What Are MBA Adcoms Looking for in Resumes

Join Coach Fiona T. as she provides valuable insights into the mindset of AdComs and shares how to create a compelling resume that stands out.

Fiona T.

By Fiona T.

Posted March 13, 2024

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Your resume isn't just a collection of dates and job titles; it's the canvas on which your professional journey comes to life. In the realm of MBA applications, your resume plays a crucial role in introducing you to admissions committees (Adcoms), giving them a glimpse of your accomplishments and aspirations. This article is your guide to creating an impactful MBA application resume. From providing context behind your career decisions to spotlighting your individual contributions, we'll explore essential elements that can elevate your application. Let's delve into the strategies that will help your resume capture Adcoms' attention and tell your story effectively.

Provide Context: Illuminate Your Path

The journey your resume undertakes should be illuminated with context. Recognize that Adcoms may lack an in-depth understanding of your career decisions. Take, for instance, the transition between roles within a company; such shifts can be remarkably competitive. Employ a succinct one-liner to underscore and illuminate these achievements:

"Successfully transitioned roles within the company, only the top 5% of the analysts are able to do so."

Highlight Your Impact: Unveil Your Distinctive Mark

Direct attention towards your personal contributions and accomplishments. Rather than an exhaustive enumeration of activities, prioritize experiences that hold significance. While team accomplishments bear weight, your unique role and influence warrant emphasis. For demonstrable outcomes, incorporate specific figures that underscore your impact:

"Championed a cross-functional initiative resulting in a 25% reduction in project turnaround time."

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Summarize with Themes for Clarity: Weave a Cohesive Narrative

Leverage the power of thematic organization to distill the essence of your experiences. Group akin encounters to spotlight recurring themes. In doing so, you craft a seamless narrative that highlights your strengths and proficiencies across diverse roles. For example:


  • Elected as social lead for the office and organized bi-annual analyst offsite with 100+ people.

Use Strong Action Words: Energize Your Achievements

Energize your resume with vibrant action verbs, instilling vitality into your achievements. These words invigorate your accomplishments, captivating Adcoms with a sense of dynamism:

“Led initiative of designing new customer onboarding program, which increased engagement of new customers by 30%. Managed cross-functional teams to implement onboarding program across email, direct mail, and web channels.”

Be Consistent in Structure and Language: A Unified Presentation

Forge a consistent path within your resume's structure and language. Employ parallel structure in headings, subheadings, and sentences. This coherence ensures an organized and comprehensible presentation.

Your Journey to Excellence Begins Here

In the fiercely competitive realm of MBA admissions, your resume wields immense influence as your envoy to Adcoms. It serves as a conduit for communicating your evolution, leadership, and promise. By embedding context into your career chronology, amplifying your unique impact, weaving thematic threads for coherence, infusing action with potent verbs, and maintaining unwavering consistency in both structure and language, your resume emerges as a vivid canvas portraying your professional odyssey. Each word, each detail, bears the potential to resonate with your ambitions and accomplishments. Approach this task with precision, for your journey towards an enriching MBA experience commences with this very document. Make each fragment count!

Ready to enhance your MBA application? Schedule a free consultation with Fiona T. today!

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