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  • Writer's pictureSam Weeks

Tips to Ace your MBA Resume

Updated: Feb 9

A b-school resume is an appetizer for your profile. A comprehensive educational and professional background, exhibiting your competencies. Careful - it’s a bit different from a job resume.

Here are 12 fundamental guidelines to help you build a strong resume for your MBA applications:

Length of your MBA resume

Ideally, 1 page should be your target. Some commentators suggest 1 page for every 10 years of experience. Even so, most MBA applicants have 3-8 years of experience. If that's you, stick to 1 page.

Sections to include in an MBA resume

There are typically three sections in the resume:

  • Education & Qualifications

  • Work experience

  • Additional Information.

Note: You can change the order if you prefer.

Use bullet points

Include 2-5 bullet points in each section to describe the 3Rs: Role, Responsibilities, Results. Dedicate more space to the recent roles and longer-held roles.

Start the bullet points with action words

Start your bullets with a verb in the past tense. Strong verbs for an MBA resume are Structured, Negotiated, Advised, Managed, Researched and Coordinated.

Use numbers as evidence wherever possible, and avoid subjective comments. For example, instead of saying an ‘important’ deal, quantify the deal size in dollars (yes, dollars for US business schools).

Avoid jargon

“The simpler you say it, the more eloquent it is.” —August Wilson

It’s essential that your CV is comprehensible, without any industry jargon or abbreviations. This is particularly important for consultants who tend to deviate to a weird language of "ideating" or "quarterbacking" in "workstreams". Write like a human, please.

If in doubt, apply the “HR test”.

The HR test: Would a generalist Human Resources colleague at your company fully understand the term? If not, avoid it.

Consider whether to include internships

Candidates with less work experience (under 4 years) might want to include internship experience in their resume. However, those with 8+ years of professional experience should usually remove internships to focus on more recent relevant experience.

Pick a standard format

3 points concerning the format:

  • Go with a simple standard font such as Arial or Calibri.

  • Widen the margins on both sides of the document to create more workable space.

  • Pro-tip: Begin from a template provided by business schools, such as the University of Oxford’s Said Business School or the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Links below!

Include contact details

Try to use a professional email address on your resume. If that’s not possible, perhaps because you want discretion from your employer or are unemployed, use a professional-looking personal email address.

No profile picture

In some places it’s common to add a photograph to the resume. This is not the case for MBA applications! Do not include any photo, or any other potentially discriminatory piece of information such as race, age or sexual orientation.

Be careful with languages

If you picked up bits of a language in school or college, you shouldn't necessarily include it on your resume. The stakes are high. If your interviewer happens to speak that language, you can expect them to ask a question in that language. If you don’t understand it or can’t reply confidently, you'll fail the test and the credibility of your entire application could be jeopardized.

Use templates

Some schools encourage applicants to use a particular template; for example, Oxford uses the following:

To help you get cracking at your b-school resume, below is a word template of the resume format that I follow:

Your b-school resume is integral to your MBA application. Build yours for free on

I help determined applicants get admitted to top business schools. Get in touch if I can help you with your application. Book a chat here.

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Hi, I'm Sam.  I'm the founder of Sam Weeks Consulting. Our clients get admitted to top MBA and EMBA programs.

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