Let me begin this post with the disclaimer that I am in no way an authority on personal statements. If truth were told, I am probably the furthest thing from an authority. But that’s not going to stop me!
That being said, I have spent a considerable amount of time in the last few months researching, writing, tweaking, and re-tweaking my personal statement. And I want to share of the things I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me.
1) Make an outline
Our English teachers have told us this since middle school and yet we unabashedly ignore this advice repeatedly. This is the time to finally listen! Make an outline! It helps!
2) Pick a theme
Having a theme has really helped me to stay on track. It is so easy to go off on tangents when writing about yourself, so having the theme, basically forced me to cut out all the extraneous stuff.
3) Look up characteristics of the people in the field you want
For example – pediatricians need to be good with children. So use that as a jumping of point for why you possess that skill in abundance, or how you plan on developing it.
Those three were the main objectives that helped me, but I also wanted to list something things that everyone has already heard, but is worth emphasizing again:
- Don’t start with quotes.
- Don’t use cliches.
- Don’t incorporate long drawn out patient stories.
- And most importantly – Don’t be scared to talk yourself up!