Resume Control of your Resume

Resumes have become so wrote that they garner very little consideration.  But for business school applications, you must take control back over this important tool if you want to make the best impression.

Some might think of a resume as a simple list of work responsibilities or a timetable of past achievements.  For a job application, this approach to writing a resume might work out fine, but when you’re applying to business school, the first thing you must realize is one very important thing:

The chance to get your selling points across to adcoms is extremely limited.

Over the years, word counts have become incredibly stingy, in part because of the increase in applications has put tremendous pressure on admissions committees to process applications quickly.  While this makes things better for the schools in some ways, it makes things very challenging for applicants, who have to constrict their messaging strategy down to a precision approach. 

The resume is one of the few things in a b-school application without a word limit.

Now you can see why resuming control over the resume can be powerful.  Think of the resume as the place to not only list your achievements, but also to begin describing why a particular achievement was important to you.  Unpacking why you did the things you have done is way more important that what you did, because it allows the schools to dig more deeply into who you are and what makes you tick.  You don’t have to take this overboard, and you can certainly go too far, but a brief example of this might be:

Regular resume: “Led sales team of three to exceed annual target by 30%”

B-school resume: “Leveraged servant leadership to inspire sales team of three to reach beyond our goals annually as a cohesive unit”

See how the latter description makes you want to hear more?  It also doesn’t sound like typical resume language and communicates not only the result, but a little bit about the leadership style.  So before you upload that tired old resume that you used to get your last job, you might try going through each line asking yourself, “what does this communicate to the reader and why is it relevant to my case for getting into school?”  You might just unlock a whole new way to showcase yourself!

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