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MBA Resume Guidelines

As you begin to build your MBA resume over the summer, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Review them carefully and pay particular attention to the Owen formatted resume template. You should take all of these recommendations into consideration in building your resume. If you are worried about differentiating yourself from others, rest assured that you will do so via your experience rather than format.

Resume Format

  • Follow precisely-bold/italics, spacing, alignment, and formatting.

  • The resume must fit on one page and should be completed in Microsoft Word.

  • The font size should be no smaller than 10 point and margins should be no smaller than � inch on all sides.

  • Use regular round bullets. Often decorative bullets do not upload correctly (convert to question marks).


  • Your name should be bolded in all capital letters and should be the largest point size on the page.

  • If you have a name that may make it difficult for reviewers to determine your gender (i.e. Ricki, Toni, etc.), it is acceptable to put a "Mr." or "Ms." in front of it.

  • Do not abbreviate - for example "Ave." for Avenue - unless space restrictions make it mandatory.

  • To conserve space, you may combine a cell phone number and email address on the same line as your home phone number. You may also list the street address, city, state, and zip code on one line.


  • List university names and degrees received in chronological order.  Do not use abbreviations.

  • List Vanderbilt University on the first line, Owen on the next line (see Sample Resumes).

  • The city and two-letter state abbreviations or country names should be right-aligned with the city and state abbreviations or country names in the Experience section of your resume.

  • Experience

    This is the most important section of your resume! Companies will judge your fit for their organization by assessing your past experiences and results. You will have many more of these than will fit on one page, so be critical of your experience. Always ask yourself what the recruiter will find valuable, NOT what you find valuable! 

    • Place your full-time jobs in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job.

    • List your divisional employer when working for a multi-division corporation.  If the corporation you worked for is not easily recognizable, feel free to add information regarding its size, revenue, parent company, etc.

    • Highlight increases in responsibility, measurable accomplishments and promotions, wherever possible.

    • Keep industry jargon to a minimum.

    • Do not use pronouns (I, you, and they).

    • Keep your bullets under about twenty words.

    • Use past tense action verbs, followed by results (quantify as often as possible).  Don't use "being verbs"   (am, is, are, was, were) or helping verbs (have, had, may, might), as they dilute your message.

    • List dates in years only, except in the case of internships. List internship date as "Summer 200_."

    Additional Information

    This section is often more important than you realize. Recruiters often utilize the data in this section as a foundation for "getting to know you" and as an icebreaker in an interview.

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