Common Mistakes

Top 10 Mistakes Made By Fellowship Applicants

  1. Overstate or exaggerate accomplishments and/or experiences.  Chances are that someone on your interview panel will be an expert in the subject.

  2. Utilize words or concepts that you do not fully understand.

  3. Use leadership and/or service examples from high school – Fellowship reviewers are interested in the timely and relevant, which, for postgraduate fellowships, means your college years. 

  4. Write about a generic experience – You should develop a consistent story line that focuses on your unique aspects:  Get personal. 

  5. Go over the word limit.

  6. Have typos, misspelled words, and incorrect grammar usage.

  7. Use formalities, generic phrases, and cliches –  Content should always be individualized and illustrate personal reflection.   

  8. Forget to remind recommenders about deadlines –  Be sure to (kindly, respectfully) remind them early, and remind them often.

  9. Wait until the month before the application is due to begin – A successful application is time consuming.  If you start early, your chance of success rises exponentially.

  10. Overuse jargon – When used economically and effectively, jargon shows that you have a comfortable command of the vocabulary and concepts: Use jargon sparingly and with a purpose.