Growing competitiveness in MBA is making students get on their toes and polish up all skills they have up their sleeve. We understand how important it is to get your CV right and we will tell you everything you need to know, to write an excellent CV. Before we give you a structure, here are the top 5 few tips on writing an effective CV to ensure you present yourself well:
Keep your CV to less than a page unless you have a lot of work experience to write about, that exceeds 8 years. An admission committee at a top-notch B-school would be glad to see everything covered under a page. Ensure that everything you write is authentic and don’t write in a tone of bragging. You will get a chance to be descriptive and to write your heart out in your SOP.
Get to the point where you have worked and how your role contributed to the organization. Don’t get hung up on writing about your high school or details about your college that has less relevance with MBA. Write in an inverted-pyramid structure, which means that you present information in descending order of relevance and prominence with the most significant things first.
The structure of your CV should be very readable and well-formed. You could ask someone to merely glance at your CV and it should make sense to them at a glance. Ensure that it doesn’t look haphazard or unorganized. A well-structured CV reflects a well-organized you. It should have the right amount of white space. Keep the alignment justified and it is recommended to use font size 11 or 12.
Ensure you are conveying your leadership abilities and the skills you have that make you a leader. This is something B-schools look for and your points and the summary should resonate with your leadership and the potential you behold. List down everything you have done or been because of the leader in you.
Once you think you have written the perfect CV, give it a good read and check for spelling and grammatical errors. Then give it to at least 2 people and ask them feedback on what kind of person you sound like if merely looked at your CV. Because remember, that’s the only glance the admission committee is getting, other than your transcripts before they review your SOP.
Now that we are clear on the basics, let us take you through the recommended structure that is sure to give you an outstanding CV. Also, let us remind us you that we are giving you guidelines and a structure and everything you put in it should be unique and subject to who you really are, without borrowing.
Your name is the heading for your CV so write it in bold legible font at the top, in the centre. This is followed by your address and contact number which go as subheadings. If you are applying for a UK university, DOB is not necessary but you can mention anyway.
If you have heard the concept of an elevator pitch, here is the right time to use it. Write not more than 4 lines about yourself that very effectively conveys who you are and what you stand for. This should reflect almost everything a B-school is looking for, in its potential candidate.
Write as bullet points and give effective headings regarding the job roles you have had. ‘Data Science Analyst’ or ‘Senior Marketing Executive’ would be the headline. Give a subheading with the name of the employer and the timeline of your engagement with them. Keep it concise and cover the projects you have worked on and the roles you have taken that reflect your leadership and abilities. You will know how exactly, in the sample CV attached at the end of the article.
Write it in an inverted pyramid structure that starts with what you studied most recently and goes up to high school or 10th grade. Ensure you mention key points and topics that hold relevance with an MBA Degree to showcase that you have an idea or an introduction to the subject matter. This part covers the name of your institution, the name of the course and what percentage or percentile you qualified with.
Keep this short and think of it as the highlights to your skillset. This can include the languages you know and mention your mother tongue. You could write it is as Hindi (native), English (Fluent), German (Intermediate – B2), Bangla (Intermediate). Next is the skills you have related to IT, which ranges from Microsoft Office to any programming language you may know. Next mention the certification or short term courses you have completed that hold relevance. Keep this section interesting, well balanced and make sure you are reflecting to be a person with all the basic skills required to be a good candidate.
Here is the section where you ease down and mention everything else related to co-curriculum and extra curriculum. Mention volunteering activities or initiatives you have taken. Mention, if any, your engagement with the student community. Mention your interests with proof. Example, if you want to mention that you are a traveller, mention where you have travelled and don’t merely write it for the sake of it or because the template told you so. Remember that authenticity wins over quantity.