During an application process, you have the chance of marketing yourself in an effort to secure a position by simply writing a personal statement. The personal statement will address two major segments.
- A comprehensive personal statement
This segment addresses a general approach where you are free to indicate anything you think is of relevance. This is more common for applications in law school or standard medical forms.
- A response to specific questions
The second category requires that your statement respond to the provided questions, which will be more than 3 questions. All you are required to do is give a response for every question without the inclusion of unnecessary information. This is common for business and graduate schools application forms.
How to write an effective personal statement
- Stick to answering the asked questions
Different schools may ask similar questions but it is important that you choose your wording carefully to avoid repeating word for word. Relate to what every school has to offer by providing separate and different statements. Relevance is very important.
- Narrate an answer through a story
It is one thing to give an answer and it is another to give a memorable answer. While the answer is definite, it would be more interesting if you tell it as a story. You have the chance to indicate experience in the field. Create a connection between you and the admissions committee so you can leave a lasting impression.
- Be specific/ avoid beating about the bush
Every statement you make must be backed up with reasons the statement is true. It is not enough to declare that you are the best candidate without indicating why you are the best. This eases the decision making process as you give the committee reason to consider your application
- Identify an angle
Identifying an angle is all about knowing how to tell your story while at the same time creating an interest. You need to step out of the box and identify how to grab attention despite the challenge that you may not have a story that is out of the ordinary.
- Concentrate on your lead
Your lead is your opening paragraph and it is very important. This introductory paragraph serves the purpose of grabbing the committee’s attention and focus. It outlines what the statement is all about.
- Highlight what you know
In your particular field, highlight your knowledge and interests while being very specific. Other than the literature and theory obtained in a class setting, it is best that you acquire much more in terms of experience and knowledge addition in the professional field. To meet this objective, it is best that you carryout thorough research. Do not limit yourself to books only. With the necessary knowledge, answering the specific questions is easy and you will be able to maintain the aspect of relevance.
- Exclude some subjects
Personal statements are strictly in reference to the field in question and it is therefore, important that you exclude non-relevant subjects such as religious or political affiliations. These subjects do not add value to your personal statement.
- Carry-out research when need be
Research will prevent you from providing wrong information or second-guessing. You will be able to point out facts about the institution so you do not have to give general answers. You will also be able to provide specific answers that are personalized to create a link between you and the institution.
- Write well, clearly, and correctly
Ensure that you are precise in your writing thus providing the required answers within the expected word count. Once you are done, proofread your content. This goes a long way into proving your communication skills before they even get to see the individual. Most importantly, follow all instructions.
- Clichés are a NO NO
Lacking originality is a problem. Though the questions may be similar, answering them in a similar way will destroy your chances of securing a position. This is because you have nothing to offer other than what the majority have already provided.
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