Faces of GPS | Rebecca Weiss
Whether you’re fresh out of your undergraduate studies or have been working in your field for many years, your professional experience is an incredibly important piece of the Graduate Professional Studies application process. We ask our applicants to provide a resume (or curriculum vitae) and letter of recommendation because these documents not only help tell your story, but they show us that you have the background and expertise to excel in our programs.
Tips for making your resume pop
The admissions committee wants to see your work experience, skills, and strengths. Here’s how to make your resume pop:
- Highlight your skills: Even if you haven’t been working in your field for all that long, it is important to include any skills that are relevant to the program you are applying for. For example, do you know any programming languages? Is there a particular social media tool you have a lot of personal or professional experience with?
- Provide detail: Have you ever been told to limit your resume to a one-page maximum? We want to see your accomplishments! Don’t limit yourself because you’re afraid of taking up too much space.
- Previous coursework: Have you recently taken a course that is relevant to your program of interest? What about a professional development course and/or training session?
- Previous work experience: Did you take the lead on a major project at a previous job? Did you head a research project? Don’t forget to include details about your previous work experience.
If you are not sure you included everything, ask a co-worker to read your resume over and make some suggestions.
Deciding who should submit your letter of recommendation
Another important part of the application process is the letter of recommendation. We ask that you submit one letter of recommendation from an employer or supervisor. Here are some tips when deciding who should write your letter:
- Previous supervisor or boss: Did you just start a new job? Are you currently not working? Don’t worry, you can submit a letter recommendation from a previous employer or supervisor. You can address your current work situation in your statement of goals.
- Recent graduate: Did you recently graduate? Are you still searching for a job? Ask someone who supervised you on a research project to write your letter of recommendation. Provide a letter of recommendation from a supervisor where you did an internship. If you volunteer, ask the person who oversees the volunteers to write your letter.
- Submit two letters: Do you have a supervisor and a manager who can speak to your different skills? While only one letter is required for admission, feel free to ask them both to submit a letter of recommendation.
The admissions committee understands that we have a diverse group of applicants. Our applicants range from recent graduates to those who are many years into their career. The most important part of the recommendation letter is that it is written by someone who has supervised you or seen you work as part of a team.
As a reminder, the deadline to apply for the spring term is Dec. 13. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the application process. I also encourage you to reach out to Christie Barone if you have a specific question about your program of interest. You can find all our contact information here.
Rebecca Weiss is the Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment at GPS, and with her four years of experience in the office, she has a lot of great advice to offer prospective GPS students.
Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.