Writing a Personal Statement
Personal statement writing is a good opportunity to sell yourself during the application process. They fall into one of two categories:
- The comprehensive personal statement writing:
It allows you to have maximum amount freedom in writing. They are usually prepared for basic medical program entrances and for applications to law school.
- A response to specific questions:
Usually, applications for business and graduate school ask specific questions, and your personal statement must respond specifically to the question that is being asked. Some applications for business school favor multiple essays, asking for responses to three or more questions.
Questions to Ask Before Writing a Personal Statement
- What is special, distinctive, unique, and impressive about you and your life story?
- What details about your life might help the committee understand you and help set you apart from other applicants?
- When did you become interested in this sphere and what did you learn about it that further stimulated your interest as well as reinforced your conviction that you're well suited to this sphere?
- How did you learn about this sphere—through classes, seminars, readings, work or other experiences?
- If you've worked during your college years, what did you learn, and how did that work contribute to your growth?
- What are your goals for your career?
- Are there any gaps in your academic record which you have to explain?
- Did you have to overcome any unusual obstacles and hardships in your life?
- What personal characteristics do you possess which would improve the prospects for success in the sphere or profession you have chosen?
- What skills do you possess?
- Why may you be a better candidate for graduate school and more successful in the profession or sphere than other applicants?
- What are the best reasons you can give for the committee to be interested in you?
- If you're applying to more than one school, you may find questions in every application which are somewhat similar.
- Do not be tempted to use the same statement for all of applications. It's important to answer every question that is being asked, and if different answers are required, you need writing a personal statement for each application. In each case, make sure your answer fits the question that is being asked.
- Think in terms of demonstrating your qualities. Don't bore the admission's committee. If the statement is lively, fresh, and different, you will be putting yourself ahead of the pack.
- Do not state that you would make a perfect doctor unless you can prove it. Your desire to be an engineer, lawyer, or whatever must be logical, the result of experience which is described in the statement.
- If you are like most people, definitely your life story might lack drama. Figure out a way of expressing your story so that it becomes intriguing.
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