Before submitting a final version of your resume, be sure your answer to each of the following questions is yes!
• Is your resume 1 page? A 1 page resume is recommended unless you’ve had considerable years of experience (extensive experience) or executive level experience because many recruiters won’t read more than one page.
• Have you included The University of Tennessee MBA Program and your anticipated graduation date under the Education section of your resume?
• Have you started most of your bulleted statements with action verbs?
• Do you provide evidence of analytical skills?
• Do you provide evidence of leadership ability?
• Do you demonstrate that you are a team player?
• Do you go beyond listing what you did to providing the results of your work?
• Have you listed your academic honors?
• Have you listed other information that sets you apart from the rest?
• Have you checked for grammatical and spelling errors?
• Are you consistent with your use of present and past tense?
• Have you checked your contact information (phone #, email address, address, etc.)?
• Are your margins wide enough so that all information is visible when printed?
• Have you had someone else read through your resume to check for clarity and errors?
More Details on the MBA Resume
What to Do If……..
You Are Entering the MBA Program Immediately After Earning Your College Degree
Recognize that you are competing for the same positions as other, more experienced MBAs. There is no doubt that as an undergraduate you have demonstrated the skills that MBA recruiters seek. The challenge then is to emphasize them on your resume so you will be selected for an interview. Here are a few key things to consider:
• If you earned at least 50% of college expenses through work, include a statement to that effect in your education section.
• Be sure to list summer internship and co-op positions and describe the impact you had on the organization. Ask yourself, for example, if you played a role in completing a major project, continuing a major project, or conceiving a major project. Wherever possible use numbers to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments (e.g., Administered a budget of $5,000; Negotiated a 10% reduction in costs).
• The next best thing to paid work experience is unpaid work experience. List leadership positions and all voluntary involvement in campus organizations. Where you have extensive extracurricular activities of this nature, you may consider grouping it in a “Leadership Experience” section. Keep in mind that recruiters want individuals who can get things done. Accomplishments are what they look for on everyone’s resume. The best indication that you can accomplish the desired results is your past. Ask yourself how a particular campus organization or group benefited from your involvement.
• Be sure to emphasize extraordinary academic achievements. For example, Graduated Magna cum Laude; Scored in the 99th Percentile on the Graduate Management Admission Test, etc.
You Are A JD/MBA And You Want A Business Internship
Employers often ask JD/MBAs why they have chosen to earn both degrees. Be prepared to link your career goals to the benefits of earning a law degree. It will be of great benefit to include a Career Objective statement at the top of your resume to establish at the outset your desire to combine the two in a business situation. For example:
A position in human resources management where I may apply my business skills and extensive knowledge of the legal and regulatory environment
There is no doubt that a great legal resume is very different from a great MBA resume. Pay close attention to formatting. Avoid listing your experience in paragraph form. Instead, use bulleted statements to describe your experience and accomplishments. Emphasize business and managerial experience. List your experience with a law firm or other legal organization from a business perspective. For example:
Baker, McReynolds, Byrne, O’Kane, Shea & Townsend
Legal Clerk/Internship, May 96 – August 96
• Researched and analyzed legal concepts in both statutory and case law for use in trials
• Increased file retrieval efficiency by reorganizing system for filing closed cases
This section taken from an actual JD/MBA resume emphasizes this student’s analytical skills, ability to conduct useful research, and improve the internal operations of an office. Be very specific about your achievements and know how that can be translated in a business environment.
You should also be prepared for employers to be concerned about your graduation date. Most MBA recruiters hire MBA interns with the intention of bringing them on board full-time after graduation. If you will not complete both the MBA and JD program in two years, be prepared to offer reasons why that organization should consider you for an internship. Offer to return the following summer to tackle more advanced projects if necessary.
You Have Very Little Professional Work Experience (Less Than Two Years)
Obviously you want to make the most of the work experience that you do have. Rest assured that some professional experience is preferable to no work experience so you have that to your advantage. The key is to approach your Experience section from the perspective of a recruiter: What skills and abilities did you acquire that could be used in an MBA position? Emphasize those as well as the positions of leadership and influence you held as an undergraduate. These will help to establish a history of accomplishments and responsibility.
You Have A Non-traditional or Non-business Background
The key to winning employers over when you have had no exposure to the world of business is to clearly state your accomplishments in your field. Leave no doubt that you can recognize problems, craft appropriate solutions, and implement them for desired results. Look for ways to use business terms to describe your work. The following resume excerpt from an MBA with degrees and experience in the Fine Arts demonstrates this technique:
1996 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Illinois
Exhibitions Registrar and Preparator
• Wrote and evaluated highly detailed condition reports on works of art for insurance purposes
• Tracked inventory of packing materials and installation hardware; forecasted future inventory demands and placed orders for stock inventory
You Have A Great Deal of Professional Work Experience (10 Years or More)
While in general it is true that the more experience you have, the fewer problems you will encounter in the job search, there are some issues of which you should be aware. Many of the jobs that are listed by the Career Services/MBA Placement Office are entry- and mid-level managerial positions. If you plan to leverage your MBA and prior work experience to break into upper management, be prepared to compose your resume in the manner of experienced executives. Consult the resume development publications located in Career Services at 100 Dunford Hall for more information.
If you are planning to use your MBA credentials to make a complete career change, emphasize your accomplishments most appropriate for the new career field. Be prepared for employers to question your decision to make a change at this point in your life. Tailor your accomplishment statements to emphasize transferable skills and include a Career Objective statement that emphasizes your commitment to a new field.
You Don’t Yet Know What You Want To Do With Your MBA
Many new MBA students are undecided about which concentration(s) they should pursue. This will add a degree of difficulty to your internship search. It is a good idea to begin early assessments of your interests and abilities so that you can identify those careers for which you are best suited. All MBA students will complete CareerLeaderTM, the business self-assessment program. The result of this assessment is a list of career paths in which you will most likely be successful. If this is not sufficient, other assessments are available at Career Services.
In the meantime, you must still have a resume on file in the MBA Career Services Office for inclusion in the internship resume book. Write as general a document as you can. Leave out the career objective statement and professional summary. They are highly specific and useful only when you know what you want to do. Instead, be sure to emphasize your transferable skills acquired in your education and work experience that may be applied in many organizations. In your education section, list all of the concentrations in which you have significant interest.
You Know Exactly What You Want To Do With Your MBA
Great! Tailor your resume to that particular position. Use key words throughout that demonstrate your familiarity with the industry.