A personal statement is the work that will help you advertise yourself. This type of paper can be divided into two categories.
- A general personal statement:
If you are assigned such a work, you are free to write about everything you consider essential. Such kind of statement is usually produced for typical application forms submitted to law or medical schools.
- Specific personal statement:
There are a lot of cases when graduate application programs demand to write specific personal statements. It means that a work contains one or several questions which the applicant should respond to. As to business schools, they usually put more than three questions which an applicant has to answer when preparing the paper.
What should one know before starting the writing process? Reply to the following questions:
- Is there anything special about you? Does your life story differ from that of other candidates?
- What personal information can help the committee understand who you are? Here, you can mention your family members, some tough situations which you had to face, key decisions that have changed your life, etc.
- What are your preferences? Why are you interested in a particular area? Have you found out anything new about it? When did you begin undertaking this kind of activity? What influenced your choice? Did it bring you any advantages?
- How did you find out about a particular field? Did your friends or your lecturer tell you about it? Perhaps you have found information about it in your favorite magazine?
- What are the most precious things which you have learned during the academic years? Have you broadened your skills?
- Would it be hard for you to succeed in studies if you had to work?
- What are your growth prospects?
- Are there any inconsistencies which have to be clarified (for instance, you have excellent grades but low scores in extracurricular activities)?
- Have you encountered any difficulties in course of studies, e.g. financial, educational, etc.? What have you undertaken to solve your problems?
- What personal qualities (kindness, sympathy, persistence, etc.) do you have? How can they help you move your career ladder? In what way can you demonstrate your personal qualities?
- Do you possess any skills (for instance, organizational, managerial, business, etc.)?
- Why should you be considered a better applicant than everybody else? What makes you so special? Do you think you are more successful than other applicants?
- Why should the committee prefer you to other candidates? State convincing arguments.
Respond to the given questions precisely.
- When applying for a few educational institutions, you may find the application questions sound the same.
- Be sure that you do not submit the same personal statement to different schools. Note that each asked question should be answered in its own way. If the board expects to see different responses, you need to prepare a few statements. Be certain that each answer corresponds to each question.
Write a story.
- Tell the board about your experience in a certain area. It is essential not to sound boring. Therefore, try mightily to produce an appealing, interesting and catching personal statement. In this way, you will benefit over other applicants and your paper will earn more points.
- You should not make statements just because you want to do so. Each your idea or concept has to be supported by concrete facts. If you talk about your future career, you should provide evidence of having particular experience in the area. It is essential to keep in mind that your application should reasonably summarize your statement.
Give your story your personal touch.
- If you see that your story lacks profound emotions, you should think how to fix it. Give some facts that will add a great zest to your work.
Focus on the opening paragraph.
- It is important to write a good opening paragraph as it should arouse readers’ interest. If you fail to create an outstanding opening paragraph, the board may not want to continue reading your paper. This paragraph gives a tone for the whole statement.
Talk about the things you know.
- The body of your paper should provide detailed information about the topic. Here, you need to present the subject you are interested in. Additionally, it is required to show whether you have relevant expertise in the mentioned area. It is known that a lot of students know particularly nothing about their chosen profession. That is why you should not talk about some abstract notions. On the contrary, you need to express your thoughts clearly. Use formal language, different terms and professionalisms. You can also mention all the sources where you have come across the data about your academic choice. Do not be shy to explain why the selected profession suits you best of all.
Avoid talking about particular subjects in your personal statement.
- There are some points which you should not mention in your paper. Here, it goes about your high school achievements etc. Moreover, it is not worth mentioning contradictory topics such as religious issues, for example.
Conduct research, if necessary.
- If the committee wants to know why you have chosen a certain school, you need to explain it. In this case, you should gather some data about the selected establishment. Thus, you will be able to provide compelling reasons for justifying your choice. Here, you can also mention geographical preferences if there are any.
Mind your writing.
- Pay attention to each point of your work. You should both write and edit your paper attentively. All members of the board always state that grammar, punctuation, spelling and writing have to be spotless. Your ideas should be expressed clearly and succinctly. Mind the word count.
Avoid using set expressions.
- Note that there is nothing interesting in standard statements. It is meant that if you say that you want to help people, it will not impress the committee.