No matter what it is that you plan to do professionally, having a college education can definitely make getting a job easier. However, before you can get the degree in your hands, you have to be accepted into a college first. And, a part of the application process is to fill out an application; one that contains an essay portion.

Being that college admission departments see literally hundreds of applications each semester, it’s important that you do all that you can to insure that your essay is both a powerful and a memorable one. That’s why we wanted to offer you five tips on how to write a great college application essay below:

Be honest. When it comes to your college application essay, something that’s important to keep in mind is it will be the first impression that the college admissions department will ever have of you. Therefore, you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward and that starts by being open, sincere and honest. Remember, your essay is not so much about creating yourself but presenting who you are in such a genuine kind of way so that the college will want to learn more about you.

Have a creative approach. As you’re trying to narrow down the topics to write on, it’s important to be as creative as possible in your approach. Remember that since the admissions department is going to be reading lots of essays, yours needs to stand out from the crowd. In choosing a topic, you can start by avoiding certain ones that admission departments tend to frown upon like views on politics or religion, travel entries, tragedies, narratives on illegal activities and simply listing your accomplishments. Remember, your essay needs to showcase your talents and abilities while providing a unique insight on whatever it is that you choose to discuss. At the same time, it needs to be encouraging, inspirational and non-offensive too.

Watch your ego. Even if you have achieved a lot of things, it can be a bit of a turn-off if the entire essay comes off as you bragging about how great you think that you are. It’s OK to talk about certain achievements that will help to accentuate the overall message of your essay but before you turn it in, read it to someone else. Just to make sure that you convey confidence rather than arrogance.

Express your individuality. One way to avoid having your essay seem like a needle in a haystack is to express your individuality. For instance, say that you want to attend the Nossi College of Art. As you’re filling out your college application essay , don’t forget to write it in your natural tone of voice. Also, it’s OK to add a bit of humor to the piece too. You want your essay to make people feel like they are speaking directly to you; only on paper.

Check for errors. No matter how great the content of your essay is, it’s not going to be super-impressive if it’s riddled with errors. Therefore, make sure that you check it, a few times, for grammatical errors and misspellings. The more perfect your essay appears to be, the better impression you will make. Good luck!