Now that you have created your Applicant Advantage profile what do you do with it?
That’s a good question. As we put Applicant Advantage together we had several uses in mind. The QR code and bitly short URL in the upper right corner are automatically generated and unique to each profile. Copy > paste > share. But the question became share where – and specifically “share where on the Common App, college application?” Suddenly we had a great question that could use some explaining.
The Common App found at commonapp.org is an application that can be completed online and then sent to and accepted by over 800 colleges/universities in place of a school specific application. Imagine the time it takes to complete 5, 10 or more college applications; then the time you save if you only have to go through the process once! Brilliant really.
Even with the best intentions the Common App suffers from the same problem as almost all applications and the very reason Applicant Advantage was created; you are not just a piece of paper (or a bunch of pre-defined fields). You have done things, gone places and helped people. You have carefully captured and curated all of that information, videos, images, recommendations and verifications in Applicant Advantage to share with the world.
“But I can’t put all that information in the Common App or any other applicant tracking system.”
Oh yes you can. Toward the end of the Common App after the “personal essay” and after the “disciplinary history” (what are they looking for with that one?), is a spot labeled “Additional Information”. You are then asked, “Do you wish to provide details circumstances or qualifications not reflected in the application?” You mean things that don’t fit in a pull-down menu? Or even in the 650 words allowed to answer the question? Things that really need to be seen to be understood. Stacks of letters or recommendations or the contact info for the Executive Director of the non-profit you volunteered with over the summer. Or any of the dozens of other things you’ve captured in your Applicant Advantage profile.
So the answer we use is:
Be creative. Introduce yourself. Help admissions counselors see ALL of you and not just what fits in a text box.