How to Write an Application Paper

Some potential employers will have applications with a portion for a written response—an essay, essentially. The purpose of an application essay is simply to let an employer know what are your qualifications for a job and why do you want the job. Now Part A of that—what are your qualifications—will seem extremely redundant if you’re already gone through listing your work history earlier in the application proper.

Also Part B—why do you want the job—would see like a pretty ridiculous question because you not exactly filling out the application for giggles! Some things make sense why they’re there, but the practical purpose for putting it there when there is already something else that does the same thing is just…mind boggling.

Why Do You Want the Job?

This is the meat question for the application essay. This is where you can allow everything—your manners, your intellect through a well written response, your drive and want for the job, your writing ability—shine. All of those essential things to display are in this one main question or overall theme of the portion.

Your response here should be well thought out, yet to the point. Too little and you might not have properly delivered the best case and too much and it will seem like you’re kissing up a great deal. While there will be some small degree of kissing up in the application essay, you don’t need to surgically attach your lips to the potential employer.

“This is my dream job…”

Even if you’re applying for the job you’ve wanted since childhood, don’t put this. The employer has probably read this in other application essays and heard this several times in actual interviews. If you need to wax poetic about your great desire for this job being yours and only yours and how you would romance it and bring it chocolates and such, try the following:

  • “I have always had a great interest in this field”
  • “My studies and experiences in and around (the field the job is based around) have given me a great appreciation for what it is workers at different levels do.”
  • “After (some event from your youth…a field trip, etc.) I knew I wanted to enter this field.”

The field trip can even be a work of fiction. How would they possibly know about a field trip you took in junior high or high school, right? Sure they might remember it if the field trip was to their place and recent or significant in any way, but other than that? It’s doubtful.

Focus on Job and Educational Experiences Relevant to This Job

This is important. While you’ve listed your job history for past two to five years as well as your education, be sure to only pick out the jobs that relate to this particular job. If none of your jobs or your educational background relate to this job, find specific examples in your previous jobs or studies and magnify them the best you can. You want to add only the most relevant things here.

Make Yourself Look Good

This is obvious as it’s the main goal of the essay! Highlight your strengths and mention your weaknesses. Never do this in reverse. An employer wants a strong worker, but they’re not looking for Superman. In a way being able to list your weaknesses can be considered a strength. It shows you’re able to acknowledge what you can or can’t do or what you might only be average or decent at. Keep this in mind.

Finally, pace the whole thing. You might only have a few lines to work with or a whole back sheet. Hit only the major points throughout.

Posted by February 19th, 2013