Cathy A.
Cathy A.

How to Write a Personal Statement - Easy Tips & Examples

13 min read

Published on: Mar 22, 2019

Last updated on: Nov 13, 2023

Personal Statement Writing

Writing a personal statement that truly stands out can be tough. When you're applying for college or a job, it's normal to feel the pressure. 

Many people struggle to find the right words to impress the people who make the decisions.

It's a big challenge because there are so many others competing with you. If your personal statement is like everyone else's, you might not get noticed. That means you could miss out on the opportunity you really want.

But don't worry, we're here to help. 

In this blog, we're going to show you how to write a personal statement that gets attention. 

We'll guide you in crafting an outstanding statement with examples. After reading this blog,  you will have the essential information you need to create a great one.

Let’s get started!

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What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a written document that you include as part of your application to a college, university, job, or scholarship. It's a chance for you to introduce yourself, tell your story, and explain why you're the right fit for the opportunity.

It's where you can showcase your personality, values, and the unique qualities that make you stand out from other applicants.

Elements of a Personal Statement 

What exactly goes into a personal statement? Let's break it down:

Aspect

Description

Self-Introduction

Start with a brief self-introduction, including your name, background, and current status.

Why You're Interested

Explain your interest in the opportunity and why it's a good fit for you.

Personal Experiences

Share relevant anecdotes that showcase your skills and values, including moments that shaped your path.

Future Goals

Discuss your long-term goals and how this opportunity aligns with your aspirations.

What You Bring

Emphasise what you bring to the table and how you can benefit the institution or employer with your unique skills and perspectives.

Every college application has its own unique requirements for personal statements, so it is essential to follow the specific instructions provided by the college.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Personal Statement

Before you start crafting your personal statement, it's essential to answer the questions to clarify your thoughts, goals, and the message you want to convey.

Here are the critical questions to consider:

  • Purpose: Why are you writing this statement, and what's your main objective?
  • Audience: Who will be reading your statement, and what do they expect?
  • Uniqueness: What sets you apart from other applicants?
  • Opportunity: Why are you interested in this college admission, job, or scholarship?
  • Goals: What are your short-term and long-term aspirations, and how does this opportunity fit in?
  • Challenges: What significant experience challenged a belief? What have you faced and overcome?
  • Relevance: What skills, achievements, or experiences are most relevant to this opportunity?
  • Message: What key message or story do you want to convey in your statement?
  • Perception: How do you want to be perceived by the reader?
  • Impact: What positive impact can you make on the institution or employer, and what unique qualities can you bring?

Personal Statement Outline

To guide you through the writing application process of how to start a personal statement, consider the following outline. It can help you organise your thoughts and craft a compelling statement:

1. Introduction (Opening Paragraph)

Start with a captivating hook that grabs the reader's attention.

Provide a brief self-introduction, including your name and background.

Mention the purpose of your statement and the opportunity you're pursuing.

2. Your Journey (Body Paragraphs)

Share your personal experiences, anecdotes, or stories that illustrate your qualities, skills, and values.

Discuss moments or challenges that influenced your academic or career choices.

Highlight achievements, skills, and experiences relevant to your goal.

Explain why this opportunity aligns with your aspirations and how it fits into your journey.

3. Your Goals (Body Paragraphs)

Describe your short-term and long-term goals, both academically and professionally.

Explain how the college, job, or scholarship you're applying for supports these goals.

Emphasise the importance of the opportunity in helping you achieve your aspirations.

4. What You Bring (Body Paragraphs)

Showcase what you bring to the institution or employer.

Highlight your unique perspectives, skills, and attributes that can positively impact the community.

Provide examples of how your presence can benefit the organisation.

5. Conclusion (Closing Paragraph)

Summarise the key points you've made throughout your statement.

Reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity and your commitment to its values and goals.

Write a strong closing statement that leaves a lasting impression.

6. Proofreading and Editing

After drafting your statement, carefully proofread and edit for grammar, clarity, and conciseness.

Seek feedback from trusted individuals, such as teachers, mentors, or peers, to ensure it effectively conveys your message.

Have a look at the given outline template to understand better.

Personal Statement Format

To ensure your statement is professional and well-structured, adhere to these standard format guidelines:

  • Length: Limit your personal statement to 500 words, typically equating to 1-2 pages.
  • Spacing: Use single-spacing for paragraphs.
  • Paragraph Separation: Insert an extra line between paragraphs.
  • Font Style: Utilise Times New Roman for the font style.
  • Font Size: Maintain a font size of 12pt.
  • Header: Include a header with your name.
  • Page Number: Add a page number for reference.

These format guidelines help you present your personal statement in a clear and organised manner, making it easier for your audience to read your personal statement and understand.

Expert Tip

Give a read to our blog if you want a detailed guide on personal statement format!

How to Write a Personal Statement?

Crafting an effective personal statement requires careful planning and attention to detail. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create a compelling narrative that showcases your unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations.

Step 1: Know Your Purpose 

Understand why you are writing the personal statement. Are you applying for a college, job, or scholarship?

Knowing your purpose helps you tailor your content.

List your strengths, skills, and unique qualities. Think about what sets you apart from others.

Step 2: Do your Research 

Research the institution or employer you're applying to. Understand their values, mission, and what they're looking for in an applicant.

Step 3: Create an Outline 

Plan the structure of your statement. Decide how you'll introduce yourself, discuss your experiences, and conclude.

For example, your outline might include sections for introduction, experiences, goals, and what you bring to the institution or employer.

Step 4: Writing Process 

  • Start with a Strong Hook: In your introduction, grab the reader's attention with a compelling hook, story, quote, or statement.

Example: "As a child, I gazed up at the stars, wondering about the mysteries of the universe. Little did I know that this curiosity would drive my passion for astrophysics."

  • Share Personal Experiences: Use specific anecdotes to illustrate your qualities and experiences.

Example: Describe a situation where your problem-solving skills helped your team achieve a challenging goal.

  • Connect to the Opportunity: Explain why you're interested in the specific college, job, or scholarship and how it aligns with your goals.

Example: "I'm drawn to this engineering program because it emphasises sustainability, which aligns with my passion for eco-friendly solutions."

  • Highlight Achievements: Mention relevant accomplishments, awards, or projects that showcase your skills and dedication.

Example: If you received an award for your community service, mention it as evidence of your commitment.

Step 5: Review and Revise

Lastly, carefully check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Use spell check and ask someone else to review your statement for any mistakes.

Share your draft with mentors or peers and consider their suggestions for improvement.

Here is an example and analysis for your better understanding:

Personal Statement Example

I've always been passionate about helping others. One moment stands out: when I volunteered at a local shelter and saw the impact of support on people's lives. This experience fueled my desire to study social work at [University Name].

Throughout my life, I've encountered diverse situations that made me understand the importance of empathy and assistance. Whether it was comforting a friend or helping a neighbour, I've always felt a calling to be there for others.

[University Name] offers a renowned Social Work program with a strong emphasis on community engagement. It aligns perfectly with my goal of making a difference in people's lives. I'm excited to study there and develop my skills to contribute to my community.

One of my proudest achievements is organising a community food drive that helped hundreds of families. This experience showcased my organisational and leadership abilities. I'm eager to attend [University Name] to build on these strengths and create a better future for those in need.

Analysis - Why This Essay Worked:

The essay succeeds with:

  • Engaging Hook: The essay starts with a captivating personal experience, drawing the reader in.
  • Personal Stories: It incorporates personal experiences like helping a friend and organising a community food drive.
  • University Alignment: This college essay connects the applicant's passion with the university's program and extracurricular activities, showing genuine interest.
  • Achievement Highlight: Mentioning the community food drive demonstrates leadership and impact.

Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Statement

Following the do's and avoiding the don'ts will help you create a strong and effective statement that aligns with your goals and resonates with your target audience.

Do's

Don'ts

Be Genuine

Plagiarize

Tailor Your Statement

Be Overly Generic

Showcase Your Skills

Boast Unnecessarily

Use Clear and Concise Language

Use Jargon

Tell a Story

Write a Resume in Paragraph Form

Show, Don't Tell

Make Excuses

Proofread and Edit

Neglect Proofreading

Be Enthusiastic

Lack Enthusiasm

Seek Feedback

Ignore Feedback

Follow Guidelines

Exceed Length Limits

Good Personal Statement Examples

When crafting your statement, it can be incredibly helpful to review well-written personal statement pdf examples.  

If you are finding personal statements for university examples or just law personal statements, here are a number of samples for you.

Here are different personal statement examples for different schools:

Expert Tip

Want to explore more examples? Check out our personal statement examples blog!

Personal Statement Topics 

Here are some topics that you can consider for impressing your admissions committee:

  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Passion for a Field
  • Volunteer or Community Service
  • Cultural Identity
  • Career Aspirations
  • Academic Achievements
  • Travel and Exploration
  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Mentorship

Expert Tip

Need more prompts? We’ve got you! Read out personal statement prompts blog!

Every admission office requires students to submit a personal statement. But, most students find it nerve-racking to write something that highlights their abilities.

If you're nervous about impressing the authorities and on the lookout for a legitimate essay writing service, you're at the right place!

Our experienced writers know what it takes to make a mark on the committee! They work closely with you to craft a unique personal statement for you that highlights your strengths. 

So, when you place your 'write my personal statement' request with us, you'll be sure to receive top quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a personal statement about yourself?

Start by explaining why you are the perfect student. Mention your skills and experience. Prove points with current or previous studies. Show off any professional work experiences too.

How do you write a powerful personal statement?

You can write a powerful statement by writing an attention-grabbing introduction and a strong conclusion that reaffirms your future goals and aspirations.

Cathy A.

WRITTEN BY

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

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