Do you remember all the “How I spent my summer vacation?” articles that you wrote as holiday homework back in school days? Those simple assignments would probably be few of the earliest personal essays that you have ever written. Sometimes when you appear for a job interview or when you apply somewhere for further studies, you are asked to present a personal essay, also called a narrative, in addition to your resume. It is best to practise writing one at home before you land up on the all-important day and find yourself with a writer’s block. These essays give you full liberty to think out-of-the-box and pour out your feelings onto paper. Only a few restrictions come to a personal essay written for a job or admission application and these finer details are discussed with great detail in the following section. With a personal essay, your future employer/university gets a snapshot of your personality, character, communication skills (mainly written language, grammar and composition) and most importantly, an insight into your life and the journey so far. As a writer, it is probably a good idea if you were to focus on the story rather than the words to build a level of intimacy with the reader. More on this and more about how to writnarrative essay in the following section.
How To Write A Personal Essay
- Staring at a blank page can intimidate the bravest of souls amidst us. It is important to get over the starting problem. Empower yourself and begin your story by filling up the page with thoughts, however random. But let it all out and give words to your dreams, aspirations, emotions and experiences. In the beginning don’t crack your head about the grammar, language, punctuation and spellings. Try being a prolific writer!
- Dig deep inside yourself and make it heartfelt. It is not all about usage of flowery words, adjectives and phrases or metaphors. Take your readers through your experiences and avoid ‘telling’ them the story about yourself. Instead, show them your dreams and aspirations and take the joyride together as you revisit the past experiences in your life!
- Don’t go wandering with your thoughts or else you might end up taking a tangent and go off in a separate direction altogether. Be precise, concise and clear. For that reason, think in your mind and make a rough mental draft before you bring pen to paper. The personal statement should not be just another reworded resume – that you have already handed over to the HR department. Who are you? What you want to be? Where are you going in life? These are some of the questions that you should be answering in your personal essay. Include a small paragraph providing a synopsis of your academic background and career experiences; articulate your goals and more importantly, your passions!
- Notice that we have asked you to think about what to write before you put pen to paper. It is perfectly alright if you don’t cross your “t’s” and dot your “i’s”. What is much more important is to pull the ideas from your head and glide them effortlessly to the paper with a little help from the ink bottle (obviously!)! If you are not the serious type then, by all means, add humour. Sprinkle them here and there but, if it is a personal essay for a job application, don’t overdo the funny one-liners. Write continuously – without hesitation – and definitely without any interruption.
- Lastly, when you have drafted your piece of art, it is time for you to proofread! Go back to the beginning, organise and check grammar, punctuation and spelling. Stress upon your strengths and cleverly camouflage the weaknesses. Play with your words and watch out for any break of thoughts!
Writing a personal essay is not about theoretical knowledge. The first time was difficult for Earnest Hemmingway also or even for Shakespeare for that matter. Just a little practise can make you confident and bring your personal essay up to the mark!