This may sound so obvious as to be useless, but hear us out.
The way you write about your career goals is at least as important as what the career goals actually are.
Or to put it another way: If the reader can’t figure out what you’re saying you want to do with the MBA, then it does not matter if, in your head, you are 100% clear on your plans.
You may have built out the most water-tight post-MBA path for yourself that the world has ever seen. Yet if you cannot communicate that clearly, concisely, and simply, in one or two sentences, then it’s at best only adequate in the context of pitching the school.
At worst, a poorly-worded career goal can actively interfere with your chances of getting accepted.
If you write convoluted sentences that are difficult to unpack, your reader will not try to unpack them. They will work at figuring it out for a moment, and then they will move on.
If you are vague or imprecise on the thing you say you want to do, then you are not coming through on your part of the bargain, which is to answer the question that the adcom has posed in a way that they can capture your meaning.
Many applicants end up overcomplicating things by inserting fancy words, or trying to sound like they have all these huge ambitions and big dreams.
You’re not rewarded for how ambitious you sound.
You’re rewarded for coming across as an authentic and sincere candidate who has good reason and rationale for wanting to pursue the goals you say that you have.
There are lots of ways to screw up an app.
Writing in clear, straightforward sentences is not likely to be one of them.
When we critique a submission for our Career Goals App Accelerator or we do a full review of your drafts in the Essay Decimator, we’re looking at what you say but we’re also giving feedback on how you say it.
We will always give comments on whether the goals you’ve defined are sensible and workable as part of the app.
And we’ll also always tell you if your writing is obtuse or nonsensical or sends us spinning into circles of confusion from which our sanity may not escape intact.
Unfortunately, if the writing is really that bad, it becomes a literally painful experience to read what you’ve written – and that can entice Grumpy Snark to come out when it’s time to review what you wrote. Your best way through the maze of feedback and revisions and into the Land of Good Essay Nirvana is to sweat the details on your sentences and do lots and lots of rewrites BEFORE you send them for review.
Make sure your sentences make sense! Do that before you ask another human being to read them!
It does not matter if your goals are great if the sentences are cryptic and backwards.
And, make sure you are answering the question that the adcom has asked (or that the exercise has asked, in the case of the App Accelerator prompt).
Read your essay out loud. Does it sound like you? No really: Is that a word you actually use?
There’s lots of ways for an essay to go sideways.
But if you are clear in your writing — you know what you are trying to say, and you are careful in stringing together the words that you’re using to say it — then you’re at least halfway through the gauntlet of constructing a strong message that a reader may actually respond to.