This process is challenging, but with a little help you can really shine as a candidate. You can come to the Writing Center make sure that you demonstrate your best writing abilities in your personal statement. We also strongly recommend that you visit Career Services to work on making your statement showcase qualities that graduate programs are seeking in future students.
What should I write about?
The hardest part of crafting a personal statement is getting started! First, carefully read the prompt and any page, word, or character limits for your personal statement. Start with a rough draft that isn’t specific to any school to get your thoughts out and begin organizing them. Career Services can help you clarify and organize your thoughts in a way that tells your story to the Admissions committee.
Remember, this is all about you and should really highlight the great things you have to offer that program. Some key things to include in a general personal statement include:
- Why are you interested in Graduate or Professional school?
- Why are you passionate about this career field?
- Why is our school or program a great fit for you, and why now?
- What is it about you that makes you stand out as a candidate?
- How will this degree help further your career goals?
Things to Avoid in your Personal Statement
There is some information that is better left out of your personal statement:
- Avoid simply rewriting information from your resume
- Avoid using quotes, being cheesy or cliché – this doesn’t help set you apart
- Avoid being too confident about getting into a program
- Avoid writing what you think the Admissions office wants to hear from you
- Avoid telling your life story – most personal statements are only 2-5 pages long
Make it about your Passion
Your personal statement should demonstrate your passion and how this program will help you achieve your career goals in that field. Be yourself! Great stories about your journey to this point will help you stand out to the Admissions committee. Don’t feel like you have to get too personal; share information you feel comfortable with your prospective school knowing about you.
Experiences that might help inspire your personal statement: educational journey, work experience, job shadowing, a mentor, study abroad, extracurricular activities, church involvement, mission trips, community service, and other significant life experiences.
Don’t forget, Career Services and the Writing Center are here to help you proofread and refine your personal statement!