Can You Put the Personal MBA on a Resume?

Over in the Manager Tools Forum (the companion to the excellent Manager Tools Podcast ), the following comments were made:

stewartlogan: Considering that you can get everything for free (if you wish), it’s not a bad “investment." Good reading selection and hits a good bit of what is reviewed/taught during the MBA period… Only thing is, you can’t add it to your resume.

emilioolivares: True, you can’t put this in a resume, but neither can you put the fact that listening to the “Manager Tools podcast" made you a more effective manager.

My question is: is there any reason why you shouldn’tput the Personal MBA on your resume?

As I responded in the forums, many employers and managers highly regard people who have the motivation and discipline to educate themselves. In talking with people at work, I can’t count the number of times people have said to me: “That’s really hard… I could never do that." At the very least, listing the Personal MBA on your resume will be a conversation-starter that will allow you to highlight your positive qualities during the interview process.

In addition, the knowledge you gain by reading these books is practical and useful, so you’ll also be able to have an intelligent conversation about what you’ve learned, which can be even more impressive than a few lines on a sheet of paper.

The Personal MBA is on my resume. Is it on yours?


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Personal MBA book

The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

The #1 International Bestseller, Revised & Expanded. A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then go out into the world and make your own. More →



First 20 Hours book

The First 20 Hours

How to Learn Anything... Fast!

A practitioner's guide to rapid skill acquisition. Accelerate your learning by deconstructing complex skills, practicing the most important elements first, and removing barriers to deliberate practice. What do you want to learn? More →