How to Write a Personal Statement: Samples, Guide and Template

How to Write a Personal Statement: Samples, Guide and Template

Successful college applicants will have the personal statement to thank. In fact, many schools require a written essay as part of their application process. A personal statement is a document that you write to describe yourself and your goals for the future. It should be used as an introduction to what makes you, well, YOU!

A personal statement is required by many universities when applying for undergraduate study – so it’s important to get this right! If you’re a college student and you’ve been struggling with the personal statement for your university application, don’t worry! This article is designed to help make the process easier. We will be looking at some of the best practices and providing samples that have worked for other students.

Personal Statement Definition

What is a personal statement? The Personal statement is an important part of your application process. It tells the admissions office why you are a good fit for their school. A well written personal statement can help you get accepted to your dream school, but if not done correctly it could be a major roadblock in the way of your acceptance! They are a common requirement for university, graduate school, and law schools.

Personal statements are often thought as a chance to show off, but they should be about how well you know yourself and why this college is the perfect fit for you. In order to create a successful personal statement, it’s important that students have an idea in their head before writing anything down on paper or typing up sentences on their computer screens.

This post will walk you through how to write and format a personal statement that will make sure that yours stands out from all of the other applicants.

Step To Follow When Writing a Personal Statement

  1. Organize thoughts before writing it down in order to get all ideas across clearly
  2. Stay positive throughout the process by avoiding questions such as “why do I deserve this?” or “what does my life have to offer?”, instead focus on what can be offered through yourself
  3. Be concise but thorough when discussing accomplishments and experience so keep these points at the forefront during drafting while trying to avoid “padding” the resume
  4. Keep it short and sweet, Personal Statements are not essays but should be longer than a paragraph
  5. Proofread for typos before submitting with application to ensure your writing is polished.

Personal Statement Template/Outline

Template 1

Introduction/who you are as a person [paragraph]

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Goals for obtaining this degree/course of study [paragraph]

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Why they want to achieve these goal(s) [paragraph]

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Conclusion and Requesting an Interview [Paragraph]

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Template 2

 [Paragraph] Introduction

Briefly introduce yourself and your future plans/goals; Include specific details such as where you live now or went to school previously; State why this university would be perfect for you

[Paragraph] Background

Share relevant life experiences or achievements; include the major reasons why you would be a good fit for this program

[Paragraph] Goals

Share your future goals and dreams, as well as what led to these choices. Be specific about which courses or experiences will help fulfill these goals.

[Paragraph] Conclusion

Show that you have planned ahead and are committed to achieving success in graduate school with passion and determination through this chosen field of study by ending on an inspiring note.

Structure of a Graduate Level Personal Statement

Name

Course of Study (if applicable)

My goal in obtaining this degree/course of study is… Why do you want to achieve that? What will you offer by achieving this goal? Your background and experience would make you an excellent candidate because… How does your past experiences relate to the course or program that interests you? Give an example from school projects, work, internships etc. Provide any other information about yourself which may help illustrate how qualified you are for this course.

Please include at least one paragraph to describe yourself and what you will bring to the university, college or law school community?

The best way to write a Personal Statement is by starting with an introduction about who you are as person: your interests and accomplishments in past; any experiences that relate back to the program/course that interests you – how has it impacted who you are today? You should then proceed into writing out your goals for obtaining this degree/course of study (which may be different than why) before providing an explanation on why they want to achieve these goal(s). The section that follows this can provide more information about oneself but don’t spend too much time there because it might come off sounding like bragging which isn’t the point.

Personal Statement Examples

Sample 1

I love to be challenged and I am always eager for a new opportunity. In my first year of university, I completed one course in math – calculus, which is notoriously difficult; I got an A.

The desire to help others has been the underlying principal behind all my education endeavours from medical school (coursework) to leading on-campus volunteer efforts with Habitat for Humanity as well as local soup kitchens. I am committed to improving access to and quality of health care for those who are underserved in the United States.

My experiences teaching as well as working with children have led me to seek a graduate program that will allow me both an opportunity to teach at the college level, while also fulfilling my desire to improve education standards and opportunities for all students.”

Sample 2

Dear [insert school name], I am a high achieving student with strong grades, excellent performance on standardized tests and demonstrated leadership skills in the community. My goal is to work towards becoming an influential social worker by obtaining a Master of Social Work degree from your prestigious institution so that I may use my full range of knowledge and abilities to fight poverty through employment services, public policy initiatives as well as individual counseling sessions for those who are living in or near poverty, including refugees and immigrants.

Difference between Personal Statement and Statement of Purpose

A Personal Statement is typically written in a formal tone and should be less than one page. It provides insight into the applicant’s personality, abilities, goals, aspirations or any other information that will make them more attractive to potential employers. Conversely, the Statement of Purpose is usually short (less than 500 words), highlighting what you are most passionate about doing as your career path. You can read more about the Statement of Purpose in our previous article.

Tips for Writing a Winning Personal Statement

Here are some tips on how to craft a winning one:

  • Choose Your Topic Wisely

This is one of the most important steps in writing your personal statement. It can be tempting to write about everything that you have done, but it’s better if you pick and choose which things are more relevant than others. For example, don’t list all of your extracurricular activities. It’s better to pick one or two that you’re most passionate about and elaborate on them, instead.

  • Make Sure Your Essay Makes an Argument

An argument is something that is worth arguing for – in this case, it would be your own personal statement. It helps to be specific about what you want the reader to know. If your essay is too vague, then it’s unclear what angle you are taking or even why they should care about reading any further.

  • Write in Past Tense

Your essay should be written in past tense. This will help you stay more focused and give your essay a clear timeline for the reader to follow.

  • Use Active Voice Instead of Passive

Use active voice instead of passive, as it is much easier to read and understand what’s happening when there are few to no confusing pronouns.

  • Write in Short Sentences or Paragraphs

Write each paragraph in short sentences and paragraphs, as it is easier for the reader to understand what you are trying to say if they don’t need to go back-and-forth between long sections of text. This also makes your essay more readable by not using too many complex words that might make them lose focus on what you’re talking about.

If any sentence exceeds 20 lines, then break it into two separate sentences so that readers can follow along without getting lost. The same goes for paragraphs exceeding five lines; divide those up, too!

  • Make sure the tone of your writing is professional but friendly
  • Think about who might read your statement (the admissions officer)
  • Try not to bore them with details they won’t care about
  • Be honest and open in what you say
  • Admissions officers want students who will contribute new ideas or perspectives. They will appreciate any unique features you have that make you stand out from other

Conclusion

The personal statement is a critically important document that can make or break your application. It needs to be tailored for the specific school you are applying to, but it also has some general requirements-it should convey why you want to study this program and how you would fit in with their student body. We have highlighted some key points of what makes a winning personal statement below as well as provided examples from successful applicants who got into top schools. If all of this sounds confusing, let Essay Writing Experts help! If you need “help to write my essay” service our professional team will write an essay about any topic and provide feedback on how it could improve based on our expertise in writing winning essays at competitive schools like Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University among others.

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