A key purpose of the wait-list or update letter (for business schools that allow contact) is to inform the school of new achievements, initiatives, and developments in your life. Show the adcoms that you’re an even stronger applicant than you were five (or even two) months ago. This could include promotions, new leadership roles at or outside work, or technical skills acquired on the job. Have you led a project or organization? Volunteered? Have you taken your department, business, or club in a new direction? Have you earned a patent? Launched a business? Received a promotion or assumed additional responsibility?
In short, mention any recent accomplishments that you did not discuss in your application and ideally tie them back to some of the themes or experiences you presented in your essays. If you don’t have promotions or even particularly notable achievements, don’t fret. Basically, anything new that has occurred in your professional or community life since you applied can—if you analyze it—be presented as a development that has strengthened your candidacy (though never try to exaggerate a non-accomplishment into an accomplishment).
Demonstrate that you are “new and improved” since you initially applied, and you’ll increase your chances of successfully surviving the wait list.
This article was originally published on Paul Bodine’s blog. Paul is a graduate admissions consultant with over 13 years of experience, having helped hundreds of applicants get into their dream business, law, medical, and graduate schools. He has also published several books on graduate admissions.