The last few months I have been applying to colleges and scholarships, and let’s just say it has been a learning process. I have had some failures and some successes, but I did learn how to have better chances in success when it comes to things like scholarship essays. Here are some tips that I had to learn the hard way.
Always use a professional email address
Whether you are applying for a job, further education, or a scholarship, one thing that always makes an applicant stand out among their peers is professional appearance. In the case of a scholarship essay, you have to make a good impression. The first thing the committee will see is your email address, so do you want them to base their first impression off of your email? Sure, when you were 13 years old the email FuzzyKittyGirlz@hotmail.com sounded like the coolest email ever, unless you were of the male gender. Nonetheless, these fun or “cute” emails will get you nowhere in life! Before you continue reading this post please create a professional email if you have not done so. A professional email would consist of your first name or first initial and your last name. For example, JohnDoe@Gmail.com, or JDoe@Gmail.com. I prefer Google mail services because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy since the word Yahoo follows my name. To sign up for a new Gmail account and create a professional email click here. Once you create your professional email, you’re on the right track to winning some free money!
Always describe your entry in the subject line of your email
Most applications today are submitted by email, but there is more to making a good first impression than just a snazzy email address. In order to make sure you leave a good impression, never leave the subject line blank. Reason 1, they will see this and know you are lazy or don’t care. Reason 2, if you do not correctly label your email, they may never open it or it may get lost in their inbox. In your subject line of the email be sure to be descriptive or what your email entails. Include your first and last name, the name of the scholarship, and the fact that it is a scholarship application essay. If you do that, then you are in pretty good shape and you can now worry about the actual essay.
Ever since grade school, teachers have been trying to develop your sentence complexity and descriptiveness; you’re most likely in high school, so write like it. No essay grader is going to want to hear, “my cat ran. He was fast.” If your sentences look remotely similar to that, then your essay will go straight to the recycling bin. In order to win scholarships, you have to be descriptive, and let the reader become engaged, so they don’t get bored. If you are telling a story, list every detail that you can remember, then if you have too much then remove the stuff that doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that nobody wants to read a boring non-descriptive essay; don’t write like a first grader.
Show your personality
The most important thing when writing an essay is to let your personality shine! If you are a funny person, then let the humor fly (within reason of course). The point to an essay contest is for you to make the reader fall in love with your personality in the least amount of words possible. However you think you can do this, then do it. Being descriptive will help with this. If you are telling a story, then maybe you will want to comment on different details within the story to give the reader further insight. Here’s some advice, if your life is boring, then spice it up. You can “embellish” your essays, and there is no way that the grader is going to know. Just be careful and don’t flat out lie, because that isn’t very considerate either. When embellishing upon your story, try not to create a sob story. The truth is that the starving children in Africa will always have a sadder story than you, chances are that the puppy on the ASPCA commercial will to, so don’t try to compete with them. Be yourself and who knows, you may just win that scholarship you’re going for.