How to showcase MBA like skills to recruiters without an actual MBA?

MBA is not the only option


In a previous article, I mentioned skills that convince a recruiter to offer higher compensation to MBAs as compared to other candidates.

But what if you are too young for an MBA or are financially constrained.

Remember that in no way do I suggest that these skills can’t be acquired elsewhere and you need to do an expensive course to get these. As a matter of fact, there are multiple ways through which you can obtain and showcase such skills and maybe earn equivalent to top MBAs.

Let’s see how we can replicate an MBA skill set.

Academic Rigor

You can show your academic rigor by doing the following:

  • Completing globally acclaimed certifications such as CFA, FRM, PMP, PgMP, Six Sigma, Value Engineering, etc. These certificates are expensive too but their costs are nothing compared to those of a global MBA.
  • Completing courses of your interest on the online portals. Some of the high yield courses are the ones in Finance, Statistics and Machine Learning.
  • Writing academic papers on the subject of your expertise. If you are working on a particular subject in-depth, you can prove your ability by presenting papers in renowned academic communities.
  • Filing Patents. For those working on innovative technologies, try to get your names on the patents filed on behalf of the firm. They serve to bolster your claims about the knowledge you have on a particular subject.
  • Taking part in competitions. There are a lot of innovation challenges available online that allow the professionals to enter an award won in a competition shines brightly on your resume.

Hard work and Prioritization

This can be seen on your resume through various indicative factors. Some of these factors are:

  • Your average promotion duration
  • Projects that you worked on
  • Social service and voluntary activities
  • Awards and recognition that you have earned

Practical Approach to Problem Solving

This is also shown in your resume bullets when you highlight the problems that you have worked on, and how you arrived at workable solutions. The more application-oriented challenges you deal with during your job, the better is the effect.

Taking more execution driven stints also works well to show off your problem-solving skills.

It is a widely accepted fact that people from field sales are preferred for general management job as they are considered great problem solvers.

When you are framing your bullets, try to build them using a Challenge –Action – Result (C-A-R) framework. You must show the challenges faced in a job, actions taken by you and the results obtained which further corroborate your problem-solving ability.

Dealing with uncertainty and decision making

This is evident from your career path. If you have not taken risks in your career to learn new things, attempt innovation, or experiment with life, it shows on your resume and portrays you as a risk-averse individual.

If you have been in an entrepreneurial stint at any stage of your life, it is worth mentioning on your resume. Even a failed venture speaks a lot about you as an individual.


You don’t need to showcase this one on your resume.

If you are a particularly good networker, most probably your resume will be referred and forwarded by one of your close connections. Getting into a dream job becomes easier for people with a fair ability to network.

You must, therefore, make all efforts to interact and build strong relations with people as it really pays to network.

We hope you find this article interesting and helpful to aid your decision making. Please feel free to write to us for any queries that you have regarding your career.