea is to make a connection between your volunteer work and demonstrable business results.

If you do not have time to volunteer, you can emphasise the effect you made in addition to your academic achievements and professional duties. Volunteer work on an academic CV application is highly valued by admissions committees, especially if it corresponds with the MBA program's values and objectives.

Awards & Certificates (Optional) 

Only if you have a long list of notable honours and certificates, such as honour roll, dean's list, college fair or subject-related accolades, volunteer certificates, industry awards, and so on, should you consider separating this into its section.

Tips and Tricks to Write MBA Resume

One of the most important parts of every MBA application is the resume. Many MBA admissions counselling firms claim that numerous candidates concentrate on other aspects of the MBA application process. These include GMAT scores or GRE scores, application form questions, letters of recommendation (LOR) or interview preparation while disregarding the MBA resume's distinctive character. Here are some more pointers to help you fine-tune and improve your MBA Resume:

1. Irrelevant job descriptions waste space on your MBA CV and do little to communicate your distinctive worth. Instead, concentrate on quantifiable effects and results-oriented explanations that illustrate your worth.

2. Avoid technical terms like role-specific certificates and technological skills. Remember that the individual evaluating your resume may not be in your profession, so technical qualifications are likely irrelevant to them. They are interested in the financial implications of each of your accomplishments. Instead of focusing on a list of chores and obligations, strive to highlight successes that will be widely acknowledged.

3. Use examples, statistics, and data to support your points wherever feasible. "Show, do not tell" is the rule to remember here. Numbers stand out on a resume and keep the reader's attention.

4. Create a resume that is comprehensive and in-depth. Do not only concentrate on one aspect of your life, such as your school or work history. Using a variety of activities and experiences, try to showcase your hobbies and accomplishments.

5. Do not fill the space on your academic resume with impressive-sounding terms or exaggerate small accomplishments merely to fill it. Simultaneously, humility has no place on a resume for an MBA. Communicate your uniqueness in a simple and obvious manner.

6. Honesty is essential. All admissions committees regard honesty and integrity to be non-negotiable characteristics. You should be able to readily verify all of your accomplishments.

7. Before sending it in, double-check the format, template, and language. To comply with the submission standards, make it clean and concise (if any). There should be no spelling or grammatical errors. Having an MBA admissions consulting expert check the document is a better idea.

Note: Prioritise your professional experiences first if you are running out of space. You should also speak more about your recent experiences, both professional and personal.  

Now, it is your turn! Hope you are pretty clear about how to write your academic MBA resume abroad, what to include in your MBA resume as well as its format and layout. Do not forget to use the above-mentioned tips and tricks while writing your MBA resume as they will help you to outrank other applicants.

Need help crafting an impeccable MBA resume? Or, need expert advice to uplift your overall MBA application to study abroad? Reach out to us at abroad@collegedekho.com. and resolve your queries right from our experts!

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FAQs

What can I do to make my MBA resume look good?

To make your MBA resume look good, you should use a template that has the correct font, spacing, borders, and colour scheme. There should be no gaudy colours or confusing typefaces, and the style should be professional, clean, and uncomplicated. Secondly, ensure your data is nicely organised into logical chunks in reverse chronological order. Finally, double-check your MBA resume for errors, typos, and structural gaps.

Can I use my regular resume for my MBA application abroad?

No, you should not use your regular resume for your MBA application abroad unless you make it more MBA-friendly by adding professional experience. Specific skills or functional strengths should not be highlighted in an MBA CV. Rather, it should emphasise your business accomplishments, leadership potential, and cooperation experiences. Admissions committees are searching for students that have a distinctive business perspective and can provide value to the business school to which they are applying.

Does an MBA resume require a specific template?

Yes, it can be said that an MBA resume requires a specific template. The first and foremost thing is to double-check the university’s MBA resume criteria before applying. Some business schools have particular guidelines for the type and template of resumes submitted with MBA applications.

Can I include my academic details in my MBA resume?

Yes, you can include your academic details in your MBA resume. All MBA candidates should include on their resume: degree name, university, major, minor, GPA, and noteworthy achievements (such as honour roll or Dean's List). Applicants with less educational experience, such as recent grads, might, on the other hand, provide additional information about their education, such as notable research projects, significant extracurriculars, and so on. 

What is the ideal length for an MBA resume?

The ideal length for an MBA resume is one page. Only if you have more than six years of experience or a huge number of significant accomplishments that add value to your application should you consider expanding it to two pages.

How does an MBA resume differ from a regular resume or curriculum vitae (CV)?

An MBA resume does differ from a regular resume or curriculum vitae (CV) in many different ways. The most significant difference is that an MBA resume emphasises your business impact, the potential for leadership, work experience, and collaborative abilities rather than functional skills or specialised qualifications. On the other hand, a regular academic resume showcases academic qualifications and technical skills.

What skills should I include on my MBA resume?

The following are the six important skills you should include in your MBA resume:

  • Communication skills

  • Time management skills

  • Problem-solving skills (research, communication, and analysis)

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Critical thinking skills

Students who are seeking an MBA are typically required to develop these skills through teamwork, networking with classmates and professionals, and effectively presenting ideas and concepts in class.

Can I study MBA without work experience at foreign universities?

Yes, you can study MBA without work experience at foreign universities. Countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Germany, and Singapore. However, the requirements and eligibility criteria to pursue MBA with no work experience slightly differ.

Which is better, MBA at Harvard University or MBA at Standford University?

MBA at Harvard University vs MBA at Standford University - choosing one of these is a tough choice. As per the QS Rankings 2022, Stanford GSB is the first best and HBS is the second best in the world. Having said that, choosing one of the two can undoubtedly advance your career and give you unbeatable access to every aspect of the business. For a detailed comparison of the two universities, visit our article MBA at Harvard vs MBA at Stanford.

Which is better, MBA in USA vs MBA in UK?

MBA in UK vs MBA in USA: choosing which country is better is not easy to make choice. Pursuing an MBA from either of the countries may seem similar but there are a lot of differences when it comes to the course curriculum and duration of the degree. If you are someone who wants to enter the business world in lesser time (12 months at least) then MBA in UK could a better choice. On the other hand, if you want to gain hands-on practical experience, MBA in USA could be a better choice. To get detailed information, check out MBA in UK or MBA in USA.

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