- Address the questions you’re asked.
Questions asked in awards programs are there for a reason. They are looking to uncover specific traits, talents or details which can inform the judging process and are important to the award that is up for grabs.
Often, applicants will create perfect, polished answers - to the wrong questions. There’s no point in putting a spate of experience and thoughts on display to judges if it’s not what they’re looking for.
In fact, judges often comment that applicants were unable to address the specifics of a question, even where their statements were well composed and articulated.
- Proof is important
Referencing examples of your work is an important part of an awards submission.
Judges strip back your words to look for proof and substantive evidence. They aren’t swayed by the marketing, they’re swayed by the product.
One way to make sure all your sentences are jam packed with proof is to re-read them and think: what is a fact about me the judges learnt from this sentence? If the answer is “that I like lots of adjectives,” then you need to reassess your approach.
- Don’t assume a judge knows you
Quality awards programs will always have thorough verification processes, where statements are fact checked, profiles are verified and the public activity of a candidate is monitored.
However, applicants often assume a level of familiarity that doesn’t exist. They assume a judge will be wholly aware of their career progress.
If judges can’t see or prove your statements and success, it’s difficult to assume the information you are supplying is correct and relevant.
- Presentation counts for something
An awards submission is about the information you present, not about the way you jazz it up. Judges are always looking to tick off criteria, not for a grand-scale marketing presentation.
However, consistently poor spelling, grammar or sentence structure can be enough to raise a red flag. For example, if you are putting yourself forward for a leadership category, and you can’t articulate your skills without typos, or you didn’t do a quick spell check, a judge may dig around to substantiate your care factor.