Posted on

How to Write a Career Goals Essay

Writing an essay about your achievements and aspirations takes a lot of work. First of all, you need to clearly understand your objective and have a specific plan for how to get it. Your career goals essay should communicate your current situation and the steps you plan to take for your professional growth in the coming years. It may seem daunting, but it is far from an unmanageable task. Our detailed writing guide will walk you through the process. Just take small, focused steps, and you’ll find yourself holding an outstanding essay that can open a window of opportunities for you.

What a career goals essay is

It’s an essay where you outline your professional objectives, ambitions, and the path you intend to follow to achieve your career aspirations. It typically includes a detailed description of both short-term and long-term career goals. You must also explain how your background, experiences, and education have prepared you to pursue these goals. To win readers’ hearts, your essay should also contain the specific steps you will take to get from point A (your current position) to point B (the desired professional destination).

The essay you write should be specific and creatively showcase your personality. For instance, if you apply for a scholarship and need to submit a career goals essay, it might be the way to truly show the application committee who you are in a personal way that doesn’t come through in a transcript. Your essay is the place where you can communicate your ambitions, dreams, and aspirations. 

When you might need to write it

Most educational institutions ask you to explain your goals and aspirations when applying. Apart from your academic achievements, the application committee wants to understand if the school or college you are applying to is a good fit. Application committees assess your achievements and consider the possibilities and opportunities they can offer you. Applying to educational institutions is just one situation where you might need to write a career goals essay. Here’s our list of four situations where you might send a career goals essay:

  • College and graduate school applications. As mentioned, many schools require applicants to submit a career goals essay as part of their admissions process. It helps admission committees understand applicants’ aspirations and how the institution can support their academic and professional development.
  • Scholarship applications. Only those who can clearly explain the reasons why they need a scholarship and how they plan to use it can count on winning it.
  • Job applications. In some cases, when applying for internships or full-time jobs, employers may request you write about your career aspirations as part of the application process. It helps them evaluate whether your objectives align with the company’s mission and whether you have a clear professional growth plan.
  • Personal development and planning. You may also write such essays for personal growth. They serve as a roadmap for your future, helping you clarify your aspirations and the necessary steps to achieve them.

What the prompt might look like

To better understand how the task can look, here’s an example of a career goals essay prompt.

Please provide a comprehensive essay outlining your career goals and how you plan to achieve them. In your response, consider the following:

  1. The specific field, industry, or profession you intend to pursue.
  2. The relevance of your academic experiences to your career goals.
  3. The steps and strategies you will take to attain your objectives.
  4. How the institution/scholarship program can support your aspirations.

As you can see, the task can be rather specific and even have a checklist of things you need to include in your essay. However, there still is plenty of room for your creativity.

How to choose a topic for your career goals essay

If you have the opportunity to select a topic yourself, you can use the following tips to help you make the right choice.

  • Follow your passion. If you are considering a new role/job/school, you should follow your passion. Let your true feelings show in the essay you write. Your enthusiasm for the subject will come through in your writing and make your essay more engaging.
  • Consider your strengths. What can you do well? How can you leverage your unique abilities in your chosen career path?
  • Research career options. Investigate different career options within your field of interest. This research can help you discover specific roles that appeal to you.
  • Evaluate long-term prospects. Is it a field that has opportunities for growth and advancement? Will it be relevant 5 or 10 years from now?
  • Consider your long-term happiness. The career you choose should stay in demand and correlate with your interests. Think about how it will contribute to your overall satisfaction with life. You should aim to pursue a fulfilling career that brings you joy.
  • Feasibility and realism. Ensure that your career goals are realistic and attainable. While ambition is admirable, your goals should be within reach with the right effort and resources.
  • Uniqueness and distinction. What makes your career goals unique, and how does your perspective stand out? What sets you apart?
Can't define a topic for your paper?underline
Get help from our writers at $13.40/page
Ask for help Waves

Structure of a career goals essay

Here is a typical structure for this type of essay. You can use these points as a basis for your outline.


Objective: to attract readers’ attention and clearly state your main career goals and their significance.

Your Educational Background

Objective: to explain how your academic experiences and achievements have prepared you for your chosen career path.

Stating the Goals

Objective: to communicate your short-term (1-5 years) and long-term (5+ years) career objectives and why they matter.

Relevance of Goals

Objective: connect your educational background to your career goals. 

Action Plan

Objective: to define the specific steps and strategies you plan to take to achieve your goals.

Why This School/College/Scholarship

Objective: to explain why it is the perfect place for you to get the educational background to help you pursue your career.


Objective: to leave a lasting impression on the reader by concluding with a strong, insightful statement.

How to write a career goals essay: step-by-step guide

Now, let’s look at the writing process itself. Here is a list of steps you can take to write a memorable and convincing piece.

1. Understand the prompt

Carefully read the essay prompt to ensure you understand the specific requirements and expectations. If confused, don’t hesitate to  clarify some of the prompt’s points with someone from the organization.

2. Brainstorm ideas

Reflect on your career aspirations, interests, values, and experiences. Brainstorm possible topics and define key points you want to include in your essay.

3. Define a career goal

Choose a career goal or aspiration that aligns with your passions and interests. Ensure it’s a goal you’re genuinely committed to pursuing.

4. Create an outline

Develop an outline with a standard essay structure. See the previous section of this article to do this task faster. Outline the key points and arguments you want to make.

5. Write a strong introduction

Begin with an engaging opening that grabs the reader’s attention. Use a relevant hook to do so. Also, state the purpose of your essay: to discuss your career goals and the path to achieving them.

6. Discuss your educational background

Describe your current academic situation, including your institution, major, and relevant coursework or achievements. Highlight any correlations between your education and prospective career goals.

7. Provide more information on your career goals

List your short-term and long-term goals, specifying the desired field or profession. Connect these goals with your values and passions.

8. Discuss the congruence of your goals

If you have been studying English literature for the past four years, it might look strange if you write about the goal of becoming an astronaut with the help of this scholarship. It helps if there’s a clear connection between your skills and knowledge and the career you want to pursue. 

9. Present your plan of action

Let the committee know what steps you are planning to take. Discuss the resources and support you need, such as further education, certifications, or training. Explain how you plan to use your strengths and overcome possible challenges on your way to success.

10. Explain why you’ve chosen to apply there

This is the part where you explain the relevance of your choice. What can this particular institution or scholarship give you? 

11. Highlight your achievements

Showcase any relevant accomplishments, awards, or activities demonstrating your commitment to your career goals.

12. Discuss possible challenges

If you’ve faced or anticipate facing obstacles or setbacks, discuss them and explain how you’ve overcome or plan to overcome them. It is crucial to show your resilience and determination.

13. End with a strong conclusion

Summarize your career goals and the key points of your essay. Better not to present new points at this stage. Highlight your enthusiasm and commitment to your chosen field again.

14. Proofread and edit

Something that can spoil your masterpiece is grammar mistakes. It can help to use proofreading tools to help you spot things you might overlook. Also, take a final look at your piece and check that all the paragraphs are in place and there are smooth transitions between them.

Final tips

  • Be specific. Otherwise, the readers of your essay will decide that you don’t know what you want. Avoid vague statements and be clear about the position or field you want to pursue. 
  • Mention transferable skills. Discuss the skills and knowledge you’ve gained that are transferable to your future career. For instance, maybe working in a laboratory taught you to be careful and attentive. Now, you can use these skills to work on your new project after receiving the scholarship.
  • Be honest and authentic. Avoid exaggeration or providing misleading information. Only writing the things you think the admissions committee wants to hear even if they’re not true, in the long run, probably will not get you very far.
  • Tailor your essay. Customize your essay for each application. Address some unique features of every organization you apply to. Doing so will show the committee that you’ve made an effort and conducted thorough research.
  • Be positive. Keep an optimistic tone in your essay. Show that you’re excited about your future and the contributions you can make to your chosen field.

Remember that EssayShark writers are always here to assist you with your career goals essay. They know what to write to make your piece stand out and they’re eager to help you.

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

Explore our free
underlineessay tools
Explore essay tools
AI tools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *