Do you want to make a great impression with your essay on leadership skills? Of course you do!
There are five key elements to writing a great essay to wow your reader and show off those skills of yours.
Whether you are trying to get a place at your dream college or demonstrate your leadership skills to a prospective employer, your essay needs to sell YOU.
So, how can you do that?
Writing an Essay on Leadership Skills and Experience
1. Structure Your Essay Properly
Get the basics right!
Any essay needs to have a good structure, so make sure your reader can follow what you’re saying in a logical order.
You can find some great general tips on essay writing here, but the most important is to plan what you’re going to say before you say it.
Your essay on leadership skills and experience should focus on your strengths. So, what are they? Are you great at problem solving or decision making? Can you demonstrate excellent team working skills or maybe you excel at managing others?
Whatever your key skills are, focus on two or three. Then make notes about what experience you can discuss to show these off.
You might find it helpful to put your thoughts down on paper as a mind map. This will also help to show you how each idea links to others and how to structure your essay.
2. Provide Ample Evidence
No matter what you decide to say about your leadership skills and experience, back it up!
Writing about what leaderships skills are is great, but if you don’t prove that you have those skills, it is meaningless.
Think about each example of a leadership skill. Now think about when you have demonstrated that behavior. Your reader will be interested in you and what you bring to the table. Make sure your essay tells them who you are and what you can do!
On this point, don’t be afraid to show your personality in your essay. It’s likely that your reader will read a lot of similar essays, so you need to make yours stand out.
So, it’s important to relate your points to your personal experience so that the reader gets a sense of who you are. Your essay will be much more relatable if it captures your personality.
3. Start Writing
You have the outline of your essay. What’s next? Putting (metaphorical) pen to paper, of course.
This might sound daunting, but don’t worry! If you’ve put the time in to create an outline of your essay on leadership skills, then you are half-way there.
At this point, don’t worry about your introduction or conclusion. We’ll get to that later.
For the main body of your essay, begin to flesh out the points you have in your outline. Sounds easy, right? Or does it?
If you find it hard to get started, don’t worry, you are not alone.
When staring at a blank page or screen, getting those first words down can be a very difficult task. Guess what? Once you have your outline in place, the page isn’t blank anymore!
Top tip: if you can’t think what to write, start by writing out one of your points in as much detail as you can. Before you know it, you will have started writing and then it’s a matter of editing it later.
As you are writing, try to be clear and concise. There’s no point in including words purely to meet your word limit. This will bore your reader, and they will lose interest.
If you find yourself doing this, go back to your outline and consider another leadership skill to focus on instead.
Another Top Tip (aren’t you lucky?): Avoid clichés.
When you submit your final essay, it is likely to be one amongst tens or even hundreds.
If every essay uses the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’, that is going to be dull to your reader, right? They will be much more interested in an essay with original thoughts, so give them that.
Your essay on leadership skills and experience is starting to take shape. Congratulations!
4. Finish at the Start
Remember that introduction and conclusion I said not to think about yet? Well, it’s time!
Once you have the main body of your essay in shape, it’s time to think about how it will start and finish.
For a great essay on leadership skills, you want to start by grabbing your reader’s attention. Then finish by making a lasting impression. So, how do you do that?
Let’s begin with the end before we finish with the start…
Your conclusion needs to be strong. Leaving a face-to-face interview, you want a great last impression, don’t you?
The same is true of your essay. You want to leave your reader with a sense of who you are. They need to know how valuable your leadership skills and experience would be to them.
Think of your conclusion as a summary of what you have said, but it needs to be concise. Keep your conclusion to a few lines so it is punchy and focused on the key point of your essay – which is showing why you are awesome!
So now you are almost done, it is time to start on your introduction.
Grab their attention from the beginning
You need to make sure the first sentences grab your reader’s attention and keep it.
A great way to do this is by including a relevant statistic, quote or even a story. Relevant is the key word here – don’t include it if it isn’t relevant to your point. That will confuse your reader.
Another good way to get their attention right away is by asking them a question. Did you notice? I did that at the start of this article…
It makes a connection between you and the reader and makes them want to read on to find out how to answer that question.
The reason we write the introduction last is so it can point the reader to what they can expect in your essay. It makes more sense to write it once you know what you have written.
5. Proofreading and Editing
You have a draft of your essay, now to make it stand out.
Getting the words down on the page was the hard part. Please don’t underestimate the importance of editing and proofreading.
Start by rereading what you have written. Does it make sense? Have you repeated phrases too often? Make use of your spell checker and editing tools. They’re there for a reason!
Once you think your essay is grammatically correct and free from spelling errors, you might think it is good to go. Yet…and I can’t emphasize this enough…check again!
If you have typos or you have used ‘their’ instead of ‘there’, it can have a big impact on the impression your reader has. If you want your essay on leadership skills to impress, you need to pay attention to the details.
Make sure that you also follow any formatting rules laid out by the college or educational institution. For example, it is likely that they will have a preferred style and format for referencing.
Find out what their preferred style is and stick to it. It might sound like a suggestion, but it isn’t. If you don’t follow their guidance, your essay will be perceived less favorably. That’s not what you want, is it?
Top tip: Read your essay out loud. Or even better, ask a friend!
Reading the essay out loud, or asking someone else for help, can let you see how it flows. It will become obvious if you have sentences which are too long, because you will run out of breath saying them.
Asking someone else to read it for you is also a great idea. You know what you are trying to say, but does it really come across? Will it sound that way to someone else too? Ask a friend to read it and find out before it’s too late to change it.
Now that you know how to write an excellent essay on leadership skills, it’s time to put it all into practice.
Plan it out, use evidence and make sure your personality shows on the page!