With the application deadline for Round 1 coming up soon (06 October 2010) we thought we'd share the top 12 mistakes applicants make on their applications, so you can avoid them:
1. Uploading a transcript that is illegible.
Review the uploaded transcript to make sure it is readable. If it's not, use the self-reported transcript instead.
2. Waiting until the deadline date to upload your transcripts.
As mentioned in #1, if your transcripts are not readable you need to switch to the self-reported transcript. This is a time-consuming task and best done well before the deadline day.
3. Uploading the wrong documents by mistake.
Take care to upload the correct files. We've seen everything from sensitive employment documents to marked-up drafts of essays.
4. Not calculating the number of months of work experience correctly.
We want to know the number of months (not years) of full-time work experience since you graduated from your undergraduate college or university that you will have as of September 1, 2011. Include business, career military, teaching, government, and non-profit experience, but do NOT include internships, summer jobs, compulsory military, or part-time jobs. If you are a college senior, enter zero.
5. Using the "Additional Information" section for additional essays (maybe even essays you wrote for other schools).
The Additional Information section is meant for short explanations (for example, a failing grade), overflow on sections from the application (for example, your work history not fitting in the Employment section), or additional required documents (for example, proof of financial aid for a current college senior to support their application for a fee waiver).
6. Foreign nationals answering questions about ethnicity and race.
Questions about ethnicity and race are for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents ONLY.
7. Citizenship status and country of citizenship that conflict.
For example, marking "U.S. Citizen" and putting primary citizenship as "France;" or marking "non-U.S. citizen" and putting primary citizenship as the "United States").
8. Not explaining gaps in work experience or education.
We ask you to explain any gaps of 4 months or more in the work history section.
9. Inverting the beginning and ending dates of employment, starting and ending salaries or bonuses.
10. Inverting your first and last names on the application form. Put your family name in the "last name" field and your given name in the "first name" field.
11. Entering decimal points where we specifically tell you not to (for example, salary and, for international candidates, years in the U.S.)
12. Neglecting to thoroughly read our website. There is much helpful information and many tips on how to best prepare your application.
We look forward to reading your applications,
Associate Director of MBA Admissions