Graduate school is a great way to increase your opportunities in the workforce and your overall earning potential. However, pursuing graduate education is not an easy undertaking, beginning with the application process. Admission is competitive, and you want to do everything you can to make sure your application stands out from the crowd. Here are six easy ways “to beef up” your application for graduate school and make sure you get into the school of your dreams. Gain experience Even your grades aren’t perfect, you can impress the admissions committee by showing your capability to succeed in this area. Try to get a job or even an internship that will highlight your abilities. Pretty much any career area offers internship experiences to university students or recent graduates. If you aren’t able to fit a job or internship experience into your current schedule, then look for volunteer opportunities that will earn experience in your field. These are often more flexible and will still get you the same credit with professors.
Get a great recommendation Get recommendation letters from individuals, who really know your potential. Former instructors where you performed very well are always the obvious choice, and a letter from one will certainly help. However, you will need to choose more professionals, who will be able to speak to your other qualifications. Club advisors, internship directors, and even your job supervisor are good candidates for recommendations. It’s very important to make sure that these people can truthfully recommend you positively.
Be a leader Graduate schools want students who take initiative and can take the lead in their field. Your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be in your field of study, but it does need to show you are passionate and good leadership material. Look at organisations you are already part of and see if you can take a more active role.
Get certified If your field of study and future career could benefit from a certification of some kind or more than one certification, then this is a great route to take. It shows you have taken the initiative to prove your skills. Many professions do not require it, but a voluntary certification shows that you are confident in your skills and took the steps to prove you know your stuff.
Join a professional Organisation Most areas of academia have a professional organisation (or more than one) that provide members with scholarly publications, conference opportunities, and networking. Membership in one of these organisations will indicate how serious you are about furthering your knowledge in this area. If you are already working in the area you want to pursue graduate studies, then the membership shows your commitment to the field.
Continuing education If it has been awhile since you were in school or if your grades are a little less than stellar, you could benefit from taking some continuing education courses. There are numerous courses available through universities, such as Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals in Provo, Utah, or your local colleges.You can take other classes through online sources, and professional organisations, as well. Furthering your knowledge shows that you can handle coursework in addition to other responsibilities. While continuing education classes are not the same as college courses, they will let the admissions committee know you are serious about furthering your education.
If you incorporate at least a few of these ideas into your graduate school application, you will stand a much better chance of being accepted to your first choice school. If you use all six, then you will definitely stand out from the crowd. Remember that often the most important aspect of your application is your undergraduate GPA, so be sure to focus on maintaining that average if you are still in school. Good luck in your application process.