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How to Write a Professional Goals Essay

by Soheila Battaglia, Demand Media

    Whether applying for a scholarship, acceptance into an academic institution or employment by a particular company, you may be required to write a professional goals essay. The essay should address your intentions, your strengths and your intended long-term contribution to the profession.

    Motivation

    When writing about a goal -- whether personal, academic or professional -- show the reader your inspiration behind the goal. For example, if your professional aim is to apply your MBA skills to running your father's business, you can write about specifically why keeping the family business going matters to you. Explaining the motivations behind your goal not only serves to develop your essay, but it also provides a personalized view of the significance of your objectives.

    Connecting Education to Career

    Whether you are applying to an academic program, or trying to get hired for a particular job, your essay should address how your studies help you attain your professional goals. Explaining the connection between your academic plans and your career plans will show the reader that you have formulated a strategy to achieve your professional goals. This also gives the reader the opportunity to see that you have already taken active steps toward realizing these goals.

    Personal Characteristics

    Your essay should discuss your personal characteristics that make you a good fit for this profession. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that your essay address whether "you have special skills, like leadership, management, research, or communication." For example, if your goal is to be a judge, you can write about how fair-minded and unbiased you are. Make certain to provide evidence in the form of specific examples to support every personal quality you mention.

    Contribution

    A goals essay should address both short-term and long-term goals. Toward the end of the paper you should explain how, in the long-term, your work will contribute to further the field. For example, if your goal is to be a chemist, you can explain how you ultimately intend to discover a cure for cancer. Or if you are a woman intending to join a profession generally dominated by men, you can address how your perspective as a woman will diversify the field.

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    About the Author

    Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.

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    • Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

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