This is by no means a comprehensive list of weaknesses or mistakes that can make an application to grad school or an MBA program far less appealing, but it is a start. They are easily avoided and if you don’t take time to avoid them, they will lower your competitiveness.
- Let reference providers use the same, unfocused reference for all schools.
- Get references from friends, family, or people you have never met (yes, it has happened).
- Expect an admissions committee to overlook gre or GMAT scores in the 20th percentile in all categories by saying that you’ll work really hard.
- Miss an interview appointment.
- Submit an essay for the wrong school.
- Let your resume show the wrong school you are applying to.
- Don’t respond to email or phone requests for more information.
- Miss submission deadlines.
- Ask if you can get a full tuition fellowship in the admissions interview.
- Submit lots of extraneous materials that do not relate to your program.
- Say that you’ll do better in grad school than in undergrad because you’ve grown up, even though you graduated last year.
Remember that you are the architect of your own application and you can avoid these mistakes easily.