The personal statement is an opportunity to stand out among the other applicants and demonstrate how you are unique. It also provides a way to highlight something that may not stand out in the rest of your application.
Before writing the personal statement (at least 6 months before the deadline), think about the following:
- What makes you passionate and interested in the field?
- What makes you unique among the other applicants?
- What are the things that you want the admissions committee to know about you?
- Relate the content to the field that you are interested
While writing the personal statement (at least 3 months before the deadline):
- Set up what you are going to talk about
- Should be attention getting
- Demonstrate your passion and interest in the field
- Where is the proof? Documentation? Evidence? Provide specific examples.
- Share what you learned
- Be detailed
- Is there anything that is left out?
- Avoid including any new points
- Remember that this is the last part that admissions committees will read, so leave a strong and positive impression!
Voice & style
- Make sure the personal statement sounds like it is coming from you
- Still keep the personal statement professional and appropriate
- Things to avoid:
- Trying to sound like you are an expert in the field
- Listing your curriculum vitae
Make sure that you discuss each point equally
After writing the personal statement:
1. Remember the essay character/word limitations
- Make sure you get EVERYTHING you want to say down first
- Cross out what is not important
- Different schools vary in the length requirement
2. Consider the flow of the personal statement: Regardless of how much you cut out, make sure that the personal statement flows in regard to words and content
3. Proofread for grammatical and spelling errors
4. Have a variety of reviewers
- For academic content: academic advisor, professor, community members, supervisor, etc. You can send your personal statement to the PAC Director for review. Just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To ensure that it sounds like the applicant: parents, close family and friends, etc.
- Give reviewers at least two weeks to review your personal statement