Choosing to pursue your MBA can be a great choice for anyone in the business world. The MBA is an excellent certification to have for one reason: the things you learn can help you in literally every aspect of business. While the decision to get an MBA may be easy, earning acceptance into a top school is not nearly as simple.

To start, you need to prove that you are the right candidate for them. A resume and good test scores help, but a well-written MBA cover letter will truly set you apart from other candidates. So, what does it take to get that incredible cover letter?

Be That 1% Candidate

Aside from crafting a letter that’s focused on certain aspects of your life that look good to colleges, another important thing to think about when writing a cover letter for MBA schools is to be unique. This can be done by spending an hour or two thinking about what every other MBA student does, and then doing the opposite. If you’ve noticed that all of your friends are sending form cover letters and practicing rote interview questions, a great way to set yourself apart would be to find specific features about a school and integrating them into your cover letters. For example, if you found out that one of your candidate schools had a great speaker at their commencement last year, watching the video of the speech and referencing it in your cover letter would definitely cause the admissions department to sit up and take notice.

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Think Outside The Box

As someone who has likely worked at a job before, you probably know how to write a cover letter. Here’s the thing: so does your competition. What you need to do is think outside the box and write a cover letter for MBA that is specifically focused on the things that a school wants to see from an ideal candidate. Depending on the school that you’re applying to, you might want to discuss things like:

  • Career aspirations
  • Entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Test scores
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Interesting experiences

Ultimately, you should know what things the school is specifically looking for; they usually tell you on their website! For example, if the school touts their commitment to helping MBA graduates build their business, then you will probably want to lean more heavily on any entrepreneurial background that you have.

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Most Importantly – Keep Your Cool

When you are applying to your favorite MBA program, it can be easy to come across as too enthusiastic. While the above tips might help you write the best cover letter for MBA, you want to make sure that you don’t seem like you are overeager to get into that school. Just like recruiters, admissions staff wants to see that you have other options as well. Make sure that you show them your love of the MBA program at their school, but that you aren’t completely wedded to their university. You want to show that you’re adding value with your cover letter for MBA, not that this is your top-tier, only choice for an MBA program.