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Tips for crafting a compelling and authentic personal essay.

How to write an essay about yourself

Writing an essay about yourself can be a daunting task, but when done right, it can be a powerful tool to showcase who you are and what makes you unique. Whether you’re applying for college, a scholarship, or a job, a well-crafted essay can help you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

When writing a personal essay, it’s important to strike a balance between being informative and engaging. You want to provide the reader with insight into your background, experiences, and goals, while also keeping them interested and invested in your story. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of writing a compelling essay about yourself, from brainstorming ideas to polishing your final draft.

Essential Tips for Crafting

When crafting a compelling essay about yourself, it is important to think about your audience and what message you want to convey. Here are some essential tips to help you create an engaging and authentic essay:

A Powerful Personal Essay

Writing a powerful personal essay is a way to express your unique voice and share your personal experiences with the world. By weaving together your thoughts, emotions, and reflections, you can create a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience. To craft a powerful personal essay, start by reflecting on your own experiences and exploring the themes that matter to you. Pay attention to the details and emotions that make your story come alive. Be honest and vulnerable in your writing, as authenticity is key to connecting with your readers. Additionally, consider the structure of your essay and how you can effectively organize your thoughts to engage your audience from beginning to end. By following these tips and staying true to your voice, you can create a powerful personal essay that leaves a lasting impact on your readers.

Choose a Unique Aspect

When writing an essay about yourself, it’s important to focus on a unique aspect of your personality or experiences that sets you apart from others. This could be a specific skill, talent, or life experience that has had a significant impact on your life. By choosing a unique aspect to highlight, you can make your essay more compelling and memorable to the reader. It’s important to showcase what makes you different and showcase your individuality in a way that will capture the reader’s attention.

of Your Personality

When writing about your personality, it’s important to showcase your unique traits and qualities. Describe what sets you apart from others, whether it’s your creativity, resilience, sense of humor, or compassion. Use specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate these characteristics and provide insight into who you are as a person.

Highlight your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses – this shows self-awareness and honesty. Discuss how your personality has evolved over time and mention any experiences that have had a significant impact on shaping who you are today. Remember to be authentic and genuine in your portrayal of yourself as this will make your essay more compelling and engaging to the reader.

Reflect Deeply on

When writing an essay about yourself, it is crucial to take the time to reflect deeply on your life experiences, values, beliefs, and goals. Consider the events that have shaped you into the person you are today, both positive and negative. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and interests, and how they have influenced your decisions and actions. Reflecting on your personal journey will help you uncover meaningful insights that can make your essay more compelling and authentic.

Your Life Experiences

Your Life Experiences

When it comes to writing an essay about yourself, one of the most compelling aspects to focus on is your life experiences. These experiences shape who you are and provide unique insights into your character. Reflect on significant moments, challenges you’ve overcome, or memorable events that have had a lasting impact on your life.

  • Consider discussing pivotal moments that have influenced your beliefs and values.
  • Share personal anecdotes that highlight your strengths and resilience.
  • Explore how your life experiences have shaped your goals, aspirations, and ambitions.

By sharing your life experiences in your essay, you can showcase your individuality and demonstrate what sets you apart from others. Be genuine, reflective, and honest in recounting the events that have shaped your journey and contributed to the person you are today.

Create a Compelling

When crafting an essay about yourself, it is essential to create a compelling narrative that captures the attention of the reader from the very beginning. Start by brainstorming unique and engaging personal experiences or qualities that you want to highlight in your essay. Consider including vivid anecdotes, insightful reflections, and impactful moments that showcase your character and achievements. Remember to be authentic and sincere in your writing, as this will resonate with your audience and make your essay more relatable. By creating a compelling narrative, you can effectively communicate your story and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Narrative Structure

The narrative structure is crucial when writing an essay about yourself. It helps to create a compelling and engaging story that showcases your unique qualities and experiences. Start by introducing the main theme or message you want to convey in your essay. Then, build a coherent storyline that highlights significant events or moments in your life. Use descriptive language and vivid details to bring your story to life and make it more relatable to the readers. Include a clear beginning, middle, and end to ensure that your essay follows a logical progression and captivates the audience throughout.

Emphasize the lessons you’ve learned from your experiences and how they have shaped your character and outlook on life. Connect these insights to your personal growth and development, demonstrating your resilience, determination, and self-awareness. End your essay on a reflective note, highlighting the impact of your journey on who you are today and what you aspire to achieve in the future. By following a strong narrative structure, you can craft a captivating essay that showcases your authenticity and leaves a lasting impression on the readers.

Highlight Your

When writing an essay about yourself, it is essential to highlight your unique qualities and experiences that set you apart from others. Consider including personal anecdotes, achievements, strengths, and challenges that have shaped your identity. Focus on showcasing your authenticity and individuality to make your essay compelling and engaging.

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Visualizing My Future: A Reflection on Where I See Myself in Five Years

Investing the time to visualize our future can be a powerful tool to bring us closer to achieving our aspirations. Taking stock of where we are now, and where we want to be in five years, allows us to create a tangible plan with achievable goals and milestones. This self-reflection practice can help identify any potential roadblocks or detours that might be encountered along the way, so that these issues can be addressed before they become hindrances.

According to this, writing an essay on how do you see yourself after college is an essential exercise for college students. It allows you to reflect on your goals, identify the skills and knowledge you need to acquire, develop critical thinking and writing skills, and demonstrate your ambition to potential employers or graduate schools.

By the way, in case you are facing challenges in composing an essay about where do you see yourself in 5 years essay, a professional custom essay writing service can provide you with the assistance you require.

What Do I Envision for Myself Five Years From Now

As I sit down to write this essay, I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation. The topic at hand is “Where do I see myself in 5 years?” It’s a question that has been asked of me numerous times, and one that I have often pondered over myself. After careful consideration and introspection, I have come to a few conclusions about where I see myself in the next five years.

In five years, I see myself as a successful professional in my field. I have always been driven to achieve my goals and have worked tirelessly towards that end. Over the next few years, I plan to continue working hard and expanding my knowledge and skills. I believe that with dedication and hard work, I will be able to climb the ladder of success in my chosen field.

Balancing Personal Interests with Professional Goals

In addition to my professional goals, I also see myself as a more well-rounded individual. I plan to continue pursuing my interests outside of college, including traveling, photography, and volunteering. I believe that these activities will not only bring me personal fulfillment but also help me to develop valuable skills that will benefit me in my professional life.

Finding a balance between personal interests and professional goals can be challenging, but it is essential for achieving long-term success and personal fulfillment. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in work and neglect our personal lives, but doing so can lead to burnout and dissatisfaction.

For example, travelling can help us develop a global perspective and improve our communication and adaptability skills. Photography can enhance our attention to detail, creativity, and visual storytelling abilities, which can be beneficial in various professional fields. Volunteering can improve our teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills, which are highly valued by employers.

Prioritizing Personal Relationships

Investing in personal relationships is often overlooked in the pursuit of professional success, but it is just as essential for achieving overall success and personal fulfillment. Building and maintaining strong relationships with family, friends, and colleagues can bring a sense of fulfillment, happiness, and emotional support, which are essential for personal well-being.

Moreover, personal relationships can also have a significant impact on our professional lives. Strong connections with colleagues can foster a positive work environment, increase job satisfaction, and improve teamwork and collaboration. Good relationships with clients and customers can also lead to increased loyalty, repeat business, and referrals.

Embracing Change and Growth

As we travel through life, our aspirations and goals may shift, alter or even transform drastically. It is essential to stay open to new possibilities and adventures as well as being prepared to adjust and develop as we navigate life’s path. In the next five years, I aim to have a clearer idea of my ambitions for the future while also staying alert to changes and growth in myself.

I believe that personal development and ongoing education are pivotal for achieving long-term success and gratification. I intend to dedicate time and energy into my individual and skilled progress, whether it be via taking classes, participating in workshops, or engaging in introspection. By continuously learning and developing, I can master new methods, extend my outlooks as well as enhance my ability to solve issues and make decisions.

So, where do I see myself in five years? I see myself as a successful professional, a well-rounded individual, and a person with strong personal relationships. I also see myself as someone who is open to new experiences and who is committed to continued growth and self-improvement. While the future is uncertain, I am excited to see where my journey takes me over the next five years and beyond.

Tips on Writing an Opinion Essay on “Where I See Myself in Five Years”

Even if students have a clear idea of their dream board five years after college graduation, they may struggle to express these ideas compellingly and coherently. Writing about oneself can be challenging, especially when it comes to discussing personal goals and aspirations. Practicing writing opinion essay and articulating your ideas can help you feel more confident and comfortable discussing your future aspirations. Do not forget about the following tips:

Be realistic

While it’s essential to aim high and have ambitious goals, it’s also important to be realistic about what you can achieve in five years. Consider your current experience, qualifications, and opportunities when setting your goals. Make sure that your goals are achievable and realistic, given your current circumstances.

Explain your reasoning

In a 5 years from now I see myself essay, explaining why you have chosen certain goals for yourself is important. What motivates you? What experiences have led you to these goals? Providing context and rationale for your goals can help the reader understand your perspective and reasoning.

Consider challenges

Anticipate challenges that you may face in achieving your goals and explain how you plan to overcome them. This shows that you have thought through the potential obstacles and are prepared to tackle them.

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essay about how you see yourself

Metaperceptions: How Do You See Yourself?

To navigate the social universe, you need to know what others think of you—although the clearest view depends on how you see yourself..

By Carlin Flora published May 1, 2005 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

essay about how you see yourself

Konstantin Sutyagin/Shutterstock

I gave a toast at my best friend's wedding last summer, a speech I carefully crafted and practiced delivering. And it went well: The bride and groom beamed; the guests paid attention and reacted in the right spots; a waiter gave me a thumbs-up. I was relieved and pleased with myself. Until months later—when I saw the cold, hard video documentation of the event. As I watched myself getting ready to make the toast, a funny thing happened. I got butterflies in my stomach all over again. I was nervous for myself, even though I knew the outcome would be just fine. Except maybe the jitters were warranted. The triumph of that speech in my mind's eye morphed into the duller reality unfolding on the TV screen. My body language was awkward. My voice was grating. My facial expressions, odd. My timing, not quite right. Is this how people saw me? It's a terrifying thought: What if I possess a glaring flaw that everyone notices but me? Or, fears aside, what if there are a few curious chasms between how I view myself and how others view me? What if I think I'm efficient but I'm seen as disorganized? Critical, but perceived as accepting?

While many profess not to care what others think, we are, in the end, creatures who want and need to fit into a social universe. Humans are psychologically suited to interdependence. Social anxiety is really just an innate response to the threat of exclusion; feeling that we're not accepted by a group leaves us agitated and depressed .

The ability to intuit how people see us is what enables us to authentically connect to others and to reap the deep satisfaction that comes with those ties. We can never be a fly on the wall to our own personality dissections, watching as people pick us apart after meeting us. Hence we are left to rely on the accuracy of what psychologists call our "metaperceptions"—the ideas we have about others' ideas about us.

The bottom line: It comes down to what you think about yourself

Your ideas about what others think of you hinge on your self-concept —your own beliefs about who you are. "You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept," explains Mark Leary, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Our self-concept is fundamentally shaped by one person in particular: Mama. How our mother (or primary caregiver ) responded to our first cries and gestures heavily influences how we expect to be seen by others. "Children behave in ways that perpetuate what they have experienced," says Martha Farrell Erickson, senior fellow with the Children, Youth and Family Consortium at the University of Minnesota. "A child who had an unresponsive mother will act obnoxious or withdrawn so that people will want to keep their distance. Those with consistently responsive mothers are confident and connect well with their peers."

As an infant scans his mother's face he absorbs clues to who he is; as adults we continue to search for our reflections in others' eyes. While the parent-child bond is not necessarily destiny, it does take quite a bit to alter self-concepts forged in childhood , whether good or bad. People rely on others' impressions to nurture their views about themselves, says William Swann, professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. His research shows that people with negative self-concepts goad others to evaluate them harshly, especially if they suspect the person likes them—they would rather be right than be admired.

The top line: You probably do know what people think of you

But it's likely you don't know any one person's assessment. "We have a fairly stable view of ourselves," says Bella DePaulo, visiting professor of psychology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. "We expect other people to see that same view immediately." And they do. On average there is consensus about how you come off. But you can't apply that knowledge to any one individual, for a variety of reasons.

For starters, each person has an idiosyncratic way of sizing up others that (like metaperceptions themselves) is governed by her own self-concept. A person you meet will assess you through her unique lens, which lends consistency to her views on others. Some people, for example, are "likers" who perceive nearly everyone as good-natured and smart.

Furthermore, if a particular person doesn't care for you, it won't always be apparent. "People are generally not direct in everyday interactions," says DePaulo. Classic work by psychologist Paul Ekman has shown that most people can't tell when others are faking expressions. Who knows how many interactions you've walked away from thinking you were a hit while your new friend was actually faking agreeability?

And there's just a whole lot going on when you meet someone. You're talking, listening and planning what you're going to say next, as well as adjusting your nonverbal behavior and unconsciously responding to the other person's. DePaulo calls it "cognitive busyness."

Because of all we have to contend with, she says, we are unable to effectively interpret someone else's reactions. "We take things at face value and don't really have the means to infer others' judgments." Until afterward, of course, when you mull over the interaction, mining your memory for clues.

Context is key

While our personalities (and self-concepts) are fairly consistent across time and place, some situations, by their very structure, can change or even altogether wipe out your personality. You might feel like the same old you wherever you are, but the setting and role you happen to be playing affect what people think of you. Suppose you describe yourself as lighthearted and talkative. Well, no one could possibly agree if they meet you at your brother's funeral.

What type of person can handle feedback…

Are you open to experience? Are you, say, perennially taking up new musical instruments or scouting out-of-the-way neighborhoods? If so, your curiosity will drive you to learn new things about the world and yourself. You'll be inclined to ask people how you're doing as you embark on new challenges, and you will gather a clearer idea of how you come off to others, says David Funder, professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside.

People endowed with the trait of physical awareness have a keen sense of how they present themselves. If you are concerned with the observable parts of personality—voice, posture, clothes and walk—as an actor would be, says Funder, "you will control the impression you give, and your self-perception will be more accurate." If, for example, you slouch but don't know it, your droopy posture registers in the minds of those you meet and enters into how they see you—unbeknownst to you.

If you are someone who craves approval, you will tend to think you make a positive impression on other people. And generally, you will, says DePaulo.

People who have learned to regulate their emotions are in a much better position to know what others think of them, says Carroll Izard, professor of psychology at the University of Delaware: "They are able to detect emotions on others' faces and to feel empathy." If you are either overwhelmed with feelings or unable to express them at all, it becomes difficult to interpret someone else's response to you. Learning to give concrete expression to your feelings and to calm yourself in highly charged moments will give you a much better grip on your own and others' internal states.

Those with personalities that feed the accuracy of their metaperceptions are handsomely rewarded. "The more accurate you are about how others perceive you, the better you fare socially," says Leary. "Think of a person who thinks he's really funny but isn't. He interprets polite laughter as genuine laughter, but everyone is on to him and annoyed by him."

…And what kind of person rejects feedback

There are people who behave in ways that prevent them from getting direct feedback from others, which renders them less able to know how they come off. Maybe you're a boss who is prickly and hostile in the face of criticism. Or a student who bursts into tears over a bad evaluation. Either way, coworkers and teachers will start leaving you in the dark to fumble over your own missteps.

Such demeanor may even encourage others to lie to you, says DePaulo. You may project a fragility that makes others afraid they will break you by offering honest criticism.

Narcissism also blocks metaperception . Instead of wincing, as "normal" subjects do, when forced to see themselves onscreen, narcissists become even more self-biased, finds Oliver John, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. When he and his team videotaped people diagnosed as pathological narcissists, a group absorbed with themselves, their subjects loved watching the footage and uniformly thought they came off beautifully! The finding underscores how fiercely we defend our self-concepts, even if they reflect psychological instability. — Carlin Flora

How to Solicit a Character Critique (Yours!)

Muster your courage and set up an "exit interview" if you're left wondering why a relationship went south. In a spirit of fact-finding—that is, without hostility—contact your ex and ask for an honest and kind discussion of how things went awry. You're not looking to get your ex back (or get back at your ex) but to gather information to prevent lightning from striking twice. Ask questions ("What could I have done better?") and listen. Be sure you don't use the conversation to justify your old behavior.

Shyness: a double whammy

If you are socially anxious (otherwise known as shy), you likely fret that you don't come off well. Unfortunately, you're probably right. Shy people convey unflattering impressions of themselves, says DePaulo. But not for the reasons they think. People don't see them as lacking in smarts, wit or attractiveness but as haughty and detached. When you're anxious, you fail to ask others about themselves or put them at ease in any way, which can be seen as rude and self-centered.

In a way, many shy people are self-centered, points out Bernie Carducci, psychologist at Indiana University Southeast and author of Shyness: A Bold New Approach . They imagine that everyone is watching and evaluating their every move. They think they are the center of any social interaction, and because they can't stand that, they shut down (unlike an exhibitionist, who would relish it). Socially anxious people are so busy tracking what others think that they can't act spontaneously. Still, many people find them endearing, precisely because they don't hog attention.

The powerful and the beautiful

Neither group gets accurate feedback. "People are too dazzled or intimidated to react honestly to them," says Funder. Michael Levine, the head of a Hollywood public relations agency, has run up against many such people, who end up with a deluded sense of self thanks to a coterie of sycophants. If you are among the bold and the beautiful, he says, you must invite feedback by playing on the fact that people want desperately to be liked by you. "You must let them know that your approval is conditional upon their honesty with you."

Don't worry—you're not see-through

The traits others judge us on fall roughly into two categories—visible and invisible. Funder has found that others notice our visible traits more than we ourselves do (the eye, after all, can't see its own lashes, as the Chinese proverb goes). You would rate yourself higher on the characteristic of "daydreams" than others would—simply because they cannot easily discern whether or not you're a daydreamer. They'll tend to assume you're not.

The good news, however, is that on a scale of physical attractiveness, others always rate you about one point higher than you rate yourself. This applies to "charm," too—another characteristic you can't easily convey to yourself, one that others naturally have a better window onto. "Imagine trying to be charming while alone on a desert island," Funder observes.

One common concern is that internal states are evident for all to see. In a study where subjects did some public speaking and then rated their own performances, the anxious ones in the group gave themselves a low rating, thinking that their inner churning was apparent to all. But audiences reported that they did just fine.

"Invisible" traits aren't entirely invisible—at least not to close friends. But an anxious friend would still rate herself higher on worry than we would.

The invisible/visible trait divide helps explain why people agree more on your positive attributes than your negative ones, says Eric Turkheimer, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. "First of all, people are less honest about their own negative traits," he says, "and many of these are 'stealth' traits. You'd have to know someone really well to have any thoughts on whether or not he 'feels empty inside,' for example."

Self-awareness: a blessing and a curse

There is one sure way to see yourself from others' perspective—on videotape (as I did post-toast). But remember, the image is still filtered through your self-concept—it's still you watching you. Paul Silvia, assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, points to an experiment in which psychologically healthy adults watched tapes of themselves giving group presentations. They described it as quite sobering. They cued into their faults and judged themselves much more harshly than they would have had they relied on their own impressions of the experience. You evaluate yourself much more critically when you are self-aware, because you are focused on your failure to meet internal standards.

If I watch myself on tape, I'm not only viewing with my self-concept in mind, I'm comparing "me" to my "possible selves," the "me's" I wish to become. Here is where an unbridgeable gap opens up between people: I will never have a sense of anyone else's possible selves, nor they mine.

So, should we just rely on our memories of events, protective of self-esteem as they are, and eschew concrete documentation of ourselves? Not necessarily, says Silvia. But the dilemma reveals how self-awareness is a double-edged sword. Self-awareness furnishes a deep, rich self-concept—but it also can be paralyzing, warns Leary, author of The Curse of the Self: Self-Awareness, Egotism and the Quality of Human Life . "It leads you to overanalyze others' reactions to you and misinterpret them."

Many of the most unpleasant shades on our emotional palettes— embarrassment , shame , envy —exist solely in the interpersonal realm. We cannot feel them until we are self-aware enough to worry what others think about us. These emotions are supposed to motivate us to cut out potentially self-destructive behaviors. But, Leary points out, given the brain's natural bias toward false alarms, people feel overly embarrassed. Too much concern about what others think can only constrict behavior and stifle the spirit.

Do you really want to know how you come off?

Report cards and annual reviews give you information on your performance in school and at work. But you'll rarely be treated to a straightforward critique of your character—unless someone blurts one out in a heated argument or you solicit it directly. "You could always ask a family member or someone else who knows you are stuck with them to tell you honestly what they think of you," says Funder. Publicist Levine took this approach a bit further when he asked several ex-girlfriends to each list three positive and three negative aspects of being in a relationship with him. "There was some consistency in their answers," he says. "It was challenging to take it in, but really helpful."

"There's always a trade-off between how you want to feel and what you want to know," says DePaulo. If ignorance is bliss, maybe it's best to trust someone's instinct to protect you. "But there are times when you really need accurate feedback," she says, "such as when you are trying to decide if you would be good in a certain career ."

Perhaps the delicate balance between feeling good about yourself and knowing exactly how you come off is best maintained not by all those elusive "others." Maybe it's maintained by your most significant ones, the people who will keep you in line but appreciate you for who you are, not just for the impressions you leave behind.

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How to write the college essay: on discovering myself.

essay about how you see yourself

To the stressed-out senior:

October. It’s the spookiest time of the year for you… that’s right, college applications. Two years ago I was in your shoes, staring at the 650-word Common App Essay and a mountain of supplements. It’s intimidating to face the sheer amount of work you have to do to secure your future success at the tender age of 18. So many things are up in the air–it can be a time that is fraught with anxiety, insecurity, and uncertainty.

The essays, you are told over and over again by teachers, counselors, admissions officers and the ever reliable College Confidential, are where you get to show your personality. They are meant to encapsulate something that can’t come across in a polished resume or list of honors. Picture yourself meeting with your admissions officer over a cup of tea, and pouring out parts of your life story in a way that is enlightening and composed—college essays are the written equivalent. They are indeed a strategy for the admissions officer to get to know you, but that’s not the full story. What I’ve found is that writing college essays was just as insightful for me as for the admissions officer.

College essays are a clever ploy for universities to get students to rethink who they were, are, and want to be. Answering college questions gave me the arsenal and vocabulary I would need to gracefully and eloquently articulate my answers to questions I’d be asked the rest of my life: Where do you see yourself in five years? What is your biggest failure or regret? How did you overcome your biggest challenge? If you could have anyone living or dead as a dinner guest, who would it be? What are your favorite podcasts or publications? What do you deeply care about and why?

Through the process of answering these questions, I crystallized my love of storytelling into words. I got in touch with a part of myself I thought I had lost, exploring my connection to my heritage. I understood how different aspects of my life have shaped me to be brave and bold. I gave thanks to the people whose shoulders I’m standing on today. I rediscovered how much my parents love me, and how much I love my parents. I figured out who my heroes are and why I look up to them so much. And as grandiose as it sounds, it’s the truth: I recognized my life’s calling through writing my college essays.

College applications also forced me to look at why I wanted to go to college. In answering the Why ____? question, I realized there were some colleges I wanted to go to more than others. Answering Why Yale was one of the toughest questions for me—I couldn’t think of a way to write about Yale without drawing on cliches I was sure other people would include. But ultimately, I decided to prioritize honesty in the answer to that question: it was the people that attracted me the most, so I wrote about Yale’s emphasis on building community. Now that I’m here, I can truly attest to the kindness and thoughtfulness of the student body.

This is all to say, dear senior, vulnerability in your essays pays off. Let yourself find your truth, and sink into it. Let it envelope you and your state of mind as you open that Google Doc. You’re writing for admissions officers, yes, but the more important audience is yourself. Treat them like precious time capsules you will one day open in the future. These kernels, results of deep soul-searching, will resonate with your audience, whether it’s a Yale admissions officer or your future 40-year-old self. It’s a snapshot into the mind of a 18-year-old, grappling with identity, figuring out what they want on the cusp of the world. This may all change—nothing you say in a college essay is set in stone—but in this moment at least, it sings true: beautiful, brilliant, and bold.

I found myself through thousands of drafts, each a different version of me. If you trust the process, and be honest with yourself, you can find yourself too.

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15 Tips for Writing a College Essay About Yourself

What’s covered:.

  • What is the Purpose of the College Essay?
  • How to Stand Out Without Showing Off
  • 15 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself
  • Where to Get Free Feedback on Your Essay

Most students who apply to top-tier colleges have exceptional grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities. How do admissions officers decide which applicants to choose among all these stellar students? One way is on the strength of their college essay .

This personal statement, along with other qualitative factors like teacher recommendations, helps the admissions committee see who you really are—the person behind the transcript. So, it’s obviously important to write a great one.

What Is the Purpose of the College Essay? 

Your college essay helps you stand out in a pool of qualified candidates. If effective, it will also show the admissions committee more of your personality and allow them to get a sense of how you’ll fit in with and contribute to the student body and institution. Additionally, it will show the school that you can express yourself persuasively and clearly in writing, which is an important part of most careers, no matter where you end up. 

Typically, students must submit a personal statement (usually the Common App essay ) along with school-specific supplements. Some students are surprised to learn that essays typically count for around 25% of your entire application at the top 250 schools. That’s an enormous chunk, especially considering that, unlike your transcript and extracurriculars, it isn’t an assessment of your entire high school career.  

The purpose of the college essay is to paint a complete picture of yourself, showing admissions committees the person behind the grades and test scores. A strong college essay shows your unique experiences, personality, perspective, interests, and values—ultimately, what makes you unique. After all, people attend college, not their grades or test scores. The college essay also provides students with a considerable amount of agency in their application, empowering them to share their own stories.

How to Stand Out Without Showing Off 

It’s important to strike a balance between exploring your achievements and demonstrating humility. Your aim should be to focus on the meaning behind the experience and how it changed your outlook, not the accomplishment itself. 

Confidence without cockiness is the key here. Don’t simply catalog your achievements, there are other areas on your application to share them. Rather, mention your achievements when they’re critical to the story you’re telling. It’s helpful to think of achievements as compliments, not highlights, of your college essay.  

Take this essay excerpt , for example:

My parents’ separation allowed me the space to explore my own strengths and interests as each of them became individually busier. As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents. Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. All of that changed three years ago, when I applied and was accepted to the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go. 

Instead of saying “ I received this scholarship and participated in this prestigious program, ” the author tells a story, demonstrating their growth and initiative through specific actions (riding the train alone, applying academic programs on her own, etc.)—effectively showing rather than telling.

15 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself 

1. start early .

Leave yourself plenty of time to write your college essay—it’s stressful enough to compose a compelling essay without putting yourself under a deadline. Starting early on your essay also leaves you time to edit and refine your work, have others read your work (for example, your parents or a teacher), and carefully proofread.

2. Choose a topic that’s meaningful to you 

The foundation of a great essay is selecting a topic that has real meaning for you. If you’re passionate about the subject, the reader will feel it. Alternatively, choosing a topic you think the admissions committee is looking for, but isn’t all that important to you, won’t make for a compelling essay; it will be obvious that you’re not very invested in it.

3. Show your personality 

One of the main points of your college essay is to convey your personality. Admissions officers will see your transcript and read about the awards you’ve won, but the essay will help them get to know you as a person. Make sure your personality is evident in each part—if you are a jokester, incorporate some humor. Your friends should be able to pick your essay from an anonymous pile, read it, and recognize it as yours. In that same vein, someone who doesn’t know you at all should feel like they understand your personality after reading your essay. 

4. Write in your own voice 

In order to bring authenticity to your essay, you’ll need to write in your own voice. Don’t be overly formal (but don’t be too casual, either). Remember: you want the reader to get to know the real you, not a version of you that comes across as overly stiff or stilted. You should feel free to use contractions, incorporate dialogue, and employ vocabulary that comes naturally to you. 

5. Use specific examples 

Real, concrete stories and examples will help your essay come to life. They’ll add color to your narrative and make it more compelling for the reader. The goal, after all, is to engage your audience—the admissions committee. 

For example, instead of stating that you care about animals, you should tell us a story about how you took care of an injured stray cat. 

Consider this side-by-side comparison:

Example 1: I care deeply about animals and even once rescued a stray cat. The cat had an injured leg, and I helped nurse it back to health.

Example 2: I lost many nights of sleep trying to nurse the stray cat back to health. Its leg infection was extremely painful, and it meowed in distress up until the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t mind it though; what mattered was that the cat regained its strength. So, I stayed awake to administer its medicine and soothe it with loving ear rubs.

The second example helps us visualize this situation and is more illustrative of the writer’s personality. Because she stayed awake to care for the cat, we can infer that she is a compassionate person who cares about animals. We don’t get the same depth with the first example. 

6. Don’t be afraid to show off… 

You should always put your best foot forward—the whole point of your essay is to market yourself to colleges. This isn’t the time to be shy about your accomplishments, skills, or qualities. 

7. …While also maintaining humility 

But don’t brag. Demonstrate humility when discussing your achievements. In the example above, for instance, the author discusses her accomplishments while noting that her parents thought of her as immature. This is a great way to show humility while still highlighting that she was able to prove her parents wrong.

8. Be vulnerable 

Vulnerability goes hand in hand with humility and authenticity. Don’t shy away from exploring how your experience affected you and the feelings you experienced. This, too, will help your story come to life. 

Here’s an excerpt from a Common App essay that demonstrates vulnerability and allows us to connect with the writer:  

“You ruined my life!” After months of quiet anger, my brother finally confronted me. To my shame, I had been appallingly ignorant of his pain. 

Despite being twins, Max and I are profoundly different. Having intellectual interests from a young age that, well, interested very few of my peers, I often felt out of step in comparison with my highly-social brother. Everything appeared to come effortlessly for Max and, while we share an extremely tight bond, his frequent time away with friends left me feeling more and more alone as we grew older.

In this essay, the writer isn’t afraid to share his insecurities and feelings with us. He states that he had been “ appallingly ignorant ” of his brother’s pain, that he “ often felt out of step ” compared to his brother, and that he had felt “ more and more alone ” over time. These are all emotions that you may not necessarily share with someone you just met, but it’s exactly this vulnerability that makes the essay more raw and relatable. 

9. Don’t lie or hyperbolize 

This essay is about the authentic you. Lying or hyperbolizing to make yourself sound better will not only make your essay—and entire application—less genuine, but it will also weaken it. More than likely, it will be obvious that you’re exaggerating. Plus, if colleges later find out that you haven’t been truthful in any part of your application, it’s grounds for revoking your acceptance or even expulsion if you’ve already matriculated. 

10. Avoid cliches 

How the COVID-19 pandemic changed your life. A sports victory as a metaphor for your journey. How a pet death altered your entire outlook. Admissions officers have seen more essays on these topics than they can possibly count. Unless you have a truly unique angle, then it’s in your best interest to avoid them. Learn which topics are cliche and how to fix them . 

11. Proofread 

This is a critical step. Even a small error can break your essay, however amazing it is otherwise. Make sure you read it over carefully, and get another set of eyes (or two or three other sets of eyes), just in case.

12. Abstain from using AI

There are a handful of good reasons to avoid using artificial intelligence (AI) to write your college essay. Most importantly, it’s dishonest and likely to be not very good; AI-generated essays are generally formulaic, generic, and boring—everything you’re trying to avoid being.   The purpose of the college essay is to share what makes you unique and highlight your personal experiences and perspectives, something that AI can’t capture.

13. Use parents as advisors, not editors

The voice of an adult is different from that of a high schooler and admissions committees are experts at spotting the writing of parents. Parents can play a valuable role in creating your college essay—advising, proofreading, and providing encouragement during those stressful moments. However, they should not write or edit your college essay with their words.

14. Have a hook

Admissions committees have a lot of essays to read and getting their attention is essential for standing out among a crowded field of applicants. A great hook captures your reader’s imagination and encourages them to keep reading your essay. Start strong, first impressions are everything!

15. Give them something to remember

The ending of your college essay is just as important as the beginning. Give your reader something to remember by composing an engaging and punchy paragraph or line—called a kicker in journalism—that ties everything you’ve written above together.

Where to Get Free Feedback on Your College Essay 

Before you send off your application, make sure you get feedback from a trusted source on your essay. CollegeVine’s free peer essay review will give you the support you need to ensure you’ve effectively presented your personality and accomplishments. Our expert essay review pairs you with an advisor to help you refine your writing, submit your best work, and boost your chances of getting into your dream school. Find the right advisor for you and get started on honing a winning essay.

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Seeing Yourself as Others See You

  • Linda Hill & Kent Lineback

In our last blog, we argued that becoming a great boss required courage — in particular, the courage to find out how others see you. Almost certainly, we said, others’ perceptions of you will differ in important and perhaps disconcerting ways from your self-perceptions. Many of you responded with thoughtful comments — thank you! Some […]

In our last blog , we argued that becoming a great boss required courage — in particular, the courage to find out how others see you. Almost certainly, we said, others’ perceptions of you will differ in important and perhaps disconcerting ways from your self-perceptions.

  • LL Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Kent Lineback spent many years as a manager and an executive in business and government. They are the coauthors of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader (HBR Press, 2011).

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  • Applying For Scholarships

About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)

Jennifer Finetti Sep 28, 2022

About Yourself Scholarship Essay Examples (2023)

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A popular scholarship essay prompt is “Tell us about yourself.” This question is relatively open-ended, which may make it difficult to answer at first glance. What should I tell them about myself? My struggles, my goals, my passions…? These may all be fitting topics, depending on the scholarship. We’ll show you some scholarship essay examples about yourself, along with writing tips to guide you along the way.

What they want to know about you

As you prepare to write, think of the topics the scholarship committee would be interested in. These may include:

  • Your current degree, as it applies to your overall career goals. You can explain why you chose your current educational path and what you want to do with that.
  • Your short-term and long-term professional goals . Frame your answer as if to say “Where will you be in 5 years? Where will you be in 10 years?” Scholarship committees like to reward people with defined aspirations.
  • Past experiences that sparked your passions. You could talk about an influential person in your life, but make sure most of the essay focuses on you. After all, you are talking about yourself.
  • Something about you that relates to their organization. With any scholarship essay, you should try to connect yourself with the organization providing the funding. Don’t force a connection. Find one that naturally fits. Mention hobbies, experiences and goals that match what the review committee is looking for.
  • Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants. This may be volunteer experience, career specialties, situational differences (growing up in an area that didn’t encourage education), etc.

Show off your skillset

Note that you do not have to throw all this information into one essay. Choose the elements that best fit the scholarship. If you were on the review board, what would you want to learn about each applicant? What would make you choose one applicant over another? Keep this in mind as you develop your thoughts.

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What they don’t want to know about you

There is plenty of information you could include in an about yourself scholarship essay. There is just as much information to avoid though. Some topics to keep out of your essay include:

  • False information. Do not make up stories or fabricate goals to fit the prompt. The scholarship committee can instantly tell when someone is lying, and they will disqualify you immediately.
  • Past struggles that do not pertain to the essay topic. You can briefly mention struggles from your past, as long as you mention how you’ve learned from them. Do not make your essay a long story about the hard life you’ve led. Focus on your triumphs, not your obstacles.
  • Vague goals and aspirations. Scholarships are usually given to students who have a plan. If you say, “I’m not sure what I’m doing yet,” the committee will select a more motivated candidate. If you have a plan and a backup plan, that’s fine. Just make sure you mention both options and show which one you favor.
  • Cliché stories that most people tell. There is something that makes you stand out as a person. Use that to your advantage. Don’t rely on generic information they’ll find with other applicants.
  • Unrelated elements of your personal life. In most cases, you should not mention your significant other in the essay. You might mention a spouse if you need to reference your children or a turning point in your life, but these personal details do not fit most essays. Any information that seems frivolous or ill-placed should be removed from the essay.

Read through your essay carefully. If you stop at one point to say, “Why did I mention that?” get rid of the corresponding information. Showcase the best elements about yourself in a fluid and cohesive manner.

Short scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (100 Words)

With 100 words, you can only focus on one or two elements of your life. Think about your biggest selling points – the things that show you are the ideal candidate. Start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then jump into the main topic of the essay. You may not have room to mention how the scholarship will help your education. Instead, mention how your education can help your career. The other information will be implied.

My name is Christian Wood. I am a high school senior who will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. I want to become an online journalist. My goal is to work for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, or another news outlet that has a strong online presence. Most people already get their news on the internet, and the industry will be even bigger by the time I graduate. Getting a degree in journalism with a focus on digital media will set me up for a fulfilling, fast-paced career fit for the future.

Word Count: 96

Medium scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (250 Words)

With a mid-length scholarship essay, you have more space to explain how your past has influenced your present and future goals. You should have rom for an intro paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion (maybe incorporated into the last body paragraph). Think of a few main points you want to touch on, and write those down first. If you still have room, you can add more details about yourself.

My name is Sarah, and I spent most of my childhood on the wrong medication. I experienced a problem common in clinical psychology – misdiagnosis. Professionals provide inaccurate diagnoses for many reasons – f rom antiquated testing methods to limited education. I want to open my own psychological testing facility and help change that. Therefore, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology.  I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child because I had trouble focusing in school. The medication m y doctor prescribed to me only made me numb to the world around me. I couldn’t think or process emotions, or had no emotions at all. After several years my parents finally decided to get a second opinion. I saw a specialist and she concluded that I didn’t have ADHD , but a combination of dyslexia and dysgraphia (difficulties with reading and writing). She sent us to a therapist who helped me learn how to work around my conditions, and my life improved tremendously. I went from being a lifeless student with barely passing grades to an honor roll student full of joy and excitement. Unfortunately, my story is not one of a kind. There are countless children in America who are put on mind-altering medications that do not adequately address their needs. I cannot help all of those children, but I can provide a better alternative for the ones in my area. Through proper education, funded by financial aid, I can learn about psychological evaluations and provide the most accurate diagnoses possible.

Word Count: 249

Long scholarship essay example: Tell us about yourself (500 Words)

Scholarship essays that are 500 words or longer let you tell the whole story. You can discuss your past, present and future in a comprehensive manner. Avoid rambling and make sure each topic contributes to the overall essay. If one piece feels out of place, remove it and elaborate more on the existing elements. By the end of the essay, the reader should have a full understanding of who you are and what you want to accomplish.

My name is Sierra Breault, and I am a junior at Murray State University. I am double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Forensics Science, and I will graduate in 2024 with two bachelor degrees. My career goal is in social justice, so I can contribute to criminal justice reform. I want to ensure that those who commit crimes are treated fairly.  I come from a small town where excessive force and even death by cop incidents are often committed, especially against minorities. A few years ago, one of my relatives was charged for a crime although the crime scene evidence wasn’t properly obtained, catalogued and analyzed.  This experience played a big part in my wish to study criminal justice. I started exploring the career more when I decided that a desk job just wasn’t for me. Throughout high school I struggled because of the routine nature of it all. I saw the same people and attended the same classes every single day. I knew I didn’t want a job that would be that stagnant. That’s when I got the idea to work in law enforcement, because there would always be a new challenge for me to tackle. After researching the field even more, I set my sights on crime scene investigation. I have performed much better academically in college than I ever did in high school. That’s because there is no routine to the experience. Every week, I have new projects to complete, tests to study for, and activities to try. I have been involved with the campus Crime Stoppers organization all three years of college, and I was elected president for the upcoming term. This lets me work closely with law enforcement to supplement my college education and further my career.   After graduating, I will apply for work as a dispatcher in a state organization, such as the Department of Criminal Investigation. While my ultimate goal is to work as a forensic analyst or crime scene investigator, those positions usually only go to people within the organization. Dispatch is the most direct option for career entry, giving me the best chance to pursue my dream career. I am applying for this scholarship to help me finish the last two years of my degrees. As a college junior and soon-to-be senior, my scholarship opportunities are limited. Most awards are reserved for freshmen. I took advantage of those early on, and I have one recurring scholarship that covers half of my tuition. However, I need additional financial aid to cover the remainder of my academic costs. I appreciate your consideration, and I hope that you can help me pursue a profession in criminal justice. This is my passion, and I have a clear plan to turn that passion into a lifelong career.

Word Count: 463


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Jennifer Finetti

Jennifer Finetti

As a parent who recently helped her own kids embark on their college journeys, Jennifer approaches the transition from high school to college from a unique perspective. She truly enjoys engaging with students – helping them to build the confidence, knowledge, and insight needed to pursue their educational and career goals, while also empowering them with the strategies and skills needed to access scholarships and financial aid that can help limit college costs. She understands the importance of ensuring access to the edtech tools and resources that can make this process easier and more equitable - this drive to support underserved populations is what drew her to ScholarshipOwl. Jennifer has coached students from around the world, as well as in-person with local students in her own community. Her areas of focus include career exploration, major selection, college search and selection, college application assistance, financial aid and scholarship consultation, essay review and feedback, and more. She works with students who are at the top of their class, as well as those who are struggling. She firmly believes that all students, regardless of their circumstances, can succeed if they stay focused and work hard in school. Jennifer earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from National University, and her BA in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz.

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20 Smart Answers: “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”

By Editorial Team on April 10, 2023 — 10 minutes to read

Why Do They Ask This Question?

When you’re asked “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?,” the interviewer wants to gain insight into your career aspirations, personal goals, and how you envision growing within the company or industry. This question also helps interviewers understand whether your long-term goals align with the opportunities that the company or job may provide.

Before you go into the interview, take some time to reflect on what you genuinely want to achieve in the next five years. Consider the following aspects:

  • Areas you wish to specialize in or skills you want to refine
  • Leadership opportunities you’d like to explore
  • Professional certifications or training programs you plan to complete
  • Any goals related to the company’s values or industry trends

Understanding your own goals will help you create a truthful and thoughtful response that showcases your ambition and commitment to personal growth. Moreover, demonstrating how you plan to utilize and develop the skills gained in this role will show the interviewer that you’re a good fit for the company.

It’s important to remember that your answer should be tailored to the specific position or industry you’re interviewing for. You want to show the interviewer that your long-term goals are a natural progression from the job you’re applying for. Feel free to express enthusiasm for the company, industry, or role, but avoid making unrealistic claims or commitments.

Tips for Structuring Your Answer

Being honest in your response means sharing your true career aspirations, while still trying to keep your goals realistic and attainable within the company. Your response might include the following aspects:

  • Specific job titles or roles you aspire to reach
  • Skills you plan to develop or improve
  • Any certifications, trainings, or educational goals you intend to achieve

Be Adaptable

Show flexibility in your answer by acknowledging that change is inevitable and that you’re willing to adapt to the company’s needs as well as your own professional growth. You can tell your interviewer that you’re open to new opportunities within the organization.

  • Highlight your ability to learn new skills and take on new challenges
  • Discuss how you can grow within the company and contribute to its success
  • Emphasize your willingness to embrace change and adapt as needed

Show Your Commitment

  • Express how you see your professional growth aligned with the company’s goals
  • Discuss the ways you intend to contribute meaningfully to the organization
  • Reiterate your excitement to be part of the company’s future

Addressing Uncertainty

It’s natural to feel uncertain about your future, especially when asked to predict where you will be in five years. However, using some strategies, you can form a thoughtful response that communicates your aspirations and adaptability.

Firstly, consider discussing your long-term goals in broad terms. Even if you’re unsure about the specifics, try to focus on the direction you’d like your career to move. For example, mention professional growth opportunities or attribute you’d like to develop. This approach demonstrates ambition without being too rigid.

Example: “In five years, I hope to have built on my skills and gained more responsibility within this company. I’m eager to learn from experienced team members and eventually take on leadership roles.”

Secondly, when you are not entirely sure about the exact positions or steps, you can emphasize a growth mindset. Talk about continuously improving and adapting to changing situations, which would show that you’re flexible and resilient.

  • Constant learning
  • Embrace challenges
  • Adapt to change

Example: “I’m committed to continually expanding my knowledge and improving, which is why I’m enthusiastic about your company’s focus on innovation. Wherever I see myself in five years, I’ll be ready to adapt and grow.”

If future possibilities are vague, mention that you’re open to exploring various paths or contributing to different projects. Clarify that you’re excited to work with the company and discover opportunities to make a meaningful impact.

Example: “I’m excited about the wide range of projects your company is involved in. While I may not know the precise role I’ll fill in five years, I’m eager to contribute to a company like yours and find my unique path.”

Setting Realistic Goals

When crafting your answer to the oft-dreaded question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, it’s crucial to set realistic goals. Establishing achievable objectives demonstrates not only your ambition but also your clarity about what it takes to advance your career and thrive in the company.

One way to set realistic goals is to consider the job role and how it aligns with your long-term aspirations. Analyze the job description and requirements, and think about how they fit with your personal growth plans. Start by identifying the necessary steps to progress in the company or your field, and incorporate them into your answer. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Reflect on the skills or experience you need to acquire in the next five years. For example, perhaps you’ll need to complete a specific certification or training to advance in your industry. Mention this in your response, acknowledging the importance of self-development and continuous learning.
  • Consider potential career paths within the company. Research and identify possible roles you might transition into, ensuring your answer aligns with the organization’s structure and growth opportunities. This demonstrates a commitment to the company and its future.
  • Think about your personal life and how it may impact your career trajectory. It’s essential to recognize that your personal circumstances could play a role in determining your career path over the next five years. By balancing work and personal life, you can set realistic expectations for yourself and your employer.

As you formulate your response, keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to not have an exact plan for the next five years. However, it’s crucial to demonstrate a strong work ethic, flexibility, and willingness to learn and grow within your role and the company.

Aligning with Company Vision

It’s also useful to consider the company’s vision and values. Doing so shows interviewers that you have done your research and genuinely care about the potential role you might play in the organization’s future.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement and objectives. Visit their website, read up on any press releases, and research the history and recent accomplishments. This information will give you a solid foundation to align your long-term career goals with the organization’s vision.

Next, reflect on your personal values and career aspirations to find a meaningful connection with the company’s ethos. Use your research to identify opportunities for growth within the organization and emphasize how your contribution can serve as a catalyst for furthering their mission.

  • Review the job description thoroughly and understand the key responsibilities and required skills.
  • Reflect on your unique strengths and how they can contribute to the role and the company’s success.
  • Think about possible career milestones within the role and how they align with your long-term goals.
  • Consider the company’s projects or initiatives you would like to be involved in or lead, helping the organization grow and evolve in the future.
  • Prepare to communicate these points with confidence and enthusiasm during the interview.

An example of a well-aligned response could be:

“In five years, I see myself holding a leadership role within your company’s marketing department, where I can contribute to the development and execution of successful marketing strategies. I’m especially excited about the potential opportunity to work on your company’s sustainability initiatives, as I believe strongly in environmentally-conscious business practices.”

Focusing on Skills and Growth

When answering the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, focusing on skills and growth is an excellent approach. This shows employers that you’re dedicated to improving yourself professionally and highlights your commitment to the role you’re applying for.

Improving Current Skillset

Identify the key skills relevant to the job you’re seeking, and consider how you can enhance these skills over time: this can include further training, mentorship, or hands-on experience.

For example, you might say something like:

“In the next five years, I plan to hone my expertise in project management. I would like to collaborate on more complex projects and learn from experienced professionals in the field. I also plan to pursue a certification in Agile methodologies to streamline processes and deliver higher-quality results.”

This answer demonstrates your ambition, as well as a desire to contribute positively to the organization.

Acquiring New Skills

Besides improving your current skillset, it’s important to consider acquiring new skills. Employers appreciate candidates who are adaptable and committed to their professional development. Think about which additional skills could help you be more effective in your role or support the company’s goals.

“I am eager to learn more about data analysis tools like SQL and Python to inform and optimize our marketing strategies. I believe this will allow me to contribute more effectively to data-driven decision-making within the team and help the company achieve its larger objectives.”

“In the next five years, I plan to become an expert in Python programming and machine learning. I’m committed to taking courses and attending workshops to expand my skillset, which I believe will be an asset to your company’s tech team.”

“My goal is to develop my skills and expertise in this field, and in five years, I hope to have become an expert in my area of work and be recognized as a thought leader in the industry.”

Leadership-Focused Examples

Discussing your aspirations for a leadership role demonstrates your interest in taking on responsibility and driving teams to succeed. Emphasize your ability to guide others and create a positive work environment:

“As someone with a passion for teamwork and collaboration, I see myself in a leadership position in the next five years. I’m eager to mentor junior colleagues and help foster their professional growth, while also contributing to the overall success of the company.”

“In five years, I see myself as a senior member of this organization, having taken on more leadership responsibilities and contributing to the growth of the company.”

Career-Focused Examples

“In five years, I see myself in a mid-level management position within the marketing department. I plan on using the next few years to further develop my skills in marketing strategy and data analysis, and I truly believe this company is the perfect place to grow and achieve those goals.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to learn and grow in this role, and in five years, I hope to have taken on new challenges and responsibilities within the company.”

“I am passionate about making a positive impact in the world, and in five years, I see myself working on projects that have a tangible impact on people’s lives and the environment.”

“In five years, I hope to have built strong relationships with my colleagues and clients, and have a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy partner in business.”

“I am committed to continuous learning and personal growth, and in five years, I hope to have completed additional training and certifications that will help me progress in my career.”

“I am excited about the potential for innovation and new technologies in this field, and in five years, I hope to have contributed to the development of new products or services that can benefit our customers.”

“In five years, I see myself in a leadership role within the company, mentoring and coaching others to help them achieve their full potential.”

“In five years, I hope to have made a significant impact in this company and have grown both professionally and personally. I see myself taking on more responsibility and leadership roles, while continuing to develop my skills and expertise in my field. Ultimately, I would like to be seen as a valuable asset to the company and contribute to its continued success.”

“In five years, I see myself having made a meaningful impact in this industry and having established myself as a thought leader and expert in my field. I am someone who is constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve, and I hope to have brought new ideas and approaches to the table that have helped move the industry forward. I also hope to have built a strong network of contacts and collaborators who share my passion for this work.”

“In five years, I see myself having built a successful and fulfilling career in this industry, while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I believe that it’s important to have a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s work, but also to prioritize personal relationships and hobbies outside of work. I hope to have found that balance and to be living a life that feels both rewarding and fulfilling.”

Your answer doesn’t need to be set in stone or overly specific; instead, focus on showcasing your skills, growth potential, and flexibility in the ever-evolving professional landscape.

To summarize:

  • Align your goals with the company’s objectives
  • Emphasize your desire for growth and development

Crafting the perfect response takes time, so give yourself an opportunity to reflect and practice before your interview.

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9 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself

You know yourself better than anyone else, but writing about yourself can still be tough! When applying for scholarships or to college, essay prompts  can feel so general (and yet so specific!) that they leave us stumped.  So we’ll show you 8 tips to write an essay about yourself, so that you can land more scholarships. (Psst – Going Merry makes applying easy .)

1. Create a List of Questions

2. brainstorm and outline, 3. be vulnerable, 4. use personal examples, 5. write in the first person, 6. don’t be afraid to show off…but stay on topic, 7. show personality , 8. know your audience, 9. proofread and edit.

Let’s start with some examples of personal essay prompts:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.
  • What are your short and long-term goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
  • Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?

These are just a few of many scholarship essay prompts that require you to look internally, to answer a question, solve a problem, or explain a scenario in your life.  

We get it. You might not be a big fan of bragging about yourself, or you might want to keep your personal stories to yourself. But by opening up and sharing your story, you can show scholarship providers, colleges and universities who you are, and why you’re deserving of their scholarship.

(Don’t just take our word for it – check out our scholarship winners page full of students like you who were brave enough to share their stories with us).

how to write an essay about yourself

To get started, check out these 9 tips on how to write an essay about yourself:

After reading through the scholarship essay prompt, breathe, and make a list of smaller questions you can answer, which relate to the big essay prompt question. 

Let’s say the main essay prompt question asks you, “What were challenges or barriers you had to work to overcome?” Then the smaller questions might be something like:

  • What is your background? Family, finances, school.
  • What was challenging about that background?
  • What’s your greatest accomplishment? How did you get there? How have previous challenges influenced your goals?

Think of these questions as mini-prompts. They explain your story and help you answer the main essay prompt with more details than if you just answered it without a plan in place.

After considering smaller questions, it’s time to brainstorm your answers.  Take out a pen and paper – or open up a document on a computer – and take your time in answering each mini-prompt. Organize your responses in order:

  • Intro to main essay prompt.
  • Answer about 3 mini-prompt questions.
  • Conclude by rewriting the answer to the main essay prompt with a summary of your mini-prompt answers.

This organization will help you stay on topic and answer the prompt directly. (Or check out these 6 scholarship essay examples for alternative essay structures.)

Don’t be afraid to let your strengths, challenges, and personal stories shine through in your essay! Scholarship and admissions committees love to see that you’re self-aware how you can improve as a person, or how you’ve grown because of your experiences. Honest writing can help tell the best stories (in this case, YOUR story).

how to write an essay about yourself

Since this essay is all about you , you should make your answer as specific as possible! Avoid using generalizations (e.g., “I’m really good at music). Instead, go for more personalized statements (e.g., “My fourth-grade teacher Ms. Matay really inspired me to pursue my interest in the clarinet”). Your personal examples are what will help your scholarship essay stand out among the thousands of applicants..

 You’re telling your story, so write from your perspective! You can narrate your story. You can provide an overview of what you learned from your experiences. However you choose to answer the prompt, we recommend writing in an active tone, and using “I” and “me” throughout your essay.

Most students worry about bragging in their essay, but we say go for it! This is your time to shine, so highlight your accomplishments and strengths.  Review your essay to make sure that you’re keeping the tone informative and that you’re still on topic. (Brag while answering the essay prompt; don’t just mention random, unrelated but impressive facts about yourself!)You can use this brag sheet where you can brainstorm your accomplishments. While the worksheet is geared toward requesting letters of recommendation , you can still use it to write out your hobbies, interests, college list , and strengths to help you answer your scholarship essay prompt.

how to write an essay about yourself

Just because it’s an essay doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. This essay is all about you, so let your personality shine through. If you’re the class clown, you can use a bit of humor. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, don’t be afraid to show emotion. Trying your best to express who you are as a person will have a huge effect on the admissions or scholarship committee!

If you’re applying for a scholarship, research the scholarship provider. If you’re applying to college, research the school. Understanding what makes the provider/college unique and what their motivations are, will allow you to incorporate that information in your essay. For example, many scholarships are funded by private companies that sell products. You might want to reference those products in your essay. A good example of this is Emily Trader’s essay for the Life Happens organization , where she uses her personal narrative to explain the importance of insurance planning, since that is the mission of the organization (which is funded by insurance companies).

The last step in answering your essay prompt is to double-check your work! One typo can be distracting and cause scholarship providers to scratch their head while reading the essay. ( Psst, humble brag: Going Merry’s application platform includes spellcheck because we’ve got your back .) In addition to proofreading for typos and grammatical errors, also consider whether the sentence or paragraph structure makes sense. Are you breaking paragraphs in the right place? Are you using topic sentences well to signpost your main ideas? Does the essay flow? Consider these “bigger” structural questions too.  You might also want to ask a friend, family member, teacher, or guidance counselor to review your essay. They might catch something you didn’t see the first time around, and that can really help your essay! In fact, that is scholarship winner Daniel Gill ’s #1 tip. (Another tip is to apply for scholarships using Going Merry !)

how to write an essay about yourself

Also, check out this helpful list of the 10 most common scholarship essay topics while you’re brainstorming!

Top 10 Most Common Scholarship Essay Prompts Graphic

Now that you know how to write an essay about yourself, it’s time to start applying for scholarships! Remember: You’ve got this. 

Sign up for your free Going Merry profile . From there, you can easily upload and submit your essay for thousands of scholarships. We make it easy so you’ll only need to enter your profile information once! And then, you can apply away. In fact, we even have some bundled scholarships so that you only enter your essay once, to apply for multiple scholarships at the same time.

Or if you’re not ready to register, simply sign up to receive an email with 20 new scholarship opportunities each week. Just enter your email address below:

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, how do i write a good essay about myself.

I'm struggling with writing my college essay. How can I write a compelling and genuine essay about myself without it sounding boring or braggy? Any tips would really help!

First, I understand that writing a personal essay can be challenging, but with a little guidance and practice, you can create a compelling piece. Here are some steps to help you write a strong essay:

1. Choose a unique angle: Instead of providing a broad overview of your life, focus on a specific experience, interest, or aspect of your personality that has shaped who you are. This will make your essay more focused and memorable.

2. Show, don't tell: Instead of simply stating your qualities, provide concrete examples of how you've demonstrated those characteristics. Use vivid details, anecdotes, and sensory language to bring your story to life.

3. Be authentic: Be genuine in your writing and don't try to present yourself as someone you're not. Admissions officers want to get to know the real you, so let your personality shine through.

4. Reflect on your experiences: Point out the lessons you've learned and how those experiences have influenced your growth and decision-making. This will show maturity and self-awareness, which are traits that colleges value.

5. Avoid clichés: Steer clear of overused phrases, ideas, or experiences. Make sure your essay stands out by giving it a fresh and original perspective.

6. Edit and revise: Once you have a draft of your essay, review it for clarity, grammar, punctuation, and flow. Make sure that each paragraph supports the central theme of your essay and that your writing is concise and engaging.

7. Get feedback: Share your essay with teachers, family members, or friends to gain different perspectives. Incorporate their feedback to help refine your essay and ensure it's an accurate representation of yourself.

For example, if you have a passion for community service, you might write about a specific volunteer experience that had a significant impact on you. Talk about the challenges you faced, the people you helped, and the lessons you learned. Make sure to incorporate personal stories and reflections to give your essay depth and substance.

Remember, a good college essay showcases your personality, values, and growth. By following these steps, you can create a compelling and genuine essay that will leave a lasting impression on admissions officers. Good luck!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.


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    This may all change—nothing you say in a college essay is set in stone—but in this moment at least, it sings true: beautiful, brilliant, and bold. I found myself through thousands of drafts, each a different version of me. If you trust the process, and be honest with yourself, you can find yourself too. Sincerely, Cassandra

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