Why an EXCITING Resume is Better Than an IMPRESSIVE Resume

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When an admissions committee member finishes reading each component of an application, they make a few summary notes in the candidate's file. That's a big part of an adcom member's job: boiling down an application to a few key points that they can use to argue for or against admission in front of the larger committee. A good thought experiment when writing an MBA application is to work backward from those notes. Today, let's do that with the resume. When an adcom member reads a GOOD resume, what do they write down? What reaction should you try to elicit?

Here are some options to get us started:

"¢ "Wow, I recognized a lot of those companies, he's worked for some big names!"
"¢ "This gal has some big responsibilities-impressive!"
"¢ "Look, a director-level title! That's pretty cool."

The correct answer is... none of the above. MBA adcoms are not looking for big names, impressive titles, or huge responsibilities. While those elements certainly don't hurt an application, they are unnecessary even at top programs. These statements represent three variations on the most common error in MBA resume writing: treating it like a professional resume.

You are NOT applying for a job. The adcom members are reading applications from a huge variety of industries and countries, and unlike potential bosses, they have minimal experience in your specific field or region. They don't know that the ABC department at XYZ Corp has a reputation for training folks into stat-focused quant savants, or that managing a $20 million deal as a Senior Associate in XYZ industry is actually not very impressive, or that the "Regional Manager" title at ABC Corp is two rungs higher than "Regional Manager" in most of the industry. That ignorance is actually a huge advantage to the applicant, and for that reason any admissions consultant worth their salt can pretty easily get any resume to the point where the adcom member says "Okay, that sounds like an impressive job." The real challenge is getting the adcom member to write a note like this:

"Exciting candidate on a clear management trajectory!"

Movement. Dynamism. Upward trajectory. Above all else, that's what an MBA resume must convey. Where exactly you started and where exactly you ended up are not nearly as important as demonstrating continuous, rapid professional growth between A and B. Your resume should be chock full of moments where you beat expectations by huge margins and where your performance dramatically exceeded that of your peers. We see hundreds of resumes every year, from a huge variety of more and less competitive candidates. The data clearly show that things like early promotions and continually expanding responsibilities are more predictive of success than famous names and big titles.

This weighting makes a lot of sense when you consider the average post-MBA career path. B-schools aren't in the business of training good employees for XYZ sector-they create well-rounded leaders who can expertly navigate any professional scenario and are on track to general management roles. That type of leadership isn't restricted to a specific title, workplace or industry. It's an attitude, a driving ambition that manifests as rapid career progress. That's the magic adcoms are looking for, and that's what an exciting resume conveys.

So, is your resume exciting enough? If you're unsure, check out our book on MBA resumes, or chat with us below!
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by Inventing Minds » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:23 am
Yes, that's precisely because b-schools look for -
An out of box thinker with the drive and passion to come up with unique ideas.
How you have made great difference to your work place with outstanding ideas.
Have A New Vision before you post-MBA to create a disruption in any field and emerge as a trendsetter.
Strong extra-curriculars, with interests in diverse areas.
Have an open mind and knowledge of multiple sectors and industries.
Ambitious, yet realistic.
While building your applications, also keep in mind the following -
B-schools look for value creators & not job seekers!
Universities Prefers Innovators Over Bookish Learners & Degree Seekers.
What Matters The Most Is A Vision For Future - And Not Your Past Academic Successes.
Showcase In You Applications What Difference You Can Make To The World.
Don't Describe Yourself. Prove Different You Are From Others.
On the other hand, an impressive Resume means that you are a gold medalist or an academic topper - but unfortunately - Academic Brilliance Need Not Always Translate Into Professional Excellence.
Thus b-schools look for an exciting and not an impressive resume.