We wanted to offer some general tips for the Class of 2014 applicants on getting the most mileage out of resumes in the admissions process. As many of our readers know, the resume is not only an important component of your application package, it’s also a great place to start when crafting your overall positioning strategy. This document forces one to distill a candidacy into a single page – focusing on key aspects and themes.
With that in mind, here are a few simple tips to get you started:
1) First things first. Because you’re applying to graduate school, it makes sense to lead this document with a section detailing your academic history. This is also the format that many business schools’ career offices instruct students to use when applying for internships or full-time jobs post-graduation.
2) Keep it simple. While you’ll certainly want to describe your professional responsibilities and achievements in some detail, remember that this document needs to fit on a single page (with rare exceptions). Rather than overwhelming the reader with information, try to identify three or four discrete projects or accomplishments to complement a few concise statements about your day to day responsibilities in each position. Remember that it’s also important to be as specific as possible about the impact you’ve had on your organization by quantifying the results of your efforts.
3) Round it out. Don’t discount the importance of your interests and outside activities. Schools like applicants who are well-rounded and demonstrate a track record of involvement outside of work and the classroom, so formal extracurricular activities are a logical category to include. At the same time, information about your less structured information and hobbies is also relevant, as these details can lend some more color to your candidacy and help the adcom get to know you better. Remember to be as specific as possible; many business school applicants are interested in “travel” or “film,” so specifying a region you especially enjoy visiting or your favorite movie genre will be the key to setting yourself apart.
We hope that these general guidelines serve as a good starting point for Class of 2014 applicants in translating their experiences and achievements into this brief but important document. For more tailored guidance, contact us to speak with one of our counselors about your background. You can also read the Clear Admit Resume Guide for a complete step-by-step ‘instruction manual’ for crafting your resume (available on download in our publications shop).