Awesome MBA Resumes Part 3: Brilliant Bullets

For the final part of our dive into crafting the perfect MBA resume, Angela Guido talks through the creation of brilliant bullets! Amazing resume bullets are vital for convincing the adcom of your abilities and achievements, but it’s easy to get them wrong. That’s why we’re here!

Read more about brilliant MBA resume bullets on our blog!

Business schools don’t always know how great you are already; you need to tell them! A perfect business school resume is an essential part of any successful MBA application, and combining this week’s tips with proper MBA resume formatting and avoiding common MBA resume mistakes will go a long way as you build an MBA resume. 

We’ll return with more great MBA resume tips at a later date, but there’s something very special coming up! Make sure you also check out our awesome post, packed with MBA resume tips, MBA Resume Protocol, and go ahead and download our free MBA resume template too!

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Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:

Show the Impact You’ve Made

I'm Angela Guido, the founder of Career Protocol, and today I'm talking about brilliant MBA resume bullets. The most important thing you want every bullet on your resume to communicate is impact. And if you think about it, there's a really important reason for that. Most people who are going to business school are planning to make a career change. You're going to be moving from one industry and function to a different industry or function or both. And so all the things you've learned and accomplished in your current position will be significantly less relevant to your next position. What that means is that you need to show future employers, and therefore the admissions committee, that you have transferable skills. You have the ability to do things in one environment and move and do those same things in a new environment. Well, guess what? The most relevant transferable skill you can possibly have is making change happen. It's producing results. It's saving 10 million dollars. It's decreasing the time it takes to do a process by ten thousand man hours. It's generating revenue. It's driving a real result for the client. It's making change happen, producing impact.

3 Things Your Resume Bullets Should Do

So this is why every bullet in your resume needs to do three different things.

  1. First of all, it needs to be in the past tense. Impact is always in the past. If it's still happening, it hasn't yet changed. You haven't yet produced a result. So, all of your bullets need to be in the past tense, number one.
  2. Number two, they need to focus on what changed in the external world. So ideally, there will be some quantifiable result. Money saved, money made, targets hit, percentages achieved, timelines improved upon, complexity reduced. If there are no numbers, if you don't have a quantifiable result associated with your bullet, that's OK too. You can use more qualitative results, things like awards that you received, acknowledgment from clients or members of your team, processes that were improved as a result of your work. So, for example, if the finance team was able to make quicker decisions on a more real time basis because of the model you built, that's a clear result enabling the finance team to make real time decisions. That's a result. It's not quantifiable because, of course, the decisions that they made had their own impact that have nothing to do with you and your model. But this is a really good example of how your work made a real change in the external world. So number two is to make sure that each and every bullet has a real measurable impact.
  3. And then the third thing that you want to make sure that each of your bullets does is showcase the specific things that you did to produce that result. In other words, it needs to pass the cause and effect test. I need to be able to look at what you did and see the impact that you produced and make a logical connection between those two. You want to avoid overreaching, taking thinly veiled credit for team results or underestimating the impact that you had, here's an example. You were on a team project and the overall outcome of that whole project is that the company saved ten million dollars. But your role in that project was minor. Let's say you built a model that predicted how much money could be saved. To start the bullet by saying “Saved the company ten million dollars” is a little bit disingenuous because there was a lot more involved in saving the company ten million dollars. Instead, what you want to do is to start the bullet with the action, whatever it was that you did that played a role in that team's success and then at the end of the bullet, say “…enabling the company to save ten million dollars”, because that's true. Your work did enable the company to save ten million dollars, even though those ten million savings isn't your result exclusively. So, you want to pay close attention to how you structure your bullets so that the impact is clear, your role is clear, and the link between them is also crystal clear.

Brilliant Bullets Make For Excellent Resumes

If you do all of these things, you will have amazing MBA resume bullets and therefore an amazing MBA resume. It's going to make a huge difference in your admission to any school, because all schools are looking for people who make change happen in the world, who drive results and can be put into any environment and lead.

If you want even more guidance on how to write amazing MBA resume bullets, just go Google MBA resume protocol or click the link in the description to get a complete guide to amazing MBA resume bullets, this has been #MBAMonday. See you next week.

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Angela Guido

Student of Human Nature| Founder and
Chief Education Officer of Career Protocol

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