You have chosen a university and started to prep the documents. You suddenly saw a mysterious task among the understandable positions and immediately wondered — how should I write my personal statement? Let’s figure it out together.
Table of Contents
What is a personal statement?
The personal statement is a motivational essay that applicants attach to other documents when applying to university. With this letter, the candidate can attract the admissions committee’s attention and explain why they should be admitted to the program. We have collected tips for writing it.
Why have you chosen them?
Tell them why you have chosen to apply to this particular university and this particular program. It could be a personal story about a childhood dream or that your family went to this university. Show why this particular place was special to you. In addition, you should demonstrate all of your strengths and experiences that will positively impact your participation in university life. This information will help make your letter unique and stand out from the other applicants.
Describe your clear plan of action
You need to show the university that you are well prepared for your chosen course and can highlight your past accomplishments. In addition to explaining your previous academic and life background, you can relate your education to your future career.
Describe your weaknesses in a positive way
After you’ve demonstrated your strengths in the previous sections, you can reflect a little on your weaknesses or things you’d like to improve as well. This will help you show that you may not have much experience, but you have the desire and the right skills to overcome challenges and improve. But remember, don’t exaggerate the result!
Some general tips
- It is best to have enough time for preparation and not to leave everything to the last minute. We recommend starting months in advance to ensure you have enough time to gather documents and do a little research.
- Never lie or exaggerate your experience or skills.
- Gather some feedback from your teachers, employers (if any), and friends, and attach it to your letter.
- Check your spelling, grammar, and style before you apply.
What structure to choose?
Your essay should be logical and easy to read. An admissions officer should understand its main idea and message from the first time. There are many ways to structure the text: from the classic Introduction — main body — conclusion scheme to sophisticated storytelling techniques. Here are some of the techniques:
- narrative (using a cause-and-effect relationship, where one story event leads to the next);
- film editing techniques (when you mix and arrange life moments connected by a common idea in a certain order);
- combining the two ways and improvisation.
What do you do when you don’t know what to write about?
We suggest a simple exercise called Prioritize. Take a piece of paper and write a list of ten qualities and virtues that you value in yourself and in others. Then cross out half of them. Then two more qualities. And two more. You will be left with only one item, which will become the keynote of your personal statement draft.