Are you applying for college? Then, you probably want to know the most impressive things to include in your college application. Of course, each college or university evaluates different criteria. However, all of them will be looking for students who are smart, ambitious, and passionate about life.

A stellar application showcases your interest in the college, your skills, and what you can bring to the table as an incoming student. If you want to make it into the top universities on the QS university rankings, take a look at these tips to make your university application stand out from the crowd.

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Relevant Work Experience

Different universities have different requirements when it comes to relevant working experience. The Harvard action verbs exist to guide you on this. The Harvard action verbs are words that act as marketing tools to deliver information about your previous experiences that resulted in measurable results. Here are some examples of work experiences that can make your college application a runaway winner!

Tips to fill university applications
An internship is as good a work experience as you can get in your high school. | Image credit: Santiago Canyon College

Leadership Roles

Colleges want to enroll future leaders. Your work experience can help show your potential on this front. It often is not possible for a part-time 18-year-old to be a manager. However, some jobs, such as a camp counsellor or academic tutor, are leadership positions by definition. In other types of jobs, you might be able to ask your supervisor for leadership opportunities. For example, you might be able to help train new employees or help the company with community outreach programs.

Entrepreneurial Roles

It is also impressive if you are entrepreneurial and started your own small business, whether making jewellery or providing content writing services. Entrepreneurs tend to be creative and self-motivated, qualities that make for excellent university students.

Field Experience

If you have a strong sense of what you want to study — be it medicine, business, chemistry, art, English, or any other major — work experience in that field will play well with the admission committee. As an example, a lot of students want to go into medicine because of the attractive salary, not because of any love of the sciences or the profession.

An applicant who has actually worked in a hospital and gained first-hand experience will be a much more informed and compelling applicant. Similarly, a future computer science major who has worked in tech support will be able to craft a well-informed and convincing application.

Internships

Internships count as work experience on your resume. Your internship likely allowed you to develop skills that help you stand out from other entry-level candidates. Both paid and unpaid internships of varying lengths can count as experience. Adding internship experience to your university application and resume shows that you take initiative to learn more and grow as a professional.

How To Boost University Application with Work Experience

Work opportunities are opportunities to learn relevant skills that are necessary to excel at university too. What are some of these important life skills that work experiences teach us?

Time Management

Time management is one of the most important employability skills there ever could be. Time management is also crucial during university. One can't forget about the dreaded deadlines throughout your time at university!

Communication

Most jobs require effective communication skills and the ability to work well in teams. Effective communication means communication that is mature, polite, confident, and professional. Importantly, you will need all these traits during your interview at the university, and even after you have got yourself admitted to the university.

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Time management is one of the crucial skills you gain through work experience. | Image source: Sonja Langford on Unsplash

Multitasking

Managing different priorities is a part of growing up. Managing different tasks, like managing your time, is crucial for your adult life and university experience.

Sense of Independence

Universities want you to be self-sufficient. That’s part of what academic research is about. A job experience will teach you to be independent and force you to consider mature decision-making.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving is a crucial skill for people to learn, be it at work or in daily life. Your workplace can be an introductory lesson on how to acquire this extremely crucial soft skill. Related to this is the ability to own up to the mistakes you commit. And, there will be plenty of them, you can rest assured. The ability to rectify your mistakes and move on from them is a very important sign of maturity.

Self-confidence

During school, that is the only world we know. Everything else can be exciting, yes, but it can also be a little terrifying. Getting yourself a job can reveal to you that things don’t need to be so scary. You can talk to adults, you can handle problems when they arrive, and you are a bit more financially independent.

Self-confidence can often be the difference between successful university applications and unsuccessful ones.

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How Do Extracurricular Activities Boost University Applications

The strongest university applications usually include a combination of extracurricular activities.

  • Academic activities such as quizzes, debates, Model United Nations, pre-college programs, study abroad programs, and mock trials. These activities demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning beyond the classroom and an interest in furthering your education.
  • Community activities, including service or volunteering with local organisations. Educational institutions value these activities because they show you care about other people and will likely contribute to the campus community.
  • Personality activities are a reflection of who you are beyond your grades, test scores, and application. For example, sports and scouting.

Be strategic about the types of activities you include in your application. You must highlight your best activities. Some of the most popular extracurricular activities are:

  • Leadership Work and Positions
  • Part-Time Jobs
  • Sports and Athletics
  • Academic Clubs and Teams
  • Artistic and Creative Pursuits
  • Volunteering and Community Service
  • Internships

Impact of Extracurricular Activities On University Admissions

There are many long-term benefits of extracurricular activities on a child’s development. We list here five such key benefits.

Learn New Skills

Fundamentally, extracurricular activities allow your child to learn something that could stay with them for a lifetime. Directly, that skill could be the basis of a hobby or passion that enriches their life for many years. Everything from playing sports to learning an instrument could lead to hours spent doing something they enjoy.

Beyond that, extracurricular activities instill key skills and personality traits that can be helpful in other walks of life. Using the same examples, sports are key to developing teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills. A musical instrument requires perseverance, hand-eye coordination, and, above all, creativity.

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Extracurricular activities build you up for the career ahead and for life, in general. | Image source: Pixabay

Boost Academic Performance

A lot of the skills that lie at the heart of extracurricular activities can be used during core academic subjects. Education requires solid problem-solving skills, memory, creativity, and critical thinking. To varying degrees, you can find an extracurricular activity that has an impact on these areas.

Broaden Your Social Skills

The nature of many extracurricular activities means that your child will be engaging with other children in a social setting. Away from the classroom, it’s a good opportunity for them to mix with like-minded children in something they all enjoy. This gives them a chance to develop their social skills, meet new friends and become more confident communicating in groups. Extracurricular activities can also aid in the development of self-esteem and confidence. Good self-esteem is an essential tool for positive mental health and wellbeing.

Essential Tips for Writing a Good University Application

Write Concise Answers

Sometimes, trying too hard may be counterproductive. As students, you are only expected to be truthful, not perfect. When you decide to apply to a college and get their admission requirements too, be ready, to be honest. Read through each page of the application form and try to answer in concise sentences that convey your thoughts, ideas, and facts.

You can go through sample application forms to get a better idea of what you need to write in your own form. But, remember to use them as a reference and never plagiarise! Structure your responses in a way that captures the reader's attention and reflects your own thinking. Provide a strong personal statement. If possible, attach letters of recommendation to support your personal story of achievement.

Avoid Single Lines

It is very tempting to leave a 1-liner about yourself on an application form. This may work in the advertising world, but definitely not on your college application (even if you're applying for media studies)! After all, painstakingly going through each page of the application form can be tedious, we agree. However, this will not impress the admissions committee. Professors and teachers can tell the difference between a well-planned and well-thought-out application form from one that is rushed and abrupt.

Have Clear Aims

The Statement of the Purpose (SOP) is a piece of writing signifying the aim of submitting an application to a specific stream in a particular university. A well-drafted SOP is extremely important for the application essay to the desired university.

The majority of the students need the college admission council to recognize them as competent, reliable, and academically competitive. These are magnificent essay objectives and apart from this, you must also examine the essay in connection to your classwork. If your classwork revealed that you are attentive and steadfast previously, then it is necessary to emphasize one more personality feature of yours. Writing a college application essay together with setting up the portrait of your character, helps you to attribute additional dimensions of your life that are not demonstrated in your earlier college academic study.

Include Extracurricular Activities

A combination of academic excellence and extracurricular activities is the perfect recipe for an impressive college application. Reviewers love looking at a form that says "all-rounder!" Extracurricular activities reflect the personality traits of applicants that academic records cannot. During admissions, colleges are also looking at how prospective students can carry forward the university legacy.

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Carefully plan out the contents of your university application cover letter. | Image source: Unsplash

Get Into the Shoes of the Admission Council

When you have put all the pieces of your application together and presented it to the college/university that you want to get admitted to, a limited group of staff will reconsider every single application, jot down the scores and academic papers, and then read the essays for the college application. The key to persuading the admission officers is in figuring out something they are catching around for. They will look forward to the students who can achieve good grades immediately after admission, provide assistance in the educational experience for the rest of the students, and acclaim the university after graduating. It is very important to present yourself as a student who aspires to meet the prior mentioned requirements in the college application essay.

Ask for Feedback

Once you finish writing out the application, go through each page to check if you have answered each question. If needed, undertake revisions. However, the first answers are the most instinctive. Proofread each word so that reviewers can't find fault with the language used, English or otherwise. Ask your family or friends, even school teachers or your private tutor to review your application.

They can give you neutral insights into what may be improved in your application. If needed, edit the form further. If not, proceed to apply!

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.