CAT 2020: How to improve my profile during Lockdown?

Updated: Jun 28

A Quora user asked me what all courses and certifications can be done to improve one's profile and acquire some skills online for MBA during this lockdown period. The question was asked by a CAT aspirant and the intention was to get clarity on how to build a strong MBA profile. I'm sharing this post because I feel the need to clarify a critical point regarding profile building.

It’s good that you understand the importance of having a strong profile alongside CAT score to clear the B-school interviews. But, in order to bring in more clarity, I’d like to share some facts.


Profile Building 1.0


Profile Building is your means to achieve something, first, you need to be clear about what the end goal is. If the end is to clear the B-school (specifically IIM) interviews, then let me share a critical point:

IIMs don’t ask for a CV/Resume

Instead, they have a pre-specified application form that you’re required to fill in before appearing for the interviews. Now, this form has some conditions due to which many of your achievements will not make it to your application.


For example, IIMs don’t recognize internships as work-experience, so there’s no place in the form where you can mention about your internship experience.


What this implies: Your chances of selection will ultimately boil down to your ability to convince the interviewers of your skills during the interview.


What this also means is that you don’t require CV proofs to be able to show the interviewers that you know/did something valuable. You will have a chance to showcase your abilities on-the-spot.



Profile Building 2.0


Another case is if you wish to achieve a dual objective keeping the IIM placements as your end goal. In that case, you cannot bypass the need for CV proofs to convince the recruiters of your skills.


This is because the first stage of any firm’s recruitment is always CV shortlisting. And what goes in your CV is determined by the Placement Committee through a process called CV vetting.


Now, if you want the recruiters to shortlist you, you will need to showcase skills in your CV for which you will need to arrange written/digital proofs.


Decision


After understanding that there are two facets of profile building, I leave it up to you to decide which one you’d want to focus on at the moment - Skills or CV Proofs. During my interviews, I tried to maintain a balance between the two.


For example, I did some certifications (like NCFM Modules) to produce CV proofs, but I also studied in depth about ad analysis and built a hobby around it.


Depending on what you choose to do during this lockdown, I’m sharing some links that’ll be relevant for you to build your profile:


Skills:

(Note: will add some links for PM Tech and Ops soon)



CV Proofs:

Hope these resources help you.

Ultimately, I just want to put across the point that in order to clear the IIM interviews, you don’t always need CV proofs, you need to showcase the value you can add to the batch. Read this - Who gets into IIMs?

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