In the hopes of landing that great graduate assistant position it can be enticing to immediately apply for every available graduate school position you find. At HigherGrad, we recommend taking a different approach to finding the right fit for your graduate school position.
Any applicant should always fully research the school and department where the position is being offered. Try to find as much out as you possibly can about the work that you will be doing. The last thing you want to do is commit to a position that is completely the wrong education and career path choice for you. Also, researching the position will ensure you have the experience and skills necessary to be a quality candidate.
Once you have selected the positions that match your skills and interests, start by tailoring each application, resume and graduate assistantship cover letter with all of the information you gathered through your research on the school and department. “How to get an assistantship” is a frequent theme that comes up in questions we get at HigherGrad. We recommend showcasing how your skills and experience can provide a solution to challenges of the position. Detailing how you have been successful in past experiences, particularly in the same field or on a similar project, will allow you to stand out when potential candidates are being reviewed.
Those looking to fill graduate positions are only looking for the highest quality candidates. If you are using the same resume and cover letter for every graduate assistantship application you are submitting, you are unlikely to be noticed. Assistantships for graduate school are competitive and most receive many applications for a single position. Take the time to complete the research for the position you are interested in and target your resume to that school, department and position.