A personal statement is one of the most important parts of your application package. It helps an admission committee to know you as a person. However, the phrase “tell us something about yourself” can puzzle anyone. What is an application essay and what exactly should I tell in it? These are reasonable questions to ask. Read the following sections to learn the answers.
What Is a Personal Statement and What to Include in It?
A personal statement is your chance to tell the admission committee that:
- you are unique, talented and enthusiastic;
- you fit well a certain career path;
- you have chosen this college for clear and good reasons (this last one is optional).
A friendly reminder: make certain you check the personal statement requirements of the college or university of your choice, because some of them may ask you to answer specific questions.
What Is a Personal Statement? Your Chance to “Sell” Yourself
Your personal statement (or purpose statement as some people call it) is your chance to sell yourself. Here are some professional tips to make your admission essay attractive and standing out from the pile of competing papers. So, to touch the hearts of the committee members and convince them that you truly deserve this place, you should:
- give specific details (if you discuss your volunteer work, don’t forget to mention the place and period, for example);
- tell your own story, because only in this way you will make your essay memorable and recognizable;
- try to show rather than tell (for instance, instead of stating that you are a good candidate directly, you should better discuss your personal strengths that show why you are a good candidate);
- organize your paper to make it easy-to-read and understand (include an introduction and conclusion, use new paragraphs to develop new ideas);
- make it light and optimistic (use some humor or motivational quotes of famous people.)
These are the common pitfalls you should avoid:
- clichés (I always wanted to become a doctor. So what? Every applicant to a nursing school probably wanted. This phrase doesn’t impress anyone. Try to make your essay like a breath of fresh air for your committee – make it interesting and unique);
- shameless self-promotion (it can be truly annoying. Avoid such words as "the best", "marvelous" or "outstanding"; you should not even write that you are a good candidate if you do not support this claim with weighty arguments);
- too much detail (remember that your goal is to provide evidence on why you are a good candidate, not to tell a funny story from your personal life).
Still wondering "what is an admission essay"? Check this example
From early childhood, I had a strong belief in the legal system and its ability to produce justice in society. However, after my summer practice at the attorney office in 2010, my intention to become a lawyer has become even firmer. My enthusiasm only grew as I watched the court repeatedly making responsible decisions, punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent. This experience inspired me to become a lawyer...
Hopefully, you received a full answer to your question "what is a personal statement?" Consider these dos and don’ts, make your personal statements shine and make your dreams come true.