One of the most common mistakes when it comes to talking about recognition within a professional achievement section is to write down the name of an award, and stop before explaining it. This is a mistake that is easy to understand – after all, for the person who got the award, it is extremely special, and the very name comes with all the positive emotional baggage. However, to the person at the other end, the mere name of the award means nothing, and is usually enough to discount the entire line or section in which it appears.
What is needed to position an award well is much more: first, the percentile of people who achieve that honour is an absolute must, because it places the achievement in perspective. Next, a short description of the distinctive achievement which merited the award is also necessary; in dwelling on the achievement for a few words, you will be able to invest the award with more importance and significance, in the eyes of the reader. Finally, you need to talk about the impact to the organization at large from your excellent work, that which led to the award of the honour. If you do this, an award will have most significance in the context of your overall professional experience, and it will serve as the badge of honour it undoubtedly.
Show your writing on your professional achievements to senior mentors at your workplace Some of these might even be your recommenders; when you get feedback on professional achievement coverage in your main application from someone who has written a recommendation letter, you are doubly fortunate. Of course, you are able to get advice from a senior professional who has observed your work closely; that is always good. In addition, you will also get uniformity; their inputs will, consciously or unconsciously, bring your application and their recommendation closer together, and this will serve as an additional layer of confirmation (for the Admissions Board) that your whole application hangs together, and that it is credible and legitimate.
It is also important to show your professional achievement coverage to senior mentors in the right way; given that they are likely to be very busy, it is best to vet the highlights with them, rather than take them through every detail. It is usually best to prepare a few pointed questions for them, and show them relevant exhibits from the application, so that you use them in the best possible way – in small doses, and for maximum impact.
This way, you have the additional validation of experience on your side, and this provides a lot of mental security.