Have you ever wondered why "that" guy was selected and you weren't although you clearly had a better profile and background than him. When you two stood together you were the obvious choice for the B-school. But remember, the admissions committee is not stupid. "That" guy might have been more expressive in his essays than you had. He has efficiently utilized the word limit provided to highlight his achievements creatively, however little those achievements had been.
Here are some points regarding essays that I have figured what might screw up your chances of admission, in spite of having an excellent record.
- Do not lose focus. After you have written your essay, find out how many words you can edit out. Be brief, focus on the essay topic and stick to the word limit. There is absolutely no need to rephrase your resume.
- Do not use industry jargon. Using industry jargon to describe the work to do is probably the worst thing to do with your application. Not everyone can understand your ABCD... Just include enough detail about your responsibilities to frame the story and then focus on yourself. Too much jargon only clutters the space provided.
- Do not make lame excuses. First of all, there is no need to write about an embarrassing failure that you committed and whine about it. If an incident is important in shaping your career, do mention it, take responsibility of your mistake and write about what you learnt. This also holds true for your bad grades and low GMAT score.
- Do not restate facts about the school. You need not state, "The schools has most of the guest faculty from top 5 US B-school". Don't you think the admissions committee know it already?
- Do not forget to show your research on the school. All the business schools provide the best they can, or at least show that they are the best, be it average GMAT score, diversity, etc. But there are unique offering by every top school. Mentioning the specifics in the application shows that you are keen on joining their program.
- Do not use lame phrases. Expressions like "thinking outside the box" tends to turn off the readers. Do not use such phrases.
- Watch your voice. Avoid using passive voice and avoid being too informal. Use a tone which you would normally use in an interview. The overall voice does reflect your personality.
- Do not forget to get the application reviewed. Getting your essays reviewed by a third person gives you another picture and provides you with a reflection of how it actually represents you. Get it reviewed by at least 3-4 experienced people and avoid reviews by friends or relatives. Their reviews might be biased.