There’s no doubt that earning an MBA can give your career a boost. Research shows that a graduate degree in business can increase your earnings potential by 50 percent or more, and many employers will only consider candidates with an MBA or similar degree.
Your resume should make it obvious to an employer why they should hire you. That means you need to have a laser-like focus on what makes you the right candidate.Tweet This
However, the MBA has become the most popular graduate degree, with about 200,000 people earning the credential every year. So, while your business education is certainly valuable, it doesn’t always make you stand out from the competition as much as you would like to. Therefore, when you are writing your resume, you need to find ways to demonstrate the real value of your degree and your experience.
List Your MBA Properly
The first thing to consider is how you list your business education on your resume. In the education section, which will most likely go after the skills and experience sections if you have a few years of work experience under your belt, you need to list the degree you earned and where it was earned. Which comes first depends on what you want to highlight.
If you went to a top-tier school, you’ll list that first, then the degree you earned, i.e.: “Prestigious Business School, City, State – Masters of Business Administration.” If you want to highlight the fact that you earned the degree rather than the school, reverse the order, noting the degree first then the school. If you concentrated on a particular specialty, mention it only if it is related to the job you’re applying for.
Focus on Skills
Employers are more interested in your skills and what you can do for them than they are in the fact that you earned a degree, so it’s important to include a skills section in your resume. You want to show employers that you are ready to take on any challenges you face and meet the demands of their business.
Therefore, explicitly mention the skills you developed during your MBA studies, ensuring there is a mix of both hard and soft skills that demonstrate you are a good problem solver, an analytical thinker, and a team player – the most in-demand qualifications among employers today. Consider the focus of your MBA program and how it prepared you for new opportunities. Some MBA programs focus heavily on problem-solving, or financial skills, while programs like the Santa Clara MBA in California center on innovation and leadership. Think about the work you did throughout your studies, from class assignments and case studies to group projects and presentations, and the skills you developed that would benefit an employer.
“Whether you’re just starting out with your career decisions, and you’re not sure what you want to do, or you’re looking at ways to further your current career, or even if you’re hoping to make a career change sometime soon, you may want to look into what education can do for you.” – What Can Education Do For Your Career?
If, during the course of your MBA studies, you took courses or completed projects that are especially relevant to employers in your field, include them on your resume. Keep in mind that the key word here is relevant; your resume shouldn’t be a copy of your transcript, but rather highlight specific areas where you’ve received education and training.
Graduate projects are another good way to showcase your skills. Where you include this information is up to you; typically, it would appear under education or academic experience. Be cautious when including projects under your experience section, as you do not want to imply that you worked for a company when you didn’t or that your experience was professional. When including projects, such as those that you work on throughout your entire MBA experience, your capstone or a thesis, list the course name, the title of the project, and a few bullet points describing your role and the outcome of the project. For example, if your project won an award or was featured at a conference, include that information on your resume.
Streamline Your Achievements
Your resume should make it obvious to an employer why they should hire you. That means you need to have a laser-like focus on what makes you the right candidate. Many people make the mistake of listing all their achievements on their resume, thinking that it will impress employers. Often, though, the opposite happens, as employers aren’t sure where to focus and can’t get a clear idea of who you are and what you can do. For that reason, you need to streamline your achievements, skills and experience, so only the most relevant and impressive appear on your resume. Use your MBA experience to make it clear why you are the best, and you’ll stand out.
Although the job market has improved vastly in recent years, competition for top positions is still fierce. By highlighting the right experience and aspects of your MBA education on your resume, you won’t be left behind or left out when employers look for top talent.