17 Tips On How To Write A Good Personal Statement

5 minutes read

Do you wish to know how to write a good personal statement that sells? This article is here to help you.

I will share with you some personal statement tips that have gotten people I know (including myself), accepted into the best Universities in the world, with some of them even on full scholarships.

But first…

Why do schools ask for personal statements from applicants? Alternatively, what is the core aim of a personal statement?

Confused? Well, here is the best answer.

How to write a good personal statement_tips_image 1

Tips on how to write a good personal statement

Whether you are applying for law school, medical school, residency, nursing, etc-Follow the tips given below and your personal statement would be better off.

Personal Statement Tip 1: See the personal statement as an opportunity

You cannot write a good personal statement if you do not see the personal statement as an opportunity rather than a hell of a task.

Your personal statement is an opportunity to sell the “idea” that  you are worth admitting to the said school or program you wish to enroll in.

It is an opportunity to tell the admission officers that you are the real deal.

Personal Statement Tip 2: Be original

An unoriginal personal statement is definitely not a good personal statement.

Do not let somebody else write your personal statement for you. The least you could do is allow them review your personal statement rather than write it from the beginning for you.

Do not copy someone else’s work. Every admission officer hates plagiarism to the core.

Personal Statement Tip 3: Hook your readers from the beginning

To know how to write a good personal statement-you have to know how to hook your readers from the beginning.

Your first paragraph is essential to the quality of your personal statement.

Begin your personal statement with an introduction that would captivate your readers and make them want to read past the first paragraph. Remember that first impression matters.

Read: Personal statement introductory examples.

Personal Statement Tip 4: Stick to your goal

You cannot write a good personal statement if you do not stick to the main goal of your personal statement.

For example, if you are applying for a Mechatronics degree program at “X” university. Your goal should be to convince the program admissions department/officials that you are right for the course, and why their school is best fit for you.

Do not go talking about Mechanical Engineering, or engineering in general-talk about Mechatronics.

Do not go begging them for place, or seeking for their sympathy. Show them you deserve a place at their institution-convince them.

Personal Statement Tip 5: Do not mention everything

You cannot write a good personal statement if you mention all your achievements, awards, or experience.

You may not have the liberty to do so (e.g. UCAS personal statement).

Instead of describing all your achievements, awards, or experience, you should give a summary of one or two. You should state how these achievements, awards, or events would affect your future career (in a good way).

This will make your personal statement better appealing.

Personal Statement Tip 6: Use active verbs

Try to avoid passive verbs as much as possible. Use active verbs because they make your essay more lively.

Passive verbs make your essay cold.

Personal Statement Tip 7: Use short sentences and simple words

To write a good personal statement, you definitely have to be concerned about the readability of your essay.

To improve the readability of your personal statement:

  • Use shorter sentences.
  • Use simpler words. Sometimes simple is just better.

Do not try to over-impress the admission officers by using long sentences or strange words. This may only end up pissing them off.

Personal Statement Tip 8: Be enthusiastic

A good personal statement cannot be dull. A dull personal statement cannot be enthusiastic.

You should demonstrate that you have the zeal to study the program of your choice at “X” university.

Pick a topic that genuinely excites you. Your enthusiasm will reflect in the text.

Personal Statement Tip 9: State why you want to study the program

This is one of the important things to do when writing your personal statement.

Your personal statement should show why you are motivated to study the program of your choice.

You should provide evidence to the admission officers that you know something about the program.

For example, if you are applying for an Undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, your personal statement should show what motivates you to study that program.

E.g. If what motivates you is a strong desire to build the next robots that’ll operate on humans, be sure to state it in your personal statement.

Personal Statement Tip 10: State why you are right for the school

Your personal statement should  be able to answer the following questions:

  • Will you be able to stand up to the pressures and freedoms of College life?
  • Will you contribute something to “X” University and to your classmates? Will you benefit from your “X” Universities experience?
  • Would other students want to room with you, share a meal, be in a seminar together, be teammates, or collaborate in a closely knit extracurricular group?

Personal Statement Tip 11: Talk about your growth and potential

Your personal statement should be able to answer the following question:

  • Have you reached your maximum academic and personal potential?

  • Have you been working to capacity in your academic pursuits, your full-time or part-time employment, or other areas?

  • Do you have reserve power to do more?

  • How have you used your time?

  • Have you been stretching yourself?

  • Do you have initiative? Are you a self-starter? What motivates you?

  • Do you have a direction yet? What is it? If not, are you exploring many things?

  • Where will you be in one, five, or ten years? Will you contribute something to those around you?

  • What sort of person are you now? What sort of person will you be in the future?

-Harvard University application consideration facts.

Personal Statement Tip 12: List your relevant skills

The admission officers want to see that you have relevant skills.

List your relevant skills on a sheet of paper. Select the ones that are best to include in your personal statement.

For example, if you are applying for Electrical or Mechatronic Engineering and you are good at C programing- state it in your personal statement. It would definitely boost your personal statement / application.

Personal Statement Tip 13: State your relevant experience

If you are applying for a degree in business administration, you can state the businesses or companies you have worked with, and how you created an impact.

Personal Statement Tip 14: Say the truth

Avoid lies. They could hurt your reputation and admission, because you stand a chance of being in trouble. Whatever you say in your personal statement should be the truth, and nothing but the truth. Make sure you can back it up.

Personal Statement Tip 15: Talk about the school

Say why you chose the school, but keep this concise. If you are applying to more than one school with the same personal statement-you should avoid mentioning the schools name.

Personal Statement Tip 16: Keep it short

Short sentences, simple words-as stated above-are good, but you need to keep your personal statement short. You do not want to bore the admission officers by writing a 5-page personal statement.

Personal Statement Tip 17: Be positive

Your personal statement should be positive. Therefore, talk positive.

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Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

2 Responses

  1. Ngozi says:

    I’ve been writing my personal statement to apply to a school in US. Can you help me to review it?

    • Giovanni O.J.C Olakunori says:

      I’m so sorry. I ‘m not chanced to do so, but you can send it over. I’d see what I can do. Send your personal statement through the contact us page. I’d get back to you, hopefully.

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