Let the resume tell your chronological accomplishments from work, volunteer, and extra curricular activities. Let recommendations brag about the more qualitative pieces of who you are - personality, drive, etc. And, let the essay tell the reader how you think, your aspirations, and where those aspirations come from. In most cases, this stems from a story or series of events that are pivotal in your life. Here are some questions that might help you pinpoint these types of events:
- Was there an event that changed how you thought about friendships, life, or family? Perhaps seeing a close person in your life in a new light?
- What would your friends say are important moments of your life?
- When did you feel most proud of yourself? Or when were you most disappointed in yourself?
Once you settle on the topic, don't forget to expand on the story and why it's significant, how it's changed who you are/your goals, and how it ties to your aspirations for the future or your more immediate next steps.