Award Entry Tip #3: Start Early!

Give yourself plenty of lead time to put together an outstanding application. Rushing through entries at the last minute often results in critical information being overlooked or poorly presented, greatly reducing your chances of success. Identify submission deadlines months in advance and create a project plan for drafting content, gathering supporting materials, getting stakeholder reviews and finalizing your polished entry well in advance.

Carefully Review Category Questions and Criteria

Closely examine category descriptions, questions and judging criteria to understand exactly what information you need to provide in your responses to directly address what award judges will analyze. Ensure you have fully showcased achievements and outcomes tied to each scoring criteria area. Reference the criteria throughout your responses.

Follow all Formatting Specifications Provided in the Entry Form

Carefully adhere to all formatting requirements provided for items like word counts, attachments and multimedia limitations. Many applications specify precise word or character limits for each written response - be sure to pay close attention to these restrictions and edit responses to align. Judges often need to evaluate many entries in a short time, so conforming to specified response lengths signals discipline, allows for faster scoring, and prevents important information from getting lost in overly long submissions. Following all directions shows discipline while verifying entries meet the standard format makes the judges job easier.

Submit neatly formatted, legible content without spelling and grammar mistakes. Always proof your entry before hitting the submit button!