Introduction to the Harvard Business School Resume Format & Why We Must Use It

Chris Haroun
A free video tutorial from Chris Haroun
Award Winning MBA Professor, Venture Capitalist and Author.
4.5 instructor rating • 58 courses • 1,113,041 students

Lecture description

This lesson introduces the resume format that we will use for this course as I got all of my jobs using this format and many executives (especially the senior ones) are familiar with this 1 page format; if it aint broke, why fix it. As such, we will use this 1 page format as it works best. 

Learn more from the full course

Build the Best Resume+Linkedin Profile:by Award Winning Prof

By an Award Winning MBA Prof. Who Successfully Changed Careers from Goldman to Consulting to VC to Hedge Funds to Tech.

03:27:32 of on-demand video • Updated July 2021

  • Get your dream job.
  • Build your perfect resume (using a format I have successfully used for more than 20 years).
  • Build your perfect LinkedIn profile (learn how to get more recruiters & employers to find you).
  • Passion: Know how to figure out what career you are most passionate about so that it feels like you don't have a job...you have a passion!
  • Know what your goals are in life [Optional Goal Setting Workshop Section]. This section will change your life. We will set incredible goals and what your resume WILL look like in 10 years. We will follow through and make these goals a reality within 10 years.
  • Understand what impactful words you should include on you resume. There are certain impactful words we must include on our resume. We will also talk about optimal job titles to use (if you started a club or work part time or if you don't have an official title).
  • Know what accomplishments to put on your resume. We will discuss how to list your top accomplishments on your resume. Plus there are definitely a few things that you have accomplished that you never thought of putting on your resume.
  • Know exactly how to format your resume.
  • How to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that recruiters have an easier time finding your profile.
  • How to embrace Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) the easy way. We will add more complexity to your LinkedIn profile as keywords help you rank higher in search rankings.
  • How to add much more depth to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Know what should be included in LinkedIn recommendations (if possible). What should be in recommendations? Keywords please for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)!
  • Know how to add endorsements, which helps recruiters find you on LinkedIn and helps you with S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization).
  • Comprehend why to only take advice from successful people...and comment on their posts!
  • How to create an unbelievable cover letter. We will talk about how to make an incredibly passionate, simple and effective cover letter.
  • Understand the secrets of getting recruiters to find you via "groups." Recruiters, potential employers and potential customers will find you more easily if you are members of "groups".
  • Know what you should remove that is written online (and negative of course) about you and how can we do this so recruiters don't see negative items when searching our names.
  • How you can rank higher in Google search rankings.
  • and much more...
English [Auto] Impressive interesting and unique if you can please make sure that everything you put on your resume is either impressive or interesting or unique. So let's talk about the Harvard Business School resume format. The Harvard Business School has a format or a template is attached to this lesson and we're all you know use the Harvard Business School resume format in this course. And the reason is because senior executives in many companies are very familiar and comfortable with it. Now the senior executives wrote their resumes most likely using this format which helped them get their jobs. And they also feel very comfortable with the Harvard Business School format because they really understand the simplistic structure to its. So I thought about putting other formats in this course but I decided not to because the Harvard format is widely used now. I use it to get all my jobs when I switched careers. So if it ain't broke why fix it. So please don't take a chance in making your own resume format only because most resumes only get looked at for a few seconds max and the Harvard Business School format works. And again if it ain't broken why fix. So let's take a look at the format here. Cather's there's three sections. There's work experience. Then there's education and then there's personal that's less action and impersonal you basically put everything that is not experience or work related and everything is not education base. Now you always lead with your strengths. So if you think your education is the most impressive thing on your resume more impressive than your work experience or if you don't have much work experience yet then please just leave with your education now. I leave with my work experience because I now have a lot of work experience but when I was in business school or undergraduate university I left with my education when I was trying to get a job because I didn't really have any work experience. Let's take a closer look at the experience section and you can always put your most recent job first. OK. And the same can be said for the education and the personal sections you lead in reverse chronological order. OK so this year first and last year than the year before in all three sections to now the left side of the resume here shows the years of when you worked there. OK. And the right side shows locations we're looking at Work espers first part and the same can be said with the education section and the personal and other sections at the bottom of the resume. And senior executives have really been trained to read resumes this way or at least they're most comfortable with this format. So next up you mentioned the company that you're at right now. OK. And that is if you are working and you put in all caps and all bull. OK. As you can see here and underneath this we list our title which is italicised. And then you list what you do at this company and what your accomplishments are now please make sure that you stay in the current present tense if applicable for your current job and then what you do is use the past tense for previous jobs or even the tasks that you do or are used to perform I should say in your current job. OK. We'll look at an example of this in a minute. And please remember to ask yourself three questions before writing anything and everything on your resume. Number one. So what. Two words. So how does mentioning this make me look like a better candidate for the job. Number two what kinds of questions will they ask me when they see this line item on my resume. Most people just throw stuff down on the resume and then they're not prepared when the interviewer asks them to speak about it. And lastly number three does this line item on the resume that I wrote show consistency and imply that I'm the perfect candidate for this job. Moving on the experience section here on your resume. Please note that you list the largest number of bullet points or line items with your most recent work experience. So let's move down to the education section. You list your most recent education or degree first or courses you've taken and then you mention stuff that you did at this school while obtaining this degree that is either impressive interesting or unique. Remember those things ads you want your interviewer to really enjoy meeting with you and learn from your past experiences. They want to know that you'll also be impressive and interesting to potential customers of theirs and why unique because we want to differentiate you from all of the many many many other candidates applying in the education section. If you don't have a degree or you haven't graduated yet let's say you're in business school doing an MBA. You don't write MBA degree right MBA candidate and will cover many other questions. You'll likely have about the content of your resume letter and much much more detail. So let's move down to the third and last section here which is the personal section of the resume. And here is where you list items that again are impressive interesting and unique and they fulfill the. So what question. Meaning how does this make me more more marketable to the company industry or job function that I'm interviewing for you then at the very end of the resume put languages in that your fluids in case always lists the Lankes your fluence are most fluent in first or the one you won't be interviewed in first then at the very bottom of your resume should contain your interest and your passions. OK now I listed baseball and the interviewer spent 90 percent of one of my interviews asking me about baseball as he too was extraordinarily passionate about sports. If the interview shares a passion with you and then discusses it at length together in an interview then you'll have a much better chance of seeing that particular interview because they feel confident. You know at the top you list your name of course in all caps and your email address linked in account and cell phone number. If you have one. OK. Make sure your e-mail address is not your current e-mail address at work for obvious reasons. And we're going to cover the Linked In profile in much much more detail later on. OK. So if you have a LinkedIn profile address you can put it there. But if you're not sure where it is and just bear with me I'll show you soon. We want to make sure that you have great recommendations about you written on your LinkedIn profile et cetera. And these are kind of like references and the Linked In profile is more dynamic and up to date more detailed than your your resume as your resume is kind of stale. Right. Your LinkedIn profile is always up to date. There's much more detail with it. And I can show you some unbelievable tricks to make you stand out over every other candidate. When we talk about Linked-In shortly. Lastly if you have any e-mail accounts that is similar to the ones your parents have meaning a hotmail accounts or or an AOL account then please register for a gmail account so you can list it there or list your university e-mail address.