How to Showcase Your Strength in Your College Application Essays?

This is a trick question. You want to always emphasize your strengths. A good first step towards finding your personal strengths is to look at the barriers you’ve faced in life and you will definitely find something good to start with. Find more about it in this article

Updated by Smriti Singh on 30th April 2020

The high school students often struggle with writing about their strengths in the college application essays. Well, your greatest strength is to know where you stand, what you can do, what you can achieve and what you cannot. You can write about things that you have already overcome. Always start by writing with strengths and end with the weakness because admissions officers have to read some thousands of applications so if you start with a weakness and if it’s wrongly worded or explained, it can turn off the reader from the start. 

While talking about the strengths, one of the biggest mistakes that students make is focusing on the highlights and achievements. The two reasons to consider this as a mistake are as follows:

  1. Your activities and awards list will be able to cover any significant accolades that you have won or achieved

  2. The process of how you have accomplished your goals is the more interesting aspect of success

You need to spend the majority of the time talking about how you positively stand out from other students.

How to Showcase Your Strength in Your College Application Essays?

Some of strengths you could talk about are:

Leadership skills and potential

Not having leadership examples in your application can be a big no from the college. Thus, if you have leadership experience, you should always make sure to highlight it. You could mention a story where you had a leadership role, activities you did in a group that made a difference to others, or even volunteer experiences. You can highlight a specific example where you used your talents and skills to lead and help others.

Commitment

Many high school students start projects, but not all of them are able to finish it. Take time to highlight your commitment to complete the projects. In your high school, if you were a core member of an extracurricular activity, you could mention your long-term commitment to the club. Being able to complete tasks while having various distractions is another good quality to showcase.

Intellectual curiosity

 Do you have a specific project that you are passionate about that isn’t related to your regular schoolwork? You could highlight your talents and the lessons you learned from that process.

Your strengths essay should not just be a list of all of your top accomplishments. That doesn’t give the admissions officers any insight into your life. Instead, you should have a personal story or examples to back up your accomplishments. There are not high chances of you screwing up your strengths, and thus most admission officers will likely be on your side from the start. If you present a great strength then that will get the officer even more on your side so that when it comes to your weakness, the officer will think it’s okay because he/she has a great strength that can help mitigate the weakness.

Ending on a brief note...

  • Don’t try to stuff in too much information.

  • Reflect on how you will apply what you learned to your future goals. 

  • You don’t need a formal summary paragraph. 

  • Go out positive and forward-looking.