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5 Business School Resume Tips To Help Ace Your Application

Want your business school resume to stand out? Admission and recruitment experts weigh in on how to make your resume work for you


Thu Mar 10 2022


First impressions matter, and your business school resume is the first impression an admissions committee will have of your profile.

Whether you’re applying to your dream business school or trying to land an exciting new job, creating a resume that puts your best foot forward is essential.

But with admissions committees and recruiters sifting through hundreds of resumes, how do you make sure yours gets the attention it deserves?

BusinessBecause spoke with two resume experts from Nanyang Business School to find out. Here are their top five tips for crafting a resume that admissions committees and recruiters will remember.

1. Keep your business school resume clear and concise

When it comes to business school resumes, appearance matters. You don’t need to be a designer, but creating a well-formatted resume that’s simple and easy to read is a great way to stand out to an admissions team.   7a9a50adc4c076a70a2c923890139b359164b30e.jpg

According to Gilbert Chua (right), deputy director of graduate programs at Nanyang Business School, keeping your Master or MBA resume to one page is good.

“We see many resumes coming in. To capture the admissions officer's attention, it’s good to keep it concise, clear, and well-formatted,” he says.

“If it’s clean and clear, you naturally spend more time reading it and understanding the candidate’s profile.”


2. Always tailor your resume

Whether you’re applying to business school or applying to a job, it’s essential to tailor your resume.

“I think many students commit the cardinal sin of using one CV to apply for every single job,” reflects Ivy Kwan, assistant dean of career services at Nanyang Business School.

To tailor your resume, Ivy recommends creating a long list of all your experience and achievements. Pick and choose the skills and experience that best align with the job description and company culture, then put them into a one-page resume template.

If you’re applying to a job in a new industry, consider what transferable skills you have and reflect that in your resume. 

If you’re applying for a company’s leadership program, include examples of leading teams, working with uncertainty, and demonstrating concrete results.

Gilbert adds that tailoring your resume is equally important when applying for an MBA or Masters. 

“In your resume, you need to say why you want to join this business school, how you want to leverage its strengths, and how you want to build your career after you graduate,” he says.

3. Use your business school resume to demonstrate your soft skills

When applying to business school, many candidates jump to show their technical prowess, but this can leave crucial soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and communication in the shadows, despite their centrality to business success.

When Gilbert sees highly technical resumes, he’s often frustrated by complicated industry jargon.

“From an admissions perspective, we don’t need to know all these things. We want to know about your leadership capabilities, initiative, and interpersonal skills,” he says.

Demonstrating skills like leadership is easier than most people think, Ivy believes.

“Leadership is not just having management lines reporting to you,” she says.

“It could be handling a project, mentoring juniors, or even mentoring your bosses. People don’t realize they’re often practising leadership on a daily basis.”

4. Showcase your hobbies and interests in your business school resume

Including your hobbies and interests outside of work can help your resume stand out in a competitive process.

Gilbert says this is particularly important for pre-experience Masters candidates. Since they all have similar backgrounds, an extracurricular activity can give you an edge and make you memorable.

Including hobbies can also help you showcase experience that’s missing from your professional background. 


“Hobbies can show strong teamwork, for instance,” Gilbert explains. 

“A recent candidate I saw had started a volunteer group. They put it under extracurriculars but could have elevated it to talk about leadership.”

Graduate recruiters, too, consider your hobbies and interests to look for different qualities you could bring to the role.

For example, helping out in community projects is an excellent way to demonstrate your desire to contribute to a community or cause, and show your organizational skills.

Turn to your hobbies to fill gaps by spelling out what skills they have helped you develop, including soft skills. Do not stop at just listing your hobbies, recommends Ivy (above).

5. Get a second opinion

Having a second pair of eyes on your resume, and someone to discuss it with, can help you identify and convey these soft skills.  

“If you get somebody else to read your CV, you get an additional independent view,” Ivy explains.

The proofreading process can also encourage you to slow down and consider your business school or job application more carefully. 

“Sometimes people rush through their application,” Gilbert explains. “Ask someone close to you whether it says what you want it to.”

Your resume proofreader can help you check whether it’s concise, readable, distinctive, and adequately tailored. 

“The only thing between you and your job is that piece of paper,” Ivy concludes.

Student Reviews

Nanyang Business School




Good campus life and extra-curricular activities

This is a great place to learn and interact with more like-minded people. The campus is something that stands out to me. The infrastructure is great and the university is very well-built. There is lots to do on the high campus, from a large number of eating joints to the numerous clubs and sports activities. I also quite like Singapore as a country, as there is so much to do around not very far from campus. The educational facilities are extremely good, there are lots of opportunities to take on research projects and do industrial projects, which I really enjoy. The only thing I dislike about NTU is that the number of international students is really low and I would like to see a larger international intake in the future. Definitely recommend for the amazing educational facilities and on-campus social life.




An international campus that provided diverse choices for students

It's a beautiful campus with a high degree of internationality, providing diverse choices for students in terms of research opportunities and career consultation. Also, scholars are knowledgable and very inspiring, and are good at motivating the thinking of students.




Great University

In overall, the university has met my expectations with its wonderful lectures and research staff. However, there are some issues with the administrative side, i.e. administration may give you different answers on the same question. Also, the university’s website often provides outdated information and it takes time to get what you need; perhaps there is not enough people for managing it.




Good resources

I would recommend. Good resources for research. Knowledgeable professors and instructors. Conducive environment for studying and doing assignments. Helpful staff and faculty. Food options are good. An overall good place to study.




On Campus

inefficient communication and lack of transparency

The administrative team at the university is slow to respond and is often inadequate in their responses and solutions. The uni is also unclear and resistant to explain their actions and motivations when carrying out policies or when questioned




On Campus

Formative experience for success

NTU prioritizes giving students ample time for independent research. The academic schedule consists of 6–7 weeks of study, followed by a week without classes, allowing students to catch up on any material they may have missed. This is succeeded by another 6–7 weeks of study, culminating in a week dedicated to final exam preparation and exams. The curriculum is designed to be student-friendly, minimizing burdens such as excessive assignments, projects, exams, quizzes, and attendance requirements. This approach affords students the freedom to pursue personal interests and self-development. In my experience, each of the four courses I took had a comparable workload, typically comprising 2 assignments, 3 easy labs, 2–3 quizzes (some without), and 1 final exam. In contrast, comparable courses at other universities often entail significantly heavier workloads, including 3 homework assignments, 5 projects, 5–6 pop-up quizzes, mandatory attendance, 2 midterms, and 1 final exam. Moreover, each project typically demands 3–4 days of work. It is hard work, but it pays off.




On Campus

Academic atmosphere

Nanyang Technological University offers a vibrant academic atmosphere that fosters innovation and excellence. The strong emphasis on research and practical learning equips students with real-world skills. Positives include access to state-of-the-art facilities, collaborative projects, and a diverse student body. However, the competitive environment can be intense, leading to high stress levels. NTU's academic atmosphere encourages growth but requires resilience to thrive.




On Campus

Diverse professors

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of education I have received. The professors are knowledgeable, approachable, and passionate about their subjects, which makes learning engaging and enjoyable. The teaching styles vary from lecture-based to interactive discussions and group projects, providing a well-rounded learning experience. The use of technology in the classrooms also enhances our understanding of the course material. One of the things I love about NTU is the diversity on campus. Not only are there students from all over the world, but the professors also come from various backgrounds, making the learning environment truly global. English is the main language spoken on campus, which makes it easy for international students to feel at home. In terms of examinations and coursework, the workload can be challenging at times, but the support from professors and classmates makes it manageable. The exams are fair and assess our understanding of the material effectively.




On Campus

Video lectures

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I am extremely impressed with the transportation options available on campus. The buses and shuttles make it easy to get around the huge campus. The beautifully landscaped garden campus adds a peaceful and scenic vibe to studying. The facilities, from the state-of-the-art labs to the comfortable study spaces, are top-notch. The video lectures are a convenient and effective way to supplement classroom learning.




On Campus

Focus on science

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) excels in its focus on engineering and science degrees. The curriculum is robust, integrating theoretical knowledge with practical applications. Professors are industry experts, providing invaluable insights. State-of-the-art facilities enhance learning experiences. Opportunities for research and internships abound, fostering innovation and professional growth. NTU's emphasis on cutting-edge technology prepares students for real-world challenges. NTU's commitment to engineering and science education is unparalleled, shaping tomorrow's leaders in these fields.





great canteens

While at Nanyang Technological University, I can confidently say that the quality of education here is excellent. The professors are knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects, and the curriculum is challenging yet rewarding. The campus itself is green and natural, providing a peaceful and inspiring environment for learning. The canteens offer a wide variety of delicious and affordable food options, catering to different dietary preferences. From local delights to international cuisines, there is something for everyone. The student housing facilities are also well-maintained and comfortable, providing a home away from home for students. NTU's reputation as a top-ranked university is well-deserved, with cutting-edge research and a strong emphasis on innovation.




On Campus

high quality education

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a top-notch educational institution that offers a wide range of programs and opportunities for students. The campus is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, and the faculty members are highly experienced and knowledgeable in their fields. As a student at NTU, I have had a positive experience so far. The university provides a conducive learning environment and encourages students to think critically and creatively. The campus is vibrant and diverse, with a strong sense of community among students and staff. I would definitely recommend NTU to prospective students looking for a high-quality education in a supportive and stimulating environment. The opportunities for research, internships, and extracurricular activities are plentiful, and the university is committed to providing a well-rounded education that prepares students for future success.




On Campus

Student experience

As a student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the experience is vibrant and enriching. Surrounded by lush greenery, the campus offers a serene environment for studying and relaxation. While parties and nightlife options are available, the focus leans more towards academic pursuits. The campus buzzes with activities, clubs, and events, catering to diverse interests. However, the tuition cost is competitive, offering value for the exceptional education and resources provided. I recommend my university




On Campus

High quality of life

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I'm thoroughly impressed with the quality of education. The faculty is highly knowledgeable and supportive, fostering an engaging learning environment. Tuition fees are reasonable for the value provided. The campus food options are diverse and delicious, catering to various dietary preferences. The transport system is efficient, with easy access to public transportation. NTU offers a high quality of life, combining academic excellence with a vibrant campus culture.




On Campus

good value for money

At Nanyang Technological University, I find the tuition fees reasonable considering the quality of education and resources provided. The university offers diverse programs, experienced faculty, modern facilities, and opportunities for research and internships. While tuition costs are substantial, the value for money is evident in the comprehensive learning experience and the potential for career advancement. NTU delivers on its promise of excellence, making it a worthwhile investment in one's future.




On Campus

Educational experience

I am a student at Nanyang Technological University and I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of my program. The lectures are engaging, delivered by knowledgeable professors who make complex concepts easy to understand. The classroom setup is modern and conducive to learning, with interactive technology enhancing the educational experience. Exams are challenging yet fair, testing our understanding and critical thinking skills effectively. In my leisure time, I appreciate the vibrant campus life, with a variety of clubs, events, and facilities to explore, fostering a well-rounded university experience.