Application Essay Tip: The Devil is in the Details

By - Nov 5, 06:00 AM Comments [0]

The Devil is in the Details

You can argue about the devil, but certainly the substance, distinctiveness, and success of your essays depends on the details.

Bringing Out Your Uniqueness in the Details

Many applicants tend to bury their uniqueness and success under vague assertions. You don’t want to hide your achievements; you want to trumpet them loudly and clearly. For instance, if you led a team working on a software development project, was it a three-member team or a thirty-member, cross-functional team with representatives from five different divisions and two continents? Was the potential market for the product $5 million or $200 million? Did you launch the product on time and in budget? Did it zoom to the top of the market-share charts?

Using details in your application reveal the:

  • Level of your responsibility
  • Confidence others have in your abilities based on their prior experience with you

  • Significance of your accomplishment

Detailing Your Volunteer Work

Do you simply “volunteer”? If you do, you aren’t saying anything distinctive or substantive. Are you an EMT working five hours per week? Do you volunteer at a legal aid clinic? What have you seen or experienced? What have you learned? Have you launched a bereavement group in a country where such services were previously unheard of? What were the challenges you overcame to establish that group? What did you learn from the experience? How has it influenced you?

Keeping Details Within Word Limits

You may ask, “How can I fit all these details into a short essay?” Good question. Include many of the specifics in the work history sections (the boxes of the application) or in an attached resume if allowed. Then in the essay, use enough detail to provide context and create interest. Balance your profound insight and reflection with devilishly dazzling detail.

Do you need help transforming your detail-less writing into an explosion of vividness? Do you need help bringing your writing to life with the impressive details of your experiences? Work one-on-one with an expert Accepted consultant to create an application that truly reflects the distinctness of your candidacy. Check out our Admissions Consulting & Editing Services for more information on how we can help you get ACCEPTED.

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Related Resources:

Fitting In & Standing Out: The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions, a free guide
• Review Your Essays Like an Admissions Consultant: Use the Editing Funnel
• Personal Statement Tip: Less is More

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

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