Reflecting on Your Resume: Guaranteed Improvement in Three Steps
The end of the year is a great time to reflect on your accomplishments and set future goals. It’s also a great time to update your resume, especially if you are in the MBA recruiting process. This three-step reflection and review process will strengthen your resume, guaranteed.
1. Demonstrate Results.
It’s tempting to create bullet points that illustrate what you actually did at previous jobs. You want recruiters to know you have the experience, right? Unfortunately, that approach focuses on responsibilities not results, and American recruiters want to see results.
Begin bullet points with action verbs. Highlight responsibilities that make you unique among your peers, and demonstrate results with numbers whenever possible. For example, “Represented company on industry roundtable panels 3-4 times annually.”
2. Be Purposeful with Additional Insights.
Some experts say the Additional Insights section is not necessary; resumes are to highlight skill sets. Others say it paints a more complete picture of a person. I fall into the second category. When I recruited for a Fortune 50 consumer goods company, I often used Additional Insights to break the ice.
Choose Additional Insights that align with company values and strategic direction. If you do, this section might change for every resume you drop. For example, if I target a company that values high productivity and high work-life balance, I might showcase my dedication to the GTD methodology and my yoga training. If I’m targeting a company with a goal to expand globally in the next 5 years, I might highlight world travel and international volunteerism.
3. Follow the Requested Resume Formatting.
Review your school’s resume format, and follow it perfectly. Creative types may feel the urge to do something slightly different; don’t. This is one time it’s important to follow protocol.
MBA recruiting teams review hundreds of resumes, on top of their full time job responsibilities. They look for key things, and cut people ruthlessly.
If you follow the format, highlight relevant (and interesting) Additional Insights, and demonstrate impressive results, your resume will get positive attention. I guarantee it.