Many careers require written communication such as letters, memos or short e-mails. As a result, employers place a high importance on good communication skills in the work place. When a number of applicants apply for the same position, employers may ask for a writing sample, also known as an application essay, to evaluate their skills. A well-written application essay can help you stand out among other applicants and may help you land the job.
A company may give you the freedom to select the topic of your application essay. You may want to consider narrowing down your options to those that apply to the career you are pursuing with the company. For example, you may wish to write about an aspect of the hiring process if you are in human resources. This not only allows the company to see your written communication skills, but will give a potential employer insight into your knowledge in a particular area.
Some companies will give you a topic for the essay. If this is the case, read the topic carefully to avoid any misunderstanding. Keep your essay professional and relative to your career and background. You should avoid bringing up your personal life, such as marital status, age and medical conditions, as this information might lead to unintentional judgments on the part of the employer before meeting you.
Every essay should begin with an introduction, then move into the body of the essay, and finally end with a conclusion. The introduction and conclusion should each be no more than a paragraph or two in length. The main body of your essay contains the points you make regarding the essay topic. The length of this portion will depend on the requirements given by your potential employer and the complexity of the topic. If the application essay asks for two examples, make sure you follow these specific directions — this helps an employer identify you as a job candidate who can follow directions.
You should be clear and concise when you relate your ideas. Your potential employer will be evaluating the way you communicate, and your essay may be of significant importance if the position you are applying for requires strong written communication. To keep you from veering off track in your essay, make a list of the points you want to make and refer to this list frequently as you write.
Not only should you take your time writing, you should also spend time revising to ensure your essay is free of grammatical errors. Make sure to also evaluate whether each paragraph relates directly to the topic of your essay. You may want to ask a professional editor to read over your essay and offer suggestions for improvement.