How to write a job application essay

Written by tahjia chapman
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How to write a job application essay
Complete a solid job application essay. (signing a contract image by William Berry from

Writing a job application essay allows you to explain your employment goals and history and to provide potential employers with a sample of your writing. A clean, organised, well-thought-out essay will make a much better impression than one that is poorly written or doesn't reflect your personality or skills. If you're asked to write such an essay before applying for your next job, think through your qualifications, outline main ideas and provide supporting details that reflect your perspectives on the topic.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Job application
  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Highlighter

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  1. 1

    Study the application essay's prompt to recognise main ideas, points of interest, and the requirements to fulfil the application's request. Print a copy or write the essay prompt of your choice on a separate sheet of paper to begin outlining the details of the prompt in relation to your professional experience.

  2. 2

    Pinpoint and address issues stated in the application, such as experience related to the position, your perspectives on the company's goals and objectives, and your interest in joining the firm or moving up in the company in the future. Many companies will read an essay first in order to get an understanding of candidates, so outlining points of interest is vital to making a personal statement.

  3. 3

    Review your completed application, cover letter and resume for interesting facts to include in your application essay. Certain gems of information can help influence the organisation in choosing you as a final candidate in the application process.

  1. 1

    Brainstorm ideas and topics by freewriting, clustering and/or creating Venn diagrams to make connections between the essay prompt and your completed application. Don't spend too much time brainstorming, however, if there is a deadline by which your paperwork needs to be turned in. Be truthful, and read through each idea to make sure you are including important facts for potential employers.

  2. 2

    Form a thesis or personal statement that will stand as the essay's foundation. Ask yourself questions about this thesis, such as "Does it reflect my views? Is it honest and accurate? Is there anything missing in the statement?" After reviewing the details of the main idea, continue working on the first draft to develop your supporting statements and provide evidence.

  3. 3

    Set the essay aside for a couple of hours or days (depending on your writing style) to let the information simmer. Meanwhile, review the "skeleton" of the essay to make sure your main ideas match the content you've included in each paragraph.

  1. 1

    Revise your first draft to eliminate information that is not relevant to your essay prompt. Edit your writing thoroughly to ensure the punctuation, grammar and sentence structure are correct. Clean writing supports your essay's argument as to why you should be hired.

  2. 2

    Proof the final draft of the essay before submitting or writing it on your job application. Make sure you have met the appropriate word count, cited references and double-checked for typos.

  3. 3

    Submit the application essay before its deadline. Ensure all of the information matches what is on your application, resume and cover letter, for consistency.

Tips and warnings

  • Tell the truth in your job application essay. Include relevant information that expresses your interest in the position, your qualifications and your experience---in as few words as possible. The job application is a snapshot of who you are, the style in which you communicate, and the way you structure your ideas.
  • Do not exaggerate your experiences. Some companies may use the information you provide to ask references about your qualifications.

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