More and more universities are asking university application to submit an activity or student resume’. Like a professional resume’, an activity resume lists your participation in organizations (e.g. Student Council) and any leadership positions you’ve held. Unlike a typical resume’, it doesn’t really list your work experience because it’s unlikely you’ve had any. This document is important, though, because it highlights how well-rounded you are (or aren’t). It also clearly lists your activities, so it’s easier for you to fill out applications. In case you’re struggling with the activity resume’, here are five ways to improve it.
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Parts 1 and 2 of our resume' series gave you the tips and templates to develop an awesome business school resume'.
If you need lots of resume' help, you definitely should check out the other posts in this series:
It usually helps to have a few examples. Here are five great business school resume' examples for you to download with our comments on what makes them great.
1. University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business Resume Book
Resume' books are available online from various business schools to ensure employers have access to recent grads. This book includes more than 100 resumes from students who attended Haas Business School. Browse through and notice what types of and how experiences are represented. Keep in mind, though, most US resumes DO NOT include the applicants photo.
2. MBA Game Plan Result Resume'
This resume' from MBA Game Plan demonstrates how you should try to make action-result oriented bullet points. This style of writing really separates your resume' from others for two reasons. First, most people don't write resumes this way so you'll be unique. Second, you are offering tangible, important information to the Admissions Committee rather than just a list of responsibilities.
3. University of Rochester Resume' Formats
Several resumes are included in this file from the University of Rochester. The first follows the standard Harvard Business School format, while the others use different University of Rochester formats. Take a look at how each resume' emphasizes either education, work experience, or other activities.
4. Mergers & Inquisitions Resume'
This resume' from the blog Mergers & Inquisitions nails the resume' format while offering important guidance for filling in the template. The site also has great tips and resources for aspiring investment bankers.
5. IMD Business School Resume' Book
Another resume' book, this time from an international business school to offer some variety and perspective. Keep in mind that this book has been professionally edited and produced. However, it offers some interesting ideas for formatting for application to non-US based programs. Note that:
1. Pictures, ages, and countries of origin are provided (not on US resumes).
2. Education is summarized after the header.
3. An experience summary is included.
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Tired of the same boring resume' format? This post is the second part of our series to help you ensure your resume' will be professional, concise, consistent, and--above all--easily visually scanned by admissions staff. If you need lots of resume' help, you definitely should check out the other posts in this series:
Check out these five Microsoft templates to get started. Be sure to mimic structure and formatting, not content.
This resume' offers clear, eye-catching divisions. Although the objective section should be deleted for a business applicant, the key skills section is perfect for someone with diverse experience in a skills based job (i.e., not consulting).
The above resume' is a really basic resume' good for applicants that don't have a lot of experience. The wide right column helps to fill the page without making the resume' appear awkward or leaving too much white space. Delete the profile summary section and add an additional skills or interest section for your b-school resume'.
This resume' is great for engineers who need to state or emphasize technical skills that may not be obvious from your job description. If you have any professional licenses or certifications, there's also room for them on this resume'.
Another great basic resume', but for business school applicants with significant experience. You can stretch the margins to 0.5" but don't go any further or your resume' will stand out, in a bad way. Your smallest font size can be 10 point.
If you're in a slightly creative business field, such as marketing or communications, you may want your resume' to have a little style but still be very professional. The above resume' has both style and substance. Be sure to delete the objective and skills profile sections, add an education section, and provide as much description of your experience as possible. To maintain the style of this resume', don't go below 0.75" margins.
Check out our post on 10 Characteristics of an Awesome Business School Resume' to apply these templates to your profile. Don't forget your essay should only be one page!
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With Round 1 business school deadlines right around the corner, you should be almost finished compiling your supplementary application materials. You should have already:
- taken the GMAT and gotten your best score
- requested your transcripts from undergraduate and graduate universities
- notified your references
Now it's time to refine your resume' to ensure it complements the rest of your profile. This post is the first part of a series to help you refine this key, but often overlooked, portion of your b-school application. If you need lots of resume' help, you definitely should check out the other posts in this series:
Here are the 10 characteristics of an awesome business school resume'.
1. One page. You may be tempted to do a more international CV-style resume'. B-schools want one page, period.
2. Chronological style. Applicants with diverse career experiences (also know as job jumpers) may think that a functional style resume' highlights their skills and masks their spotty job history. Admissions officers see right through this "clever" format and could put your application in the rejection pile if your resume' isn't clear.
3. Clear divisions. Let's face it, sitting on the board of directors of a local non-governmental organization is noble but can't really be listed under professional or wok experience. After your actual jobs, add another section with a creative title like "Community Leadership," "Personal Interests," or "Service to the Community."
4. Starts from undergraduate work. You may have been the captain of the football team, valedictorian, and student council president in high school but b-schools only really care about your more recent accomplishments.
5. At least 10 font size with reasonable margins. No one wants to read your resume' with a magnifying glass and margins smaller than 0.5 inches just look weird.
6. One two or three font styles or types. Less is more with type settings. Choose arial or times new roman as your base font. Use bold, underline, or italic versions for emphasis or formatting interest. Above all, be consistent.
7. Spelling and grammar checked. Although this tip seems obvious, you would be surprised how many error filled resumes we've seen. Keep in mind that Microsoft Word isn't always right. Double check yourself with resources such as the Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation or the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
8. Bullet-points written in an action-result style. Most professional experience sections read like a laundry list of responsibilities, often copied from job postings for similar positions. If you want to wow admissions staff, focus on what you did and why it was amazing. Read each bullet-point and provide the outcome. Here's an example:
Ok: Managed production staff of 10 employees.
Awesome: Coached team through 15-month design-to-production cycle of first product; ultimately captured 5% of $130 million market.
WATCH OUT: Many people love to name and/or title drop on resumes. Reported directly to the CEO? Great. If he loved your work, the result, for example, is that he approved your study, project, etc. immediately. If not, don't mention it or the CEO.
9. Tailored to the specialization in which you are interested. You should not submit a generic resume' or the one from your latest job applications. Offer information relevant to your chosen b-school specialization to demonstrate you're a good candidate. For example, if you're applying for the entrepreneurship specialization, you should include a section called "Entrepreneurial Ventures" on your resume' that gives an overview of your experimentation with your own business. This resume' should be different, of course, for each specialization.
10. The truth. Many student try to explain the virtues of adding keywords (also known as lying), modifying job dates (also known as lying), and over-emphasizing responsibilities (also known as lying). Most admissions staff see through the lies. Even if you do get an interview, you risk being exposed when the interviewer asks you a question you're not ready for. It's not worth it...don't lie on your resume'.
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