So you are beginning your journey of applying for scholarships and you notice that some actually require an interview, so you panic.
The best advice I’ve ever been given in regards to scholarship applications was to approach each one as I would a job interview. So let’s talk about 3 best practices for nailing a scholarship application interview:
Dress For The Job You Want – Of course they say this about dressing up on a daily basis to work. However people who will read your application will not be able to see you. So look for ways to make your application look sharp. If you are printing your application, maybe you can print it on card stock paper with an off-white finish. Type out your answers. This can be done before you print the application by using software like Adobe Acrobat Reader Pro. This program let’s you type text within a PDF document.
Hire Someone To Proofread Your Document – Be sure to instruct the person you hire to not only look for obvious typos but ask them to look for ways to beef up your answers. Ask them to replace common words with million dollar words. Here’s an example: “Getting a scholarship would help because….”, this could be changed to read, “Obtaining financial assistance would benefit me by…”. Do you see how rewording a simple sentence could attract a potential investor? Investor you say, yes…if you show growth, people are more likely to invest in you.
Learn About The Organization Providing Scholarship – Just like in a job interview, you want to do your research ahead of time before an interview. So before you fill out an application, review their website, especially their about us information. I would take it a step further and look for contact information either on the website or on the scholarship application. Some will have email addresses or phone numbers. I would call the person in charge and ask them specific questions like in addition to being eligible to apply, what are some things that the committee really looks for in an applicant? Then provide that information in the application. If you speak with someone over the phone, include a note about that when you submit your application and thank them for their time.
These three practices will set you apart from other applicants. Keep looking for ways to position yourself as the best candidate for the scholarship and look at applications as job interviews, besides, you are getting paid.