Do you have, or are you studying for, an MBA from a top school? So it’s just a matter of putting it on the top of your CV and – voila! You’re bound to get the job, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Here’s how to maximise the value from your MBA by creating a CV with impact:
Tailor Your CV
- Use your Cover Letter and a short Profile at the top of your CV as your ‘elevator pitch’. Explain clearly what value you can add to your target employer, including what you have gained from your MBA.
- Be selective about the experiences and skills you highlight. Link these closely to the organisation’s operations and the requirements of the role. You can explain the rest at interview.
- Make generalised and unsubstantiated statements about your skills and personal qualities.
- Use the same Cover Letter and Profile for every job , even if tweaked. You need to write a fresh one every time to tailor your application properly.
Presenting Your MBA
- Illustrate the value of your MBA is to your target job by listing three or four of the most relevant modules in your Education section. Put the most relevant first.
- Give the title of your dissertation (whether completed or ongoing). If it is/was a live project with a real organisation – say so.
- Mention any particular skills you have developed on your MBA programme outside the syllabus, such as group problem solving or networking skills.
- Assume the employer will know what is entailed in an MBA.
- Give more space to your GCSE and A Level results than your MBA.
Some employers are wary of prospective employees with an MBA. They may question why someone in HE has completed such a commercially-focused qualification.
- Explain your career trajectory and how this new job fits into your long term career plans
- Present your MBA as a deliberate investment in your personal and workplace development. Illustrate how it has helped you practically in your current job (e.g. by giving you a strategic perspective)
- If applying to the private sector or expanding your commercial responsibilities use the MBA as evidence of an aptitude and interest in the business world.
- Hide, downplay or fail to mention your MBA on your CV and in your Cover Letter. This will make the employer question your motivation for doing it.
- Use existing MBA student and alumni networks to research your target sector. You can ask contacts already working in the field for advice on your CV. Find networks through your school alumni office or on LinkedIn.
- Check out the careers support your Business School provides. Many offer students and alumni free or subsidised CV advice as well as jobhunting seminars.
- Restrict your jobhunting to advertised vacancies.
- Rely solely on recruitment agencies to check your CV and/or find you a job.