MBA APPLICATION STORY HACKS, PART 5: How to Be Convincing and Believable

How to be convincing and believable?

“Show, Don’t Tell”

Dovetailing off the previous storytelling technique, the “show, don’t tell” rule is absolutely essential in writing convincing MBA essays and recommendations.

In short, the applicant needs to “show” us a particular truth about themselves by using a vivid, active, and specific example, rather than merely “telling” the reader this same truth through a vague description or explanation.

The key to “showing” a particular truth is providing the necessary evidence to back it up. That evidence could be quantitative proof (numbers, percentages), active proof (verbs), and specific details that actually convince us of that truth. “Show” us that you’ve done or achieved something. 

When an applicant “tells” us that they’re “a very strong leader,” why should we believe them? Furthermore, when the writer describes him or herself this way, they lack humility. You’d never declare yourself to be a “very strong leader” in the middle of an interview. Instead, it’s far more convincing to “show” us this very same truth by providing the evidence.

Not only will you come across as more self-aware, but you’ll also convince us that you’ve got the goods to gain admission into a top MBA program.