Is your application as strong and polished as it can be? And how do you know? I suggest that you do these three things before you hit submit.
Of all the mistakes that applicants make, perhaps none is as agonizing as the failure to proofread. First impressions count, and the committee will be unimpressed by typos, misspellings and shaky grammar. Larger errors, like waxing poetic about your desire to attend Harvard in your Stanford application, are also more common than you think.
Because it’s extremely hard to catch mistakes in your own work, especially when you have presumably read your material many times, I strongly suggest that you have at least 2 people proofread your entire application, including the application form itself as well as the essays and short answers.
Sanitize your social media presence.
The rumors are true – admissions officers can and do look at your facebook, twitter and linkedin accounts, as well as using google to verify information. This may not happen all the time, but you definitely do not want to lose a spot in the class because you have posted profanity laden rants against Best Buy or expressed vitriolic personal or political opinions.
Admissions officers may also be interested to learn more about the business you started, or your extracurricular or professional accomplishments. Please be sure that any media coverage is consistent with the information that you provide in your application. I suggest that you google yourself, so that you understand what schools will see if they look for you.
Sleep on it.
I understand the desire to be done with your applications, especially since you have presumably been working on them for months. However, please put aside your application for at least 24 hours and then look it over with a fresh set of eyes. I actually encourage my clients to complete everything at least a week before the deadline. This gives you time to make any changes, minor or major, and also to circulate it for the important proofreading process discussed above.
Applying to business school is a competitive, intense process. Take the time to ensure that last minute mistakes don’t undermine the strength of your candidacy.
Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Duke, Georgetown, Haas, Ross, NYU and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 10.3 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.