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10 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself

Even though we know ourselves better than anyone else, writing about yourself is hard work! When applying for scholarships or college, questions that force us to analyze ourselves come up all the time in all different forms…and they often leave us stumped! Some common examples of personal essay prompts are:

Tell me about yourself.

Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.

What are your short- and long-term goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?

…and the list goes on and on!

We might find it so difficult to write about ourselves because we’re embarrassed, don’t want to brag, or simply don’t know what to include. But knowing how to approach these essays can make them much easier!

how to write an essay about yourself

Check out these 8 tips for writing an essay about yourself:

1. Create a List of Questions

After understanding the prompt, the first thing you should do when figuring out how to write an essay about yourself is to make a list of questions that you’d like to answer. The best way to do this is to think of smaller questions that relate to the big question.

To get you started, here are a few common examples:

What is your background?

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

What are your goals?

What are your interests?

2. Brainstorm and Outline

After deciding which questions you want to answer, it’s time to brainstorm your responses. Feel free to write down anything that comes to mind. Once you have all your thoughts out, focus on the most important parts and create a comprehensive outline to work from!

3. Be Vulnerable

Don’t be afraid to let both your weaknesses and strengths shine through in your essay! Scholarship and admissions committees love to see that you’re self-aware and conscious of how you can improve as a person so go ahead and talk about your mistakes and how you learned from them.

how to write an essay about yourself

4. Use Personal Examples

Since this essay is all about you, you should make it as specific as possible! Avoid using generalizations (e.g. I’m really good at music) and, instead, go for more personalized statements (e.g. My fourth-grade teacher really inspired me to pursue my interest in the clarinet). Your own personal examples are what will make you still out in the end.

5. Write in the First Person

Even though you likely had an English teacher at some point who told you to never write an essay in the first person, you can throw that advice out the window. When figuring out how to write an essay about yourself, you should absolutely write in the first person. Using the third person perspective for a personal essay is strange and awkward, so it’s best to avoid it.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Off…But Don’t Overdo It

Most students hate writing a personal essay because they don’t want to brag, but it’s more than okay to highlight your accomplishments and strengths. However, it’s a good idea to take a second look at your essay to make sure that you’re keeping the tone informative and realistic. Also, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed when writing your essay. The committee wants to hear all about you so there’s no shame in giving them what they want!

how to write an essay about yourself

7. Let Your Personality Shine Through

Just because it’s an essay doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. This essay is all about you, so let your personality shine through! Trying your best to express who you are as a person will have a huge effect on the admissions or scholarship committee!

8. Proofread and Edit!

The last step in writing your personal essay is to double check your work! One typo can bring your essay from amazing to just okay…and it doesn’t take long at all to avoid that. In addition to proofreading, it’s also a great idea to go back and change sentence structures or add/delete information to make your essay stronger.

how to write an essay about yourself

What are your best tips on how to write an essay about yourself? Let us know below!

How to Write an Awesome Essay About Your Career Goals

Even though it can be challenging, writing a career goals essay is often an inspiring and motivating process! Not only can it give scholarship committees a well-rounded picture of your goals and aspirations, but it’s also a great opportunity to sit down and think of what you’re passionate about.

There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you start the essay. Taking the time to brainstorm and create an outline before you start writing can be super helpful (just to get your thoughts in order first). Here are a few questions to help get you started, but feel free to pick and choose or add your own:

  • What are my short-term and long-term career goals?
  • Where do I see myself in ten years?
  • What events in my life have led me to have these goals?
  • What major will help me reach my goals?
  • What skills do I need to reach my goals?
  • What impact do I want to have on society?

These questions are a great starting point. When it’s time to put your ideas into essay format, it’s good to have a general idea of structure. You can use the template below to give you some ideas. However, remember that some rules are meant to be broken, so don’t be afraid to be innovative and think outside the box!

career goals essay

Career Goals Essay Template

The first paragraph should be an overview of what you’re going to talk about and it should also grab the reader’s attention. For example, instead of starting your essay with something generic (e.g. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a zoologist.), get creative with it! Try something like My greatest memory as a young girl was going to the zoo for the first time or While most kids play house or school, I always wanted to play zookeeper.

For the second paragraph, it’s a great idea to elaborate on what inspired your career goals. Perhaps it was a relative, a TV show, or simply an experience that you had. You can touch on your short-term and long-term goals here as well, although it might be better to really focus on them in the upcoming paragraphs.

In paragraph 3, you can discuss your short-term career goals and your intended major. How will your intended major help you reach these goals? What skills do you need to learn to reach them? At the end of the paragraph, try discussing how your short-term goals can help you achieve your long-term goals

For the fourth paragraph, it’s a fantastic idea to focus on your long-term goals and the impact that you hope to have on society. If you’re not sure what your long-term goals are, don’t sweat it; they’ll probably change anyways. You can focus on the difference you’d like to make overall instead. And don’t worry too much about the size of the impact…remember that just doing what you’re truly passionate about has a massive impact on those around you.

The last paragraph is your conclusion. You can use this paragraph to summarize what you discussed in the last few paragraphs. If you want to be even more creative, try ending your essay with a question for your readers or a new insight. And good luck!

career goals essay

If you still need some inspiration, check out examples from other students just like you. Here are some links to some great career goal essay examples to get you started:

Example 1 

Example 2 

Example 3 

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