How MBA Admissions Works

Preparing Your Resume and Application Essay

Have a counselor or professional look over your resume before you send it off.
Have a counselor or professional look over your resume before you send it off.
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In addition to your GMAT score, your resume and application essay are vital in distinguishing you as a business school graduate student. This area of your application will allow you to relate your unique personal and job-related experiences to your potential MBA program. Essentially, this part of your application will help to establish you as a name rather than a number.

When preparing your application, you'll want to include an up-to-date resume of your academic and professional experience. You should list all of your information chronologically or by skill set. You should include the following information:

  • Job history
  • Educational background
  • Other relevant experience, such as foreign language proficiency or computer skills

If you're submitting a CV, or curriculum vitae, follow the standard academic format. For examples of either resumes or CV, search online for models to follow.

After you've created your resume, be sure to have your resume reviewed by your school's career counselors or another experienced professional. You'll want to make sure that it's polished, clearly written and in the correct format.

After you've tweaked your resume, you can move on to your application essay. This part of your application is the place where you can really sell yourself to an MBA program. Here, you can tell the admissions committees why you'd be a good fit for their program. You also can focus your essay on what makes you a unique candidate who'll make a meaningful contribution to their school. Be sure to read essay instructions carefully; some schools require that you answer specific questions. Some essay topics include:

  • Why are you applying to business school?
  • Why did you choose this program?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How would you make a contribution to this program?

As with your resume, have a career counselor proofread your essay for clarity and coherence.

On the next page, we'll review some other essential elements of a successful MBA application: letters of recommendation, transcripts and an interview.