Whether you want to apply for an undergraduate school or a graduate program, a personal statement or a letter of intent is crucial in the application process. The personal statement gives you a chance to show your uniqueness. You have less than 5,000 characters to convince the university of your Choice that you’re the best applicant. Being an important part of the decision-making process, your statement should be good.
Tips on How to Write an Outstanding Personal Statement
1. Be Yourself
According to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, students should write about education, family, and talents or passion. Schools want to hear about some of the significant events or places you have been; about books that you have read and people that you have worked with or met who have shaped the person you have become. Don’t portray a different person in your essay instead, display your best qualities but be yourself.
2. Find the Best Opening Sentence
Beginning your statement with something interesting, funny, surprising or unusual will create a good impression about you. However, don’t try to pressure your brain to think about something funny. The best sentence opening will come naturally hours after you have already started working on your statement. Therefore, don’t overthink it.
3. Focus on Your Strengths
In your personal statement, you should try to sell yourself to the school of your choice. Write about your experiences, knowledge and future plans.
4. Be Honest
Don’t state that you are fluent in Spanish if at all you can only manage to say a few Spanish words. There is no need of creating a false image because the truth always comes out sooner or later.
5. Go Beyond your GPA
Most students think about how their resumes will affect the admission process. Keep in mind that the personal statement is an opportunity to explain both your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, changes in major or lack of experience led to a low GPA.
6. Make it Your Own Voice, Work, and Ideas
It’s advisable that you don’t read another person’s personal statement before you have written a few drafts. Doing so will give you a false idea. You are unique, and it is worthless to follow someone else’s ideas.
7. Take your Time
Don’t be in a rush to finish writing your personal statement. The best statements take time from a few days, weeks or even months. You will have to take breaks in between that can last up to a week before you get back afresh.
8. Use the Right Words and Expressions
Your choice of words will transform your personal statement, for instance, using a word like ‘accomplish’ rather than ‘do’ makes your work sound more professional. If you’re an international student and English isn’t your first language, you can make use of some synonym and translation programs on the internet. For example, you can use Google Translate which has a lot of synonyms when translating words from English to another language. However, you should use these synonym applications carefully because using too many fancy words can make your statement difficult to read.
9. Consult a Professional to Proofread your Statement
You can share your personal statement with your teachers, parents or friends. The more people you show it to, the better. To get quality feedback, you should also consider a personal statement writing service.
10. Read Your Personal Statement Aloud
Reading your personal statement aloud to your family or friends can be of great help. When writing sentence by sentence, you might not notice if there is cohesion between your paragraphs. However, by reading aloud, all the vague parts magically appear and you can correct them as you read.