As you begin to write the application responses, there is some prep you need to do.
1. Creating your Copy of the Application Form
One of the first things you should do is create your own copy of the application form.
Typing in responses directly into the application portal right away may prove to be your disadvantage in the following ways:
The application portal may refresh itself after a fixed time period in some cases and if this happens, all that you typed out will instantly vanish.
In the event that you forget to ‘Save the application as Draft’ or in cases where the form itself does not give you the option to do so, you might lose all that you type in the form.
It is hard for you to review and make changes directly in the portal. It is even harder for you to share it easily with your reviewers and also for them to pass on specific comments.
Upon submitting the application, you lose all the content that you dedicatedly wrote. Since most opportunities have similar questions and formats, the time you invest in one application form will save a lot of time for you in subsequent applications. And you will often be able to reuse the content you write once for multiple opportunities. So not saving the content you write now is going to be a mistake you wish you had not made.
Right. So now, let’s call your copy of the application your working document.
You need to create a copy of the application form by copy-pasting all the application questions to your working document. We recommend Google Docs or Google Forms. This makes it super easy for you to handle, edit and share. It is also easy for your reviewers to offer comments on your application.
Once you finish your draft in your working document and you feel happy about it, you can go ahead, copy paste your answers into the main application form and submit it.
2. Creating your Checklist
Most applications have a lot of questions to answer and you might quite easily miss out on one or more of them. Sometimes, it is not just the questions themselves, but the specifics of the questions or even the deadline.
Suppose the application wants you submit your Resume in a pdf format and with file size less than 1MB. Ensuring that you finish your resume is one thing but making it fit to be submitted is another. So along with creating your resume, getting it reviewed, making suitable edits and finalising it, you will also have to ensure it is in pdf format and also less than 1 MB in size.
Likewise, say the deadline for your recommenders to submit their letters of recommendation is the same date as your application deadline. This means that you’ll have to ensure that they finish up the letter and submit it along with you making your own application submission.
To get this done on time, you’ll have to first decide on your recommenders, talk to them and obtain their confirmation, discuss your application with them, allow them sufficient time to write the letter. Finally remind them if they haven’t been able to do it and also ensure that they submitted it before the deadline.
So even though the questions seem simple, the number of small tasks you need to do in completing them may be even more and with an application to write, you really might miss out on things.
This is why we recommend that you use a checklist. Before you begin, break things down to the smallest level, put them on your checklist and then tick them off one by one.
You may use common note-keeping tools. A google form or google keep also work well.
Do also remember to set yourself reminders few days prior to your deadline or any key activity. We are all humans and we may all forget dates and deadlines. But having your calendar remember it for you can save you big time.
3. Start filling the main application form
I know. We just discussed that we should be using a copy of the application form to fill in the application first.
And that still holds for all the major parts of your application like Essays, Resume and Video. We’re talking about filling up your basic information such as Name, Email address, College and so on in the main application form.
Why? - If the opportunity uses a portal to manage applications, then upon signing up and starting your application, you will receive timely reminders on completing the application. You will also be notified about changes in deadline or application formats, if any. So ensuring that you create your profile and fill up your basic details will help you stay on top of all the information.Markdown 4647 bytes 815 words 85 lines Ln 85, Col 386HTML 3698 characters 808 words 25 paragraphs