Admission Essays: Don’t Shoot Yourself In the Foot

I got seriously involved in the college admission essay-writing company shortly after I published my eBook on recommendation letters, Instant Recommendation Letter Kit, a few short years ago.

People who bought that book for assistance with their recommendation letters shortly started asking me if I would review their admission essays and/or personal announcements for them. In some cases, I was requested to compose their essays and/or statements from scratch.

To do this properly, I was obliged to conduct a lot of research to the whole subject of admission documents. So, I did a fairly extensive literature search of what was available on the subject, both online (Web ) and offline (novels ).

One thing which actually struck me in my research was how many men and women appear to go out of the way to undermine their own college admission efforts.

Time, and time againI read about the firsthand experiences of Admission Committee members that received essays or personal statements with a couple of strikes against them from the beginning due to some glaring oversight, omission, or risky strategy.

In fact, it’s been hard to think at times, some of the things I’ve seen on draft essays which have been submitted to me. Luckily I’ve been able to fix all those before they went any farther. Unfortunately for many people though, these issues don’t get fixed, and end up being submitted to an Admissions Committee.

Here’s a listing of the seven most common mistakes that reviewers experience when studying entry essay personal statements:

Sounds like the obvious one to avoid doesn’t it? In fact, this is the most frequently cited error. It’s not a little consideration. Admission Committee members generally see such sloppy errors as a reflection of the candidate’s character and an indicator of how they will probably perform in their studies. It also makes the reviewer question the seriousness of this candidate, because they can not even take the time and trouble to get such an important document correct.

Do not Forget To Change the Name
This is unbelievably common. It’s amazing the number of Admission Committee essay reviewers have said this error. It usually refers to a scenario in which a candidate writes a”generic” composition and then submits it to a number of unique applications. This isn’t a bad thing in itself. But , for any reason, they neglect to change the title of their institution or program! So, the previous sentence may read,”It is for these reasons that I feel that the Yale Company Program is the one for me personally”. The only difficulty being that this was the program to Columbia! Entrance reviewers generally take this as an insult, and it doesn’t do anything to assist the candidate.

Make Sure You’re Original Enough
Your essay or personal statement must be specific enough so that the admissions committee may acquire a fantastic understanding as to who YOU are as a individual, and precisely why YOU need to attend that particular institution and that specific program. Some applicants fill their documents with generalities and platitudes that may apply to any individual and/or program. This doesn’t assist the Committee, and consequently won’t assist the candidate. You have got to tell your own unique narrative in your own unique voice.

But, Don’t Be Too Original
There are cases where people have a tendency to go too far overboard in announcing their own uniqueness. Folks have written poems, told tales, and submitted videos when there wasn’t any such necessity. This is highly risky and is very likely to alienate many reviewers instead of endear them to you. Generally speaking, an intense strategy like this will be seen as”grandstanding” or trying to get attention just for the sake of it. Bear in mind , that hundreds (or thousands) of other applicants are operating within the same mentioned guidelines as you’re. The challenge will be to allow you to stand out as different, but within those guidelines.

Avoid Discussing”Throughout Your Hat”
Some people have a tendency to make sweeping or grandiose statements that they can not really replicate. Such statements as”I’m going to discover a cure for cancer” or even”I intend to eliminate poverty from developing countries” are seen as naïve and somewhat trite in the university program level. They’re nice sentiments, but they don’t demonstrate a realistic comprehension by the candidate of their career path and educational program they have chosen. Make genuine statements which show a good comprehension of you in relation to the world around you.

Answer the Question
Admission reviewers frequently report that many candidates do not deal with the particular question posed on the application type. While this happens, one of three situations will be possible: 1.) The candidate has made a conscious decision to dismiss the question asked for some reason, 2.) The candidate hasn’t read and/or understood the query, or 3.) The candidate has submitted a”generic” multi-program essay and hasn’t taken the opportunity to correct it to address the particular question at hand. Even when applying to multiple applications, make an attempt to modify your essay or statement when necessary to take care of the particular requirements of different applications.

Respect the Guidelines
This refers to situations when an application form states a particular requirement for the number of words or characters for your essay or announcement. Some people appear to completely ignore these. Do not. If one does not follow these very special guidelines, they’re either choosing to dismiss them for some reason, or their”generic” multi-program informative article is just being plugged in and they will not take some opportunity to adjust it to the specific program. Ignoring such guidelines may make admission reviewers wonder if the applicant’s inability to follow directions extends to other areas that might have implications on their studies.

So then, why do so many people”shoot themselves in the foot” by committing such readily avoidable errors? Beats me.

I’m not sure what the issue is. Maybe it’s because many people assume that they can depart the drafting of the entrance essay or personal statement to the very last minute, and things then slide through the cracks during the last minute rush. Or, perhaps some people believe the essay is not really all that significant, and probably won’t get read.

Both these assumptions are serious errors.

In reality, the admissions essay personal statement is probably the single most important part of the program to a college or university program.

And yes, these experiments do get read. At least for a bad essay which will not proceed any further in the review procedure. Multiple times, for a fantastic essay that continues through the end of the evaluation process.

All of the foregoing”performn’ts” are very avoidable mistakes. So, why commit these errors when there’s no need to? After all, is not the college and university admission process competitive enough already?

Therefore don’t make it extra difficult for yourself (or even the Admissions Committee). You won’t go wrong if you follow all the instructions.