Beyond B-School
Making the Most of an MBA Resume Template
with Ross Macpherson, President, Career Quest
with Ross Macpherson, President, Career Quest

The strict requirements of a one-page on-campus resume template has limitations. In this video, Ross Macpherson shows you how to overcome the restrictions by showcasing your MBA and your other professional accomplishments.


  • Restricted to one page
  • No profile or summary to distinguish and position yourself
  • Formatting is locked down and you can't work it to your advantage
  • Tough for career switchers

Tip #1 Showcase your MBA
  • The MBA is a major move in your career and in many of these templates the education section is listed first. Make the most of this section; don't just mention your MBA. Include everything that makes you special and provides proof of your skills, such as::
    • Courses/electives
    • Activities
    • Related Projects
    • Academic Distinction
    • Case Competitions Wins
    • Leadership Roles

Tip #2 Be strategic with your accomplishments
  • Since you don't have a lot of space in a one page resume, you have to be very concise with the bullets you choose. Only include the most important and most relevant:
    • Strongest
    • Most relevant
    • Most applicable
    • Results
    • Metrics
  • Bullet points are concise, tight and impactful. If you don't have the luxury of providing a detail. You have got to get to the impact of the scope or the benefit of the great work that you did. 3 to 5 is perfect for the most relevant that you want to emphasize.
  • Categorize the achievements for more emphasize. Categorizing each bullet allows you to emphasize the subject of each achievement which highlights expertise and experience specifically.

Tip #3 Distinguish yourself in other sections

The areas to highlight might include things like:
  • Volunteer & Leadership activities
  • Languages
  • Publications
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Professional Memberships
  • Awards
  • Unique personal accomplishments
  • Interests and hobbies

You likely only have an opportunity to list these in such a short resume, but these items can give you distinction and help you stand out.

Here are two optional tips:

Optional Tip #1 Moving sections around to your advantage

If you can move sections around in your resume to your advantage, do so. You can't play around too much with the general format but maybe you can move a section from the bottom to the top or change the name of a heading. For example, you are trying to make a significant career move or get an internship in a new area. If you have some experience in a new field but not much, or it was long ago, or it was in a volunteer role, maybe you could do one of the following:
  • Move that volunteer experience or leadership position up to the top above your less relevant experience
  • Maybe you could change heading to something like Relevant Experience. The idea is to move things around or maybe rename them to highlight things more effectively for you to draw the reade‚Äôs attention away from the less relevant stuff and to more relevant qualifications you have.

Optional Tip #2 Adding branding statement at the top
One of the biggest drawbacks to the one page resume template is that you don't get the chance to include a summary of your profile at the top. Those sections allow you to really position yourself for the type of roles you are after right off the bat at the top of your resume. Now chances are you won't be able to add a full profile with multiple bullets, but you might be able to add a brief one or two line statement at the top. If so, it will highlight how you can fill a role without upsetting the template.

Remember: The last two strategies are optional and entirely dependent on whether you are allowed to be flexible with these templates. Ask your career advisor before you go head with it.

Ross Macpherson is the President of Career Quest, a Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Certified Online Identity Strategist, Certified Interview and Job Search Coach, and is recognized as one of the best resume writers in North America. With over 15 years experience in the career industry, he specializes in advanced strategies that help senior and executive professionals throughout the US, Canada, and internationally. His work has been featured in 18 career publications.


Ross routinely speaks to MBA programs across North America, and is known for delivering powerful and entertaining sessions that teach real-world success strategies. He has also spoken at major career events, global industry conferences, professional associations, and executive networking groups across the U.S. and Canada, and his high-energy style has consistently put him at the top of the career management speaking circuit. Contact Ross at