Writing a personal statement for grad school can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
In this blog post, we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of crafting an effective personal statement that will get you accepted into the graduate program of your choice.
We will look at how to make sure your statement stands out and covers all the necessary points.
We’ll also discuss common mistakes to avoid so that your personal statement reflects your best self.
So read on to find out the essential tips and tricks for writing an outstanding personal statement for grad school.
DO: Start early and give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm, draft, and revise your essay.
Writing a personal statement for grad school can be a daunting task.
It requires a lot of thought and preparation. As such, it’s important to start early so that you can give yourself the time you need to craft a strong and compelling essay.
Start by giving yourself plenty of time to brainstorm your ideas.
Think about the experiences, interests, and accomplishments you want to highlight in your essay.
Make sure to also leave time for drafting and revising your essay, as this is key to ensuring that your personal statement conveys the message you want to get across in the most effective way possible.
When you are working on your essay, it can help to take a break between drafts.
This allows you to look at your essay with fresh eyes, which can make all the difference when it comes to proofreading and editing.
Overall, giving yourself enough time to think through, write, and edit your essay is key to crafting a strong grad school personal statement.
Make sure to start early and plan out a timeline for yourself so that you can give yourself the time you need to create an essay that will help you stand out from the competition.
DO: Be specific.
When writing your grad school personal statement, it’s important to be specific about why you’re interested in the program and why you would be a great fit.
Instead of just talking in general terms about your passions and interests, use concrete examples to illustrate them.
Focus on a few key points, and explain how these points have impacted your academic goals and prepared you for graduate-level work.
Highlight the reasons you want to pursue a specific degree or field of study, and how you plan to contribute to the graduate school community.
Demonstrate why you’re uniquely qualified to join the program, and how this opportunity would help you reach your long-term goals.
Be sure to proofread your statement for any typos or errors before submitting it.
DO: Tell a story
When writing your personal statement for grad school, it’s important to take a storytelling approach.
Show, don’t just tell, the admissions committee who you are and why you’re a good fit for their program.
Rather than simply stating your qualifications, tell them a story about your experiences that showcase your strengths and demonstrate why you’re an ideal candidate.
Think about what makes you unique and use concrete details to create a vivid narrative that will draw in the reader.
Tell them about a time when you faced a challenge, or how a particular experience or person has impacted your life.
Try to make the story engaging, memorable, and relevant to the program you’re applying for.
It should also have a logical conclusion that ties everything together.
By telling a story rather than simply listing facts, you can give the admissions committee an insight into who you are as a person and make it more likely that they will remember you. Good luck!
DON’T: Write what you think admissions committees want to hear.
When writing your grad school personal statement, it’s important to resist the temptation to simply say what you think admissions committees want to hear.
Trying to write what you think the committee wants to read is a surefire way to end up with an essay that falls flat and does not showcase who you are as an individual.
It’s more important for you to be genuine and honest about who you are and your experiences than it is to try and make yourself appear like someone who would be a ‘perfect fit’ for their program.
Writing a grad school personal statement that is authentic and comes from a place of honesty will give you the best chance of having your application be successful.
DON’T: Rehash your resume.
When writing your personal statement for grad school, it’s important to not simply rehash your resume.
Your resume is a list of facts and figures, while your personal statement should be a narrative that tells your story.
It should be a reflection of who you are and why you want to attend grad school.
Rather than restating what is already included in your resume, use this opportunity to expand upon it.
Explain how your past experiences have prepared you for the next step in your academic journey.
Talk about any challenges or setbacks you faced and how you overcame them.
Showcase why you are the perfect candidate for grad school and what unique value you will bring to the program.
Make sure to avoid writing a generic statement that could apply to any person or school.
Use concrete examples and provide evidence of your skills and accomplishments.
Most importantly, take the time to make your statement unique to you and your goals for grad school.
DON’T: Make it all about you.
Your personal statement should not be a summary of your accomplishments or a list of all the things you have done.
Instead, focus on how your experiences and qualities have prepared you for success in graduate school.
You can use anecdotes to illustrate your point but make sure to keep it focused on why your story matters to the admissions committee.
Avoid bragging or boasting about yourself or using language that appears too self promoting.
Remember, this is a statement of purpose, not a statement of pride.