How to Write a Strong Personal Statement

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A personal statement is a short personal summary submitted to universities, scholarship boards, and employers. The aim is to gain consideration for a job opening, a scholarship, university placement, and other opportunities. A personal statement gives you the chance to sell yourself. You get a chance to talk about your personality and experiences that shape who you are. Additionally, you explain why you are the perfect candidate for the position and encourage the reader to go through your other credentials. A good personal statement may be the determining element in your application approval or rejection. Thus, it is essential to invest the time and skills to develop the best personal statement. Here is how to go about it.

Brainstorm

We go through so many experiences in life, and we may tend to forget others. Therefore, you must brainstorm about your life and take some notes to help your thought process. Start by asking yourself what moments in your life define you. Write down what you learned from those moments and what influence they had on your future. The next thought point is how you spend your time. What activities do you dedicate your time to, and how do they influence you? Next, think about your inspirations. How did you find them, and what decisions have you made because of them? Lastly, think about the milestone you have achieved. What makes you proud as a person?

Freewriting

After shortlisting your ideas and picking your focus areas, start freewriting. Choose a topic and write on it freely without following a particular structure. This is just an exercise that prepares you to write comfortably. It also allows you to identify the most promising topics. These are topics that touch on essential aspects about you and give exciting stories.

Find Your Voice 

The tone you use and your choice of words have a considerable effect on message delivery. Ensure you retain a personal style. The whole point of a personal statement is to get to know you on a personal level. Write in a way that readers can tell that that story is a unique experience. Check on the tone and ensure it represents your voice. There is no right or wrong technique, but readers can tell when you are ingenuine. For example, when you start using big words, it may come off as trying too hard or showing off. This represents you incorrectly.

Relevance

Whenever you are writing, relevance is essential. A personal statement for a university intake cannot be the same as a personal statement for a lecture job position. You should strive to stay on topic and relate strongly to your application. For example, if you are looking for university admission, you could talk about how well you fit in with the school culture. Mention a story, explain what it means to you, then connect it to your application. Here is an example: When I travelled to Europe in Elementary school, I fell in love with their Architecture. After the trip, I developed a lot of interest in Architecture and started reading about the different paradigms. I am applying to this college because of the outstanding Architecture program and facilities. It will compliment my interest in Architecture perfectly.

Check on Length

Most personal statements do not go past 650 words. The admissions committee members have a time frame; thus, everyone sends in their documents at the same time. Therefore, they may be scarce on time, and frustrating them with your extended writing may disqualify you. If you can write about 500 words and communicate effectively, the better. Choose your words wisely and make sure you deliver your message. 

Edit

Mistakes such as misspells, wrong punctuation, grammar errors, and poor sentence construction reflect your personality strongly. They indicate that you are not thorough with your work. This works against you at a time when you are trying to impress. Utilize tools such as Grammarly that check mistakes automatically. At the same time, do several read-throughs to ensure your piece reads well. Automated tools may miss out on insufficient sentence construction errors, which you notice when you read. You can space the writing period and the editing period to regain your focus away from the screen. This gives you a clear head while editing. Also, ask someone else to read through it before you submit it or pay for an essay review by a professional writer to ensure the best outcome. 

Personal statements are all about representing yourself in the best way in written format. A powerful statement has the right balance of all the above qualities. It’s the right balance of professional and personal. You do not have to write the best copy on the first tries. Write numerous drafts and ask your friends or family to give their opinion. This way, you can quickly identify your problem areas and improve on them before the final copy. Be keen as this is a critical stage in your application.

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Arnov Rahman

Arnov Rahman

Arnov is a Marketing Manager at SqueezeCMM, a B2B content marketing and analytics start up. He is fascinated by the intersection of technology, marketing, and people in the development of awesome products. He's into life-hacking, psychology, and data-science.
Arnov Rahman

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