Here are five quick fixes that could every easily move your application from a ‘maybe’ to a ‘yes.’
1) THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR HO-HUM. Applying to b-school is not the time to “blend.” The goal is to stand out, for all the things that are interesting and unique about you as a person and as a professional. Your application package should showcase your personality, your accomplishments, your challenges and your uniqueness. You are a unique individual and your application package should reflect that. Infuse it with vivid details and go from being a ho-hum candidate to someone they want to get to know better.
2) TWO TIMES’ THE CHARM. Everything about the b-school application is time consuming. But remember, it will be over within the year. So don’t cut corners on your process because you don’t have the time. So add a buffer to your schedule and MAKE THE TIME to take the GMAT one more time. Candidates usually do better their second go around so leave yourself time. It may be the difference between a yes and a no.
3) ENLIST A PRO. Some people work with trusted consultants, others rely on a colleague who knows their way around a b-school application, but every applicant should have some knowledgeable review of their application one last time. It’s far easier to look at an application with an objective eye when you’re actually objective. So get a pro in your corner and give them your application with enough time so you can fix any glitches they find.
4) PASSIVE = MAYBE. Sure, a maybe is better than a no, but what you want to hear is a “yes.” That means filling your application package with active anecdotes that are interesting to the reader, not a passive delivery of information that makes you seem generic and bland. So instead of saying you were given a promotion, say you earned one and then tell us how. Make yourself an active part of your own story and you’ll stand out no matter what.
5) NOBODY’S PERFECT. If business schools only wanted perfect candidates, they’d go by resumes and GMAT scores alone and accept only those with top scores. The perfect student doesn’t always mean a perfect candidate. So don’t miss the opportunity to show that you are human. That means revealing the true and imperfect you. See, now telling your story just got a whole lot easier (and more interesting!)
This post originally appeared as the fifth installment of a new series, B-School Admissions Tips You Can’t Live Without, on the MBA website Poets & Quants.