Personal statements are a vital part of university applications as they give you a chance to elaborate on the qualities that make you unique besides your basic personal information. In most cases, personal statements are supposed to comprise of a maximum of 4000 characters. They are meant to be used wisely in expressing yourself and proving that you indeed are the better applicant thus shortlisting you to that particular university. In order for you to have an edge over the other applicants, you are required to have a stunning personal statement.
Below are some of the best tips on how to come up with a piece that will conspicuously stand out from the rest:
- Make a Draft Without a Character Counter
It’s not strange for one to start writing with the thought that keeping the character counter turned on is the best course of action to enable you not to exceed the 4,000 character limit. On the contrary, you will find that often times this works to counter your productivity. How so? It makes you truncate what you have to say to fit the required character count. This leads to a high likelihood of your flow being interrupted thus lowering the quality of your personal statement.
The best way out of such a quagmire is by turning off your character counter and just fully expressing yourself in your writing without getting concerned about the length. Once you’ve jotted down everything in your mind, you can now comfortably turn on the character counter. Note the number of characters that you need to cut down to reach the required character count and work towards reaching that figure.
- Take Your Time
Patience, being a virtue, is one of the main lessons one can put into practice when planning to write an exceptional personal statement. It is important to note that a personal statement of high standards cannot be ready in just a matter of hours. It will even take more than just a few days to get your draft version of the personal statement fully written. It is best for you to always be patient in your approach, with breaks lasting a few days being taken. This will help you have a fresh mind when writing and in the long run, make your personal statement turn out outstanding.
- Find the Perfect Words and Expressions
The language that you use should have some touch of elegance to it. This will help you to have your personal statement highly ranked, especially if you are an international applicant. In case your English is not top-notch, there`s no need to worry because there`s a wide array of resources to turn to out there. One of the best places to look is on the internet.
There are a number of great translation programs as well as some used for generating synonyms. Such programs have been of tremendous help to the field of academics and have proved their essence in various writing forums such as literature review writing among many others. However, caution must be taken when using synonyms. It is not proper to use so many fancy words as it could end up making your statement look overcooked and troublesome to read.
- Concentrate on Your Strengths
In the 4000 characters, it is vital to keep in mind that your main aim is to sell yourself as the best to the institution. One of the best principles in the marketing world that work in favor of huge sales of a particular product is the airing out of the greatness of that product. The same should be applied to you by writing your experiences and showcasing your knowledge and future plans. In a nutshell, you should fix the spotlight on your strengths and steer off your weak points – if possible, don’t mention them at all!
- Search for The Perfect Opening Sentence
One of your main aims when writing should be striving to acquire the reader`s undivided attention. For this to be brought alive when writing a personal statement, you should kick off things with something really funny, unusual and generally interesting to give you that first impression you so desire. However, you should try and not force it from your brain but rather, just let it come to you during those random moments while writing.
- Make It Your Own Work, Voice, and Ideas
One of the other things that you should avoid at all costs is reading other people`s personal statements prior to writing your first few drafts. The reason behind this is that it will end up giving you falsified ideas on how to go about your writing. In addition to this, there is a likelihood that you will breach the originality that you’d initially planned to bring forth in your personal statement.
You are unique in many ways and it adds you no value to follow the path of set patterns or rules and most of all, another person’s ideas. After all, the personal statement is meant to speak about you, not someone else.
- Be Honest
In your personal statement, writing with honesty is an essential piece of the puzzle that you should not leave out. Do not write lies about possessing some skill set that you’ve never had in order to make you look better to your audience. There is little need for creating false images of yourself because, in the long run, the truth will soon come out. This could in-turn render your entire profile as cooked and have some disastrous repercussions to your academic future.
- Find Someone to Proofread Your Statement
The more the number of people that you show your personal statement to, the more the feedback you’ll receive regarding it. This assists you to have space for making corrections where the need arises and thus, have a superb final version. As is expected, some advice will turn out to be better while on the other hand, other advice won’t do you any good. However, the best policy you should go forward with is that you should get opinions from as many people as possible and then differentiate the opinion qualities later on.
To sum everything up, make the personal statement speak at length about you and most of your experiences. By speaking truthfully for yourself, you will bring out the regarding who you are and thus make the universities become more interested in what you have to offer.
Do you think that the tips mentioned above will help in propelling your personal statement to greater heights?
About the author: Richard Nolan is a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook