Five essay writing tips for executive education applications

eruditus.com | 22 July, 2020 | 6 min read

By Ashish Wesley

Completing the essays, as stipulated in executive program applications, can seem quite a daunting task indeed. Now, this is far from an uncommon phenomenon, and we’re here to present you with five essay writing tips that will help you along your way — to ensure you get it right, and make the right impression. So let’s get right to it! 

  1. Step back to go forward: Don’t simply go headlong into completing these essays! Give yourself sufficient time to complete them, so that means you do not leave them to the last minute. Remember, considered and carefully-crafted essays will definitely make the desired impression. For this, organize your thoughts, shortlist things to include, carefully examine the elements you have chosen to include, and think about the overall impression they will make and convey to the person assessing the application. 
  2. Explain your choice: When called upon to do so, take the time and make the effort to explain why you chose the program you’re applying for, and also why that specific institution. This is something applicants fail to include in their essays, and this puts them at a disadvantage. Therefore, call out why the program’s curriculum, structure, faculty and cohort will offer you the best chance of making the grade. Further, you could even explain how you will represent the college after graduation, and also how you will leverage the alumni network to your advantage. It pays to show that you’ve done your homework, assessed the program, and have made your choice only after due diligence.
  3. Be Honest: As much as you would be inclined to, it’s imperative that you steer clear of ‘buzzwords’, cliches, and the addition of insincere bits into your essays solely because you think that’s what the institution wants to read. Instead, and here’s a refreshing thought — be honest! To this end, be sure to include sections which highlight aspects of your career and personal life, and anecdotes that display why you are an ideal candidate for the program. Now’s not the time to be shy. Allow the recruiter to see the person behind the application, build a rapport, convey your goals and aspirations to them, and tell them why you’re unique with sincerity and confidence.
  4. Show and tell: In your essays, it’s important to convey your motivation and positive attributes within a context or situation, and not merely in isolation. Therefore, don’t simply say that you’re great at multitasking, for instance, and leave it at that — tell them how this characteristic was brought to the fore with examples. Give them real-world situations or contexts which highlight this trait. Doing this will reinforce your statement, and leave the reviewer in no doubt whatsoever.
  5. Be specific: Before you begin on your essay, pause to think about what the assessor would expect to discover from your essay. ‘Why have they asked me this question?’ Put yourself in the assessor’s shoes, if you will. Now, that you’ve paused for thought, you are able to get a clearer picture of what they’re looking for — you can choose to omit, or in fact include things that specifically fulfill the requirement, and hit the bullseye!

In addition to the tips mentioned above, we also strongly encourage you to read the instructions carefully. Don’t let criteria such as limited word count present themselves as a last-minute challenge. Also, allow someone you trust to go over your essays to check for tone, content, language and delivery before you send off your application. Having a second set of eyes read through your application could help iron out any imperfections, and set you on the right path.

We do hope you found these pointers useful, as you evaluate executive programs that could help you take your career to the next level. We wish you the best with your application and your career development.