MentorMe Australia Blog #2 - Three Steps to Acing Applications
Gilda Sorella from the graduate resume writing service Ready Resumes AU, shares her tips for success:
1. Make it visually appealing
There's a reason that this comes in at number one, because it's the first thing that you can do to stand out from the crowd. Imagine being a judge for a scholarship application and having already read 100 three page applications in your morning. Your eyes are dry from reading page after page of black text on white paper. If you're lucky, someone has highlighted a heading in bold. Then suddenly, you come across an application with a thoughtfully designed cover page. You see imagery and colours, and you are excited to see what comes next.
Whether you add a cover page, a coloured title or subheadings, or put your application in an interesting layout (you don't have to be an expert in graphic design, there are plenty of free formats and fonts on the internet) - your application will stand out from the other 100 that came before it.
2. Answer the selection criteria
"But that's so obvious" you may say. Yes it's obvious, but it's by no means easy! Of course, this varies depending on the criteria that you are trying to respond to, but my top rule is:
Inject your application with emotion, and relate it back to your passions, goals, and achievements. Remember, your reader is not a robot, emotions stick.
Take an overseas exchange application for example. The reader doesn't want to know that you want to travel to Denmark because you love danish pastries (although they are rather delicious). They want to know how the exchange will allow you to broaden your studies, expand your world view, tick off your lifelong goal of living in another country, and challenge your mind by learning a second language. Use emotive words. Then go beyond, and be specific. For example:
"The University of Copenhagen has speciality courses in International Negotiation and Mediation, which is something not offered by my university. I am passionate about pursuing a career as a mediator, and feel that this opportunity will allow me to experience this subject from a totally new perspective, as well as give me a unique career advantage".
3. Use your own voice
Once again, it sounds simple doesn't it? However, after years of writing essays a lot of students have trouble writing in their own 'voice', and come off a little too academic. Your goal is to write in your own personal style, yet be professional. Here's how:
If you tick these boxes - I promise that you will have a great start to your application! Good Luck!
Need help with a resume or application? Check out the services at: