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Essay Questions [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2004, 19:26
Hi Linda,

I had a quick question regarding the essay limits. How close to the limit should your essays be? For example, if the essay has a limit of 1000 words, is 900 ok? Or do the admissions people look at it as a negative thing that you didn't use all the possible space?

One other thing, I read another poster's question regarding essays/resume... I was under the impression that you can use your essays to elaborate on points made on your resume, is that incorrect?

Thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2004, 21:41
I have seen the rule of thumb "plus or minus ten percent of upper limit." It seems reasonable unless the upper limit is cited as a firm ceiling (e.g. length must not exceed 1000 words).

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 [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2004, 22:45
That makes sense, thanks Hjort. Any ideas regarding the essay/resume inquiry?

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 [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2004, 09:51
View the essay(s) and the resume as distinct, yet mutually reinforcing documents since they excel at telling different aspects of one's employment "biography."

Keep the following generalizations in mind:

Resume- Summary Information: What, Where, When

Essay- Narrative Account : Why, How

The Resume is best used to convey factual information. If you find yourself talking extensively about how or why something occurred it is probably best left for the essay. Of course, you can provide brief statements of achievement on the resume (Developed new inventory management system that saved firm x dollars each year) that can act as lead-ins to the essay.

The Essay(s) is best at conveying a problem and resolution in vivid detail. Do not take up an inordinate amount of space setting the scene or cluttering the story with extra characters- give enough detail for the reader to understand the crux of the dilemma or achievement and focus on the protagonist (you and your team). If your essay is little more than a dry recitation of your resume in paragraph format, you are squandering this valuable opportunity to communicate with the admissions officers.

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Re: Essay Questions [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2004, 13:07
Expert's post
crsierra wrote:
Hi Linda,

I had a quick question regarding the essay limits. How close to the limit should your essays be? For example, if the essay has a limit of 1000 words, is 900 ok? Or do the admissions people look at it as a negative thing that you didn't use all the possible space?

One other thing, I read another poster's question regarding essays/resume... I was under the impression that you can use your essays to elaborate on points made on your resume, is that incorrect?

Thanks!


Our rule of thumb is within 10% of the word limit. No one is going to count the words in your essay and if you are within 10% no will know the difference. Get much beyond 10% in either direction, and the reader will notice that you are being awfully brief or verbose.

I agree with Hjort on the different fuctions of the resume and essays. Put in different words, the resume is the news story; the essay is the human interst story. The resume provides facts and context. The essays show personality, humanity, and insight.

For more on the complementary nature of the two in an application, please see "Aligning Your Resume with Your MBA Applicaiton. "

Good luck!
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