Personal Statements

Most programs require a personal statement as part of the application. Some may even require two depending on the application progress. Although there is not set formula, the following tips may help you develop your personal statement.

  • Research your programs—tailor your statement to each school. School that you are a “good fit.”
  • Prepare an outline
  • Write a rough draft using your outline. Your answers should reflect the points requested by each program
  • Avoid unnecessary duplication—Information included in other parts of your application (i.e. resume, transcript, application form) should not be repeated here
  • Avoid lengthy personal or philosophical discussions
  • Avoid cliché statements. For example, when asked why you are interested in your career goal don’t say something like “I want to be a counselor because I like to help people.” Everyone that goes into counseling wants to help people. Be more thoughtful with your response.
  • Re-Write. Re-Write. Re-Write. The statement should be perfect and a good personal statement won’t be written in one sitting.
  • Ask Career Services, your advisor or professor to critique your statement

Guidelines for the Content
Introduction: Begin with a distinctive opening to gain the reader’s attention. Faculty are reviewing hundreds of applications, make sure your statement stands out. Connect your experiences and career objective to the program

Supporting Paragraphs: Address the specific questions from the application. Use your outline to convince the committee of your qualifications and compatibility with the program. Highlight your accomplishments and experiences as it relates to your career goals and the program. Remember you need to show that you are a “fit.”

Conclusion: Link all your qualifications presented in earlier paragraphs—tie everything together. Show how you will “fit” the program and how the program will direct you in your long term goals.

Resources

  • AdmissionsEssays.com - This site contains examples of personal statements to view for any particular area of study
  • GraduateSchoolTips.com - Information and samples of admission essays, recommendation letters, picking the college, financing, etc.

Last Modified: 1/19/17 1:56 PM