The most outstanding MBA programs are incredibly competitive, attracting thousands of talented individuals worldwide. Some may be more experienced in business than you, and some may have attended more prominent universities. How should you then differentiate yourself to get noticed in R2?

Here’s a list of 5 most important things the schools look for in your MBA Resume

1. A clear career progression

Schools view your promotions and increasing job responsibilities with your current or former employer as a sign of your potential

What should you do?

You want to show your development over the years. Therefore, list your accomplishments and job responsibilities in reverse chronology, giving appropriate space to achievements under each role. Point out what additional responsibilities, larger teams, larger regions, P&Ls, or budgets you have taken on over the years.

2. Proof of leadership

Your resume will serve as an aide-memoire when you write your essay. Recall accomplishments in each role, breakthroughs, and changes and infliction points at each stage of your career to determine your leadership potential

Give evidence of when you United people behind a common goal, Utilized the talents and skills of others, Developed a vision, Challenged the status quo, Identified a new problem, or Prioritized the needs of the organization over personal needs

3.  Business Acumen

While you may have made individual contributions to your company, you show your business acumen by relating your positioning to a larger corporate goal –

for example, you were a technical sales manager or a product manager focused on aligning the product with the market and increasing market penetration, or,

you were an assembly line engineer supporting production, the supply chain, or cost efficiency. You have had an impact on the bottom line. Quantify your accomplishments. Structure each bullet point as an accomplishment following the Problem Action Result (or STAR) approach.

4. Extracurricular Activities

Look for unusual themes that schools do not automatically associate with your profession, such as creativity (your interest in basket weaving), social influence (e.g., training farmers in subsistence agriculture), or unusual professional experiences (e.g., your first career as a teacher). Look for unique childhood or family experiences, distinctive hobbies, or international experiences that balance the predictability of your professional profile.

5. Academic Pedigree and academic potential

Some schools, such as the IITs in India, have built substantial brand equity. As a graduate of a highly competitive school, you’ll get a few eyeballs from anyone who reads your CV. Irrespective of whether you are from a target or non-target school, you should highlight accomplishments or participations during your undergraduate years that identify you as an academically focused individual. Mention scholarships, exceptional GPAs, awards such as hackathons or case competitions, and leadership positions you held during your time.

In a B-school application, you are selling your vision for the future as well as your current skills, GMAT scores, and accomplishments. Therefore, it is important to show how your career goals intersect with your past experiences.

 

For more personalized CV tips reach out to aanchal.sahni@insead.edu

 

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