Congratulations to everyone who’ve just begun their journey in a B-school. The last few months must have been a whirlwind of studying for competitive entrance exams, and practising for so many interviews that now that you've arrived at your ideal B-school, you’d think it’s finally time to relax. Voila! Here is your first lesson in the MBA lifestyle: a crazy, demanding, and gratifying experience that puts you on the frontlines from day one. But have no fear, as you move through Term I, I will offer my personal tips and tactics in this post series and be available to answer any questions you may have.
There is a good chance many of you have already started working on your CVs and are wondering, "How do I make my CV stand out from the rest?" or “What makes a CV fetch more shortlists”? In this post, I’ll not cover what is a CV point but rather focus on how to frame them. From someone who had 11+ shortlists on Day -1, I hope I can offer some insight into what I did in particular:
Keywords, Keywords and Keywords!!
B-school students typically create one master resume and derive distinct resumes for each of the major management professions, such as Finance, Consulting, Sales & Marketing, General Management, etc. The goal of doing so is to customise your profiles according to the job descriptions. One could wonder, given that CVs are drafted and frozen well before a company's arrival or the release of job descriptions, how can I know what they want?
My response is as follows: consult your seniors, request last year's job descriptions issued by your target company, determine which roles they offered, and then search for keywords in the documents.
- Observe the patterns - do Fin firms require programming abilities, and do Prodman companies emphasise "scrum," "whiteboarding," and "documentation"?
- Identify the stated soft talents and provide PORs and job experience that reflect these skills
- Do not replicate job descriptions word-for-word
- Do not search for really specific and obscure terms
- Avoid using firm-specific technologies and tools
- Avoid using industry-specific jargon unless you have prior knowledge in that subject (For eg., An IT engineer should sidestep pharmaceutical specific jargon even if they want to get into GSK)
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Boost the impact and efficacy of your resume by providing quantifiable information in the descriptions of your accomplishments and prior experiences. Try to utilise more precise values that provide a more accurate depiction of the provided value.
- Identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are utilised to track your job responsibilities in your industry (particularly for those with work experience) and emphasise the metrics that present you favourably. Some example KPIs are:
- Financial & Business Impact: Improved financial performance, Profitability, revenue, customer base, business development cases etc
- Human Resources: Number of clients you’ve worked with, team size, direct reportees, application users etc
- Time: Promotion tenure, project duration, number of projects within a timeframe etc.
- Ranking: State Ranks out of total students who appeared, recognition received among the total number of employees etc.
- If you are not entirely sure of the exact number, a range is an effective way to communicate the data without being overly specific
- Use percentages: Instead of taking absolute numbers, use percentages wherever you can. (For ex: A+ grade in 15 out of 20 subjects makes less impact than Scored A+ in 75% of the subjects)
- Don’t mislead employers about your GPA, skills, or abilities or use incorrect figures
- Don’t Include Anything Confidential about your previous employer, or any confidential client names or details
- Do not exaggerate obvious experiences, especially early schooling experiences
- Do not state your CTC or pay directly anywhere
Putting together a résumé that showcases your accomplishments may seem like a daunting task, and that's because it is. Even so, it's well worth the effort. The first impression you make on a potential employer is through your resume, so it's critical to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed in your summer internships. In a future post, I'll expand on the other ways in which you might improve the structure of your CV. Please remain tuned for updates and leave a comment below if you have any further questions or comments.
Note from the Editor: For your Summer Placement preparation, we also have a project which tests all the facets of management, starting from marketing to product management! We're also offering personalised 1-on-1 placement mentorship, resume editing and mock interviews. Share your details in the form below, so that we can share the details with you!
About The Author
Varnika Chaturvedi, IIM Kozhikode Co'23
"As a computer science engineer from NIT- Bhopal and a Software Engineer at JP Morgan Chase's foreign exchange payments department, I am currently doing an MBA at IIM Kozhikode and have received a Pre-placement offer from Accenture Strategy after finishing a summer internship there. Personally, I am an inquisitive and cheerful individual who enjoys reading and dancing!"