Applying to business school this year? This is the perfect time to start your MBA applications. Here are four things that my clients are doing now, so that they are ready to submit outstanding applications in the early rounds:

  • Revising their resumes.

It’s really important to revise your resume so that it effectively portrays your professional accomplishments in a way that business schools will understand. They want to see progression, how you drive results, quantified impact, diversified skills, collaboration and evidence of transferrable skills that will allow you to get the job you want after business school. It’s worth taking the time to do this now – your professional narrative is integral to your candidacy.

  • Refining their school lists.

Although you might think you know where you want to apply, people often change their minds about target schools once they start visiting. At the very least, you need to do enough research to determine your first choice, so that you can consider applying early decision, which is often advantageous. You can also use all of your school specific research when you are writing your essays about why you want to attend.

  • Finishing their tests.

Speaking of school lists, it is tough to finalize your target programs without knowing your GMAT or GRE score. Furthermore, in case you wind up retaking the exam you want to leave enough time to complete your testing before the application deadline.

  • Writing their goal essays.

Articulating your goals, and pinpointing exactly what you want to do, is the first step towards crafting a compelling application. Although perhaps seemingly straightforward, this can be surprisingly difficult. Working through this process now will allow you to find the right school, and to convince them that you are the perfect fit for the class of 2017.