MBA Application Tip: Work Experience and Resumes

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Your past and current work experience, along with your career goals, are important parts of your application. Since the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs are designed for full-time working professionals who intend to continue working while earning their MBA, we evaluate how your experience and goals fit with the design and purpose of the programs.

WORK EXPERIENCE SECTION

Accuracy
Be sure the information you enter in the Work Experience section matches the dates, job titles, etc. on your resume. Please note that when entering your current employer you should select the blank option in the drop down list in response to “date to” as that will indicate you are currently employed at that company. Please complete all sections and questions. Skipping any part of the application can be viewed as careless and that you lack attention to detail. 

Salary
We know salaries vary widely across industries, geographies and amount of work experience. The numbers are not what’s important. Rather, we look to see your salary progression as an indicator of advancement in your career.

Job Description
Please describe your roles and responsibilities in a few sentences (bullet lists or paragraph formats are fine). Your resume will further expand on such. We understand this may feel duplicative to your resume, but please do not leave it blank. These brief descriptions are helpful when reviewing your application as a whole.

Reason for leaving
This can typically be explained in a sentence or two. Knowing why you left helps the Admissions Committee understand your motivations and factors that influenced your move to a new position or employer.

Financial support from your employer
The answer to this question has no bearing on our admissions decision. We ask because this provides us with important information about a company’s tuition reimbursement policies.

MOTIVATIONS AND GOALS SECTION

This is an important part of your application as it helps us evaluate your fit in the Evening MBA or Weekend MBA Program. It also gives you the opportunity to share how the Booth MBA fits into your short and long-term career goals. 

Short-term goals
We want to know your career goals while you are in the MBA program. Applicants often mention a promotion they’d like to receive within their organization. Some give examples of new projects or responsibilities they’d like to take on while in the program. Others focus on developing as a leader within their organization. Goals vary from candidate to candidate, and we encourage you to be as specific as possible about your short-term goals. 

Long-term, post-MBA goals
We know some applicants are pursuing an MBA to help refine their long-term career goals. Therefore, it is ok if your long-term goals are more general. You might not know specific companies or positions you are interested in, so you can talk generally about industries, functions, and/or the type of work you’d like to pursue post-MBA. We appreciate goals that are logical based on your work experience and that are attainable for those with an MBA. Finally, we look for your career goals to be consistent across all aspects of your application and interview. 

RESUME SECTION

You are required to upload your resume into the online application. A one-page resume is preferred. If you have a longer work history, we understand if it needs to be two pages.

Resume tips:

  • Spell check and review for grammatical errors.
  • Make sure dates, titles, degrees, etc. match what you inputted into the Work Experience and Academic Record sections of the application.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms that people outside of your industry would not be aware of. Keep in mind that the Admissions Committee members reviewing your application likely work in different industries and functions.

The application process is an exercise on self-reflection and goal setting. I hope this blog helps as you prepare the career-related sections of your application. Always feel free to reach out to the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Admissions team with any questions at eveningweekend-admissions@chicagobooth.edu.

For more application tips, check out our blog posts on the academic record and transcripts section, as well as tips on your letters of recommendation.

Photo of Kara Northcutt  Kara Northcutt is director of Admissions and Marketing for the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs.