Several months back we called out some top bschools with their not-so-great resume templates.
But not all of them are bad. There’s one school especially that has a good resume template: Yale SOM
Now, it may not look like much to you in that preview. It is pretty basic. But basic is also totally appropriate for its purpose as provided by a school adcom: It’s showing layout and format only. It’s a guide to what needs to be included and where to include it.
Here’s the Word version of that Yale template in case you want to adopt it for yourself. Obviously you’ll need to put in significant work to make it effective in presenting your background. It’s literally only a template. But it may get you started in the right direction if you’ve been told your current resume is not up to par or competitive in this MBA admissions landscape (hint: we tell BSers stuff like that when warranted in our Comprehensive Profile Review).
Another bschool has a sample we’ll mention today: Dartmouth Tuck
Theirs has a lot of the same weaknesses as the LBS one we critiqued in the past — but at least the Tuck version looks cleaner. Choice of font actually matters quite a bit in how your resume comes across.
Here’s that LBS one again for comparison:
Also while we’re on this topic…
Take a look at these two previews of that Yale resume that we started today’s post discussing:
Uh, whoops. What’s going on with that second one? The glitchiness of how it’s displayed? It’s the same exact .docx MS Word file shown via different systems. Pro Tip: Always upload your resume to the schools’ application systems as PDF. You never know what nastiness Word will inflict upon your carefully-formatted document when it’s being displayed to the admissions committee reviewer on their own computer.
You can also see, if you inspect carefully, that there are mistakes in the formatting on the line indents. Look at the left bullets and especially the second-line hanging indents, and the ones towards the bottom. They all should be precisely in line with each other, straight down the page. Don’t make this mistake with your own resume. These may seem like the persnicketiest little complaints, but truly, they impact the reader’s perception of you as an applicant. Everything counts in this process! You are forming a mental image of yourself in the adcom reader’s mind in subtle and not-so-subtle ways based on everything that you present and the way you present it.
Which takes us to this: Do you know how to use MS Word?
Like, really use MS Word?
One immediate sign of a Word Rookie is using spaces to format a resume. Never use spaces. Spaces are not for formatting a document. Programming code? That’s up to you to battle out. Documents? No. Spaces can totally whack your document if you’re using a proportional font or change the font size. Just say no to spaces.
You should also say no to using only the default tab positions in Word. Instead, set your tabs according to the needs of the document, and then everything will line up with itself. Use right-align, center-align, and left-align tabs. Do not use tables to format the page. MS Word is the most basic tool of the business world. (Or Google Docs, if you insist.) You need to know how to use the tools of the trade for the environment you say you want to be part of.
Tabs, not spaces — and no, we’re not going to get into the programmer wars over this!
Our Reworking the Resume App Accelerator is another valuable resource: Once you’ve got your resume looking spiffy, see if the contents are actually conveying what you need them to be in the context of this competitive admissions process!
UPDATE: We continued talking about resumes here! Most common mistakes