Applying to graduate school can be a long and complex process. Each school has unique requirements....To avoid potential problems and to keep up with deadlines, it is critical to begin the process as soon as possible. Individuals who procrastinate may experience technical issues that cannot be addressed on time.
Pro Tip: Create a spreadsheet to track where you are in the process for each program to which you are applying. What documents are required? Which documents have been submitted? What are the deadlines?
Many grad school applications require an applicant to include a personal statement. To impress the admission officers, applicants should research the department and the particular course of intended study. Many times, a school will be conducting research or have a clear set of goals and it is essential to use a personal statement as a tool to explain how individual abilities and experience align with the department goals and benefit the college. With this in mind, it is wise to tailor a personal statement for each application.
A resume is an interview on paper; it is a representation of personal accomplishments and relevant experience. Unfortunately, many individuals include too much information. A resume should be kept under two pages with a focus on academic and professional achievements. A solid resume tells a story about a person’s past and future goals.
Pro Tip: Instead of listing awards, it is better to quantify accomplishments. This means being specific with details. For example, it is important to include information like “helped increase 2014 sales by 20 percent using social media campaigns.” Using buzzwords works as well – “built community involvement” and “encouraged sharing through social media” are relevant phrases that incorporate industry terms and create a clear picture of past experience.
Letters of recommendation are critical components of a graduate school application. These letters act as discussions between “experts” in a particular field and the institution of interest. Even though grades matter, these letters are often deciding factors for admission. It is essential to select writers who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s skills and who can comment on the person’s potential. Writers should be able to speak on an applicant’s behalf by explaining the individual’s goals, motivation, and commitment. If possible, it is best to select professors or similar sources.
Article adapted from https://www.gradschoolhub.com/resources/5-tips-for-applying-to-graduate-school/