Personal Statements

The personal statement is a chance for you to describe how you are the ideal candidate in your own words. Help the reader understand who you are, and why you should be selected for the opportunity. Here are a few suggestions to get started:

Answer the question(s).

  • Read the prompt and make sure you are answering the specific question(s) that are being asked.

If there is no prompt provided, think about addressing the following:

-Interest: What led you to consider this type of program?

-Preparation: What have you done to continue exploring your interest? How have you developed the types of skills and/or knowledge that show that you continue to learn more about the field? (Remember that proof of your experiences, not promises of what you will do, are persuasive.)

-Motivation: How have you shown that this is an interest that has grown over time?

Share your story.

Focus on the elements that have helped you to personally decide on this goal. What makes a personal statement stand out is if it is a genuine, personal reflection of interests, preparation, and motivation.

Proofread what you have written.

Give yourself enough time to create a well-written statement, and then make sure that you have time to review your statement. Spell-check and careful review of your statement are important to show that the words are a reflection of your writing abilities and you as a candidate.

Get feedback on your statement.

Ask others to read your statement, and share their thoughts. Feedback may help you to discover places you were unclear, or information you’re missing.


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