A personal statement is part of the college and university application process that allows a student to express their interests and show part of their personality that they have not been able to yet. You have control over what you say, how you say it, and how much you want to express. A well-written personal statement can give you a huge advantage and bring you closer to a college or university acceptance.
Writing a personal statement involves a unique process, one that is often not taught in schools. As students, it can get overwhelming, especially when you have so much else going on. However, you must not waste any time and get to writing as soon as you can! If you have ever found yourself questioning, “How do I write a personal statement?”, then this blog is for you.
How to Write A Personal Statement
How to Create A Personal Statement?
Personal statements might seem inconsequential but they play a massive part in relating your first impression. Imagine them as the first step you take into an admissions office. The admission officer will notice and form some perspective about you so you must be vigilant.
Most of the time, It acts as a decision driver in either your favour or against it, depending upon how you portray yourself. A few easy but vital points can improve your statement and help you save your applications, interviews, and give an outstanding first impression.
Before writing makes sure you know who is going to read it, and how to create an opening line. Different colleges and universities, program coordinators, and teachers have their set criteria that you should be aware of. Make a list of your audiences and set the tone of your essay according to the readers. You will be able to create a better statement once you follow this.
How to Structure A Personal Statement?
A proper structure can be attained if you plan out your complete statement before you start writing it. While this may seem like a very clear thing, if done properly and perfectly, it can be a game-changer for your account by not only giving it the right structure but also saving some crucial time for you.
Before you start, simply summarize the points you want to write in your statement, and make sure you are responding to the questions; what, why, and how.
What do you want to study?
Why do you want to study it?
How do you have the skills and experiences to prove this?
An excellent way to do this is to list down several key skills you have that you think will be related to learning your chosen subject and come up with examples of how you demonstrated these skills.
The structure also includes deciding the number and link between the paragraphs. Although the final number of paragraphs may be different than how you initially plan it, it will at least help you gather your thoughts. One point should come in one paragraph and no point should be repeated.
How to Begin A Personal Statement?
The right introduction will always help you to grab the attention of your reader . From the start, write a strong opening sentence giving a glimpse of your main skills, as well as outlining why you are applying to this course. You must be specific and get to the point quickly. Do not spend time thinking up a catchy phrase for your first line, and do not go for cliches like ‘this is what I have wanted to do since I was little’. These things do not help in making a good impression on admissions officers and are often extremely repetitive for them.
One great trick to make your statement flow better is to link the introduction to the conclusion. Hit on all the main points you want the reader to understand right at the start. Do not use flowery language and be as direct as you can without sounding rude. You should clearly define your mission in your introduction. Think of a few questions that you are sure you need to address and start with them. Appeal to the reader’s curiosity and give them room to think about what you have written before jumping on to the next paragraph.
How To Start Off A Personal Statement For College?
A personal essay for college needs to be very convincing. The admissions officers should not doubt that you want to get an admission and start your new journey. The statement should cover the skills you have for the course you are applying to, the goals that are in line with the objectives of the course, and the future that you envision for yourself.
You will be able to start well if you have done complete research. Cover everything about the place you are applying to, the program, the courses, and the location. Other than this, you should also read some sample personal statements to make your writing better.
How to Make Your Personal Statement Stand Out?
To make it unique, you must personalize the information you are adding to it. Ensure that what you are writing, does not sound insincere or generic. It is a crucial element to make it stand out. You can also do this by writing all that you know to be true. Dig deeper and find stories from your life that are integrated into your being. Some of the best personal statements are truly exceptional ones.
A lot of students find it difficult to answer the question – What makes you unique and deserving? It might take a while for you to come up with an answer but if you spend a good amount of time on this, you will surely be able to gather your thoughts and give an adequate response.
The people who are going to read your statement have already read thousands of others. Writing something a little different will help your application stand out from the masses. Do not include quotes from other people. The admission officers want to read what you have to say. They are not interested in knowing what any famous person said. Talk about your self, give appropriate information, and be distinct in the message you want to pass on.
How to Write A Good Personal Statement?
A good personal statement will always have many relevant examples. It is great if you have done lots of extracurricular activities, but remember to relate them to the course – if they are not relevant, do not include them. For every example you give, follow it up with a ‘so what?’ Talk about the skills you developed, as well as what you learned from this experience. The biggest mistake that applicants usually make is stating everything down without any relevance to the field. Being selective is the key here.
The three components you must cover are:
- Your achievements and experience: Mention the degrees, certifications, prizes, experience letters, and other relevant educational offerings you have.
- Your relevant skills and talents: Mention the skills and talents you have attained over the years. Highlight the skills or talents that are more specific to the program you are applying for.
- Your professional or academic goals: Mention your goals and dreams that have led you to apply to this certain degree or qualification. Even if you can write about one main goal, that is good enough.
What the Conclusion Paragraph of a Personal Statement Should Include?
Crafting a good conclusion can leave a strong, lasting impression on the reader. The conclusion should restate why you are applying to the specific program and what you think you will gain by studying in the said program. You must convince the reader that you are worthy so that they may review all your other academic documents with interest.
By the time the reader reaches the end part, they should feel like they have just been on a small journey. Your statement should be written like a story where you are the main character. Now you have to end the story and present a summary of all the main points you covered throughout. One useful tip is to revisit your introduction and present the same enthusiasm you did right at the start.
How Long Should Personal Statements Be?
The length may vary depending on different factors. You should always check the requirements of the place you are applying to before you start writing the final draft. Some programs require a lengthier personal statement while others are happy with a short one.
Usually, It falls between 350-500 words. It is important to link all the paragraphs together and to focus on a good writing style. For the first draft, do not think about the word limit and write freely. As you edit it, you will omit extra sentences and your words will automatically fall into the limit
Important Tips on How to Write A Personal Statement
Many good writers often falter when it comes to writing a strong personal essay. If you are going through the same phase, do not be alarmed. It is considerably tougher to write anything that involves talking about oneself. The best personal statements are individualistic yet they do not compromise on a professional tone of voice. They only cover relevant material and give useful information to the reader. Some other points to remember while writing;
1. Use your own voice:
Although you should look at examples of personal statements for reference, you should never copy the way they are written. You must use your own words to describe yourself. Your qualifications and achievements are personal so the way you write them should be personal too.
2. Use simple sentences:
A personal statement is not an academic document. It should be kept as simple as is possible because the reader will be focusing on what you have written. Use short sentences and easy language wherever you can. Your statement will be much clearer and effective if written like this.
3. Use active voice:
Understanding the difference between passive and active voice is important especially when it comes to writing personal statements. Passsive Voice often leads to a muddling of sentences and thoughts. It can minimize the impact of your accomplishments and qualifications making your statement look dull.
4. Use unique examples:
As mentioned above as well, your statement will become a lot more fun to read if you are using unique examples in it. You should focus on what makes you different from all the other applicants. The examples you add must be specific but brief.
5. Use your time wisely:
You have to reveal new things about yourself in the personal statement so you will need to spend time in self-reflection. However, do not spend all your time doing this. You need sufficient time to write down and structure your thoughts so be sure to do all this beforehand. Do not leave anything for the last minute.
IMPORTANT TIPS TO WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT - INFOGRAPHIC
Who can help in writing your personal statement?
If you are looking for external help writing a personal statement, you should always turn to the people who know you well first. These people may include your parents, your teachers, your friends, or any other individuals with who you are close. They know you better than you might know yourself which is what a personal statement should highlight. You should have a general discussion with them before you start writing.
After you are done, send the personal statement to these people and tell them to review it. They can proofread it for you and highlight some points which they think are missing. It is up to you to incorporate the changes they have suggested. You are not bound to follow their advice