Writing A Personal Statement is Not Just Outlining Your Experience

When you write a personal statement for your application you are essentially selling yourself to the academic institution of your choice. How you choose to approach your personal statement will ultimately determine if you a.) Accepted or b.) Denied into the College and University that you have been dreaming about.

For this reason, the personal statement that you write needs to be much more in-depth than just an outline of your personal experience. Consider it to be your opportunity to set yourself apart and make your own personal plea to be accepted. In order to do this without seeming "desperate" you are going to have to be candid about your intentions in writing.

There are two "formal" ways to approach the personal statement writing process

  1. A general comprehensive statement about yourself;
  2. this is where you would generally remark about yourself and why you have selected this school for your application.

  3. A response to a question issued by the institution;
  4. occasionally business or graduate schools will ask specific questions of their applicants. This is where you will respond by thoroughly answering the question appropriately.

Advice for Writing Your Personal Statement

When you write a personal statement you want to go beyond talking about your experiences, they can read that on your resume, and talk about yourself in a fashion that sets your application apart. Think about all of the other personal statements that the application officers will be reading: What is going to be different about yours?

This may mean thinking critically about "why" you want to go to that particular college or university and what about yourself makes you a great candidate to be accepted. Instead of focusing on yourself, humbly explain why you believe that their institution is the right for you, and what you will bring to their institution. Many students fail to emphasize either of these important details in their personal statements instead they simply "advertise" themselves by discussing their work and extra curricular experiences. Try telling a story about when you decided to apply to "such and such University" or a unique life experience, which helped you to determine your aspiring career path.

If you were to sit down with the application officers reviewing your application, what would you say? Try to encompass this in your narration and make a strong case for yourself within the personal statement that you write.