For example, “I’m writing this essay to show people my heart and how passionate I am about removing disparities and barriers in healthcare. I believe in my abilities, and I want to further my education, so I can help heal people.”
Step 1: Identify The Reader And Their Expectations
The intended reader might be one specific person or group of people, such as a scholarship committee or hiring manager. On the other hand, it might be a large unknown audience, such as anyone who follows your blog or searches for a specific topic. Or it might be a targeted unknown audience, for example, a cancer survivor who writes a memoir essay meant to inspire other people fighting cancer.
Regardless of the form or purpose of your writing, you should always start by identifying the reader. Then keep their perspective in mind as you plan and write. You want to give them what they expect, but at the same time, you must not give them what they expect. What does that mean?
You must give the reader(s) what they expect. Why is the reader bothering to read your writing about yourself? Stay focused on delivering on their expectations. The Costco hiring manager isn’t interested in how your family members beat cancer, and the cancer-surviving memoirist would be foolish to include a long digression about her breadth of customer service experience.
At the same time, you must not be predictable or rely on cliché. Your cover letter is probably in a stack of hundreds, and memoirs are not in short supply. Your goal is to deliver on the reader’s expectations, and at the same time to surprise them with the detail that makes your story unique.
Why It Is Important Knowing How to Write About Yourself
Knowing how to write an essay about yourself is essential for many grounds. Some of the most common situations when people would need this is for professional reasons – to describe themselves to an employer or an academic institution for admission. While your biography or previous performance record normally have a huge weight in evaluating your candidacy, there are some aspects that may only be conveyed by you personally in a clearly-formulated, well-structured, efficient essay or block of text.
Among the personal information for which a self-description is indispensable are your purposes, life goals, long-term career vision, primary motivation, concerns, personal challenges envisioned, honest assessment of your personal strengths and weaknesses. Writing such papers openly is an important self-analysis tool – it is not a coincidence that many psychologists use this technique for gaining better understanding of themselves or for fighting stress.
How to Start an Essay About Yourself & How to Structure It
Like many other essay types, this one would also have an introduction, body, conclusion. Introductory part may vary a lot depending on the scope of the essay. To capture attention, it could start with describing a life event or story defining your life/ personality, a certain belief or state of mind characterizing you. It could start with some basic notes on your biography or could provide some important context describing where you are now in life. You could share a personal vision, dream, life credo and efforts of pursuing it.
Main body would contain a deeper exploration/ dissection of the traits mentioned with more factual details and real-life examples confirming them. One could mention and explain which challenges, experience, background exactly led to the evolution of these traits.
If this essay is part of professional or academic competition, the story should explore/ tell how your experience, interests, achievements, developed competencies, and personal traits qualify you for a given position and how obtaining this position is in line with your aspirations and goals.
In this kind of writing, it is particularly important making the conclusion strong and memorable. The conclusion should restate the idea, perhaps, less directly, that all your life and professional experience make you a good match for the targeted position but it should do much more than this, for instance, mention some relevant open questions regarding one’s biography, mention a long-sought dream that could be fulfilled, offer prophetic vision about one’s own future, short mention of one’s meaning of life and potentially, how it relates to current goals, very brief distilled overview of one’s entire past along with some interpreting remarks, especially, in case of an autobiography.
Tips for Writing About Yourself Creatively or Confidently
Talking or writing about yourself may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For example, did you need to provide a fun fact recently but draw a blank? You’re not alone. In fact, many people have a false assumption that they’re boring.
On the flip side, perhaps you’re used to talking about yourself, or, at least you’ve got the “fake it till you make it” type of confidence down-pat. However, you too can only benefit from adding a bit more razzle-dazzle to your spiels and writing assignments. Here are a few tips for writing about yourself creatively or confidently.
Allow yourself space
If you have an upcoming project or writing assignment that has you on edge, consider stepping away. Even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person, a walk around the block may help you breathe and get your creativity flowing. Naturally, the more sound your idea or angle, the more confident you’ll feel about your upcoming performance.
Keep that ego in check
An underinflated ego is just as bad as an overinflated one. Pay close attention to your internal dialogue when approaching new projects or writing tasks (or, honestly anything that comes up during your day). How much of what swirls around in your mind is fact? How much of it is just fleeting thoughts or opinions? You are not your thoughts, and you always have choices. Make good ones and be kind to yourself.
Change your internal dialogue to, “I have good ideas. I may not have my plan figured out right now, but I’ll get it done,” or, “I have so many great skills to bring to the table and I am very passionate about what’s brought me here. I will convey this the best I can.”
Sometimes an outside opinion can give us much-needed perspective. Ask your friends, family, loved ones, or coworkers to describe you in a few words or even in abstract ways. Don’t view this as you’re fishing for compliments. Ask your loved ones for honesty, as this insight can only help you when writing about yourself.
Build up a fuel bank
Pulling inspiration out of thin air may not always be possible. However, if you build up a few reliable sources of inspiration, the next time a project hits, you’ll be prepared. You can fuel your creativity and confidence in a variety of ways.
For example, you can create certain playlists for different moods, save favorite art or graphics in a digital folder or keep printed versions in your home or office, write down affirmations or notes-to-self in a journal or app, and so on.
Reflect on past accomplishments and setbacks
Even if you aren’t a fan of journaling, writing about yourself is far easier if you take the time to reflect, if only mentally. If you know you have a deadline to write about yourself in the near future, you may want to physically or mentally jot down a few real-life examples or experiences that come to mind.
But how do you get in the right headspace to reflect? What if you only witness recurring thoughts about past events while trying to fall asleep? Be sure to practice the first tip in this section: Give yourself some space to think. For once, limit the distractions, keep all other screens put away or turn on your “do not disturb” feature.
Now, think about some past accomplishments or setbacks that may not even seem relevant to the topic of the assignment. You may have an epiphany about unrelated things or discover something about how you operate. For example, you might realize that you feel less nervous in social and professional settings if you call out your anxiety as being excited.
Examples of Writing About Yourself
Even if you feel super confident about writing about yourself now, we wanted to provide a few short examples to help you get started. Your tone, word choice, and more may differ depending on which piece you’re working on.
Those were probably the best and the worst days of my life. I had never felt more happy and never felt more sad. I felt as though I were so close to having everything I had ever wanted, yet it seemed with every step forward, I had to take two steps back. It was exhausting. How did I get through it? To be quite honest, I have no damn idea.
Perspective helped. I knew I could have had it way worse; I knew that my struggle wasn’t unique. I knew, too, that even when the small wins would come they’d have yet another loss right on their tails. I paid dearly for having too much heart and optimism, so I regularly had to hose myself down with logic and pessimism.
If you’re reading this, it’s too late. Just kidding! That’s just a really good Drake album. I wanted to take some time to talk about what’s been going on in my life lately for those of you who are nosey enough to care. Again, kidding, I know some of you really care. I’m so grateful to have even this small following that I have. It’s wild, really. Who would have thought that people want to know what’s going on in my head at any given time? Joke’s on you guys, though, because I don’t fully know all the time.
I guess I’ll start off by saying that work has been a whirlwind. As you all know, it isn’t an easy time for anyone, so please don’t take this declaration as a complaint. I’m thrilled to still have a job despite everything going on. However, leaving this reflection at just that would be doing both myself and you all a disservice. It’s weak. It doesn’t really describe what’s been going on. Allow me to continue.
When I was young, my grandmother told me I couldn’t please everyone — that some people just wouldn’t like me for no reason at all. This was very hard for me to swallow at times. What does this have to do with who I am today and why I plan to attend your university?
Well, this early lesson demonstrates that in order for this world to keep spinning, we all have to be unwavering in our own pursuits. We are ourselves. We can’t be anyone else. In that, we all have the responsibility to bring our unique talents, wisdom, and heart to the table — even when we’re seated across from people who may not like us.