Tips for a Well-Written Biography

There are less than two weeks left to apply for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship. If you haven’t started your application yet or are having trouble answering some of the questions, you are not alone. Many applicants are working on putting their accomplishments and goals into words and getting those words down on paper. To help you with your application, we have some easy-to-follow tips for writing a great Fellowship application.

Tips for a Well-Written Biography
Tips for a Well-Written Biography

Keep it short. All of the free response questions have word limits, so try to answer them as clearly and simply as possible. You’ll have many opportunities to discuss your work!

Read the questions carefully. No matter how well your response is written, if it doesn’t answer the question being asked, it will hurt your chances of being selected. While many questions may seem similar, they are opportunities to explore different aspects of your work and elaborate without repeating yourself.

Don’t be afraid of drafts. The first thing you write doesn’t have to be what you end up submitting. In fact, it is better to get your ideas and thoughts down on paper, take a break, and then come back to clean up what you’ve written. It is okay to have a draft or two or ten!

Don’t use lists. It can be tempting to list everything you have accomplished in your lifetime. But writing about what you’ve done without providing context doesn’t show the reviewers who you are. Choose the things you are proudest of, then elaborate on how you reached your goals and how you impacted others.

Write for your audience. This rule applies to anything you write. When you are filling out your application, remember you are speaking to a reviewer who has to read a lot of applications and doesn’t know you personally. They are looking for leaders who stand out.

Use YALI Network resources. Check out the latest blog post for more tips on how to write an attention-grabbing biography. We have also developed a biography questionnaire resource that you can fill in to help you write your biography.

Related Articles

Back to top button