Best Practices on Applying to Opportunities

Let’s look at some best practices to follow while applying to opportunities

Start early

One of the best things you can do to yourself is give yourself the time to prepare and submit a good application. Start working on your application as soon as you know about it. This allows you to make room for mistakes and further improvement.

Do your Research

Doing a proper research before you start applying is extremely important for you to really understand what the opportunity is about and even whether or not it is apt for you. The time you spend on researching is never a waste.

Use emails

Most opportunities and organisations knock on your email inbox (door). Emails are a professional medium of communication and the world still runs on them. So using emails to communicate with your recommenders, reviewers and even with the organisation offering the opportunity is a professional thing to do.

Check your inbox regularly

This is a good habit to have generally. But particularly so if you are applying to an opportunity. As mentioned, emails are the medium of communication for most opportunities and if you are not on top of your mails, you might miss out on most of the information coming in.

Always draft your application in a rough document

When you are initially filling up your application, you need enough space to play around with the content, easily make changes and share it with your reviewers and recommenders. This is why using a rough document before you fill in responses in the main application can be useful. Additionally, having a copy of your application saved for future reference will prove helpful in future when applying to other similar applications.

Give your recommenders and reviewers enough time

Your recommenders and reviewers are your well-wishers and they are helping you put in a successful application. The least you can do is allow them the time to do it well. Respect their time and give them enough space to do the needful.

Make time for review

Plan your work to accommodate reviews into it. Quality lies in he review and they are super helpful in improving your application. Ensure you make time for it.

Try to find answers to your questions on your own

Most students ask away every single question they encounter. Now this is not a good practice especially if you could have easily found the answer to the question yourself. What you can do is first try to find the answer on your own and then ask for it if you are not able to find it.

Apply few hours before the deadline

Typically, applicants put in the application right before the deadline. Because of the sudden rush, systems fail and crash. Finally, they’d not be able to submit the application. To avoid this situation, it might be a good practice for you to wind up your application and submit it 3-6 hours before the deadline.

Never submit the application early

Never never submit your application too early. Always allow yourself enough time to review, review and review until you are really happy with the application. Take all the time you have got.

Sometimes, some critical guidance will come to you a day before. And because you would have already submitted your application, you may not be able to make use of this guidance. Such situations may put you in a back-foot.

The only exception to this point is when the selections happen on a rolling basis. In cases where selections happen and slots get filled as time progresses, you are actually better off submitting your application early, to avoid the last minute rush. In all other situations, it works better to submit the application no earlier than a day prior to the deadline.

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