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If you’re interested in attending a Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, especially a very competitive MBA programme, you’ll likely have to submit an application to have the admissions committee consider you. This application process works very much like a job application process, which means that many people refer to this process as writing your MBA CV.
If you’re interested in attending one of these more professional programmes, here’s what you need to do.
An MBA programme is a great chance to network. That means you need to highlight the fact that networking will be a good opportunity for you and that you have something to offer in the networking process as well. You should also emphasise your experience and your achievements, as well as any awards that you have.
The structure of your MBA CV will vary depending on the amount of experience you have. Typically, you’ll have all the same sections regardless of your experience, but you may need to mix it up a bit. If you have many years of experience, you should put your work experience first, but if you have less experience, you’ll typically move your work history beneath your skills section. Either way, here’s what you should put in each section.
Your contact information goes at the beginning of the CV. Its main intention is to provide basic information about you. You should typically include your full name, phone number, and any related portfolio links, such as LinkedIn. This is the information an MBA admissions team will need to contact you for an interview.
The next section of your MBA CV is the professional summary or career objective. This is a short paragraph at the top of your CV that’s typically 2-3 sentences long. It highlights the most impressive elements of your history, including professional experience, key skills, and anything you’ve proven in professional experience. Quantify your achievements. For example, “Improved efficacy by 43%” is more impressive than “Greatly improved efficacy.”
You typically attend business school when you already have an existing work history, which means you’ll likely include an experience section. Add your job title, the company name where you worked, and the years you worked there. Under more recent jobs, include key achievements as bullet points. These achievements might include skills and certifications.
The skills section of your CV shows recruiters that you have a lot to offer the graduate school that might accept you. Highlight transferable skills, like communication skills, leadership skills, and teamwork. You can also highlight common soft skills you excel in from your industry, such as conflict resolution or project management. To improve your chances of being accepted into an MBA programme, highlight soft skills over technical skills.
Typically, business schools require an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification before you can apply to their MBA programme. That means your education section is likely to be fairly full already.
You can include extracurricular or academic activities if they have a bearing on MBA work. This is also one of the few times that a CV can benefit from listing grades, especially for extremely competitive MBA programmes.
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when writing your MBA CV:
Oftentimes, it’s a good idea to include a cover letter with your MBA application. It allows you to sell your skills and talents to the acceptance committee and provide more details about your background. For extra help, use the cover letter builder from CVHelp to create your cover letter.
If you don’t have much work experience, you may want to keep the work history section near the bottom of your MBA CV. Typically, you’ll want at least a little bit of experience to get into very competitive MBA programmes, but even without much professional experience, you can leverage other activities or personal projects you’ve had to showcase why you’re the right person for the programme.
When you want to apply to multiple MBA programmes, it’s important that you meet the requirements for each one. Read through all the requirements and recommendations before you write your MBA CV. For example, if the application process suggests you include part-time or summer employment in your work history section, include those experiences.
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