A resume is an important part of the Masters in Management application process, and for many candidates can be a real source of stress. The reason for this is that the resume is one of the few parts of your application where you have complete control. There’s no need to rely on others to write you strong recommendations or try to influence your GMAT score. It’s all up to you.
Why a great MiM resume matters
While the Master in Management (MiM) has become a very trendy degree, the competition for admission to top-ranked MiM programs has also followed suit. If you are trying to get into a top MiM program like the LBS MiM, HEC MiM, or INSEAD MiM (or other similarly ranked programs), competition is fierce. Many elite institutions receive thousands of applications for only a few hundred slots.
This means that you need to carefully consider the content and quality of your resume if you hope to secure an interview.
If you’re applying to a Masters in Management (MIM) program, you might be wondering how to create a great resume.
Here are some tips on how to create a great MiM resume that will help you stand out from the rest.
MiM resume tip 1: get the basics right
Generally, MiM programs mention a set of qualities and roles they expect to see in your MiM resume. Now they can be related to the minimal work experience you have gained- excluding internships- and what personal projects you have started that reflect on your business acumen and subject matter expertise. Your MiM resume will always have transitions taking place in your professional front, risks you’ve taken and what you learned from them, and undergraduate engagements that highlight your leadership and team management skills.
A resume should be concise, objective and highlight your strengths. It should consist of a summary of education and experience that powerfully conveys your potential for success in graduate business studies and beyond. This might include academic research projects, extracurricular activities, membership in professional organizations, part-time work experience and special skills such as proficiency in foreign languages. The standard length of a resume is one page.
Start off your resume with your personal information – name, address, email address and phone number. Then comes education, followed by work experience and activities (extracurricular and community service). Most resumes start off with what is called an “objective statement”, but this is not necessary because the reader already knows what your objective is: to get accepted into the Masters in Management program.
When you list your academic experiences, or firms you’ve worked for, begin with the most recent and work your way to the past. If you have worked on many projects at a single company, share them in reverse order and keep the transition apparent.
Remember that this is not like a resume for your first job or even an internship. You need to start with your educational background and then list any relevant work experience or internships after that. Include any skills or languages you may have, as well as extracurriculars and clubs you were involved in.
You want to keep it simple and easy-to-read. Masters in Management admissions committees will be looking at hundreds of applications, so they don’t have time to read through long paragraphs on every candidate’s background and experiences. They’re much more likely to look at the bullet points than the paragraphs themselves.
Some schools such as London Business School have specific resume/CV templates for admissions that they recommend, and you should make sure that you use those.
MiM resume tip 2: show leadership
The biggest difference between an MBA resume and a MiM resume is that a MiM resume focuses more on past experiences and achievements that showcase leadership potential. Although an MBA candidate can also do this, it is recommended that they relate their leadership skills to their professional experience because they already have some prior work experience. In case of MiM candidates, they can highlight any volunteering or community work or even sports activities that involved leading teams or groups.
Think in terms of stories and accomplishments. Recall what you’ve done in life so far and the things you are most proud of. This can be professional or personal, as long as it’s relevant to the job or internship you’re applying for. You should also try hard not to repeat yourself – if something comes up more than once, then it probably isn’t that important.
Similarly, co-curricular activities and non-academic participation are important elements of your CV and can provide schools with additional information about your leadership, managerial, and problem-solving talents. Include short accounts of your actions, similar to your professional experiences, and emphasize the contribution you made – give relevant examples and share instances to create a strong impact.
MiM resume tip 3: focus on achievements
Doesn’t this seem counter-intuitive? Yes, probably. Your resume is the opportunity to emphasize your duties and roles, but keeping them to the point and brisk is the key. MiM does not require too much elaboration and past stories to be added to what you achieved. Rather than describing the roles you played in detail, you should highlight the essential actions and experiments you took and the outcomes you were rewarded with.
You must avoid focusing too much on the responsibilities and roles you played in an organisation – rather, reflect upon your abilities, result-oriented approach, and achievements. It is fine if the achievements are not huge. As a student, you probably only held internship roles, and the achievements/contributions you had may understandably not have been huge. That is not a problem.
There are no set rules about how much space should be allocated to each section. You should let the content determine the size of each section, instead of trying to make all sections take up a fixed amount of space on your resume. If you have had a lot of relevant work experience then spend more time describing it than if you haven’t had as much relevant work experience; if you have done a lot of activities while at college then focus on those rather than on other things that aren’t as important or relevant.
MiM resume tip 4: Make your internships/work experience relevant
Demonstrate how your internships or full-time work experience is relevant to what you want to do after the MiM. Align your previous experiences with the target job requirements and highlight key skills that match what you have learned during your studies. If you don’t have much experience, look at other projects you were involved in (academic) and how the work you did there is relevant to what you want to do in the future.
It is possible that some of your work experience or your internships (say, in the case of engineering graduates) don’t really have any relationship to your post-MiM career. In that case, you should focus on the skills you picked up, and how those may help post-MiM. In your personal statement or essays, you may wish to highlight why you pursued those internships, or how pursuing them helped you decide that you career path needed to be different.
Work hard on your resume, and not just for the application
If you’re going to be an asset to the program, get organized! You can’t expect anyone to look at a resume that’s all over the place. Make sure you cover all the points, and present them in a way that seems natural, but also makes a point about why you’re right for it. Above all, remember that resumes are marketing documents and must sell your skills. Finally, remember that your resume will not just be used for admissions but also for interviews.
To sum it all up, putting together a great resume for your Master in Management application requires that you understand the point of such a document, know what goes into making a great resume, and be willing to spend time working on it. Thankfully, as has been shown above, creating a compelling resume is not as hard as you might think—and doing so will give you the best chances of being invited for an interview, and ultimately getting into your dream Masters in Management program.