How To Write A Good Personal Statement
Do you want to know how to write a good personal statement for a school application or employment form? Here are a few smart suggestions, based on tips from the Purdue University online writing lab.
Whether you are completing an academic application or an employment form, your personal statement is very important. It's your big chance to sell yourself in the application process. Most personal statements fall into one of two categories, a comprehensive statement or a response to specific questions. Here is some general advice.
- The opening. Your lead, or opening, paragraph is the most important part of your personal statement. This is your opportunity to grab the reader’s attention or lose it. The opening paragraph is the framework for the rest of your personal essay.
- The questions. If you are completing several applications, to different schools, for example, each application may ask similar questions. Avoid using a blanket statement for all the applications. Instead, carefully read each question and prepare an answer that is unique and appropriate to the question.
- The story. Don’t bore the admissions committee or human resources. Use specific, logical examples from your own experience to make your personal statement fresh and different. Find an angle (or hook), make yourself memorable, and stay ahead of the pack.
- The research. A school or employer wants to know why you are applying to them. Do the research. Find out what sets your choice apart from other schools or companies. Would the setting provide a cultural or geographic change for you? Mention this in your personal statement.
- The writing. Your writing will speak volumes to the reader. Don't overlook writing skills in your personal statement. Be meticulous in your writing and typing, and carefully proofread your essay. Use clear and concise language. Avoid tired statements or clichés, and adhere to word limits.