[This post is part of Resume Week — which started here!]
Some schools publish a resume format or template as part of their MBA application instructions or they give a sample as reference. By doing this they either imply or even in some cases state outright that you should be using this format.
Is this a good idea? Does this show that you’re a stronger candidate to this school because you do this?
Do you HAVE to do this?
For one specific school: YES.
For MIT Sloan, this is part of their application requirements.
If you don’t follow the directions that they have laid out, then you’re going to be accused of not following the directions.
(Err, not specifically “accused.” But it’ll be noted by your admissions reviewer. Will it prevent them from accepting you? No. Will it set things off on the wrong foot? Yes.)
But for the other schools: Do you have to do this?!??
We’ve discussed this before so again, you can just clicky the little clicker-finger here and go read that if you want to get more details but the essential answer is — again, except for MIT!! — NO YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS AND WE THINK IT’S A WASTE OF TIME.
The only value to doing this is if your resume currently sucks and you don’t have a good format to start with.
Redoing your resume for each school would be like if you’re interested in going into healthcare after your MBA — and you spend all this time combing the websites of each of your target schools, trying to figure out if they want you to spell it “healthcare” or “health care.”
Really. It’s that insignificant.
As long as your resume is polished and professional, and the content is presenting your profile in the best light that it can, then you’re good to go.
And oh yeah, one page only. That part is mandatory*.
And…. yeah, this may be a first! Essay Snark just told you something you DON’T have to do! Now you get to go spend an extra hour on reddit using the time we just freed up in your life.
* with very few exceptions. of which you are likely not one.