How to Write Personal Statement
Knowing how to write personal statement is one of the best ways through which you can easily master the art of writing. The skills will enable you to craft outstanding research papers, essays and other academic papers for successful results. Read on for the best tips and examples on how to write personal statement.
A personal statement refers to an essay or paper that describes your ambitions, skills and experiences. Such papers are often requested by tutors for evaluation on whether students qualify for various courses. Besides, there are also some job applications whereby you will be requested to submit a personal statement. This implies it is critical for you to know how to write personal statement.
Writing a personal statement gives you an opportunity to market yourself for a prospective course, hence, has a greater bearing on your overall performance and application results.
It is also important to note that a personal statement can fall into two categories; comprehensive or general personal statement and specific response statement. In writing a general personal statement, you have the freedom of covering various elements about yourself that can enable you to secure the chance. This type is mainly written in applications for medical or law schools.
A specific response personal statement requires you to write the statement based on the particular questions asked in the application form. Such personal statements are often written for business and graduate school applications.
Tips on how to write personal statement
Although there are two different kinds of personal statements, the guidelines on writing are similar. However, there are considerations that you have to make in order to deliver a unique personal statement.
The following guidelines will assist you on how to write personal statement
Take some time to understand yourself
Writing a good personal statement requires you to critically analyze yourself and tell the reader more than just what the eyes can see. This is important because admission officers are always looking for essays that are not only interesting but also insightful and revealing. In this way, they will be able to know that you have successfully undergone through a process of careful self reflection and examination.
Try to think about the things that you know, including bits of successes that you have achieved so far. Take a general look at yourself to generate ideas for writing the essay.
Look for unique angles
Although there is so much that you may want to discuss about yourself, it should be noted that a good personal statement focuses on the unusual but outstanding elements. This means that you should look out for those unique skills or experiences about yourself to share in the essay.
If you are applying for an admission to a school overseas or even in another place that you are unfamiliar with, it is advisable to do some research about the institution. Look for elements about the school or area that you can describe as motivational aspects.
The essay should set you apart from the rest and this requires that you cover the skills and experiences that can effectively reflect your intellect and personality in positive light.
Answering the following questions will help you in preparing for the essay.
- What is so special, distinctive and impressive about you?
- When did you develop an interest in this field and what have you learned since?
- How have you learned about this career? Maybe, classes, workshops, seminars, internships, experiences among others.
- Are there any academic records in your career and performance?
- What personal traits do you possess that make you suitable for the position or chance?
- Do you have any leadership skills?
- What are your career goals?
It is also important to highlight some specific reasons that you can give to the admissions committee to enhance their interest in you.
Write an outline
An outline is a representation of the actual points that you intend to discuss in the personal statement. Having one will save you more time since you will not have to keep remembering what to write in the paper.
The outline should clearly show the skills and experiences that will be explained in the essay, in the required format.
In writing the blueprint, it is also important that you consider the stated word count since that will determine the length of your essay.
Steps on how to write personal statement
The aim of a personal statement is to tell your story in a unique way that can convince others about your potential. The essay should compel the reader to consider your application.
In writing a specific response statement, you will only need to answer the questions asked. However, you must be creative and natural in telling your story to make it appealing.
For general or comprehensive personal essays, there are certain procedures to follow. Below are basic steps on how to write personal statement.
A personal statement is an official document and requires that you give an introduction that identifies you in relevance to the application. For students, your course and current level of education would make a good introduction.
If the personal statement is for a job or internship application, you can start with a short description of your experience, success and current position in the field.
Personal statements can be written in first or third person. However, you must ensure consistency in the other parts of the paper.
The introduction should be attractive and give a different side of you that would compel the committee to want to find out more. Avoid the often-repeated statements, instead, focus on striking traits.
You can also begin the essay with an anecdote. However, this must be used carefully in consideration of the given word count.
Explain more about your skills and experiences
After the introduction, you can now narrow down to tackling each of the traits that you think make you more suitable for the position applied for. If there was an achievement mentioned in the introduction, you should give a brief and clear account of it the body paragraphs.
Apart from your skills and experiences, you can also say something about hobbies and interests to break the monotony of the story.
A typical personal statement should be short and precise, but conclusive. Try to use short sentences to describe skills and experiences. Clichés and long essays may be boring and attract poor results.
For more clarity, you should include dates for different experiences or occasions described in the essay.
Leave the reader with something to think about
Just like the introduction, the conclusion of a personal statement should also have an impact on the reader. On the last paragraphs, it is advisable that you talk about your objectives and aspirations in the particular course or career.
In case there are certain things or experiences in your life that you would not want to share, it is always advisable to leave them out. Besides, it would also be important if you focused only on the positive traits and elements.
Always take time to proofread your work after writing in order to make the necessary corrections. You can even have others read it on your behalf just to make sure it is flawless.
Examples of personal statements
Check out the following samples for more insight on how to write personal statement.
Sample personal statement
‘’At age ten, I left everything in China to begin a new life in the United States with my parents. It was not long before I realized that I was different from all the other kids, in many ways. I gradually began feeling more isolated and less confident. One day as I was playing hopscotch alone in the schoolyard, a girl named Becca walked up to me and asked if she could join me. Although we could not properly understand each other in terms of speech, we found it easy communicating through expressions and gestures…’’ Read the entire statement here.
Law Personal Statement
‘’The subject of law fascinates me extensively. I am intrigued by how it develops and adapts to an ever-changing society. I feel I would be suited to a law degree as I am at my best when challenged, relish the opportunity of lateral thinking and find enjoyment in evaluating the microcosm of human relations.
I have enhanced my understanding of law by spending eight weeks in a solicitor’s office…’’
View the whole statement here.
Sample Personal Statement
‘’My interest in science began in high school where I delivered excellent results in chemistry, physics and Mathematics. In my senior years, I took a first-year calculus course at a local college (there wasn’t an advanced class like that one in high school). I earned an A in the course, which convinced me to pursue a career in electrical engineering.
When I started my undergraduate studies, I got exposed to a wide range of engineering courses, all of which collectively intensified my interest in engineering…’’ View the whole statement here.
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