Help with Your Personal Statement(s)
Your final year of high school was probably a busy one. In all of that busy-ness, you had to complete your college applications and write that one dreaded essay for the Common Application. And, if you applied to certain schools, you had to write an additional essay just for them.
Now, you are nearing college graduation, and this time you are writing a personal statement for graduate school admission. In fact, you are probably writing several. There is no common application. Each school will have its own personal statement essay requirements and usually more than one.
Two Types of Personal Statement Essays
Depending on the graduate program to which you are applying, you will find one of these two types of statements, but sometimes both. In all cases, you have to look at these essays as your opportunity to “sell” yourself to an admissions committee. They give that committee an “up close and personal” look at you – a look that goes beyond the facts and numbers (e.g., GPA or GRE exam). That said, you will face these two types:
- A general personal statement that will allow you the freedom of topic and content. This is common for professional schools, like medicine or law.
- Specific topics in response to essay prompts, much as you had for undergraduate admissions. These are common for B-schools, as well as most other grad programs, and you will usually be asked to choose two or three prompts from a list of five or six.
Before You Write
No matter what the topic of your essay(s) may be, there are some things you need to think about before you attack any of them. These things will help you see how you can weave your personal story into an essay, no matter what the topic might be.
- What is unique about you? Anything impressive about your story or your accomplishments? Are you a child of immigrants? Have you come from poverty? Have you overcome obstacles?
- What events, experiences or people have influenced your beliefs, values and goals?
- How and when did you first become interested in the field you are looking to enter? What do you know about it now that has maintained that interest? What have you done to remain “current” in this field?
- Have you either worked or been involved in leadership activities while in undergrad school? List them and what skills you believe you have acquired.
- Have you overcome big obstacles so far in your life?
- List your career goals as specifically as possible.
- List the personal characteristics that you possess – and then provide examples that demonstrate them. Integrity? Compassion? Perseverance?
- What hard and soft skills do you possess? Hard skills relate to the field. Soft skills relate to such things as leadership, being a team player, communication, ability to empathize and compromise, etc. List examples that demonstrate these.
- Come up with some key reasons why the committee should select you.
As You Write
Here is some advice and some tips that will help you write a better personal statement essay:
- Pay attention to the prompt/question. You have to stick to the point. If you are applying to more than one school, don’t craft the same essay just because the prompts are somewhat similar. Zero in on the specific question and make each essay uniquely related to that question.
- Tell your story. This allows you to give concrete examples, and this is certainly less boring than a dry essay without human interest. People love stories. They are different, engaging, and will make you unique in the eyes of the committee. Part of the goal of a personal statement essay is to make yourself memorable.
- Add as much specificity as possible. Give concrete examples of every statement you make about yourself. This is your “proof,” and proof is important.
- What’s your angle? Most people live relatively drama-free lives. If you do not have major events or circumstances that have had an impact, try to find some other “hook” that makes you interesting. Has a hobby or activity influenced your skills or values?
- Craft a “killer” opening paragraph. You will either hook your reader with your first paragraph or you will have lost him/her forever. This paragraph will be the most important you write, so spend at least as much time on it as you do the rest of the essay. You can open with an anecdote about yourself that relates to the prompt/question; you can give a startling statistic in your opening statement.
- Avoid certain subjects. You do not want to speak to your specific religion or political leanings. You never know who is reading your essay and what their personal beliefs are on religion or politics. Steer clear of these topics.
- Do Your research. How will you fit into this program? What about it excites you? You need to know as much about the program as possible, so that you can speak to why this specific program is perfect for you and what you can contribute as a member of the student body.
- Perfect grammar and composition. It is a must. There may be one or more “sticklers” on this committee and incorrect grammar, wrong word usage, etc. can be a “deal breaker” for these people. If you have any concerns about your writing skills, get some help. And, OMG – stick with the length limitations.
We at Premier Essay understand. These are tough essays to write, and so much is riding on them. You can put these tasks into the hands of exceptional and experienced creative writers who have written application, scholarship and personal statement essays for years. These are real pros who have crafted amazing essays for students for years.
If you choose to use our personal statement essay services, you and your assigned writer will discuss the prompts/questions, and you will be asked to supply lots of personal information that relates. Then, your writer will take that information and create an amazing essay that will engage and compel any admissions committee.
Get in touch with us today. We can take this burden off of your shoulders!