Many schools have been stepping up their game in trying to provide more useful information to applicants. Yale has published a whole series of useful content . Kellogg started embedding videos within their application a few years ago that give practical guidance.
Thankfully we saw a great one recently, from Wharton in their summer Admissions Tips webinar :
Clearly whoever created that sample had fun with it!
We’re posting it to call attention to the layout — which is an ideal way of organizing your background. Professional experience at the top, then education thereafter. We’re not convinced that a separate Leadership section is that useful — your leadership experiences should be integrated within the content itself, and come through as bullets within your professional background.
It’s also a strong example of using appropriate fonts.
The margins? Dang they are small! That is squeezing a lot onto the page, and it’s not actually helping you to make the page quite that crowded. That’s another reason why we say to ditch the separate Leadership chunk. Some candidates may have done that much volunteer or community work that it’s justified to have 25% of the page devoted to such extracurriculars, but a lot of candidates actually don’t — or those experiences are all from their college days, and then it ends up looking like they just dropped all interest in service once they graduated from that environment. There’s ways to capture this same level of information in a more optimized or streamlined fashion that could allow you to pare back at least two or three vertical lines. That would then loosen up the page and make it more inviting to your audience.
Compared to what some schools publish as samples, this one is pretty good — but please don’t get so crazy about the idea of a school’s version of a resume that you feel like you need to re-do yours in their format. With the exception of MIT Sloan (ugh! why do they do this?!) none of the schools encourages this or expects it, and you gain no value in the admissions process from doing so. One version of your resume, optimized for the needs of this process, is all that you need (and the MIT version if you’re trying for Sloan — which we actually do not see as optimized and probably isn’t the best choice to use for your other applications).
It’s probably too hard to read that screengrab that we stole from the Wharton presentation but if you can zoom in on it, maybe you can tell… The name of the applicant… The companies she’s worked for. Might sound familiar?
Cute, Wharton. Cute. A hometown girl, now going to Wharton, apparently.
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