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MBA Key Competencies and Skills

While your first resume will be more general, you will begin to tailor it as you become more focused. Think like a recruiter! Remember, recruiters are looking for specific competencies related to a specific position. Your results-based resume should reflect these competencies. The following is a list of general MBA and functional-specific competencies to help you get started.

Essential MBA Skills

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • Initiative
  • Adaptability to change
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strategic thinking and planning abilities
  • Global orientation
  • Ability to leverage technology
  • Time management and project management skills
  • Prior history of results and progressive experience

Function-specific Skills Based on Concentrations & Key Functions

Corporate Finance

  • Quantitative skills
  • Basic understanding of accounting and financial management principles
  • Ability to interpret numbers and draw conclusions from results of various financial strategy changes
  • Ability to handle a wide variety of tasks


  • Evidence of solid intellectual capacity
  • Ability to elicit information from others and to synthesize that information into a cohesive story
  • Strong listening skills
  • Ability to communicate with all levels of management, from line managers to the CEO
  • Ability to see the big picture
  • Solid business judgment and desire to tackle complex business problems
  • Creative/conceptual ways of thinking
  • Ability to determine KEY issues from confused and incomplete information
  • Project management skills
  • Professional presence
  • Assess situations and devise solutions

Human and Organizational Performance

  • Strong presentation, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Mentoring/coaching experience
  • Management skills
  • Analytical skills
  • General business understanding
  • Basic understanding of change management and organizational processes
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Ability to understand how business results ultimately tie to human performance
  • Basic understanding of the Human and Organizational Performance generalist role

Investment Banking

  • Strong quantitative and financial skills
  • Team player
  • Handle multiple tasks/multiple bosses
  • Ability to analyze diverse information and formulate recommendations quickly
  • Ability to synthesize large amounts of data into small manageable chunks and then communicate these chunks both written and verbally
  • Willingness to take risks, deal with uncertainty and accept occasional failure
  • Ability to perform well under pressure
  • Ability to take criticism lightly
  • Aggressiveness, strong internal motivation and ambition


  • Ability to motivate others not under your control
  • Strategic thinking
  • Multi-functional team experience
  • Tolerance of ambiguity; flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Quantitative/research skills
  • Coordination/project management skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to recognize key factors in extensive data
  • Passion
  • Knowledge of basic marketing principles


  • Ability to work with a wide variety of people
  • Basic understanding of the supply chain and a production environment
  • Preference for a variety of tasks
  • Quantitative skills
  • Ability to coordinate with departments and individuals not under your control
  • Ability to initiate and implement major projects

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