3 Ways to Brag the Right Way – How to Properly Sell Yourself on Your MBA Application
Knowing how to sell yourself on your MBA application is crucial to getting noticed and remembered in a sea of applicants. Personal branding is key! However, it can be difficult for some applicants to properly portray themselves in the best possible light in an essay with a tight word count or in a high stress situation during an interview. Not to mention, you don’t want to come across as someone who thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread! Your goal is to come off as a confident candidate that has the ability to win over the admissions committee with personality and potential. So on one hand you need to sell yourself but on the other you don’t want to seem arrogant. Um…ok…
The good thing is there are a few different ways to pull off this balancing act. Here are some of our top tips on how to properly sell yourself on your MBA application:
Don't create long lists of abstract attributes about yourself
An admissions committee doesn’t want to hear a response that starts off with "I am" and is followed by a long list of adjectives like creative, innovative, analytical, collaborative, etc. Thesaurus much? Instead they want to hear about actions that you have taken and come to their own conclusions on what kind of individual you are. That's why your goal should be story building with memorable anecdotes (Using Anecdotes to Write Engaging MBA Essays) so that your resume, essays, and interviews showcase what you are really capable of doing and the great person you are. Subtlety is key. Anyone can say they’re innovative. But can everyone SHOW that they’re innovative? Nope. And that’s where you shine!
Focus on word selection and descriptions
When it comes to describing a situation, the words you select to create a visual representation will influence how your reader or interviewer perceives you. For example, someone who describes their role as "mediating controversy" versus "driving consensus among competing interests" will give off different impressions. Understand the image of yourself that you want to create for the admissions committee and then work carefully to build descriptions that best support it. Even simple things like using “I” versus “We” can tell volumes about an applicant. That doesn’t mean every sentence should start with “we” but understand how all these things work together. Every word you say impacts your brand!
Let others sing your praise
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to sound awesome is to have others say it for you! That’s what your recommenders are there for! They provide the context and relativity admissions committees are looking for. Their job is to say good (and not-so-good – What Makes A Recommendation Great!) things about you. Think about it this way – would you rather have someone come up to you and tell you they’re a really nice person or would you rather hear it from a 3rd party? Not only does it sound more honest and sincere, it’s far more reliable!
When it comes to your application, how you communicate your qualifications is just as important as the qualifications themselves. Make sure you aren't inadvertently selling yourself short in how you are presenting yourself. Or, on the other hand, selling yourself too aggressively!