10 Easy to Implement Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

June 24, 2024

tips for writing a personal statement

A personal statement simply is an important document written by students to Universities seeking admission.

With a personal statement, students have a chance to tell a University how unique they are and why they are worth a spot.

The statement should not be too long, preferably make it 500 words maximum that is, about 4,000 (about 50 lines).

Since the document is not supposed to be long, make it super convincing and good. Here are the 10 tips to guide you when writing a personal statement.

1. Make a Draft without a Character Counter

It is not a good idea to have the character counter when writing a personal statement. While that’s our thought, most students prefer having the character-counter active while drafting their statements.

The reason we wouldn’t want you to write a statement without the character counter is that it will make you panic at certain points when the number of words passes the recommended hence a personal statement of poor quality.

Simply write anything and everything about yourself that you think is relevant to the application.

Once you are done writing, read through the document eliminating lights and paragraphs that are relevant but not important to give room to what’s important.

After a thorough edit turns the character counter on to calculate the number of words your document has – it should be at least 500 words (4K characters).

2. Find the Perfect Words and Expressions

Another way you can have your dream University accept your statement is with the use of perfect words and expressions.

You would sound more intelligent when you used the term “effectuating” instead of committing or “persuading” instead of convincing.

Even so, the use of synonyms (different words but the same meaning) should be moderate because you don’t want the application to sound too creative with sections overdone and hence difficult to comprehend.

You had better not use turf words on the document if you know it will interfere with your chances of joining your dream University.

3. Concentrate on your Strengths

Never put down your weaknesses on a personal statement application. Take a salesperson, for example, he or she never concentrates on the negative part of the product being promoted rather, all he or she does is give positive details about the product and how it is going to improve leaving.

Same way, treat yourself as a product and sell what you know is good about you for a chance to join the school to further your studies.

Your chances of joining your dream University are likely high when you provide the person vetting your application with your strengths rather than weaknesses.

4. Take Your Time

Even an average personal statement cannot be ready in a matter of hours or a couple of days.

You should not rush when writing a personal statement because if you do so you will end up with a horrible personal statement that will unfortunately disqualify you.

Remember, you are not the only post-secondary applying to the University, which means no room for silly typos like misspells, wrong sentence structure, missing punctuation, etc.

If you suddenly feel tired take a break and come back when you are easy and fresh to continue with your application letter.

The only way you come out of this a victor is by taking your time (could be weeks or months). Bottom line is, don’t rush, because if you don’t you will have a perfect letter that makes any University staff want to admit you into their Institution so badly.

5. Use Perfect Lines

Getting the perfect words to construct your sentences or a paragraph that is perfect and very engaging is never easy.

From thousands of documents sent in by others students yours better stand out to give get you an opportunity to join the University.

The idea here is to start your document with engaging sentences. Sentences that are engaging will make the reader want to continue reading your application to find out more about you.

When that happens you’d better start packing your bags because you’ve minimal chances of being rejected.

You can work on your opening sentences later on when something has already been cooked in your head.

Being creative does not mean trying to squeeze in funny lines from your brain, let the words naturally come to you.

6. Be Honest

Just keep it real with the one reading through your statement. By that I mean don’t say you are good at something when you are not. You create a different picture of yourself when you lie to the person reading.

What if you indicate you are good in French or Math when you are not and are chosen, do your first French or mathematical test and fail? It would feel so embarrassing.

7. Proofread your Statement

Once you are done writing your statement, ask people to read it and tell you what they think. You could ask your friends, teachers, or relatives.

You could also include your enemies in the mix. The goal is to show the statement to as many people as possible to get various ideas that will make your final copy outstanding.

8. Make the Application your Work, Voice, and Ideas

Though others will tell you to read samples of personal statements before drafting your own, I would discourage you from that.

Reading what someone else has written will make your personal statement corrupt because most of the ideas you will be giving about yourself will be a duplicate of the sample read before writing.

Like the prints on your fingers, you are not the same as the person next to you (each person is unique), and following some specified rules or someone else’s idea is worthless.

9. Read it Loud Many Times

It would be a good idea to read the statement out to family and friends and that’s because through verbal reading the lack of cohesion between paragraphs is identified and corrected for better flow when reading.

10. Stop Reading Your Application Once it is Submitted

It is not a good idea to read your statement after sending a copy to your preferred University.

Reading the application will make you think twice about the letter because you will feel as if it is not as good as you thought before mailing it in.

The best thing you can do after mailing in your application is just to chill and wait for the University to respond. Assume the copy you sent was just perfect!

Final Thought

Overall, be honest about yourself and be open about what you’ve experienced. Any University you send the application to is only interested in finding who you really are and so give it a second thought before copying other people’s writings.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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