I am compiling a list of best tips and practices, so you don't get caught with your pants down - 1 hour before submitting. I always tell my clients, do not wait a few days before the deadline to begin completing your online app, because you just may have an oh-shit type moment.
This is a dynamic list. So feel free to post any quick and relevant tips, and I will consider adding.
One more thing - if you like this list and want me to keep adding more, please give this post "kudos" by hitting the, um, kudos button.
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.
This is good -
This is bad - Looks like I received some kudos for this post ... Lol. So here goes.
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. Reference this post - question-about-acronyms-140189.html#p1128830
14. Don't be a dbag 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. 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.2012.10.16 - Looks like Falcon gave me some kudos mclovin'. Here is another tip.
15. Download Ginger Software - http://bit.ly/R7S0YB
. It's a free online proofreader as well as a downloadable executable file and chrome extension. It's not 100% fool-proof, but it is good to catch most errors. In fact, I think it's remarkably good at catching most errors. It's an especially useful tool for ESL applicants.
Also, for those of you who need a basic grammar refresher look here - http://bit.ly/S11O8g 2012.10.31 - Looks like I got another Kudos for this post.
Here goes another one - this one may be cheatin' a little because it should be done at the first hour, rather than the 11th hour.
16. Create the online applications for your schools as the very first step in the application (granted the school has released their app). Trust me please, do it early and do it now. Do not start the online app a week before it is due or at the 11th hour! Why? Because an individual program may have a few additional areas (also, essays as I noted in number 4 above) they would like you to address, such as short answers regarding when you visited the school, why you did not use your current boss as a recommender, gaps in employment, awards/involvement and other general background information they want to know about you.
17. Make sure you send your recommendations to your boss' work email address. Gmail, Yahoo and adultfriendfinder.com email addresses are red flags.
18. Related to number 6 above - Need to count the characters on the online app? Tired of cutting and pasting from MS Word into the free form text boxes on applyyourself.com? Have 10 mins until the deadline? Install the Google Chrome extension "Text Statistics." Once installed, highlight the text you want to count (in the Chrome window) and right-click. In the menu, select "Text Statistics." This gives you both the word count and the character count. Bam!Download Text Statistics here: http://goo.gl/z9Mt4Kudos anyone?This is all for now, I will post more later.