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When putting together your college application package, you will probably be required to submit an application essay. While your transcripts, resume, and SAT scores will probably be the first thing that schools look at, your college application essay may just be the x-factor that gets you into the school of your choice. Because of the importance of the application essay, it’s important to think of topics that are interesting and relevant to your application. If you have had job experience in high school, you may want to focus on that topic, because it shows a sense of responsibility, hard work, and independence.(1) Read on to learn more about focusing on your high school job experiences in your college application essay or personal statement.
Why including high school job experiences in your application essay or personal statement is helpful
The main purpose of the application essay is to serve as an introduction. You are introducing yourself to the admissions committee and the college or university that you want to study in. Writing about your high school job experiences and how they have helped to develop your character is a good way of introducing yourself through your college application essay. Even just the ability to balance school life and work life is a great advantage of those who worked through high school, which is why it can be favorable for you to write about such a topic. Working while studying helps to build work ethic, responsibility, and character – three key traits that many admissions committees look for in applicants.(2)
How to discuss what you’ve learned from high school job experiences in your college application essay or college entrance essays
When writing your college admissions essay about your high school job experiences, the number one pitfall to avoid is listing and enumerating. The resume and personal information that you submit along with your application package will already have the basic information on your achievements and practical experience. Try to avoid merely listing the jobs or experiences that you have had as a working student and, instead, tell the story of how you have learned valuable lessons, developed important values, and practiced certain virtues.(3) For example, instead of talking about the kind of work you did, try to single out an instance when you had to make an important decision that helped you learn a lot about yourself, your work, and your life in general.
Aside from the subject matter, you should also concern yourself with the mechanics of the essay and how you present yourself in the essay. First, make sure that your essay does not have any typographical or grammatical errors. Take time to edit your essay well and eliminate any and all technical mistakes. Second, be as truthful and honest as you can. If the admissions committee finds out that the information in your essay or your other records is not true, then you can forget about getting into the college, because they probably won’t accept you. Finally, make sure to let your personality shine through. Remember, you are trying to introduce yourself, so you should let your character and personality come through in your essay.(4)
How a sample application essay focusing on previous work experiences can help you write your personal statement
If you are having a hard time writing your personal statement, try taking a look at some sample application essays that also focus on work experience. Reading sample essays is a great way to get ideas, inspiration, and motivation for your own essay. Take note of the theme, tone, and format of the sample application essay so you can get an idea of how to go about your own essay. Just make sure that you are using the sample admission essays to get inspiration and not to copy from.(5) You may even want to use sample college admission essays to learn. For example, you can critique certain sample essays to see what they did wrong and learn from their mistakes to make sure that the essay you write is better.(6)
Why comparing your personal statement draft with a sample application essay can be helpful
So you have finally finished your essay and you are looking for ways to improve on it. One great way of editing your personal statement draft is to compare it with a sample application essay. Read both of the papers side-by-side and see if there are any areas that you can edit to make your essay better. Some of the changes you will make can be as simple as spelling corrections, while other changes may require you to rewrite an entire paragraph. Make sure to go over your essay a few times until you are happy with it. You may even want to have your essay read by a parent, teacher, advisor, or counselor to see if they have any helpful suggestions, corrections, or comments. In the end, what you are aiming for is an excellent college application essay that will help get you a slot in the college of your choice.
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