HOW TO WRITE A RESUME FOR BUSINESS SCHOOL
The resume you use to get a job is different from the resume you should submit to your schools. The two serve different purposes and should be written in different formats. For instance, a job resume often begins with "career objectives." That's inappropriate for business school. You'll cover that issue in your application essays, so leave it out your resume.
The business schools prefer a certain format for your resume. Don't write a "narrative" resume. That is, don't try to explain your background in the form of a story. Instead, use bullet items to explain your accomplishments.
I actually like the narrative format better when it's done well. It gives applicants a chance to tell their story in a conversational manner. The problem is that the narrative resume is rarely done well, because most people aren't good writers and they don't know what to write about. So it's best to play the game and use the bullet format that business schools are looking for.
The Order in Which You Want to Address Your Personal History
Don't start your resume with your educational information. Doing so makes you look like a recent college grad who lacks significant work experience. The schools want worker bees, not college students.
Start your resume with work, then include community involvement and activities, and finally address your education. Also, you want to make it easy for the admissions people to find the information they're looking for. That includes the firms you've worked for, the amount of time you spent in each of your jobs, and your accomplishments in each position.
Try structuring your resume in the following order.
(1) Your Name and Address
What can I tell you? Write your name and address at the top of the page. Remember, however, that schools notify accepted applicants by e-mail, so be sure to include an e-mail address and a telephone number at which the school can reach you.
(2) Your Work History
Start each job description with the name of the company on the left side of the page. Under the company name write your job title, and on the right side of that same line write your dates of employment (just month and year). It might look something like the following.
The Boeing Company
Senior Software Engineer May 2007 - Present
Under these headings write a short paragraph that describes your company and the nature of your work. At the end of that paragraph write the following: Key Accomplishments: Then list your key accomplishments in bullet-item format.
- Supervised six software engineers in developing new software models
- Led product development team on six-month project in India
- Oversaw the installation of a new department-wide computer system
- Wrote department technical development curriculum
Then write the name of the company you worked for prior to your current employer, and repeat the above process. If you worked for the same company but in a different position, repeat the process anyway using your previous job title.
This format allows the reader to determine your industry, your position and the amount of time you spent in each job. It also make it easy to determine what you accomplished in each of your positions.
(3) Your Community Involvement and Activities
You don't need a lot of community involvement to get into B-school. (In truth, you don't need any.) But if you have community service experience it's good to include it in your resume just after your work experience but before your educational information. You might list it in the same manner you listed your work experience.
You might also list your personal interests. That includes sports, hobbies and pastimes. I like using the heading "Activities" for this section and including the community service work.
(4) Your Education
Start with graduate level experience if you have any, and then work your way back through undergraduate work and even extension school studies. Use the same format you used above for work experience. List the school first, then list the degree awarded and the year it was received on the following line. And remember to list any academic awards or distinctions you received and even your GPA if it's good. It might look something like the following.
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science 2004
Dean's List - Nine of Twelve Quarters
Also list organizations you belonged to and activities in which you were active.
What your recommenders should and shouldn't say about you.
Give your recommenders an outline before they begin the process.
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