Post #16: How to write a 1 page business resume?

It is always challenging to fit all your experience into a single page and gets more difficult as your experience increases.  So what should a business resume for a b-school application comprise of?

  1. Header
  • Mention your name, email address and mobile number.

      *Avoid postal address as it is already part of the application form you fill in

2. Education

  • Mention your qualifications at graduation and under-graduation level only
  • Specify the school name, year of passing and CGPA

       *Avoid other details like high school, school address etc

3. Overall Experience Summary/Headline

  • Write in a couple of sentences summarizing your professional career

4. Major accomplishments

  • Summarize major accomplishments of your career in 3 to 4 bullet points

5. Professional Experience: Make sure you cover the following details for each employer in reverse chronological order (most recent) first

  • Employer Name: eg: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., India
  • Brief tagline of what the employer’s main business is: eg: Largest Software Company of Asia, USD10 Billion Company.

* The reason is not all admissions officers who read your application may know about your company.

  • Duration of Employment : eg: Oct 2010 to till date
  • Your Title /Role: Please specify your title/role.  eg: Principal Consultant/Program Manager

*Specify Role only when you are performing a role that is different from your job title

  • Responsibilities: Make sure you cover your own responsibilities in 3 to 4 bullet points highlighting the following:

a) One to two line summary of what is the assignment and what you did (can cover team size, client name as well here). Eg: led a multi-cultural team of 10 consultants to define the mobile services product strategy for a leading telecom service provider in India

b) What is the outcome: eg: Successfully rolled out services from concept to market in just 4 months. Solution won several awards in industry forums. Include any recognitions/awards you received.

6. Extracurricular Activities/Interests: Mention your interests outside of your professional work in a single line. Eg: Hobbies, Sports, Social work etc

While it is relatively easy to write down section 1 to 4, most people find it difficult to write their professional experience as they would have worked on several assignments in their career and cannot fit everything in 1 page.

So here are some tips on how to write the professional summary section:

  1. Give more weightage to your most recent experiences say last 5 years as you would have spent this time in leadership roles
  2. Choose experiences that demonstrate diversity as follows:
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Global exposure
  • Decision making
  • Industry sectors (eg: telecom, IT, financial services, Retail, Pharma)
  • Job functions (eg: Consulting, General Management, sales/marketing etc)

*Check the class profile on how the school reports Industry sectors and job functions. Use similar language so that it is easy for admissions officers to relate to.

3. Merge related experiences into one experience

  • For example you might have worked with 5 telecom service providers but did the same work – say helping them to roll out 4G services in a consulting role. Instead of having 5 project experiences in your CV , just merge all of them into one and say that ‘As a consultant I played a key role in defining product strategy for 5 major service providers (you can write names here) across the globe

4. Be quantitative, use numbers all across CV to be more specific. See example below.

  • Managed a CAPEX of  USD 10m
  • As a result of my xyz(mention them) actions, I brought savings of USD 2m in OPEX
  • Managed a team size of 40 with 5 direct reports

5. Do not use any jargons from your own industry on your resume. Remember your audience is the admissions committee and not a recruitment agency or a potential employer from your industry. Please use simple English only.

6. Ensure that your resume and the instances you quoted in your essays are in sync

7. Make sure you leave the standard margins.

It is equally important to get your resume reviewed like you do for your essays. Please check my ‘tips for essays’ section for details on this.

I think I provided some quality insights to write a 1 page business resume. Please feel free to provide comments/feedback so that I can update my blog to help prospective students.

Remember to follow me on twitter at @narendhars to receive live updates on my posts on a regular basis.

Good luck writing your 1 page resume.

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One Response to Post #16: How to write a 1 page business resume?

  1. Pingback: Post #18: How tweeting can help you write good essays for b-school applications? | Sloan Masters in Leadership & Strategy @London Business School

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