While injecting your personality and uniqueness into your college essay and application is recommended, it is important to balance that with a professional tone and demeanor throughout your writing and the way that you present yourself. Not only is this beneficial in your pursuit of further education, but it is beneficial beyond your college graduation and into your career as well.
There is a lot that goes into maintaining a professional tone in your college applications and beyond. Several moving parts construct the totality of professionalism in this scenario, and for each individual applicant, the balance between these parts will look slightly different. It is essential to find your own unique combination of these traits in order to present yourself in the best light possible. Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes tone in your writing, and how you can exemplify a professional tone in your college essay and the rest of your application.
What is Tone?
Tone, in its simplest definition, is a mood or emotion invoked by a writer’s choice of words. The verbiage that you choose to utilize in your college essay and application can greatly influence the opinions of anyone who reads it. A tone can be casual, formal, conversational, industrial, professional, and more.
When choosing a tone to write in, it is especially important to consider your audience and the purpose that your writing is hoping to achieve. This will help you present yourself and your ideas in a manner that will be well-received. In many cases, the tone is equally as important to the success of your writing as the content itself.
How to Maintain a Professional Tone
Now that we have established an understanding of what tone entails, let’s dive into how you can convey professionalism in your college essay!
One way to exemplify a professional tone in your college essay and application is to maintain confidence within yourself and your academic achievements. Express your successes and your qualifications, as well as why you believe you will do well in the specified program, university, or career that you are applying for. It is also beneficial to discuss the skills you have developed from those successes, how you specifically contributed to or achieved those successes, and what you have learned from them.
In portraying confidence, however, it is essential to ensure that you do so with assurance but not with arrogance. An arrogant or “braggy” attitude in your writing can take away from the professional tone you are trying to portray. It is important to recognize why you are a great fit for what you are applying to without suggesting that you are the only fit, as this can come across as you do not work well with others or are belittling them to make yourself look better. Your own individual accomplishments should be what you highlight because admissions offices care to know more about that than how much better you are than everyone else applying.
When you are attempting to convey a professional tone in your college essay, it is important to maintain respect for your intended audience. This sometimes entails exploring potential advisors or admissions directors who may be reviewing your application and using the correct terminology to address them, including titles, names, and pronouns. In many situations, you may not be able to locate this information, but it is essential to still write in a respectful manner.
There are some additional ways to show respect within your writing as well. Following the directions you have been provided with, for instance, shows that you respect the individual or the institution that has given you those instructions. You can also exemplify respect for the program and the field you wish to enter, providing examples of successes and individuals you have been inspired by, and how you wish to utilize their influence moving forward in your education and career.
Lastly, another way that you can create a positive tone within your writing is by maintaining positivity. While positive emotions certainly do not entirely convey the entire range of feelings that we experience, it is not necessary to dwell in negativity or neutrality within your college essay. Instead, consider how to turn the focus on the positive even within negative situations. If you are describing a struggle within your personal life, point out what you have learned or a new skill you have developed, or a shifted perspective you have gained. This can allow you to address your personal experiences without the content of your essay becoming too heavy.
Cultivate and Conquer
A professional tone within your college essay will ensure that you are presenting yourself in a capable and intelligent manner. This often leads to more success, as those who are reviewing your application can focus on your qualifications and not be distracted by sifting through a tone that is less-than-professional and trying to judge your admissions decision based on that.
If you would like additional assistance with your college essay and another set of eyes to help you maintain a professional tone, connect with Cultivate today! We are here to come alongside you as you grow through the college admissions process, and we want to see you succeed!