What to include in an update letter/letter of interest?

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Jul 1, 2023
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I just found out that a publication that I’m 6th author on (not the highest, I know, but it’s the second ever paper I’ve contributed to that’s going to be published, so I’m excited!) has been accepted for publication! I want to write an update letter, especially since the schools I applied to are getting closer to wrapping up interviews and decisions. I know that it’s best to keep letters around 1 page, so I was hoping to get some feedback on what else to include (or what to prioritize based on space) when writing my letter.

I’m thinking of including the following things:
1) the publication
2) new volunteer experiences (I have about 70 hrs since submitting my app in June, and community service was definitely a weak spot in my app)
3) being a TA (I’m starting my second TAship this quarter! It’s leadership I guess, but again, schools may not care)
4) expressing interest/fit for the school (especially for the schools I’ve interviewed at)

Any feedback on what to prioritize is greatly appreciated!

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