Gaining admission in universities abroad is becoming increasingly competitive. With thousands of applications pouring in against only a few hundred seats, students need to create a profile that stands out and immediately makes the Admission Committee take notice. While it is imperative to work towards creating a strong and unique profile to secure admission into a prestigious university, students are often confused and unsure of how to create a glowing profile. Here are a few pointers that will help to build an excellent profile for Master’s and make a difference.
1) Identify your USP (Unique Selling Point)
Many applicants will have a similar or even better academic record and test scores than you. In order to stand out and make your profile unique, you must identify your USP and highlight it to bring it to the notice of the admission committee. Start by jotting down your strengths. Give specific examples and quote instances from your academic or professional life that can substantiate the strengths you want to highlight. Focus on strengths that will help you to succeed in the program you’re applying to. A certificate of completion or achievement is a good way to validate your strengths. Another advice is to compartmentalize your strength into categories such as academic, professional, communication or technical prowess. Thus, identifying your USP and mentioning it in your application essay will help you to put together a powerful application.
2) Write a succinct and powerful Resume?
The University admission committee has to go through several thousand applications, but to ensure that the admission committee does not overlook your application, you must create a succinct and powerful one-page long resume which highlights your strengths and achievements. It must provide more information to the admission committee than what is included in the application and helps them to evaluate your candidacy in a better manner. University resumes should be designed to enhance your application and provide yet another opportunity to showcase your worth as an ideal candidate. You must use crisp language and a clean layout, covering topics like academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, volunteer or community service, certifications, research, publications and leadership experience.
3) An interesting and engaging Statement of Purpose
Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) gives you the opportunity to display your passion and interest for the intended specialization and gives you an opportunity to explain the lacunae in your academic credentials. Your focus has to be on clearly explaining the purpose you are applying for a particular specialization. It should also contain a brief introduction of yourself and your academic background. You must also mention your short-term and long-term goals in one paragraph. These goals have to be as specific as possible. Describe your academic or any professional background that is relevant to your purpose. You should also give details about what motivated you to pursue further studies and have you chosen the university you are applying to. This paragraph requires you to research the program, curriculum, and faculty, so that you can highlight the specific aspects that make the university your preferred choice. It is always a good idea to take the opinions of others and seek professional help from experts like education advisers or counsellors as the SOP greatly determines your chance of getting admission in your dream university.
4) Letter of Recommendation
Refer to your strengths in the USP list that you have made and think of people who can vouch for your strengths like a good academic record, motivation, creativity, communication skills, integrity, etc. You must take help of your professors to write impressive letters of recommendation as they qualify to truly assess your performance and vouch for your academic credentials. However, if you have any work experience ranging to a year or more, then get at least one reference from your workplace as well. A master’s degree requires the student to submit three recommendations; hence it is ideal to get one professional and two academic letters of recommendation. This will give the admission committee a balanced opinion of your academic and professional capabilities.
5) Work experience in a prestigious company
If the company you are currently working in has a very competitive and difficult recruiting process, it makes the Admission Committee view your profile in a positive light. Also working in a reputed company makes your profile stronger and makes the admission committee realize that you are an exceptional student with excellent skills and academic record to have bagged a prestigious job or internship at a reputed company.
6) Diversify your profile
Apart from the technical skills, if you have learnt any new and different skills through extra certification courses or have any experience that can add value to your profile you must mention it. For example, if you have volunteered for any special projects and participated in any conferences or competitions, you must highlight these points to bring it to the notice of the admission committee.
7) Work towards creating a well-rounded personality?
You do not want to come across as a uni-dimensional person with only academic or professional interest. Universities believe in taking students who have a holistic and well-rounded personality. If you are a sport enthusiast or have joined any social cause or started a small entrepreneurial venture, you must highlight these in your profile.
8) Publish your research work
Published research work indubitably adds to your profile in terms of research skills and speaks volumes about your academic interests. A good publishing record is a strong indicator that you will be an asset to the research community in that university. Thus, if you have written any research paper or dissertation at graduate school, you must mention it in your profile to highlight your research skills. This will give you an edge over your competitors.
Following the above pointers will help you to create a strong and unique profile that the admission committee will review in a positive light. Working towards creating a strong and unique profile requires time and commitment, so if you want to secure admission to your chosen university, you must make a plan and start working towards it well in advance to create an exemplary profile and maximize your chances of securing admission.