Writing about yourself can be tough. I’ve struggled with it—I think we all have! How do I capture myself in 500 words, or even 1,000? But as I’ve grown older, I have had to write about myself a lot: college applications, personal statements, cover letters and internship/job applications. So I’ve had plenty of practice. Here are some tips that I’ve gathered along the way for letting your best self shine through in your writing:
Write with a Purpose in Mind: What do you want to convey through your writing? I like to keep three adjectives about myself running through my head as I write. And be confident in your writing abilities!
Show That Personality! Even if your writing is for a more formal purpose, like a college or job application, you can still add your own personal flair. I always try to stay true to my own writing voice, which I would describe as spirited and bright. I don’t try to conform to what I think the person reading my piece will want to hear. Instead, I write what I really think. People respect you for having your own opinions, accomplishments and goals! They’re what make us stand out!
Admire yourself: Don’t be shy! These sorts of opportunities are just that—opportunities for you to show everyone what you’ve got! I like to weave a story about myself in personal statements and cover letters: who am I, what have I accomplished, and how do I want to grow through this opportunity?
Be Short, Sweet and to the Point: Remember, the person reviewing your writing could also be reviewing hundreds or even thousands of other writing samples—in which case, they often skim. I make sure to include short sentences wherever I can (but not too many…don’t want to sound like Ms. Roboto!). I’ve even included bullet points to give a brief overview of my accomplishments in cover letters.
Use your Eagle Eye: Proofread, proofread, proofread! I can’t say this enough. Forgetting one letter or one period could be the difference between scoring an interview and getting put into the discard pile. I realized once that I submitted a cover letter with a typo, and I was horrified! Never again!
What has worked for you when writing about yourself? I’d love to hear from you!
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