Here are our list of best tips and practices, so you don’t get caught with your pants down with one hour to go before submitting. We always tell our clients, do not wait a few days before the deadline to begin completing your online app, because you just may have an “oh-snap” type moment.
1. Most applications on the applyyourself.com domain won’t take scanned transcripts bigger than 700kb. You can shrink your transcripts (online) here – http://goo.gl/8EQeC
2 . Schools like Columbia host their own applications (ie. not through applyyouself.com) – I wouldn’t push the limits of good judgment when submitting close to the deadline. Try to submit a few hours before the deadline or risk having the server slow way down.
3 . You can’t cut and paste short answers onto the online app fields when using Google Chrome. You have to use Firefox. No one uses Internet Explorer …. joking, but I have not tested cut/paste with Explorer.
4. Most schools include short essays on their app. Tuck has their international experience essays (250 words), Yale has a professional statement, HBS does ask you for your goals and Darden does a good job of hitting you up with an elevator pitch essay.
5. Also know that all schools have a short answers on their app that will ask you for employment history, significant awards, extracurriculars. Do not simply cut and paste from your resume – try to make your answers complete sentences.
6. Short answers on the app will most likely have character limits, not word limits. There is a difference. Also note – that characters includes spaces.
7. In general, don’t mail it in on your online app answers – the “data sheet” is the first thing the admissions committee will see. Do not get off on the wrong foot by being sloppy or incomplete. Grammar counts.
8. Some schools ask you what other schools you are applying to – this has a purpose. It’s like being on a date and getting asked how many other people you are seeing.
9. Columbia asks you what “current students” you have spoken to – they want names. Other schools simply ask you what student or alums you have talked to.
10. Don’t put down that you have attended an event if you have not. They do try and keep track – and they will check.
11. Resumes should be traditional – no color, pictures, weird fonts. The resume is supposed to be a sales document – so it has to be aesthically pleasing. Think like this – would a recruiter hire me for a consulting job if they saw my rainbow colored, alphabet soup looking resume?
12. Columbia asks for a picture – use a picture that is professional, not gangsta or gangnam. So don’t fake bake, pucker your lips or wear anything with sequins or flair. Chicago wants a slide show – no grainy motorola star-tac quality pics, or pics with your shirt off.
13. If you’re cutting it close on the word counts or if you are filling up all the short answer boxes on the online form, it is okay to use acronyms. Just don’t go crazy using them if the adcom doesn’t have a clue as to what they are.
14. Don’t be a d-bag and submit your recommendation on behalf of your recommender. If he or she is too busy find another recommender or dress up as a clown to get their attention. A good reason is that the writing will probably sound like your style of writing. A better reason is that some schools do record your IP address. It really looks un-kosher to have your app, your rec 1 and rec 2, coming from the same IP and just minutes apart. Don’t believe me? See linky – https://technolutions.com/slate/advantage. Scroll down to the bottom and read the fraud section – ya, they are talking about you Willis.
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