Things to consider before writing a personal statement
• Your uniqueness. Consider your life story and see what is special and what makes you distinct
• Personal life details. Through your personal details, you can establish what your family and
problems are and how they have shaped you and your life this far. Relating your personal life
helps the admission committee understand you and sets you apart from other applicants.
• Interest in the field. Here, you can reflect on your interest in the field and how you
an interest. You can also consider what you have learned during your time in the field.
• Experience. Additionally, consider your experience, if any and how this helped
you grow significantly in your field of interest.
• Career goals. Consider what you aim for in your professional life and how the institution
or organization you are applying to will be of help in achieving these goals.
• Gaps/discrepancies. Consider if there are any discrepancies in your academic or career record
that need explaining.
• Compelling reasons. Think about why you are the best applicant that can take the position
for instance, what unique skills do you possess? What personal characteristics make you
how can you demonstrate these skills?
Types of personal statements
There are generally two categories of personal statements
• Comprehensive personal statements. These kinds of statements are called comprehensive because
the applicant freedom to express themselves. Mostly, these statements are written for law and
• Specific question personal statements. These are common in business and graduate schools.
In such a scenario, the student is usually expected to answer a specific question. There may be
prompts for multiple essays, all of which may require different responses.
Tips for coming up with the best personal statement
• Have a succinct hook. A hook is the opening statement that you use to capture your reader’s
If you have a great opening, you have a chance at retaining the interest of the admissions
your chances of getting a chance at an institution. Ensure that you get to the main point of
statement soon enough and explain why you are enthusiastic about a subject or course early
• Avoid quotes and clichés. Admission committees detest quotes and clichés. Personal statements
to be a display of your thoughts and not another person’s. It is, therefore, important to avoid
the above mentioned.
If you are, for instance, an engineering student with an aptitude for mathematics and sciences,
do not just state
it plainly, that is cliché, explain more on how you have engaged these subjects in your
particular field as this is
what the admissions committee needs to see.
• Avoid writing one personal statement for different schools. Sometimes, personal statements may
seem to have similar
instructions, even when they are from different institutions. However, there may be small
differences in the requirements
that you may miss should you choose to write the same statement for different institutions. You
can look at
different personal statements and their examples online to fully understand how you can craft
• Ensure that the details of your statement are relevant to your choices. Express your interest
by relating to general
course themes and subject areas. You do not need to include dramatic details in your personal
statement as staying
relevant is enough to get you aboard. A comprehensive description of your subject areas, course
themes and your experiences.
It may be wise to avoid using any experiences that happened in high school and earlier.
• Research if you need to. Sometimes a school may require you to state why you chose their
institution over the others.
You can research different types of personal statements and their examples to get an idea of
what the school of your
choice offers and how others approached this requirement before.