How to write a job application essay
In many cases, written interviews involve you having to take an aptitude test and writing an essay related to the job you could be applying for. You could be required to write about a specific topic given to you by a recruiter or on a topic of your own.
Whatever the situation, knowing what it takes to write a good essay helps you prepare better for your written interview and keeps you ahead of your competition.
With essays, recruiters are able to test important aspects about you such as:
- How good your grammar is
- How articulate you are when it comes to explaining your arguments
- How fast and creative you are at thinking of ideas and presenting them
- Your thought process when it comes to solving a problem or giving ideas
- How informed you are about topics related to the job you could be taking up
- What your personality is. The way you write and the choice of words you use has the capability of revealing your personality to a recruiter
What steps should you then follow if you want to write a good essay that could land you your dream job?
Step 1. Read all instructions:
Before you begin writing, first read all the instructions you are given and pay attention to whatever the recruiter has to say about the essay.
By doing this, you will be sure you have all the important information such as the topic you are to write about, how long the test is set to take and what format or number of pages you are required to use.
Knowing all this information and having it at the back of your mind as you develop the content in your essay will help you plan better and avoid misfiring.
Step 2. Plan your time:
Having read the instructions and, therefore, knowing how much time you may have, allocate that time appropriately.
For example, if you have 30 minutes for the test you could allocate your time in such a way.
- Ideating and jotting down ideas-5 minutes
- Writing the body-25 minutes
- Putting final touches on your essay-5 minutes
Be careful when allocating time and ensure you try to stick to the plan you have made. This is bound to help you write a complete, good quality essay.
Step 3. Think about your ideas and note them down:
Now that you have allocated your time, go ahead and begin the ideation process of your essay. The first step is to ensure you have fully understood the topic you are to write about and what the recruiter could be looking for.
Think about the topic and write down any ideas and arguments that will come to mind; prioritising them from the most important argument to the least.
This process enables you to better organise your essay and to capture ideas as they come hence, you do not forget the ideas you have along the way. It also makes the actual writing of the essay quite easy and faster since you already have an idea of what you would like to write about.
As you come up with your ideas, desist from arguments or points that provide too much information about you and may make the recruiter biased. Be creative yet still remain professional putting into consideration the company and role you are being interviewed for.
Step 4. Make an outline of how your essay will flow:
Brainstorming and having your ideas put in place is not enough to guide you on how your essay should run. It is important for you to have a structure in mind that you are to follow.
For example, you can say your essay will be structured in the following way:
Introduction; a brief paragraph the topic you are writing about.
Body; this is where you present your arguments in accordance to the instructions you have been given. Remember to prioritise your arguments as well, beginning with the most important.
Conclusion; this concludes your essay and gives your final remarks about the topic and marks the end of your essay. It should also take about one paragraph. This further enables you to write your essay in an organised way.
Step 4.Mind the language you use:
After the planning, the next step is for you to begin writing your essay.
Mind the language you use. Ensure you use professional language without any jargon. Be specific and ensure that you put across your ideas accurately.
Avoid using ambiguous or vague statements that do not show your exact potential. For example, avoid statements such as, “I am a very creative person”, but rather go ahead and show exactly what makes you creative and unique.
Generally pay attention to your sentence structure, punctuation marks, and spellings.
Step 5. Back up your ideas or arguments with proof:
The most important thing that is bound to make your essay stand out is how well you defend the arguments within it. In as much as you may have similar arguments with your counterparts, the way you present your arguments with factual information will make you stand out.
For example, if you are seeking to address why you think agriculture should be focused on in entrepreneurship, state facts showing how agriculture has improved the Ugandan economy shows the recruiter that you are well informed about the topic you are addressing.
Step 6: Proofread your work:
After completing your essay, take a few minutes to read through it and make any changes you think can make it better.
Proofreading also helps you identify any grammatical mistakes you could have made, allowing you to change them before handing in your essay to the recruiter.
Here are some sample essays that could further guide you on how to go about this. Your essay has the great capability of landing you your dream job. Make it memorable in the eyes of the recruiter reading it and beat your competition.