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Thread: Editing Help Appreciated

  1. #1
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    Post Editing Help Appreciated

    Recently, as some of you know, I've been working to complete my Air Force ROTC scholarship application. There is but one writing section on it that I think may be able to use some rewording or improvements in vocabulary, as I'm not the best writer. I would highly appreciate it if anyone on here (who is a decent writer) could take a look at these two 'personal statements' and tell me what they think and/or how they could use improvements.

    I only have six lines to hand write the both of these, so they're very short - (which is why I'd like them to be as good as possible). Yes, I'm aware they are somewhat cheesy, but that's kind of how they have to be.

    Question 1:
    "Why do you want to be an Air Force officer?"

    -I would like to become an Air Force officer to serve our country and to fly the world's best aircraft. I have had a strong interest in aviation since a young age, so joining the Air Force to serve The United States while exercising that interest is an ideal path for me to take.

    Question 2:
    "What can you offer The United States Air Force?"

    -I can offer the United States Air Force a variety of attributes. Most importantly, I can offer dedication and a strong desire to meet goals. I offer a well rounded personality with leadership skills and the ability to work effectively in a variety of different areas.

    I'm not crazy about the last one and how much I use the word offer, but I can't really find anything to replace it with.
    Keep in mind that these can't be any longer than they already are.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    Matt
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    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  2. #2
    Nepenthes101's Avatar
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    Everything sounds great. On the last line you could edit the punctuation a bit.

    Like this:
    I can offer the United States Air Force a variety of attributes. Most importantly, I can offer dedication, a strong desire to meet goals, and a well rounded personality with leadership skills and the ability to work effectively in a variety of different areas.


    I wish the best of luck to you Matt.

  3. #3
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    For question one, I think you could be more direct. Check online for resume advice - it's more or less the same deal. You're using a passive voice, and the people deciding where the money is going to go will want to pick applicants that sound proactive. Try to avoid passive words like had, would, want and can. (Sometimes it isn't an option, but those types of words are heavily overused. A thesaurus is helpful; pick more interesting words whenever you can. On the other hand, try not to sound like a smart alec.)
    I suggest something like, "Aviation has interested me since a young age; exercising that interest by serving in the United States Air Force is an ideal path to pursue." Choose your words carefully to convey your confidence and strength of will.
    Using keywords from the application materials, or the organization you're applying to, tends to get extra attention. It seems counterintuitive, and even ingenuine, but people respond positively if you mimic their mannerisms. "Air Force" is the right term, but amongst military crowds they love to use acronyms, or fully-qualified official names, so I think that "United States Air Force" or "USAF" will work better for you.
    For the second response, you seem to have the right idea, but I can offer two criticisms. First, you're using basically the same sentence structure three times in a row - as someone who studied writing for some time, that jumps right off the page at me. Depending on who reads your application, they might not hold it against you, but you could reword things to sound a little more interesting. Second, those characteristics don't make you stand out at all - basically you're saying that you're committed to military service, which is what near anyone in your position would say, and then you reinforce the notion that you have nothing special to offer by saying that you can work in a variety of areas. (No offense - I don't actually think that of you, but that's a kind of statement often made by folks who have no outstanding accomplishments to cite, so jaded bosses will often assume the worst.)
    Flexibility will win you points, but coming off as vague, evasive or unfocused will hurt you. Try instead to pick a few things that you're very good at that highlight your diversity of skills, and describe those. Mention your versatility as a footnote once you've established that you can dedicate yourself to something. You want the reviewer thinking something like, "Oh hey, I would never expect that a varsity football player would also be very active in community leadership programs and managed to become an accomplished amateur horticulturalist in his spare time."
    Best luck!
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  4. #4
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    Wow, thank you very much Joe. Those suggestions will definitely be put to use.

    After reading it again, I completely agree with what your saying about the last statement. Too vague and boring with sentences that sound the same.

    Thank you too, Mike.
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    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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    back2eight's Avatar
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    Question 2:
    "What can you offer The United States Air Force?"

    -I can offer the United States Air Force a variety of attributes. Most importantly, I can offer dedication and a strong desire to meet goals. I offer a well rounded personality with leadership skills and the ability to work effectively in a variety of different areas.


    Take out the first sentence altogether. And since it is a branch of armed forces, they may want to hear about your strong loyalty to the United States and desire to defend civilians and our country. Well-rounded needs to be hyphenated. How about something like this:

    I am a dedicated worker who sets goals and sees them to completion. I have leadership skills and a well-rounded personality. I work well with others and am a problem-solver and multi-tasker. I will work hard at any job put before me. I am a proud American, loyal to our country, and dedicated to doing whatever it takes to protect our country and keep it free and the people safe.

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    "Oh, now he's a philosophizer" Baylorguy's Avatar
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    I have nothing more to add. The few posts already did an excellent job of making suggestions, but I wanted to say you are an exceptional writer. I think you'll do just fine.

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    Hermopolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theyellowdart View Post
    "What can you offer The United States Air Force?"
    This question is actually asking if you have any skills that would make you successful in the USAF. These kind of questions drive at discovering (a) are you going to fit into the military culture, and (b) are you going to be successful within the military culture once admitted. The last thing they want is to admit someone who is going to end up being a liability because they cannot fit into the culture or will not be successful to competently execute their duties.

    Most of the time, the people who read these applications care less about your enthusiasm (or your love of the USAF) than whether you have thought about why you would be successful in a military career.

    -Hermes.
    "The grass withers, the flower fades. But the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8)

    My Grow List Updated Oct 22/2010.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    I would recommend you read some of the great speeches for inspiration...

    e.g., MacArthur's Farewell

    Av

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