What Makes a Good Personal Statement?
What is a personal statement? Your vision and a unique take on things! When you would like to get enrolled in college or become a lucky winner as an intern for a corporation, you must write a personal statement where you state your arguments and tell about yourself. A personal statement relates to a piece of creative writing that must be unique and should not become a CV with a list of your achievements. By writing a personal statement, one must meet the objectives that have been set by a college. There will be an admission committee that has to see thousands of personal statements. Your writing must stand out from the rest and become memorable!
What to Write About in Your Personal Statement?
The most challenging part is finding out what to include in a personal statement and what to avoid. It will always depend on your university and the presence of a given prompt. Also known as the statement of purpose, the trick is to set your objectives and talk about what you would like to achieve by explaining how a certain institution will help you to achieve that. While you may discuss your academic merits, it's much better if you use your soft skills and special knowledge that makes you stand out. When writing a personal statement for university, talk about community work and research projects you would like to explore.
How to Write Your Personal Statement: 10 Steps With Expert Advice
Before you learn how to write a personal statement, you must narrow things down and focus on those aspects that show your personality. Take notes, ask your friends about your personal qualities, and think about the reasons why you choose a particular college or university. As you think, here are ten steps you should take as you compose your personal statement.
- Your introduction must have a hook because writing something like "I graduated in..." or "I was born in". Your very first sentence must be inspiring and interesting. If you are planning to become a nurse and compose a nursing personal statement, talk about "Rescuing a puppy dog from the injuries" or "When the children in my local community would bruise a knee or have a wound...". This is the safest method when you are thinking about how to start a personal statement. When your introduction is strong and interesting, it is already 50% of your good luck.
- Talk about your education. Don’t turn it into a lengthy part. People behind some universities will already know about your GPA and the rest of your education. Use only those achievements that relate to your future education. For example, when you have participated in a STEM project or visited unique workshops, write it down. It will make you an interesting candidate for a certain course.
- Your structure of personal statement should make a reference to your future course by explaining how it meets your objectives and personal vision. Study the website and explore the benefits before you write.
- Once you explain why a certain course fits your academic objectives, talk about how it will help you to achieve success and what existing skills you will implement as you learn. This part should provide examples from your prior times by using real-life scenarios that you have been through.
- Talk about what research you have made and explain why this college or an internship is different. Do not call any names but just mention why some lab or professors will help you to achieve success.
- Continue talking about your soft skills. It means that you should mention what you have as an addition in your CV personal statement part. If you have been a volunteer or worked at the homeless shelter, use this part as a way to explain your social skills. If you are multilingual or there are aspects that make you unique, this is the part to talk about it.
- If you have any challenges that make it difficult for you to join a university, talk about it in the final part of your personal resume. This way it won’t look as if you are asking for help without giving anything in return. Your personal statement structure must talk about your achievements and aspirations. When you are an exchange student or coming from first-generation college students, mention it in the end before you mention how you would implement your knowledge. It will help an admission committee see that you are a strong person who is ready to work and study hard no matter what!
- Talk about how you would like to use your knowledge and gained skills after you graduate. The best way is to discuss both short-term and long-term goals. You may write about joining a company of your dreams or starting with future research. It will help an admission committee to see that you are a confident person who knows their abilities.
- The most important is to leave some space for gratitude and for repeating your main thesis. Sum up what you wanted to say and feel free to talk about your dreams that will come true if you learn and study to the best of your skills. Just keep it short! If you have a personal statement word limit, leave about 10% for the final part. Make sure that you thank the committee for their time and reading. It might be a minor detail, yet this line will always help you stand out by showing respect and care.
- Don’t forget about proofreading and editing. In certain cases, you must follow the basics of APA or MLA style based on a template. Always double-check and see the rules of the personal statement format to avoid mistakes. Read your personal statement aloud and ask a good friend to listen to see how it sounds. Always take your time and do not hurry!
Following these basic steps and researching good personal statement examples, you will be able to structure and format your personal statement without spending too much time or getting stressed as you are brainstorming the list of ideas. Stay honest, show respect, and don’t turn your writing into a resume that you may have for a job position. Your personal statement writing must be interesting, confident, and inspiring!
Real-life Examples: Good and Not-so-good
When you are writing an economics personal statement or seek personal statement examples for jobs, the most important is to find at least one sample that would help you become inspired and see the personal statement template structure. Let's review two examples where the first one is not so good and the other one is great:
I always wanted to become an engineer. An engineer's motto states: if it isn't broken, take it apart and fix it. This is what I always did as a child. I would always fix things and it helped me during my middle school years as I always wanted to engineer and come up with ideas. I am very good at Maths, Physics, and Chemistry. My GPA is 4.7 and I also passed some tests that helped me graduate.
Aiming to become enrolled at Cornell University, your Engineering course is one of the best and I hope that I become one of your best students. I will study hard because I am a confident, patient, hard-working, and fun person. All my friends say that I am an easy-going engineer and it’s always nice to be around me.
When I am not studying, I like to play golf and travel. I am a social person and I know that it will help me in my studies.
My future goals include becoming a good engineer and getting a high-paid job. My short-term goals include becoming an A student and making my course professors impressed. As I get enrolled, I will work hard and show that I am a nice candidate to become enrolled.
Ever since I could understand equations and mathematical problems, I would set up different variables and apply them to real-life situations. It has shaped my life’s outlook as I joined the library and participated in my community’s technical workshops. As a high-school student, I started a school blog that focuses on civil engineering and talks about the important issues in my neighborhood.
As I learned more, I understood that I have to expand and improve my professional skills. Exploring academic opportunities, I believe that an Engineering course at Cornell University is one of the best opportunities that meet my vision. Starting with the innovation lab to the social aspect of civil engineering, I shall be able to pursue my research and community aims.
My other interests include being an athlete as I believe in a healthy lifestyle. Keeping myself fit, I unite my body and mind to achieve the most efficient solutions. It helps me to think outside the box and follow creative ideas that will take engineering to another level.
Striving for academic success, I want to become a part of the student community and have a voice in research projects and debates to apply theoretical knowledge in practice.
Note: Remember that all personal statement examples that future students or employees submit are checked for plagiarism, which is why one must use them for inspirational purposes.
What to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
As you compose your content and write down the list of ideas, there are certain things to avoid. The most important is to avoid turning your content into a CV personal statement that simply lists your academic credentials. It’s one of the most common mistakes that future students make as they need to fill the space and hope to sound amazing!
Here is the thing: while your tone must be confident, do not be pretentious or become one of those marketing types because your purpose is to engage in a dialogue.
- Do not make your personal statement sound like an advertisement. For example, if you have to write a law personal statement, your writing style shouldn’t be static by talking about how important it is to obey the law! Write about your research and analytical skills by turning to examples from your life and the importance of the course’s specifics.
- Do not talk about things that have little or no relation to your future course or certain events in your life! When you are dealing with a psychology personal statement or medicine personal statement, keep it personal! You must explain how you would address the problems in this area. The key is to keep things interesting as you focus on these little aspects you must avoid:
- Don't overuse quotes from famous people when it's not absolutely necessary. While these can be good, it’s your voice, not someone else’s.
- Don't use phrases like "I always wanted to become a businessman" when composing a business management personal statement. Use an event or someone’s example of a good business personality that has inspired you and made you want to explore.
- Don't beg and ask for financial help. Tell about your life's story by using your cultural background instead.
- Avoid using colloquial language when writing a Master's personal statement.
- Don't make excuses for being unable to achieve success due to financial situation or Covid-19 as you write. Talk about how you could use this period of time and your challenges to fight and learn.
- Do not use information about your future course out of the blue. For example, when writing a computer science personal statement, mention innovative takes of the university and connect them with your objectives by discussing the ideas that you have.
The most important is to stay sincere and start with an outline by taking notes and keeping up to a specific structure. Keep things creative, research your subject, take a closer look at your life, and do things differently!
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