Present Both Responsibilities and Results
In your MBA resume, be sure to showcase your accomplishments, rather than merely stating the responsibilities of your position. When your responsibilities are presented with no accompanying results, the reader has no understanding of whether you were effective in the role you are describing. For example, consider the following entry, in which only responsibilities are offered:
2019–Present Household Products Group, Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio
- Responsible for managing a $10M media campaign, supervising a staff of five junior brand managers, monitoring daily sales volumes, and ensuring the consistent supply of product from five production facilities in three countries.
The reader is left wondering, “Was the media campaign successful? Did the staff of five progress? Did sales volumes increase? Did the supply of products reach its destination?” When this one long bullet point is instead broken down into individual bulleted entries that elaborate on each task and show clear results, the reader learns not just about the candidate’s responsibilities but also about that person’s ultimate effectiveness and successes.
2019–Present Flocter & Gramble Cincinnati, Ohio
- Initiated $10M television/Internet “Island Vacation” promotion introducing new Shine brand detergent, surpassing first-year sales targets within three months.
- Mentored and supervised five junior brand managers, each of whom was promoted to brand manager (company traditionally promotes 25%).
- Analyzed daily sales volumes and identified opportunity to increase price point in Midwest, resulting in 26% margin improvement and $35M in new profits.
- Secured “safety supply” of vital chemicals from alternate suppliers, ensuring 99% order fulfillment.
By comparing the first entry with the second, you can see how much more effective an accomplishment-driven resume is than one that simply lists responsibilities.
Demonstrate Nonquantifiable Results
Presenting quantifiable results in your resume is preferred because such results clearly convey your success in the actions you undertook. However, in some instances, you simply cannot quantify your success. In such cases, you can instead demonstrate nonquantifiable or even potential results. Consider the following examples:
- Persuaded management to review existing operations; currently leading Manufacturing Review Committee, which will table its final report in June 2021.
- Established divisional continuing education series, noted on review as “crucial” and “game changing.”
- Initiated biweekly “Tuesday at Five” team social event, resulting in enhanced workplace morale.
In each of these bullet points, the results of the writer’s actions are not measurable, but they are nonetheless important. The accomplishments, while “soft,” are conveyed as clearly positive.
Keep It Concise
Ideally, your resume should be only one page long; admissions committees generally expect and appreciate the conciseness of this format. If you choose to submit a resume consisting of two pages or more, your reader may have difficulty scanning it and identifying (and remembering) important facts. With these space constraints in mind, we offer two fairly straightforward “space saver” ideas:
- Do not include a mission statement at the beginning of your resume. Your mission in this case is to get into the MBA program to which you are applying—and, of course, the admissions committee already knows this! A mission statement will take up precious space that can be used more effectively for other purposes.
- Your address should take up no more than one line of your resume. Many applicants will “stack” their address, using four, five, or even six lines, as if they were writing an address on an envelope. Consider how much space an address occupies when presented in the following format:
123 Y Street
City, State 10001
You just wasted five lines of real estate! To help whittle your resume down to one page, try putting your address on just one line so you can save five others for valuable bullets.
And, while we are discussing the document’s length, resist the urge to shrink your font or margins to make your resume fit on one page. Your font should be no smaller than ten-point type, and your margins should be no smaller than 1″ on either side and 0.75″ at the top and bottom. Rather than trying to squeeze too much information onto the page, commit yourself to showcasing only your most important accomplishments that tell your story best.