Ah, the MBA resume—the calling card of the ambitious and the ticket to board the corporate train. This document should contain the candidate’s years of learning and practice, along with all those valuable skills that make them highly sought-after in the business world.
Still, when it comes to writing it, you might find yourself stuck in place, staring at a blinking cursor, not knowing how to start or where to go next. Fear not—everyone from recent MBA graduates to industry veterans was in the same place where you are now.
So, how do you demonstrate excellence and get ahead of the competition without coming off as boastful? Stick around, and we’ll show you how to craft a compelling MBA resume that will help you get the job of your dreams. Let’s dive in!
The majority of candidates should keep their MBA resumes one page long and use the chronological format.
Your resume summary or objective should feature your key strengths to grab the recruiter’s attention and convince them to keep reading.
The work history and skills sections of your resume should be tailored to the position that you’re applying for and only feature relevant information.
Improve your odds with recruiters by writing and submitting a cover letter that matches your resume.
What Is the Right Format to Use for an MBA Resume?
Before you start filling out your MBA resume with your degrees and professional accomplishments, you should determine its format and layout.
The right format for your resume will structure its content in an optimal way for both recruiters and the ATS. The vast majority of candidates will benefit from one of these three formats:
Common Resume Formats
The chronological resume format is used most often. You should consider this format if you have a steady work history you can neatly showcase in reverse-chronological order. Plus, this format is compatible with most ATS software, making it a safe pick.
The functional resume format is recommended for entry-level MBA candidates. If you lack work experience, this format will help you portray yourself as a competent candidate by focusing on your skills. Just keep in mind that the functional format might run into issues with the ATS.
The combination resume format is mostly utilized by highly experienced individuals or those who switched careers. This format comes with the features of the previous two, emphasizing the candidate’s competence through relevant accomplishments. That makes it perfect when you want to highlight transferable skills.
Even the best-written MBA resume likely won’t grab the recruiter’s attention if it’s a visual mess. That’s why you want a pleasant resume layout to go with the right format.
First off, it’s important to know how long an MBA resume should be. Most recruiters won’t spend more than 6–7 seconds on your resume unless something grabs their attention, so your MBA resume should be one page long.
Then, you want to pick a proven font (e.g., Arial or Calibri) and set its size to 10–12 pt while making section headings 2–4 pt larger. Finally, setting margins to one inch and using ample white space between sections and paragraphs will add the finishing touches to your resume layout and create a clean visual experience.
What Sections Should an MBA Resume Contain?
There are two types of sections your MBA resume should contain:
1. Mandatory Sections
Mandatory sections, which are:
2. Optional Sections
Optional sections, which include:
Awards and certifications
Hobbies and interests
Now that you have all the basic information, you can start writing your document from scratch. Many candidates opt for free MBA resume templates to download and work with. However, we offer an even better solution—our resume builder.
It comes with ready-made templates created by professionals and carefully tailored to be ATS-proof. Moreover, it also boasts an extensive set of built-in controls that allow you to customize every aspect of your resume.
So, instead of working with a random, clunky MBA resume template in Word, you can use our tool to fill in the blanks with your details, adjust every part of the document as you see fit, and download a finished product in minutes!
MBA Resume Contact Information
Contact information is a standard section for your resume header, and it should feature the following details:
Job title, which should match the one in the job ad
Phone number, which you should double-check for typos
Email address, which should be in a professional format (e.g., email@example.com)
Additionally, there are several optional bits that you can include, such as:
Mailing address, but only if you’re applying for a job abroad
Relevant social media, such as LinkedIn
Let’s see what that looks like in practice:
+ 586 726 8896
MBA Resume Objective or Summary
Before you can impress recruiters and potential employers with your skills and experience, you first need to grab their attention. That’s the task for your resume objective or summary. This two- to four-sentence paragraph goes at the beginning of your MBA resume, and it should highlight your key strengths.
In the case of entry-level candidates who want to leverage their skills, drive, and career goals, a resume objective is the best option. On the flip side, experienced applicants can take advantage of a resume summary to point out their most impressive achievements.
MBA Resume Objective
You don’t need a professional history to write a catchy introduction for your resume. Even as a student, you can highlight your motivation and abilities to write an engaging MBA resume objective.
Here’s a good example:
“Ambitious MBA student with one year of experience working as a marketing analyst intern. Proven analytical and negotiation skills. Collaborated on a secondary metrics dashboard that helped improve customer retention by 7%. Seeking to bring comprehensive knowledge and a fresh perspective to the entry-level marketing analyst position at [The Company’s Name].”
Notice how a candidate leveraged their internship to make their resume objective even stronger. Compare that to the following example that doesn’t give recruiters any information of substance:
“An MBA student looking for a job to gain real-world experience while working on a degree.”
MBA Resume Summary
When writing an MBA resume summary, you want to distill your entire career into one or two particularly impressive accomplishments. Briefly show a few notable results to recruiters, and they’ll likely check out the rest of your resume to find out more.
Let’s see that in an example:
“Professional MBA with more than 13 years of experience seeking a senior product manager position at [The Company’s Name]. Adept at managing the entire product lifecycle and supervising large-scale cross-functional teams. Boosted [The Previous Company’s] software product adoption by 11% through market research and measurement.”
What you don’t want to do is write a vague resume summary like the following one:
“MBA with more than a decade of experience seeking a challenging position where I can use my extensive skill set.”
MBA Resume Work Experience
Your work experience section is generally the one that interests recruiters the most. So let’s see how you can make it spotless.
First off, let’s start with a structure that you should follow when listing your past jobs:
The company and its location
Dates of employment
If you have multiple jobs that are relevant to the one that you’re applying for, you should add them in reverse-chronological order. Place your most recent position first, as it’s usually the most important one.
When talking about your accomplishments, you want to focus on notable results over everyday tasks and responsibilities. Furthermore, you should use bullet points over regular paragraphs, as they take up less space and are much easier to read.
Having between 3 and 5 bullet points per previous job is the optimal number to convey enough information without cluttering your work experience section. Furthermore, you can use numbers to quantify and substantiate your results, along with action verbs and power words to make them more memorable.
MBA Resume With No Experience
Don’t be afraid to write a compelling work experience section, even if you have only recently graduated. What you can do is showcase how you applied your skills during your studies or internships, in projects, while volunteering, etc.
Here’s a good example:
Marketing Analyst Intern
June 2022–January 2023
Collaborated on a social media campaign that resulted in a 31% increase in brand awareness and a 15% increase in website traffic for the client.
Assisted in the development of a customer satisfaction survey to gather data from 500+ respondents, obtaining valuable insights that helped the company achieve an 11% increase in customer satisfaction.
Used presentations to communicate valuable insights and findings to senior management in a concise and professional manner.
Experienced MBA Professional
As an experienced MBA professional, you can use your work experience section to highlight your competence in various areas of business. This is the best way to demonstrate your ability to analyze, manage, lead, and drive success.
Check out a strong example:
Senior Business Analyst
Led a cross-functional team of 11 to devise and implement a cost optimization strategy, resulting in a 17% reduction in operational expenses and $2.5 million in annual savings.
Conceptualized, designed, and implemented a customer segmentation strategy, increasing customer satisfaction by 25% with a 13% boost in retention.
Mentored a team of 7 junior analysts, fostering their professional growth and increasing the team’s productivity by 25% within 6 months of their onboarding.
MBA Resume Education Section
By definition, an MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. In addition to adding your graduate-level degree to the education section of your resume, you should also include the name of the university and your years of attendance. Here’s what that looks like in practice:
Master of Business Administration
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
If you’re an entry-level candidate, you can make this section more prominent by adding your undergraduate degree in reverse chronological order. Moreover, you can add a bullet list with notable achievements under each degree. These can include everything from a high GPA to relevant courses, university projects, and studies abroad.
Pro tip: If you’re still studying while applying for a job, you can place “expected” next to a graduation year or swap it for “current.”
MBA Resume Skills
As an MBA, you likely have a vast collection of different skills. However, you shouldn’t overcrowd your resume with every ability you can think of.
The key to getting your MBA resume skills section right is listing those abilities that are relevant to the position that you’re going for. The easiest way to find out what those are is to research the company and read the job ad.
In addition to being relevant, you also want to provide proof of your competence. To do that, simply mention applicable skills next to relevant achievements in your work experience and summary sections.
Some of the hard skills you can add to your MBA resume include:
Some of the soft skills that recruiters generally look for in this type of resume are:
MBA Resume Optional Sections
Let’s see how you can get ahead of the competition by including additional valuable information in optional sections.
Awards & Certifications
Mentioning some awards and certifications in your MBA resume is a great way to validate your skills, expertise, and accomplishments. They act as tangible evidence of your dedication and commitment to excel in the field. However, just like with the rest of your resume, it’s crucial to list those that are relevant to the job position you’re applying for.
Listing projects on your MBA resume helps you demonstrate how you put your theoretical knowledge to practical use. This section is particularly important for entry-level candidates, who generally lack professional experience. It allows them to show that they have hands-on experience and can tackle real-world challenges.
Language skills are important for MBAs, as they contribute to their global business proficiency. They enable cross-cultural communication and give candidates the ability to work effectively in diverse environments.
Hobbies & Interests
The hobbies and interests section of your MBA resume gives recruiters insight into your personality, passion, and well-roundedness. It’s a hidden gem in the world of resume-building that can help you showcase your unique qualities. On top of that, it can provide some great conversation starters during interviews.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your MBA Resume?
The demand for skilled MBAs is high, but there are many candidates, and the field is quite competitive. That’s why you want every opportunity to gain a competitive edge. One of the best ways to achieve that is with a tailored MBA cover letter that complements your MBA resume.
To get the most out of this document, make it one page long and explain what makes you the best person for the job in 250–400 words. Talk about relevant skills and achievements that didn’t fit your resume and give additional useful details to recruiters.
Expert Tips for Creating an MBA Resume
These expert tips will help you tweak your MBA resume to perfection:
You can make all links clickable in the contact information section of the soft copy of your MBA resume. That way, recruiters will be more likely to check out your LinkedIn profile and portfolio or contact you via email.
Send a PDF sample of your MBA resume to your friends or colleagues so they can help you proofread it. They might find areas for improvement or spot mistakes you might have overlooked.
Another reason to match your job title and skills to the requirements in the job ad is because of the ATS. They act as keywords the software recognizes and can help you pass the scan.
As you can see, crafting a job-winning MBA resume is a demanding endeavor that requires constant adaptation and refinement. After all, you use the same skills you use to navigate the ever-changing business landscape while writing this document.
While you work hard to showcase your skills and experience, don’t forget to be authentic. After all, in a world filled with competent professionals, it doesn’t hurt to have a little something extra that can act like a magnet and attract opportunities. May your resumes fascinate recruiters and your accomplishments inspire awe!