There are different components that make up your MBA application. Your résumé is one of the most important one.
Résumé writing is a skill that needs a considerable amount of finesse. Whether or not you make the cut, depends, to a great extent on how powerful your résumé is.
Your résumé is your first shot at developing your personal brand and tells the admissions committee who you are and what you have achieved.
There is often a tendency to cram up a lot of information into your résumé. On the other hand, you may sometimes skip important bits out. You need to make sure that there is a balance maintained at all times. Be brief while effectively demonstrating who you are.
Let us take a look at 10 basic points that could help you master the art of résumé writing.
1. LESS IS MORE:
Always keep in mind the rule ‘Less is More’. Maintain a clean and effective format. Make it a point to limit it to one page. Your résumé should be concise thus making the job of the reader easy.
2. DON’T MIX AND MATCH:
Always maintain a standardised font style and size. You could choose fonts such as Calibri, Garamond, Arial, Georgia or Helvetica. The ideal sizes to be maintained would be:
a. Header: 20-22
b. Section head: 12-14
c. Main body: 10-12
3. SKIP THE OBJECTIVE STATEMENT:
Mentioning the objective statement was a common practice in the 80s which is no longer in use. The admissions committee is interested in your skills and capabilities rather than the objective statement. An objective statement would not be necessary as it is generic and vague and as such, would not be able to convey the main message.
4. ENHANCE WITH BULLET POINTS:
Bullet points are the most effectual form of expressing information. The more recent or diverse the job or achievement, the more the bullet points you could use. However, try and stick to 3 – 5 bullet points each.
5. QUANTIFY DATA:
Always quantify the work you have done so it adds value. This tells the admissions committee about the work you have done and the impact it had thereby creating a positive impact on them.
6. POWER OF ACTION WORDS:
Action words are words used to describe any action taken. Using an action word enables you to describe a particular job or achievement in a totally different manner thus creating a totally different impression for the reviewing committee. For example, Instead of saying, “Accounts team was managed by me.”, try saying, “Led and oversaw the complete functioning of the company’s accounts system”.
7. HIGHLIGHT WORK EXPERIENCE:
For all those with prior work experience, this is the most critical section of your résumé. Make sure you perfect it. Include your company name, designation, location and the time span that you have worked for. Use the ‘SO WHAT’ rule to effectively analyse the content and see if it highlights your capability.
Example: Assistant Manager, XYZ Ltd, Mumbai, June 2018 to January 2019 – So What? Test: Made document retrieval faster thus increasing efficiency by 15%.
8. INCLUDE EXTRA CURRICULARS:
Including any extracurricular activities that you may have been a part of gives you a competitive edge. It helps in demonstrating qualities such as creativity, team work, etc.
Example: volunteering for a social cause or NGO, being a part of an art or cultural club, heading or being part of a student council, etc.
9. PERFECT THE GRAMMAR:
Your résumé is your introduction to the admissions committee. It is the first impression the reviewing committee would have of you. As such, you wouldn’t want to come across as someone who is careless. Résumé grammar mistakes can weaken your chances of getting into your dream school. Common résumé mistakes include word choices, spelling and punctuation errors. To avoid such mistakes, make sure to get your résumé proofread by someone else. Write using an active voice. While talking about your present job and responsibilities, use the present tense.
You don’t have to be a Grammar Nazi to avoid grammatical errors. Use tools such as Grammarly and Ginger to check for mistakes in your résumé. Recheck for consistency in fonts and sizes. Lastly, as mentioned before, get your résumé proofread by someone else.