500 word personal statement examples
When applying to just about any academic institution or business, you need to write a personal statement. So, it must provide information about the individual who is applying.
How To Write A 500 Word Personal Statement
It is the sole document in the entire application process that allows you to demonstrate who you are beyond your grades or what other people think of you. Writing a 500-word personal statement is your chance to highlight your greatest skills.
It enables you to explain why you would want the job or study there. This explains why you are the ideal candidate for the job, and how you differ from those other applicants.
It’s a good idea to take help from 500 word personal statement examples civil service if you are a candidate for civil service. So, let’s have a look at some pointers and examples for writing a 500-word statement of purpose.
It’s Good To Know: PTCAS Personal Statement Examples
How do you write a 500 word personal statement? It’s the most important and critical point to be considered. There are some key points that you should keep in mind while writing a 500 word personal statement for job.
To begin, you should customize your statement for each institution to which you are applying. Never send a generic statement to several institutions. Research university personal statement examples .
Stick to the word limit; you’ll be graded on how well you stick to the guidelines and how adaptable you are. Before you begin writing a 500-word personal statement, consider the following crucial topics that they will want to know:
- What are your interests or hobbies outside of your job and education?
- Are they what prompted you to pursue a degree or a profession in this field?
- How much is your experience?
- Why are you applying, and what qualities do you believe make you a good fit?
- What do you want to achieve in your career?
To answer these, look for personal statement examples for jobs if you are asked to write a PS for the job.
When it comes to reading, you must ensure that you capture and maintain the reader’s attention throughout the 500-word essay, as well as that it flows smoothly to maintain the reader’s interest:
- Begin with a relevant anecdote or quotation.
- Avoid making obvious claims and avoid repeating yourself.
- Keep it short; you should aim to write no more than two pages.
- Only provide material that will benefit you in some way.
- Don’t make any false statements. Always be truthful.
- Avoid using clichés, as well as slang or acronyms.
- Avoid being too smart or using synonyms; your statement should be understandable to anybody who reads it.
- Make sure what you’re expressing is clear, logical, and specific.
500 Word Personal Statement Examples
Here are some of the best 500 word personal statement examples for you to have an idea to write your own. You can write your own personal statement for job after reading these examples.
Use this one of the finest 500 word personal statement examples for job.
My parents were unsure what else to do with me since I was a child. Every week, I’d return home from school with a message from my teachers imploring, then begging, my parents to instill in me some sense of self-control.
To their credit, they tried. So, I went through numerous sessions in rehabilitation centers. I had therapies and even a faith-healing session. Nothing worked, though; I couldn’t control my inclination to speak up in class. I also couldn’t focus on the duties at hand.
It wasn’t until I was in middle school when I’m on the verge of failing all of my classes, that one of my teachers suggested I might have a learning issue. In my little village, bringing up such a topic was frowned upon. So, my parents flatly dismissed any evidence that I would require such care.
As a result, I stayed in middle school for two more years. I strived to keep up with my coursework while dealing with the increasing agony of witnessing all my friends and classmates graduate. As a result, I started to develop depression symptoms, which my parents took very severely because I felt lonely and unappreciated.
I was administered mid-dose ABC by a psychiatrist, and it was this medication that altered my life. It made me feel like a new person after my first dose. I was able to focus for the very first time in my life.
In middle school, I was held back. Now that I’m almost done with school, I can look forward to a future that I couldn’t even imagine five years ago.
My challenges have motivated me to assist other youngsters in similar situations. They also motivated me to use community outreach to dispel the myth that mental health is a taboo subject.
I spent my entire life with an undetected learning handicap. I was fortunate that medicine relieved my symptoms. For many other youngsters, however, this is not the case.
I volunteered at a regional healthcare clinic about 40 minutes from my house throughout my year of high school. Mental illness had a heavy stigma in my small suburban town. It was even more difficult to break into the countryside.
A case that particularly affected me was that of a little kid who displayed all of the symptoms that I did. But his parents claimed that he only needed sleeping drugs. This exchange taught me that I got to work closely with families, not only on a surface level but on a long-term basis, to begin changing their mindsets.
As a social worker, I will devote my life to persuading people that learning difficulties are not shameful. Now, I’m motivated to acquire a social work degree. This would help me to work directly with suffering families. I’d help them deal with the challenges of raising a child with mental illness or learning disabilities .
I’m excited to broaden my horizons and learn more about how people perceive mental illness. I’ll use what I’ve learned to encourage individuals to seek treatment and assistance, knowing that they are not alone.
This is one of the best 500 word personal statement examples .
There are numerous events in a person’s life. But, only a handful are significant and mark the beginning of a new chapter in their journey. One of these occasions, in my opinion, is the decision I had to make about my future education.
The range of courses and majors available, as well as the excellent prospects provided by XXX universities. My reservations and questions stem from the overseas offer. What is the best place for me to complete my education? Where could I contribute the most to the causes I defend?
Now that I’ve graduated from high school, I must decide my future. One of the most difficult decisions I’ll have to make in my life appears to be my future career. It’s a big deal to decide on a future career not only for me but for all the students. I made a good decision on time for my career.
I chose to pursue a business-related course at your university since it has always piqued my attention. It provides excellent prospects for future growth and implementation.
During my investigation, I discovered that your university provides exceptional academic quality to its pupils. They provide a well-developed practical education. They teach students how to recognize, analyze, and solve problems. In business and management, assess the importance of essential elements, procedures, and structures.
The subject I’d like to research is highly active, energetic, and dynamic. It necessitates a variety of attributes. From those who research it and use it in their job, I am confident in my ability to meet this task. I will provide 100 per cent output.
As a participant in my school’s national and international programs, I learned how to operate in a group so, have the ability to work as a group member. In high school, I was a member of the debate club “Debate” for three years. It taught me analytical thinking and improved my communication skills.
I became more disciplined and structured as a result of my involvement in many extracurricular activities. I always deal with the situation, whatever it is, by remaining flexible and persistent. I never feel fear of any situation.
All young people, I believe, regardless of where they live, are inextricably linked. They also communicate well with one another, since ambitious young people share common goals and interests.
If I got admission to your university, I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new and intriguing people. I look forward to forming new friends and learning about different cultures and traditions as I am very passionate to learn new things, forming new friends and learning about different cultures and their customs.
And, most significantly, I’ll be able to get a genuine chance to excel in my life and career. I’m aware that I’ll likely experience numerous challenges that might be difficult for me. But, they will serve as lessons that will strengthen my resolve and realize my ambitions.
The knowledge I will get will be extremely beneficial to me and my career. This would be a fantastic chance and a much-appreciated opportunity for me.
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500 Word Personal Statement Examples
by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad
In personal statement samples by word limits.
Writing a 500-word personal statement can be more challenging than writing a 1000-word statement because of the need for brevity without missing out on important information . You have to carefully select and condense your thoughts, experiences, and aspirations into a limited space.
Every word has to count.
It requires focusing on the most essential details relevant to your field of interest , and removing any superfluous information that have no direct relation to your field , which can be a difficult task. It demands a higher level of clarity, conciseness, and focus compared to a longer statement, where you have more freedom to elaborate on your ideas and experiences.
In this article, I will be providing two samples of 500-word personal statements . These samples werewritten by applicants who were admitted to top schools in the US and Canada.
These examples aim to show how prospective applicants like you can seamlessly weave your passion, skills, and relevant experiences into a compelling narrative that is no more than 500 words long.
In writing these essays, the applicants have drawn upon key insights from a number of my previous writings on personal statements. You are also welcome to use my previous writings to help you write your personal statement.
In those posts I’ve discussed the art of constructing a captivating personal statement for grad school , and I’ve highlighted the pitfalls to avoid to ensure your statement leaves a positive impression.
I’ve also shared valuable tips on structuring your personal statement for clarity and readability, not to mention how to create a powerful opening that grabs attention from the start. And let’s not forget about maintaining brevity while effectively telling your story, as well as offering a vast range of personal statement examples from different fields for reference.
And yes, do not forget to explore my 8-point framework that anyone can use to self-evaluate their personal statement. Complementing this, I’ve also created a 7-point guide to help you steer clear of potential traps and missteps in your personal statement.
I encourage you to explore these topics in depth, as they will be useful while we explore the 500-word sample personal statements.
In this Article
What Should Be Included in a 500 Word Personal Statement?
My feedback on example 1, my in-depth feedback on example 1, my feedback on example 2, my in-depth feedback on example 2, is 500 words enough for a personal statement, how long does it take to write a 500 word personal statement.
A 500-word personal statement should include a compelling introduction to hook the reader’s attention, followed by a clear explanation of your interest in the field and relevant experiences , skills, and achievements. Avoid including irrelevant information, excessive detail, clichés, negative tone, and repetition. In short, f ocus on pertinent, clear, and genuine experiences that relate directly to your program of interest .
Here’s a guide on what to include:
- Introduction: A strong introduction not only catches the reader’s attention but also sets the tone for the rest of the personal statement. A personal anecdote could be a specific moment or event that sparked your interest in the field you’re pursuing.
A surprising fact could be a unique perspective or understanding that you’ve developed about your field. A statement that outlines your motivation could succinctly express what drives you towards this field or opportunity. The introduction should create curiosity and interest in the reader’s mind to know more about your story.
- Why You’re Interested: Here, you want to establish a clear connection between your interests and the opportunity you’re applying for. This could involve discussing the specific aspects of the opportunity that align with your passion or goals.
For example, if you’re applying for a business program because you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you might discuss specific courses, professors, or opportunities for hands-on learning within the program that excite you.
- Your Qualifications: This section should detail the experiences and skills that make you a strong candidate. For an academic program, you might discuss relevant coursework, projects, or research experience. For a job, you might talk about past roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments.
The key here is to not just list experiences, but to demonstrate how these experiences have equipped you with skills or insights that make you a strong fit for the opportunity.
- Personal Growth: Reflect on the lessons learned from your experiences. For instance, managing a challenging project might have improved your problem-solving skills, or working in a team might have honed your collaboration and communication skills.
This reflection demonstrates your ability to learn from experience and your readiness for future challenges. It also shows self-awareness, which is an attractive trait in any candidate.
- Your Goals and Aspirations: Show the reader that you have a vision for your future, and that the opportunity you’re applying for aligns with this vision. For example, if you aspire to become a software engineer, discuss how a computer science program would equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge. If you hope to work in a specific industry, discuss how the opportunity would provide you with relevant experience or connections.
- Conclusion: The conclusion is your final chance to leave an impression. Summarize your key points—your interest in the opportunity, your qualifications, your personal growth, and your future goals. Restate your excitement about the opportunity, and leave the reader with a sense of your passion, commitment, and suitability for the opportunity.
While writing a 500-word personal statement, it’s important to maximize the impact of every word. Certain things should generally be avoided
Here’s a guide on what NOT to include:
- Irrelevant Information: Do not include experiences or skills that aren’t relevant to the application. It’s crucial to stay focused and pertinent.
For example, i f you’re applying for a Computer Science program, talking at length about your prowess in playing the trombone, without tying it back to skills or experiences relevant to computer science, may not be very helpful.
- Excessive Detail: You have limited space, so avoid overly detailed descriptions of events or experiences. Stick to what’s crucial for your story and purpose. Instead of detailing every single task and responsibility in a previous job, focus on the key responsibilities and achievements that showcase your skills and experiences.
- Clichés and Generalizations: Avoid clichés and general statements. Be specific and personal in your experiences and aspirations to stand out.
Phrases like “I want to save the world” or “I’m a people person” are very generic and don’t tell anything specific about you. Instead, use concrete examples to illustrate these traits.
- Negative Tone: While it’s important to be honest, avoid focusing excessively on negative experiences or failures. If you mention a setback, always connect it to a learning experience or growth.
Rather than dwelling on a low grade in a class, you could discuss how it motivated you to seek extra help, develop better study habits, or explore different learning strategies.
- Repetition: Avoid repeating the same ideas or experiences. It wastes valuable space and might bore the reader. If you’ve already mentioned that you were a leader of a club in college, you don’t need to repeat this fact later in your statement. Each point should contribute something new.
- Excuses: While it’s acceptable to explain extenuating circumstances, avoid making excuses for any shortcomings. Instead, focus on what you’ve learned or how you’ve grown from challenging situations.
Instead of saying “My grades suffered because my professor was terrible,” you could say, “I faced some academic challenges but sought out resources to improve my understanding and raised my grades by the end of the semester.”
- Overly Complex Language: Don’t use unnecessarily complex language or jargon in an attempt to impress. Clarity and genuine expression are most important.
Don’t say, “My magniloquent and erudite nature facilitates my academic pursuits,” when you can simply say, “My love for learning and strong communication skills support my academic success.”
In short, r emember to:
- Stay focused and specific. With only 500 words, every word counts.
- Show, don’t tell. Instead of saying you’re passionate about something, demonstrate it through your actions and experiences.
- Be genuine and authentic. The personal statement is your chance to show who you are beyond your grades or resume.
500 Word Personal Statement Example 1
Two years ago, I saw a massive opportunity in the e-commerce market of Norway. After dedicating months of sleepless nights, I launched an online clothing retail brand. Despite an institutional infrastructure and a development team of young professionals, I failed to sustain growth and was forced to shut down after a few months. I was only 22 years old at that time and lacked the experience to conduct market research, and gauge consumer behavior.
I am a great concept developer, but I lack business acumen. This failure was crucial in helping me carve out my career aspiration and convince me to pursue a degree in business and management with a focus on retail fashion.
After my startup’s failure, I joined Capgemini, where I slowly started to take on managerial responsibilities. As a product manager, I have managed the complete product development cycle of launching new products – from design to branding to customer experience. This versatile experience has enabled me to understand the market dynamics at the grass root level.
The graduate management program at Brock is a perfect fit. The extensive alumni network and emphasis on leadership have made it my natural choice. In addition, Brock’s great collaborative vibe makes you feel part of the community. The program will provide me with the opportunity to combine quantitative experience with sound business and managerial skills. In line with my career goals, my research interest is the global e-commerce fashion industry. I would like to have an in-depth knowledge of how the industry behaves in different countries. I will focus my research on the designer wear industry and its market trends. I am confident that the knowledge and skills I learned through working on a research project on E-Health Marketing and studying Research Methodology at my undergrad institution will also assist me in applying the research skills while working on my thesis.
My multidisciplinary background, and ability to understand an industry’s scientific realms will be imperative to my learning. The collaborative nature of the cohort will challenge me every day. The diverse people from around the world, the work hard play hard attitude, and the faculty will all converge to something outstanding.
After graduating, my immediate goal is to work in Canada for a few years, preferably in the fashion industry. This will allow me to apply my knowledge and taste the flavor of the global professional world. I would aim to serve numerous facets of work by combining my undergraduate and graduate education, ideally in the retail marketing department of a company. Eventually, I aim to return to Norway and fulfil my ambition of setting up a world-class online retail fashion marketplace and make it a success by leveraging the skills I would have developed at Brock through courses such as Consumer Behavior, B2B Marketing, and Services Marketing.
Your personal statement is thoughtful and provides a compelling narrative of your experiences and aspirations. Let’s break it down based on the criteria I provided:
- Introduction (4.5/5): Your intro is intriguing as you directly share your experience of trying to start an online clothing retail brand in Norway. It sets the tone for the rest of the essay.
- Why You’re Interested (4.5/5): You’ve done a good job of explaining why you want to pursue a degree in business and management, focusing on your startup experience.
- Your Qualifications (4/5): Your work experience at Capgemini is detailed and relevant. However, you might want to provide more specifics about your achievements or any impact you made in this role.
- Personal Growth (4.5/5): The reflection on your failed startup and how it shaped your career aspirations is very effective. It shows your ability to learn from failures and to turn them into opportunities.
- Your Goals and Aspirations (4.5/5): Your plans for the future, both in the short and long term, are clear and directly tied to the program you’re applying for.
- Conclusion (4.5/5): The connection between your past experiences, current pursuits, and future goals is well drawn, leaving a strong concluding impression.
- Your reasons for choosing Brock’s graduate management program are well-articulated. The reference to specific courses shows that you’ve done your research.
- The paragraph about your research interests adds depth to your statement, though it might be beneficial to tie this more explicitly to your career goals.
- Some sentences could be tightened or made more concise to keep your statement within the 500-word limit, without losing important content.
Overall, your personal statement is quite strong. It’s clear, engaging, and effectively demonstrates your motivation, experiences, and goals. It shows resilience, ambition, and a clear desire to learn and grow.
- Introduction: The opening is strong. It succinctly introduces your entrepreneurial experience, along with a setback that has clearly shaped your professional aspirations. There is, however, room for added color or detail to make the story more engaging. For example, what was unique about the clothing brand you launched? Did a specific incident or experience lead to its conception?
- Why You’re Interested: You do a good job of outlining your interest in business and management with a focus on retail fashion. The link between your failed startup and your decision to pursue further education in this field is well-made, showing an ability to learn from failures and pivot.
- Your Qualifications: Your experiences at Capgemini sound impressive, but more specifics would enhance this section. For example, were there any significant achievements or impacts from your product management role? Can you quantify the success of the products you launched or share some measurable outcomes of your work?
- Personal Growth: You highlight your self-awareness and willingness to learn. You’re demonstrating an understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement, which shows maturity and self-reflection.
- Why this Program: You show good research into Brock’s graduate management program. Mentioning the alumni network, the emphasis on leadership, and the collaborative environment helps to illustrate why the program is a good fit for you. It might be beneficial to connect these program features more explicitly with your own goals and how they will help you achieve them.
- Your Goals and Aspirations: Your career aspirations are well-articulated and link well with your proposed studies and experiences. It’s great that you’re focusing on a specific industry (e-commerce fashion) and you’ve clearly outlined your future plans. However, you could make it even clearer how exactly the Brock program and its specific courses will help you achieve these specific goals.
- Conclusion: Your conclusion effectively ties together your past experiences, current interests, and future goals. The mention of a “work hard play hard attitude” is a bit unclear, though, and might be better replaced with a more specific statement about your work ethic or approach.
If you want me to review, critique, and give detailed feedback on your personal statement, then please share your email with us [email protected]
500 Word Personal Statement Example 2
I have taken all my blessings for granted for most of my life. In a favourable comparison, I realized I was better off than most of my peers. For example, my father had a successful restaurant business in France; I was studying at the best college in Dubai, and most importantly, I was one of the very few who afforded an international education, which I completed in 2021 when I did my Master’s in Supply Chain and Logistics Management (SCLM) from Warwick University.
It wasn’t until after I graduated from SCLM that I realized how much of an advantage I had over my peers. From day one, I had access to a business – an opportunity the majority didn’t have. In this business, I worked with many experts, from food experts to suppliers to clients to app designers. My role was more of a consulting one, which included massive collection and analyses of information. It also included formulating and testing hypotheses and developing and communicating recommendations across all aspects of the restaurant’s supply chain. Unfortunately, however, due to unavoidable personal reasons, I had to move back to Dubai, where I joined Nestle.
While working at Nestle, I observed that many people worked their whole lives to climb the corporate ladder so that they could work on company-wide strategic problems. At the same time, external consultants to Nestle (such as IBM, Accenture, Mckinsey etc.) skip the years of executing day-to-day duties and jump straight to working on and solving these problems. At Nestle, we only work as mediators between the company and the consultants. However, the consultants do the actual chunk of quality work. The quickest way to get into the consulting industry is via a formal degree in Business Consulting. Therefore, the need for this education is of utmost importance to me.
During my interaction with one of Warwick’s graduates, who also happens to work in consulting, I found that IBM and Deloitte Consulting visit Warwick and help students develop consulting skills. Also, I am excited about joining professional networks at Warwick. These will allow me to learn from industry leaders and collaborate with my peers to explore the latest industry practices. I can share my experience of taking bold steps, which reduced food waste by over 70% at the restaurant. Classes in Quantitative Methods and Consulting module will allow me to develop Consulting Expertise and apply quantitative techniques to solving complex problems. Courses such as Leading and Managing Change will hone my soft skills.
I want to make it into strategy consulting by utilizing Warwick’s presence in consulting. Ideally, I want to start a career where I can advise on strategic analysis and commercial negotiations. In the past, I have taken decisions which led to revolutionizing the food waste industry in France. By using the Warwick platform, backed up by a strong alum network, I can fulfil my career goal of becoming a resuscitator of the ailing industries of Dubai.
Your personal statement provides a strong sense of your experiences and ambitions. Here’s a more detailed breakdown based on the criteria:
- Introduction (4.5/5) : Your introduction captures the reader’s attention by creating a contrast between your earlier attitude and your current perspective. This successfully sets the stage for the rest of the personal statement.
- Why You’re Interested (4/5) :: Your interest in business consulting stems from your experiences working in your family’s restaurant and later at Nestle. This context makes your motivations clear and credible. However, you could further elaborate on why business consulting specifically attracts you compared to other professions.
- Your Qualifications (4/5) :: You provide concrete examples of your involvement in your family’s business and your role at Nestle. The anecdote about reducing food waste by 70% at the restaurant is particularly effective. It might be beneficial to give more specific examples of your achievements at Nestle as well.
- Personal Growth (4.5/5) :: The realization of the opportunities and advantages you’ve had in comparison to your peers is a critical turning point. This shows introspection and a willingness to leverage your advantages for the greater good.
- Your Goals and Aspirations (4/5) :: Your goal to work in strategy consulting and make a difference in Dubai’s industries is clear. It would be even more impactful if you could elaborate on why this is important to you. Is there a particular industry or issue you’re passionate about addressing?
- Conclusion (4.5/5) :: You effectively connect your past experiences, current education pursuit, and future goals, leaving a strong concluding impression.
- Your reasons for choosing Warwick are clear and well-researched. Your reference to specific modules and networks demonstrates a deep understanding of what the program can offer.
- There are some lengthy sentences that could be broken down for clarity and readability.
- The last part of your statement could benefit from a summary or a concluding sentence that reinforces your main points.
- Introduction: Your introduction immediately acknowledges the privileged position you’ve had throughout life, creating a contrast to many personal narratives. You offer context by providing details about your father’s business and your international education. However, an engaging anecdote or more personal insights could further draw in the reader.
- Why You’re Interested: You do well to connect your interest in business consulting with your unique experiences in your father’s business and the realization of your advantage. Providing specifics about the tasks and challenges you undertook in the family business could further strengthen this section.
- Your Qualifications: Your work at Nestle and the consulting tasks you performed are compelling. It’s clear you’ve gained experience in the field. However, specific accomplishments or experiences during your time at Nestle would further demonstrate your qualifications and enhance this part.
- Personal Growth: Your experience of observing the different roles and hierarchies within Nestle provides insight into your growth and understanding of the industry. But highlighting what you learned about yourself in these roles, perhaps in terms of skills, attitudes or perspectives, would enhance the demonstration of personal growth.
- Why this Program: Your reasons for choosing the program at Warwick are well-articulated. You’ve done your research and understand how the program’s features align with your career objectives. Including how these features will address your specific needs or fill your skills gap could add depth to this section.
- Your Goals and Aspirations: You articulate your career aspirations clearly, highlighting your desire to enter strategic consulting and your specific interest in commercial negotiations. However, connecting these goals more directly to your past experiences or explaining why these particular goals attract you could make this section more impactful.
- Conclusion: Your conclusion ties your experiences, the program at Warwick, and your career goals together effectively. It leaves a strong impression and demonstrates that you have a clear direction for your future.
The length of a personal statement can vary greatly depending on the requirements of the specific application or organization.
Generally, 500 words is sufficient for a personal statement. It can force you to focus on the most crucial aspects of your story, qualifications, and aspirations, leading to a more precise and compelling narrative.
Admissions committees often review hundreds of personal statements, and their time for each one is limited. On average, they may only spend about three minutes per essay. It is therefore imperative that you respect their time and keep your statement concise and impactful. Avoid long-winded narratives that do not contribute significant value to your application.
Remember, the objective is to deliver as much meaningful information as possible in a condensed form. Extraneous details that do not directly support your candidacy can detract from the effectiveness of your statement. Equally important is to engage the reader; a monotonous, unexciting statement could be easily forgotten amidst a sea of applications. Strive to make your personal statement not only informative but also compelling, to stand out in the minds of the committee members.
The amount of time it takes to write a 500-word personal statement can vary greatly depending on several factors: your familiarity with the subject, your writing skills, the amount of planning you’ve done, and the number of revisions you intend to make.
On average, writing a 500-word personal statement takes 15-20 hours of focused time and effort.
The process of writing a personal statement can be divided into several stages, each requiring a portion of the total time. Here’s a possible breakdown of the 15-20 hours:
- Brainstorming and Planning (3-4 hours): During this stage, you’ll think about your experiences, skills, and goals, and how they align with the opportunity you’re applying for.
- Drafting (4-5 hours): Once you have a clear plan, you can start writing your statement. This stage involves translating your ideas into a coherent narrative.
- Revising (6-8 hours): This is usually the most time-consuming stage. You’ll need to review your statement, making changes to improve its content, structure, clarity, and style. It’s a good idea to have others review your statement and provide feedback during this stage.
- Proofreading and Finalizing (2-3 hours): Finally, you’ll proofread your statement carefully to catch any errors and make final adjustments.
It’s advisable to start early to give yourself plenty of time to revise and polish your statement. Remember, a strong personal statement can be a key component of your application, so it’s worth investing the time to make it as good as it can be.
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100 Word Personal Statement Sample
A personal statement is an integral part of any university application. Some programs have strict word limits in place, while others do not have any word limits. Here is an example of a 100-word limit personal statement that was admitted to top programs in the US and...
150 Word Personal Statement Sample
A personal statement is an integral part of any university application. Some programs have strict word limits in place, while others do not have any word limits. Here is an example of a 150-word limit personal statement that was admitted to top programs in the US and...
800 Word Personal Statement Sample
A personal statement is an integral part of any university application. Some programs have strict word limits in place, while others do not have any word limits. Here is an example of a 800-word limit personal statement that was admitted to top programs in the US and...
1000 Word Personal Statement Sample
A personal statement is an integral part of any university application. Some programs have strict word limits in place, while others do not have any word limits. Here is an example of a 1000-word limit personal statement that was admitted to top programs in the US and...
700 Word Personal Statement Sample
A personal statement is an integral part of any university application. Some programs have strict word limits in place, while others do not have any word limits. Here is an example of a 700-word limit personal statement that was admitted to top programs in the US and...
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Tips on writing a 500-word personal statement essay
By Prostock-Studio via EnvatoElements
By Sylvie Diane Dobrota
Brainstorm themes or stories you want to focus on. Start by brainstorming different themes in your life (volunteering, arts, interest in storytelling, etc) Choose 1 or 2 themes you want to focus on.
It should be personal. It can feel a little risky to write, and reveal yourself. Remember, we want to get to know you!
Answer the prompt. Make sure that you essay addresses all aspects of the question(s).
Show don’t tell. Rather than saying that you are passionate about health care, share a story about an important or impactful moment that furthered your interests in health care.
Just start writing. Set aside 20 minutes to begin writing. Sometimes getting past a blank page can get ideas flowing.
Have someone who knows you well read the draft. They can let you know if they think it sounds like you or not.
The views expressed here are the authors and they do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Stanford University School of Medicine. External websites are shared as a courtesy. They are not endorsed by the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Sylvie Diane Dobrota, BS Stanford Masters Candidate, Epidemiology
Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Writing the Personal Statement
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This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.
The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:
1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:
This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.
2. The response to very specific questions:
Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions.
Questions to ask yourself before you write:
- What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you or your life story?
- What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
- When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
- How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
- If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has that work contributed to your growth?
- What are your career goals?
- Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)?
- Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life?
- What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
- What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess?
- Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
- What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?
Answer the questions that are asked
- If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar.
- Don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. It is important to answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.
Tell a story
- Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.
- Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.
Find an angle
- If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.
Concentrate on your opening paragraph
- The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.
Tell what you know
- The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about the field and use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in your statement, the choices you make are often an indication of your judgment.
Don't include some subjects
- There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).
Do some research, if needed
- If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for you, this might be a factor to mention.
Write well and correctly
- Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word limits.
- A medical school applicant who writes that he is good at science and wants to help other people is not exactly expressing an original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.
For more information on writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast .
Best 500 Word Personal Statement Sample Ever!
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Why Do You Need Our Help with Your 500 Word Personal Statement?
Having a personal statement is an essential document when applying to any academic institution or business and it needs to supply an insight into the person behind the application. It is the only document in the whole application process that gives you the chance to show who you are beyond what grades you achieved or what another individual thinks about you. Writing a 500 word personal statement is your opportunity to reveal your best qualities, why you want the job or study there, what makes you the most suitable candidate for it and how you stand out from other applicants. So, let’s check out some tips, as well as 500 and 250 word personal statement examples to visualize expert recommendations for better understanding.
Taking the time and effort in writing a truly unique statement within the set word limit is crucial to your application. Using a 500 word personal statement example is a good way to understand what should be included and how to present it, but you also need to ensure that your personal statement is all about you. A powerful and well-written personal statement will often make the difference between applicants that are very similarly qualified and have the same backgrounds. Using the many 500 word personal statement samples that are available online can be a good way to see how they should be written and our team has provided their own experience to help you further.
Our Best 500 Word Personal Statement Example
To start with, your personal statement should be specifically tailored to each place you are applying to so never use a generic statement which you send to multiple places. Do your research on each place and tailor your statement to it. Stick to the set word limit, you will be judged by how well you follow set rules and how adaptive you can be. Before you start writing a personal statement 500 words, you should be thinking on answering some key points which they will want to know:
- Why are you applying and what do you think makes you a suitable candidate?
- What inspired you to study or follow a career in this area?
- What is your career aim?
- What level of experience do you have already?
- Aside from work or education, what are your interests or hobbies? Are they associated with your learning or career path in any way?
While we have covered the kinds of questions about yourself that you need to be thinking about and finding the answers to, we need to look at how you should write your personal statement 500 words. While using a 500 word personal statement sample can show you what to include, they don’t really give any emphasis in the way it should be written. So consider acquiring further assistance from an astute personal statement writer .
How to become a pro in writing a personal statement for law school ? Click here and check out now!
But remember never copy directly from any sample or example, apart from the plagiarism that will be noticed straight away, it won’t be centered on you. When it comes to starting writing, you need to ensure that you get and keep the reader’s attention throughout the whole 500 word essay and ensure that it flows smoothly to keep the reader’s interest:
- Start off with a relevant anecdote or quote
- Stay away from using obvious statements and try not to repeat yourself
- Don’t be over clever or use synonyms, anyone who reads your personal statement should be able to understand it
- Only give information that will support you in a positive way
- Don’t lie. Always be honest
- Keep it brief, you should be looking to write two pages maximum
- Don’t use superlatives or clichés and refrain from using slang or acronyms
- Be clear in what you are saying, keep it logical and be specific
- Proofread. Always check your work for errors
Schools That Require Application Essay of at Least 500 Words
- Bard College
- Cornell University
- Columbia University
- Dartmouth College
- Duke University
- Georgetown University
- Northwestern University
Our Professional Online Personal Statement Writing Services Can Help You
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You will be provided with a completely unique and error free personal statement that will effectively fully incorporate all your requirements balanced against the latest recruitment trends and institutional requirements within the requested word count.
So if you want a 500 word personal statement that can really make a difference, just contact our specialized writing services here today.
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Browse by subject and from A to Z. For more help and inspiration, check out our advice pages for Personal Statements.
A-Z of Personal Statements
Learn from previous student personal statements here. We have collated over 700 personal statement examples to help you on your university journey and to help you with how to write a personal statement.
These personal statement examples will show you the kind of thing that universities are looking for from their applicants. See how to structure your personal statement, what kind of format your personal statement should be in, what to write in a personal statement and the key areas to touch on in your statement.
A personal statement is a chance to tell your university all about you - a good personal statement is one that showcases your passion for the subject, what inspired you to apply for the course you’re applying for and why you think you would be an asset to the university.
Our collection includes personal statement examples in Mathematics, Anthropology, Accounting, Computer Science, Zoology and more.
Writing a personal statement has never been easier with our vast collection of personal statement examples.
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Personal Statement Help
What is a personal statement.
A personal statement is an essay written by a student applying to either a college or university. A personal statement is written and then uploaded to UCAS and is then attached to any university applications that the student may then make.
If you need more information check out our personal statement advice articles .
How to write a personal statement
There isn't a clearly defined personal statement template for you to use as each person's statement is different.
When it comes to writing a personal statement for universities, your personal statement should touch on your passions, your interest in the course, why you're applying for the course and why you would be an asset to the university you're applying to.
Talk about the clubs and societies that you belong to, any work experience you may have and any awards you might have won.
If you're still looking for information check out our article on how to write a personal statement .
How to start a personal statement
When it comes to starting your personal statement, the best thing to do is to be succinct and to have enough tantalising information to keep the reader informed and eager for more.
Your introduction should touch on your personal qualities and why you are applying for the subject you're applying for. Keeping things short and sweet means that it also allows you to break your personal statement up, which makes it easier for the reader.
We have plenty of advice for students that are wondering about what to include in a personal statement .
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College Personal Statement Examples (250 or 500 Words): Writing Guide
Congrats! You’ve passed the test! Now you need to write a personal statement section about your unique traits.
The primary question you have now sounds somewhat like “How to organize my personal statement to get enrolled?”
The good news is waiting for you on this page!
We have all the answers you need about the strategy of a personal statement: outline, tips, and good personal statement outline examples are here.
- 📍 Personal Statement Definition
- 📑 Personal Statement Outline
- 📏 Personal Statement Length
- ⛔ Personal Statement Mistakes
- ✔️ Personal Statement Examples: 250 Words
- ✔️ Personal Statement Examples: 500 Words
📍 Definition of a Personal Statement
Alright, it’s time to learn what exactly a personal statement is.
The personal statement is your chance to present yourself in the most flattering light to the application committee members or your potential institution/employer. It’s time to impress with your achievements, personality, and skills.
Note that there are several formats of presenting yourself while applying to an institution or a job:
- admission essay
- application essay
- personal statement
- statement of purpose
In fact, these concepts express the same idea: to sell yourself most advantageously. However, there are minor peculiarities. We’ll look upon them in the next paragraph!
Personal Statement VS Statement of Purpose
First of all, the personal statement is slightly less formal than the statement of purpose .
The next difference between them reflects in the contents:
A personal statement demonstrates your eagerness and motivation to get enrolled in a particular place. It has to show who you are.
A statement of purpose tells about your future goals and intentions: what benefit can you bring to an organization?
📑 Personal Statement for College Outline
The primary goal of a successful application essay is to highlight you among other candidates. For accomplishing that goal, the first essential is a well-organized personal statement outline.
This section will be meticulously studying the peculiarities of an outline of a personal statement for college.
How to Organize a Personal Statement
Before writing a personal statement outline, you should set up the primary goal of your application essay .
What result do you expect by writing it?
Most likely, you want your college application to bring you to the freshmen community eventually.
To get it, you have to include all the significant achievements. Thus, the next step is to brainstorm the ideas to choose from later.
Make up a list of the important things to mention in your application writing:
- Academic background details,
- Nuances of preparation and training process,
- Skills, researches, and awards,
- Your motivation.
This is just the beginning. Now let’s go deeper into the details of the structure.
Although a personal statement is not a regular academic essay, it has to follow a particular plan. It will be pretty similar to the outline of standard persuasive writing:
Once you’ve managed to write your draft, you’ll get a clue how to title your personal statement.
Personal Statement Intro
Imagine meeting someone for the first time. First impressions are very lasting, right? Especially when it comes to creating a personal statement. The key idea is: if your introduction hits home, the reader is yours. After reading a genuinely engaging intro, one wants to figure out what else you will tell.
However, a merely great intro is not enough to reach the goal. Keep in mind that the rest of your personal statement has to be strong too.
If you want to figure out how to organize a personal statement introduction, follow us. There are some crucial things to know.
Here is the recipe for a great intro:
- A hook for your readers’ attention: let it be a fact about you that sounds intriguing and engaging.
- Perform a brief but consistent introduction of yourself as a person. Who are you? What are the main traits that describe you as a personality and professional?
- Provide a piece of information concerning your background that is relatable for the position.
- Make sure each constituent in your intro connects well to another one, and the flow is smooth.
How to End an Application Essay / Personal Statement
It’s time to wind up, and you have some difficulties with how to end your application essay?
No reasons to worry!
Stay here, and you’ll learn about the ending of the personal statement for the college.
The final touch of the college admission paper is a firm conclusion. By saying ‘strong,’ we mean such one that leaves your admissions officer impressed and filled up with a desire to get you enrolled.
You can end your writing with the summary of facts mentioned before. It is crucial to link it all with the position you’re applying for.
- Write out all the significant facts about your background and goals.
- Say it in other words and add some information that is not brand new but specifies what you’ve said before.
- Let your readers know about plans in case you get enrolled. How will your life change?
- Organize your conclusion in a well-curated structure and proofread it.
📏 How Long Is a Personal Statement?
Whether you want to enter medical school in the UK or apply for law school in Canada, the rules are the same almost everywhere. To avoid dropping out of the format, you have to know how long a personal statement is.
What Is the Typical Recommended Length of a Personal Statement?
So, how long should a college application essay be?
- It should include approximately 350-500 words (2600-3000 symbols) or 1-2 pages in regular font and size. The most optimum option would be 1,5 pages with a clear-cut structure and distinguished paragraphs.
Remember, if you violate these prescriptions, your application might not be read further.
Writing a too short personal statement is also risky. An application officer is likely to doubt your skills and experience.
That is why you should stick to the words and paragraph limits as closely as possible.
⛔ 250-Words College Personal Statement Examples: How NOT to Do
To make a good impression, you have to know all the ins and outs.
But what about the red flags?
It’s also vital to know the potential mistakes.
So, let’s look at the bad examples to figure out the flaws you should avoid in your application letter.
Personal Statement Failure #1
One of the most common mistakes is too aggressive attempts to sell oneself. The apparent and even ridiculous lies go here, too. You can observe such errors in the following personal statement of a person who’s trying too hard to get to a medical school:
I am a natural-born doctor. Since I was two, everyone would call me a little Frankenstein because I performed numerous biological experiments with animals. All my family kept telling me I would make a perfect surgeon. When I was learning to speak, the first word in my vocabulary was “medicine.” My mother didn’t even get offended because it is evident that she created a remarkably gifted child. Since my childhood, I studied the inner world of local birds and frogs and performed surgeries on worms. I haven’t ever got any other mark in Biology except “excellent.” Biology and chemistry teachers always praised me for the outstanding results in various contests. I didn’t even spend time playing outside with my friends. All I ever did was studying, watching surgery tutorials, and consuming volumes of professional medical literature. I am grateful to my family for believing in me and my teachers for inspiration and knowledge. I am sure I can make a significant difference in this field with my eagerness and talent. I would be thrilled if you allowed me to enter your institution. So, dear committee members, I am kindly asking you to consider my application as a priority…
- Such solid and emotional words like “outstanding,” “perfect,” or “best of the best” don’t add to your professionalism.
- No matter how talented children may be, they are unlikely to have “medicine” as the first word. This piece seems ingenuine and misleading in general.
- Being cruel to animals in childhood is also not a golden ticket to a good university. Avoid such shocking details. Evaluate what you write about in terms of ethics.
- It’s hard to imagine a triter cliché than “to make a difference.”
- Avoid using too many intensifiers in your letter. Use rational arguments instead.
- At last, don’t beg application officers to take you. Let them make a decision based on your experience and skills.
Personal Statement Failure #2
The next disadvantage of a bad application essay is stale expressions and clichés.
My only dream ever was to enter the best law school. I have been craving to become the most fantastic lawyer of all ever existed on Earth. I suppose that my traits and characteristics will contribute to it amazingly. My considerable experience and outstanding skills make me the fittest candidate for your law college. I haven’t stopped reading law books and journals 24/7 for the last decade. I am also fond of true-crime TV shows and spent hours watching them. I am absolutely astonished by these professional and shrewd detectives. I wish I could become one of such. Once when I was 11, my neighbor gave me his Colt to learn how to shoot sparrows. Thus, you can be sure of my extensive knowledge in this sphere. I can’t wait to enter the best law school globally and learn from the best professionals in this field. I am eager to get through any challenges and difficulties because I have come through many such things during my life. For example, I lost my favorite dog when I was five years old. It was a brutal and highly traumatic experience. We used to spend a lot of time together, but I managed with the stress…
- Instead of a grasping hook, there is a bland and cliched sentence — all the school graduates “dream of becoming” someone.
- Too many excessive personal details giving no helpful information about an applicant’s background and fundamental skills.
- One has to enumerate specific skills and features that are needed for the position.
- Again, too many intensifiers also make the paper sound trite.
- Mentioning the Colt shooting is not the best option for one who wants to enter a law school. Probably, not the best thing to do for anyone.
Personal Statement Failure #3
Hello, dear committee members! I would like to present myself to you so you could see that I am a true gem for your institution. I want to start by describing my talents and natural abilities. I didn’t learn the alphabet. I was born with the ability to read, no cap. But it’s a trifle, for real. The top-notch fact about me is that I am a natural-born financier. You probably heard of Frank Cowperwood, did you? It is the most famous of Dreiser’s characters, a great financier, a banker. I am saying it in case you haven’t heard about it. I knew how to count since I was two years old. I also have been striking great bargains since childhood. My parents gave me fruits to school, and I sold them to my classmates. Well, at school, I wasn’t just a good financier. I also had absolutely outstanding results in math. Sometimes my teacher was so astonished by my knowledge that she asked me to conduct classes. In middle school, I started investing and already have my shares in all big companies. So I ask you to consider my application, so I could get started and yield benefits to your business school. If you refuse to get me enrolled, I am sure that you’ll regret it very soon because it’s the next Warren Buffet who’s writing this personal statement.
- Bragging: there’s so much of it that it seems like the author is joking.
- Using slang. The personal statement is the most inappropriate place for that. Instead of hobnobbing with application officers, you have to show how seriously you take the process and how responsible you can be.
- Impossible facts: avoid lying about yourself by all means.
- Too many repetitions: makes the speech bland and poor.
- The text isn’t divided into paragraphs, making it hard to read.
✔️ 250-Words College Personal Statement Examples: How to Do
Alright, it’s enough. It was pretty tough to deal with such awful personal statements, wasn’t it? Let’s switch our attention to much more pleasant things.
We would like to present good personal statement examples that you can use as samples and inspiration sources for yours!
A helpful tip: focus on the personal statement intro when reading good examples and put down ideas you can use in your essay!
Personal Statement Example #1
One of the most famous American physicians, Martin H. Fisher, once said: “Observation, reason, human understanding, courage; these make the physician.” These are the concepts I wish to pursue in my life. I have consciously chosen the path of growing more reasonable, understanding, helping, and courageous by becoming a doctor. While volunteering at a children’s hospital in my gap year, I’ve realized nursing or being a doctor is a challenging but worthy path. I am fully aware that becoming a professional and capable physician takes many years of careful study and work. This is one of the reasons I’ve decided to apply for the medical college in the first place. I admire the quality of knowledge your college gives to students, for I’ve met the school graduates of great competence and skills. Honestly speaking, I do not consider my experience in medicine prominent, but I’ve got the highest grades in biology and chemistry at high school. Besides, I’ve attended extracurricular classes and won special prizes for my research works. I have attached them to this letter. My desire to serve my best in this field is considerable, for I believe each person has their mission and purpose. Mine is saving people’s lives and contributing to the nation’s well-being. I would be most grateful if the respected application committee would consider my personal statement. I could give the promise to stick to your rules and code of laws and perform as well as I possibly can. I appreciate your reading my application letter and will be looking forward to receiving your feedback.
- An essay starts with a relevant quotation by a famous and credible person. Such a hook catches an application officer’s attention at once.
- It’s good to talk about your previous experience relatable to the position. But be honest here, do not exaggerate facts.
- The applicant speaks about emotions and personal impressions from volunteering. It tells of good emotional intelligence.
- The would-be student is aware of the hardships of the profession and admits it.
- The tone of the message is polite and formal enough but not too much.
Personal Statement Example #2
A quotation by Henry Petroski, a famous American engineer, inspired me a lot once I read it: “As engineers, we were going to be in a position to change the world – not just study it.” This is what I aim for – making my contribution to changing this world for the better through engineering. Let me introduce myself to create an impression of my personality and decide whether I fit your institution correctly. I have graduated from a high school with honors and the highest rate in physics, maths, and chemistry. I mention it because I wish to deliver an idea that I have been greatly interested in science and engineering since my early childhood. At first, I got low marks because teachers at school considered me untalented. They would say that I’d never make anything in this field. This hardship didn’t bring me down. I wanted to prove that my interest and eagerness are much more significant than my natural abilities. I started to spend all evenings studying books on engineering and physics. By academic year 11, I won the city’s prize in the contest for inventing a device that helps reduce water consumption in a household. I would be happy to study engineering at your college because I get inspired by your professors and their noticeable results. I believe we could make this world a better place by inventing new helpful tools and improving the existing ones…
- Here we can also see a good hook – a quotation that reveals the author’s purposes and goals.
- The text is well-structured and divided into logical parts. It makes the personal statement easy to follow.
- The author writes respectfully, following the grammar and spelling rules. A personal trait – carefulness – is brought to the surface.
- An inspiring life story makes the audience believe the applicant’s keen desire and readiness to study and become a professional.
Personal Statement Example #3
One mystery has been haunting me my whole life. I’ve been trying to figure out whether life imitates art or vice versa. Creating my first drawings, I was wondering why this process is so soothing and enriching to me. I am perfectly aware of why I want to apply this knowledge in your art school and develop as an artist. The presence of painting and sculpture in my life is constant. I’ve been brought up by an art teacher who taught me the fundamentals. As a child and teenager, I was fascinated by the role of light, a harmony of proportions, composition. My home library was full of books: art history, various guides, and textbooks. Sometimes, some things and concepts were difficult to understand and implement, but I was stubborn and curious. I asked my parents to send me to summer art camp, where I learned and volunteered at different exhibitions and art performances. When I was in high school, I started to prepare myself for entering your institution. The prominent graduates of yours motivated and inspired me. I also participated in the contest of young artists that your institution conducted last year. It was a great happiness to win the first prize. At the moment, art doesn’t imitate life for me. Art is life itself, as I feel it this way. My main goal is to grow as an artist and open an art therapy center. I am sure that I can pursue my dreams by developing my skills at your art school. I also want to participate in global contests and exhibitions, to bring more glory to your institution.
- The author attracts the readers’ attention by mentioning some ‘mystery’ – a simple human curiosity keeps us reading.
- The famous quotation by Oscar Wilde is smoothly implemented into the text. The committee member understands that a person is well-informed: it’s a good sign.
- The applicant exposes their goals in a sophisticated and a little high-flown way but also very clear.
- Even though art is a very creative sphere, the author’s background seems to be distinguished and credible enough.
- The applicant also communicates a clear perspective of being useful for the institution.
✔️ 500-Word Personal Statement Examples
500-word personal statement example #1.
Steve Jobs once said: “And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” It was part of his speech back in 2005 for Stanford students, and I’ve remembered it forever. I have the same passion that he did – computer science. I believe in the power of technology and that it should change our world for the better. This is why I’m looking forward to all the opportunities and challenges studying at your university can bring me. It’s funny, but my fascination with technologies started when I was a kid, playing PlayStation. Since I got it from my older brother, it broke down numerous times, and I fixed it all by myself. Then at school, I had my first computer science classes and got even more interested. I learned more about computer hardware and all the processes inside the motherboard. Most importantly, my professor showed us how to maximize computer efficiency and productivity. Then I became proficient at my first programming language, Python, and I started making my first simple websites. At that moment, I realized how creative IT could be! I found a way to combine my interest in technologies with artistic potential. I completed several online programming courses in high school to create my first IOS game. I remembered how excited I was about those old-school PlayStation games, so I did my best to create a similar one for the Apple devices. To accomplish this, I studied another programming language – Swift, which is primarily used for IOS apps. This experience showed me that every game on your phone has two sides: the code itself and the visuals. To make users enjoy graphics and feel the nostalgia of 90’s videogames, I took Photoshop courses. Now I have an extensive portfolio with motion designs and game concepts. Although my first game was mainly known among my classmates, I was happy to acquire many new skills! As a kid, I was a gamer, but now I am a young specialist in computer engineering, coding, and game design! And there is so much more to learn! My main goal for the future is to learn how to create games that would be entertaining and educational. I’m willing to learn more about IOS apps development for all sorts of devices to make people’s lives easier. I understand that computer science is not only about hardware and coding, so I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge. One sphere that I’m particularly interested in studying in university is IT ethics. I genuinely believe that technologies cannot be used for any form of crime or hatred. By developing cybersecurity, we will be able to protect users. I’m ready to begin my studies and build a safer and brighter world around us.
- The personal statement starts with a nice hook, a quote. From the very beginning, it gives committee members a clue about the applicant´s sphere of interest, IT.
- The text has a form of storytelling that shows how creative the applicant is. This technique also catches attention and makes readers want to learn more.
- The applicant mentions their skills in the sphere, as well as their hobbies and plans for the future. That demonstrates the writer’s multiple interests and raises their chances!
500-Word Personal Statement Example #2
Did Shakespeare really exist? I’m not sure since there are so many conspiracy theories around his figure. But what I do know is that since I read Hamlet for the first time, I knew that one day I would become a play writer. This is how my journey started and brought me here, applying for your English literature program. When I was a kid and didn’t know how to write, I already had quite a bright imagination. The only way to express my creativity was to tell all those stories to my parents. They thought I should be an actress back then, so I joined a theatre club at school. I liked all the behind-the-scenes processes there, but I couldn’t find my niche. I tried myself as an actress, a part of a stage crew, and a dresser, but nothing felt right. Now I’m grateful that I have experience in these spheres since it helps me write plays and immediately visualize how to stage them. One day our theatre club prepared an original play about our school, so I had a chance to write my first script. Seeing people laughing and enjoying our performance was a unique feeling, and I promised myself to become a professional. Along with the theatre club, I took advanced classes in English literature in high school. We explored the most influential literature ever written, including works of my favorite: William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, and Kurt Vonnegut. Step by step, I studied their writing styles and developed my own. Even though fiction has dramatically influenced my literature taste, my writings were mainly in poetry. I took Coursera courses on playwriting and storytelling to boost my writing skills. Those taught me about literary devices and techniques that brought my writing to a new level. I understood that skills are as essential as imagination. Slowly the plays I wrote for our school theatre got more complex; they raised philosophical topics of family bonds, first love, and self-realization. Our theatre crew took part in several festivals, which was a success! After graduating, I continued writing plays and short stories. Some of them were published in local newspapers, others I post online. I have more than 100,000 readers on Wattpad, but this is only the beginning. Fame is essential, but I believe every author has a deeper mission – to help others by sharing their own experience. I wish my readers or people who watch my plays find comfort and realize that they are not alone. I’ve learned a lot about classical authors, their writings, and existing storytelling techniques, and I feel like now is my time to create. I’m looking forward to starting an English literature major to broaden my creative horizons, as well as joining college theatre. Years later, newspapers will publish about a new Shakespeare, hopefully studying at your college!
- The author catches readers’ attention with a question hook, making them curious. The reference to Shakespeare also introduces the applicant’s preferences and interests.
- The text has some humor in it but is still written carefully and respectfully. It highlights the writing skills and creativity of an author.
- The applicant mentioned the courses they took as well as the literature they read so that the committee members have a clear picture.
How do you feel now?
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Well, it was the aim of our article. You got all the necessary information to make a great impression with your application letter.
Do you still have questions?
Get to the section below to make sure all the fundamental points of creating personal statements are digested and ready to be applied!
What is a personal statement?
A personal statement is a presentation of your most noticeable results, significant experience, and skills in the form of an essay. You write a personal statement when you apply for graduate school, university, residency to get a scholarship or a job.
How to title a personal statement?
The name of the document goes first (for instance, “Personal Statement” or “Application letter”). The personal statement title should also include vital information about the institution you are applying for and your name.
How long should a college application essay be?
If we speak about a college application essay, its length usually ranges from 400 to 600 words.
What are the success keys for a personal statement for college?
– A good structure, – Excellent grammar and spelling, – Rich but appropriate vocabulary, – Actual facts about your background, – The polite and friendly tone of voice, – Specification of your achievements relatable for a position.
What are the common mistakes in a personal statement for college?
– Bragging and showing off, – Poor grammar and inappropriate language, – Lies, exaggeration, misleading facts, – Too formal or too nonchalant manner of speaking, – Lack of true facts backing up your capability, – Too much drama and emotions.
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- How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement | Structure, Length & Tips | University of Portsmouth
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You will need to submit a personal statement of around 500 words, outlining your academic history and relevant experience.
Your personal statement is an important part of your application: it will help selectors to decide whether you are a good match for the programme you have applied for and, just as importantly, whether the programme is right for you.
Areas to cover
Your personal statement gives you the opportunity to outline your academic history and relevant experience in order to demonstrate that you are a suitable candidate for the programme you have applied for.
You should also use your personal statement to outline your motivation for your chosen area of study. Try to answer questions such as:
- Why are you interested in studying at Edinburgh?
- Why have you chosen this particular programme?
- If you are studying for career development, what are your career plans and how will your studies support these?
If you have any other relevant experience, for example paid or voluntary work experience or additional qualifications not stated elsewhere, then please include this information in your personal statement, or you can add it to the “Relevant knowledge/training skills” field in the application form.
If you are applying for more than one programme you should write a tailored personal statement for each of your applications. This enables you to refer to the specific programme you are applying for and to highlight how your academic background and skills make you suitable for this particular programme.
Remember that your personal statement is an opportunity to tell us about yourself. The information you give us must be true. Copying information from elsewhere or asking someone else to write your statement, including the use of AI apps such as Chat GPT, could be considered fraud.
Length and writing style
Your personal statement should be no more than 3,500 characters (approximately 500 words) in length and should be written in formal English, using appropriate grammar and punctuation.
It is a good idea to ask a friend to proofread your statement for you before you submit your application.
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Whether you want to apply to colleges, graduate programs, or competitive jobs, writing a persuasive personal statement will give you a leg up over the other applicants. A personal statement gives you a chance to express your qualifications, motivations, and long-term objectives in a way that gets hiring managers and admissions boards excited to meet you.
No matter why you’re writing a personal statement, we’re here to help you stand out from the crowd.
To write a personal statement, first brainstorm, then narrow down your ideas, and start with an intro that leads into your qualifications.
Make sure to proofread your personal statement before submitting.
Personal statements describe your interests, skills, and goals, with a particular focus on your passion.
Personal statements are typically found in academia, however some professional organizations may also request one.
What Is a Personal Statement?
How to write a personal statement, tips for writing a strong personal statement, questions to ask yourself when writing a personal statement, when do i need a personal statement, academic personal statement examples, professional personal statement example, personal statement faq.
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A personal statement is a written work that describes your skills, areas of interest, accomplishments, and goals. It is typically included with a college or scholarship application, and sometimes used as part of job applications as well.
Personal statements are a chance for you to show an admissions board or a hiring committee what makes you special outside of your resume . Think of it as an in-depth cover letter where you get to detail not only your skills, but why you’re so passionate about the subject.
Short of an interview, it’s the best way to show your personality in a way that (hopefully) convinces someone to hire or admit you.
When you’re ready to write your statement, there are a few ways you can approach it. We’re going to go over a seven-step process so you can keep your thoughts organized and work through a process. Feel free to switch up the method, so it works for you.
Understand the prompt. Before you put pen to paper, make sure you understand the prompt and what is being asked of you. If there’s a specific set of questions you need to respond to, make sure you frame your thinking that way instead of just choosing a topic.
Brainstorm. Think of some ideas and an outline before you start writing. Consider how you can answer the prompt you’re given and what unique experiences you can bring to the table. The more options you have, the better off you’ll be.
Narrow it down. An excellent way to pick your final approach to draft a statement would be to jot down a few sentences for each idea you had. This helps you tell what topic is easiest to write about or what you feel most confident. No matter how you narrow down your ideas, you need to settle on the strongest one to convey your qualifications.
Start with an intro. Once you’re ready to write, you’ll want to write your opening paragraph first. This is a chance for you to introduce yourself and let people know who you are. Try to keep this paragraph short since it’s just an intro, and you’ll have more space to get into your qualifications in the next paragraph.
Write about your qualifications. When you write about your skills, make sure you align them with the job description or the program’s goals or university.
You can expand this section to a few paragraphs (if word count allows) and be sure to cover your achievements, qualifications, skills, talents, goals, and what you can bring to the program or organization.
One to three body paragraphs should suffice, with scholarship and graduate school personal statements being the longest of the bunch, and job personal statements being the shortest.
Sum up your argument. Your statement is a persuasive argument for why the committee should pick you. It should be a compelling summary of your qualifications, and it should show that you have a clear desire to work for the company.
Proofread. Look for any spelling or grammar errors and check to make sure your writing is clear and concise. Cut out anything that doesn’t fit or help paint a good picture of what kind of student or employee you are. You might want to show your draft to a few people to ensure everything sounds right.
No matter what approach you take to writing your statement, a few things hold. We’ll give you some tips to make your statement stand out from the rest.
Write to your audience. Chances are you have a good idea of who will be reading your application and personal statement, so try to gear your writing toward them. Think of what will persuade or impress them and incorporate that into your writing.
Stay truthful. It might be tempting to exaggerate the truth or smudge a little bit, but make sure you stay truthful. If you claim to have skills or experience that you don’t have and land the job, it might be pretty easy to tell that your writing doesn’t exactly align with your experience.
Tell a story. If you can, try to weave your narrative into a story. Not only will it be more engaging for your reader, but it will also show if you can use your skill to create a story. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but tying everything together into a narrative will impress your readers.
Use your voice. To make your statement more personal and unique, you should write in your voice. Don’t try to copy examples of statements you find or let your editor drown out what makes you unique. Make sure you keep your personality and qualifications front and center since it’s a personal statement.
Get specific. Instead of generally talking about skills you have, find ways to show your reader when you used those skills. Being specific and giving examples will make your argument more compelling and show your reader that you’re a master.
Use simple language. Since personal statements are so short, it’s not the time for long and complex sentences. Keep it concise and easy to read. You don’t want to risk confusing your reader since committees usually have a few minutes to consider your candidacy, and you don’t want to lose their attention.
Sometimes, especially during the brainstorm process, it can help to ask yourself questions to get your mind focused. These questions can help realize what you want to write in your personal statement.
Some questions you can ask yourself include:
“Why am I interested in this application? What about it makes me want to apply?”
“What are my strengths and weaknesses?”
“What type of work gets me excited and deeply engaged?”
“What is my life story and how does it relate to this application?”
“Where do I want to go?”
“Who do I want to be?”
“What have I learned from my past?”
“How can I explain my past experiences?”
“How would my friends and family describe me to a stranger?”
“What obstacles have I overcome and how does it make me who I am today?”
Asking yourself questions like these will open up your mind to new ideas on how to write your personal statement.
You may need to write a personal statement for a university, scholarship, or job application.
University application. When you’re writing a personal statement for a school application, you’ll usually have a few paragraphs to get your point across. These prompts tend to be more open-ended and give you a chance to explain why you want to attend that school, how you align with their program, and why you are an excellent fit for the school’s culture.
A personal statement for a graduate program needs to be much sharper and more focused. At this point in your education, you’re expected to know precisely where you’d like to turn your academic focus and be able to communicate that efficiently.
Scholarship application. When you need to write a personal statement for a grant or scholarship application, you want to make sure you align your values and purpose with the providers. These can be tricky to write, but they’re like a careful balance between personal statements for school and work.
Job application. For work-related personal statements, you’ll want to focus on your skills and qualifications more than your personality. Employers are more concerned with how you can meet their skill requirements. Professional personal statements tend to be shorter, so there’s less space to talk about anything but your qualifications.
Here are two examples of shorts personal statement for graduate program applications:
From the moment I stepped into the lab, smelled the clean scent of fresh lab coats, and saw the beakers glistening under the light, I felt an excitement to learn that hasn’t left me since. Each time I enter the lab, I feel the same flutter of my heart and a sense of purpose. I want to continue to chase this feeling while contributing to a broader scientific knowledge catalog, which I know the Graduate Biology Program at City University will allow me to do. I want to continue the research I started in college on communicable diseases while gaining a critical education. City University’s program emphasizes in-class and hands-on learning, a perfect combination for my learning style.
As a graduate of State University with a B.S. in Biology, I have the foundation to build my knowledge and experience. While at State University, I worked in a lab researching the efficacy of a new flu vaccine. There, I managed other student researchers, worked as a liaison between the professor running the lab and students and managed the data reports. I am ready to bring my extensive experience to City University classrooms while learning from my peers. I am eager to begin the coursework at City University, and I believe I am uniquely prepared to contribute to the campus culture and research efforts. I look forward to stepping into City University’s lab in the fall and feeling the familiar excitement that drives me to pursue a graduate program and learn more about public health.
If you need to write a professional personal statement, here’s a sample you can model yours after:
As a recent graduate of State University with a B.A. in Communications, I am prepared to take what I have learned in the classroom and bring my work ethic and go-getter attitude to ABC Company. I believe that I have the skills and experience to excel as a Marketing Coordinator from my first day. My classes in Digital Communication, Social Media Marketing, and Business Management and my work as Outreach Chair of the university newspaper have prepared me to take on responsibilities as I learn more about the field. I also believe that my dedication to animal welfare aligns with the ABC Company’s goal of finding loving homes for all of their foster pets and makes me especially interested in this position.
What do I write in a personal statement?
A personal statement should include an introduction, your relevant skills/experiences, and your goals. You want to keep your personal statement relevant for the program or job in question. Make sure to show your passion and indicate what you’d like to do with the degree or opportunity.
How do you start off a personal statement?
Start your personal statement by introducing yourself. Give a brief snapshot of your background that also describes why you’re passionate about this field or area of study in particular. Another powerful way to start off a personal statement is with a significant accomplishment that immediately speaks to your relevant skill set and experience.
What exactly is a personal statement?
A personal statement is a brief statement that sums up your qualifications. A personal statement is a brief written document that university admissions boards, scholarship programs, and sometimes hiring managers require from applicants. A personal statement’s purpose is to show the reader that you are qualified, fully invested in the aims of the program, and have plans for what you would do if granted the opportunity.
How do you write a 500-word personal statement?
To write a 500-word personal statement, start by writing without worrying about the word count. If your personal statement is too long, look for sentences that include skills, experiences, or qualifications that aren’t strictly related to the requirements or aims of the program/job you’re applying for and remove them.
If your personal statement is too short, go back to the program, scholarship, or job description. Make note of the preferred experiences and required skills. For example, if you’ve included a skill in your personal statement without experience to back it up, consider adding a brief story that shows you putting that skill into action.
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Amanda is a writer with experience in various industries, including travel, real estate, and career advice. After taking on internships and entry-level jobs, she is familiar with the job search process and landing that crucial first job. Included in her experience is work at an employer/intern matching startup where she marketed an intern database to employers and supported college interns looking for work experience.
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How to Write Outstanding 300 Word Personal Statement
To write an outstanding personal statement, knowing best personal statement writing tips are essential. It is difficult to satisfy the committee because the application today is competitive and they become stricter in choosing. You can able to impress them with our personal statement editing services.
Tips on How to Write 300 Word Personal Statement
Before you submit your personal statement, check for grammar and spelling mistakes. You can ask your friends or parents to re-read so that you will be sure if there are mistakes you need to remove and check. Also, keeping a copy of your paper is necessary so always keep a copy to yourself.
Here are other tips on how to create flawless 300 word personal statement that will bring you to success:
- Prepare in writing personal statement: In writing 300 word personal statement as well as a 250 word personal statement , you need to take it seriously. You need to give yourself enough time in writing so that your essay will be great. Do not also forget to read the instructions carefully because there are instances that the program will ask you to submit a handwritten or typed essay.
- Writing the essay: One of the personal statement requirements you should know is that you need to meet the word count. It is better when you write an interesting and positive personal statement that gets the attention of the reader. If there are questions, be sure that you address all the specific questions. Do not ignore it because it is essential that the committee will know what your answers to the prompts.
- Be specific: To meet the personal statement limits, you need to be specific. You also need to provide appropriate evidence to support all your claims. For instance, when you apply for teacher training course, do not only say that you can be a good teacher because it is better when you provide examples about your previous experience outside and inside the classroom.
- Be distinctive : It is really hard to make a good essay and you can do better when you make your essay distinctive or unique. You can give specific or detailed example about your own experience or any events that influence your decision or perspectives on certain things. You can tell a story about how you decided that you want that career our course.
- Be succinct: The admission committee does not want to read a personal statement that is too much long with ambiguous words. It is better to write a succinct essay because it is much appreciated. You should not waste the time of the committee in reading your paper that is why at the very first time that you will write your paper, be specific and use the right personal statement length .
- Adhere to word limits: Personal statements are often limited 250 to 500 words, so if you are asked to write a 300 word essay, then comply with it. You need to abide by the instructions because failure to do it means that you do not know how to follow simple instructions. Admission hate it that is why as much as possible, be cautious on the word limit.
- Tailor your personal statement: Always tailor your essay to the course you are applying. Do not use the same essay for different schools.
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- How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples
How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples
Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 3, 2023.
A personal statement is a short essay of around 500–1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you’re applying.
To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application , don’t just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to demonstrate three things:
- Your personality: what are your interests, values, and motivations?
- Your talents: what can you bring to the program?
- Your goals: what do you hope the program will do for you?
This article guides you through some winning strategies to build a strong, well-structured personal statement for a master’s or PhD application. You can download the full examples below.
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Table of contents
Getting started with your personal statement, the introduction: start with an attention-grabbing opening, the main body: craft your narrative, the conclusion: look ahead, revising, editing, and proofreading your personal statement, frequently asked questions, other interesting articles.
Before you start writing, the first step is to understand exactly what’s expected of you. If the application gives you a question or prompt for your personal statement, the most important thing is to respond to it directly.
For example, you might be asked to focus on the development of your personal identity; challenges you have faced in your life; or your career motivations. This will shape your focus and emphasis—but you still need to find your own unique approach to answering it.
There’s no universal template for a personal statement; it’s your chance to be creative and let your own voice shine through. But there are strategies you can use to build a compelling, well-structured story.
The first paragraph of your personal statement should set the tone and lead smoothly into the story you want to tell.
Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene
An effective way to catch the reader’s attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you’re stuck, try thinking about:
- A personal experience that changed your perspective
- A story from your family’s history
- A memorable teacher or learning experience
- An unusual or unexpected encounter
To write an effective scene, try to go beyond straightforward description; start with an intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in, and give concrete details to create a convincing atmosphere.
Strategy 2: Open with your motivations
To emphasize your enthusiasm and commitment, you can start by explaining your interest in the subject you want to study or the career path you want to follow.
Just stating that it interests you isn’t enough: first, you need to figure out why you’re interested in this field:
- Is it a longstanding passion or a recent discovery?
- Does it come naturally or have you had to work hard at it?
- How does it fit into the rest of your life?
- What do you think it contributes to society?
Tips for the introduction
- Don’t start on a cliche: avoid phrases like “Ever since I was a child…” or “For as long as I can remember…”
- Do save the introduction for last. If you’re struggling to come up with a strong opening, leave it aside, and note down any interesting ideas that occur to you as you write the rest of the personal statement.
Once you’ve set up the main themes of your personal statement, you’ll delve into more detail about your experiences and motivations.
To structure the body of your personal statement, there are various strategies you can use.
Strategy 1: Describe your development over time
One of the simplest strategies is to give a chronological overview of key experiences that have led you to apply for graduate school.
- What first sparked your interest in the field?
- Which classes, assignments, classmates, internships, or other activities helped you develop your knowledge and skills?
- Where do you want to go next? How does this program fit into your future plans?
Don’t try to include absolutely everything you’ve done—pick out highlights that are relevant to your application. Aim to craft a compelling narrative that shows how you’ve changed and actively developed yourself.
My interest in psychology was first sparked early in my high school career. Though somewhat scientifically inclined, I found that what interested me most was not the equations we learned about in physics and chemistry, but the motivations and perceptions of my fellow students, and the subtle social dynamics that I observed inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to learn how our identities, beliefs, and behaviours are shaped through our interactions with others, so I decided to major in Social Psychology. My undergraduate studies deepened my understanding of, and fascination with, the interplay between an individual mind and its social context.During my studies, I acquired a solid foundation of knowledge about concepts like social influence and group dynamics, but I also took classes on various topics not strictly related to my major. I was particularly interested in how other fields intersect with psychology—the classes I took on media studies, biology, and literature all enhanced my understanding of psychological concepts by providing different lenses through which to look at the issues involved.
Strategy 2: Own your challenges and obstacles
If your path to graduate school hasn’t been easy or straightforward, you can turn this into a strength, and structure your personal statement as a story of overcoming obstacles.
- Is your social, cultural or economic background underrepresented in the field? Show how your experiences will contribute a unique perspective.
- Do you have gaps in your resume or lower-than-ideal grades? Explain the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them.
Don’t focus too heavily on negatives, but use them to highlight your positive qualities. Resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance make you a promising graduate school candidate.
Growing up working class, urban decay becomes depressingly familiar. The sight of a row of abandoned houses does not surprise me, but it continues to bother me. Since high school, I have been determined to pursue a career in urban planning. While people of my background experience the consequences of urban planning decisions first-hand, we are underrepresented in the field itself. Ironically, given my motivation, my economic background has made my studies challenging. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for my undergraduate studies, but after graduation I took jobs in unrelated fields to help support my parents. In the three years since, I have not lost my ambition. Now I am keen to resume my studies, and I believe I can bring an invaluable perspective to the table: that of the people most impacted by the decisions of urban planners.
Strategy 3: Demonstrate your knowledge of the field
Especially if you’re applying for a PhD or another research-focused program, it’s a good idea to show your familiarity with the subject and the department. Your personal statement can focus on the area you want to specialize in and reflect on why it matters to you.
- Reflect on the topics or themes that you’ve focused on in your studies. What draws you to them?
- Discuss any academic achievements, influential teachers, or other highlights of your education.
- Talk about the questions you’d like to explore in your research and why you think they’re important.
The personal statement isn’t a research proposal , so don’t go overboard on detail—but it’s a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the field and your capacity for original thinking.
In applying for this research program, my intention is to build on the multidisciplinary approach I have taken in my studies so far, combining knowledge from disparate fields of study to better understand psychological concepts and issues. The Media Psychology program stands out to me as the perfect environment for this kind of research, given its researchers’ openness to collaboration across diverse fields. I am impressed by the department’s innovative interdisciplinary projects that focus on the shifting landscape of media and technology, and I hope that my own work can follow a similarly trailblazing approach. More specifically, I want to develop my understanding of the intersection of psychology and media studies, and explore how media psychology theories and methods might be applied to neurodivergent minds. I am interested not only in media psychology but also in psychological disorders, and how the two interact. This is something I touched on during my undergraduate studies and that I’m excited to delve into further.
Strategy 4: Discuss your professional ambitions
Especially if you’re applying for a more professionally-oriented program (such as an MBA), it’s a good idea to focus on concrete goals and how the program will help you achieve them.
- If your career is just getting started, show how your character is suited to the field, and explain how graduate school will help you develop your talents.
- If you have already worked in the profession, show what you’ve achieved so far, and explain how the program will allow you to take the next step.
- If you are planning a career change, explain what has driven this decision and how your existing experience will help you succeed.
Don’t just state the position you want to achieve. You should demonstrate that you’ve put plenty of thought into your career plans and show why you’re well-suited to this profession.
One thing that fascinated me about the field during my undergraduate studies was the sheer number of different elements whose interactions constitute a person’s experience of an urban environment. Any number of factors could transform the scene I described at the beginning: What if there were no bus route? Better community outreach in the neighborhood? Worse law enforcement? More or fewer jobs available in the area? Some of these factors are out of the hands of an urban planner, but without taking them all into consideration, the planner has an incomplete picture of their task. Through further study I hope to develop my understanding of how these disparate elements combine and interact to create the urban environment. I am interested in the social, psychological and political effects our surroundings have on our lives. My studies will allow me to work on projects directly affecting the kinds of working-class urban communities I know well. I believe I can bring my own experiences, as well as my education, to bear upon the problem of improving infrastructure and quality of life in these communities.
Tips for the main body
- Don’t rehash your resume by trying to summarize everything you’ve done so far; the personal statement isn’t about listing your academic or professional experience, but about reflecting, evaluating, and relating it to broader themes.
- Do make your statements into stories: Instead of saying you’re hard-working and self-motivated, write about your internship where you took the initiative to start a new project. Instead of saying you’ve always loved reading, reflect on a novel or poem that changed your perspective.
Your conclusion should bring the focus back to the program and what you hope to get out of it, whether that’s developing practical skills, exploring intellectual questions, or both.
Emphasize the fit with your specific interests, showing why this program would be the best way to achieve your aims.
Strategy 1: What do you want to know?
If you’re applying for a more academic or research-focused program, end on a note of curiosity: what do you hope to learn, and why do you think this is the best place to learn it?
If there are specific classes or faculty members that you’re excited to learn from, this is the place to express your enthusiasm.
Strategy 2: What do you want to do?
If you’re applying for a program that focuses more on professional training, your conclusion can look to your career aspirations: what role do you want to play in society, and why is this program the best choice to help you get there?
Tips for the conclusion
- Don’t summarize what you’ve already said. You have limited space in a personal statement, so use it wisely!
- Do think bigger than yourself: try to express how your individual aspirations relate to your local community, your academic field, or society more broadly. It’s not just about what you’ll get out of graduate school, but about what you’ll be able to give back.
You’ll be expected to do a lot of writing in graduate school, so make a good first impression: leave yourself plenty of time to revise and polish the text.
Your style doesn’t have to be as formal as other kinds of academic writing, but it should be clear, direct and coherent. Make sure that each paragraph flows smoothly from the last, using topic sentences and transitions to create clear connections between each part.
Don’t be afraid to rewrite and restructure as much as necessary. Since you have a lot of freedom in the structure of a personal statement, you can experiment and move information around to see what works best.
Finally, it’s essential to carefully proofread your personal statement and fix any language errors. Before you submit your application, consider investing in professional personal statement editing . For $150, you have the peace of mind that your personal statement is grammatically correct, strong in term of your arguments, and free of awkward mistakes.
A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.
A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.
However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.
The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.
Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.
If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.
Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.
If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.
If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.
If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
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Writing a Personal Statement
Preparing to Write
Brainstorming, don't forget, sample prompts.
A personal statement is a narrative essay that connects your background, experiences, and goals to the mission, requirements, and desired outcomes of the specific opportunity you are seeking. It is a critical component in the selection process, whether the essay is for a competitive internship, a graduate fellowship, or admittance to a graduate school program. It gives the selection committee the best opportunity to get to know you, how you think and make decisions, ways in which past experiences have been significant or formative, and how you envision your future. Personal statements can be varied in form; some are given a specific prompt, while others are less structured. However, in general a personal statement should answer the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What are your goals?
- How does this specific program/opportunity help you achieve your goals?
- What is in the future?
A personal statement is not:
- A variation of your college admissions essay
- An academic/research paper
- A narrative version of your resume
- A creative writing piece (it can be creative, though)
- An essay about somebody else
Keep in mind that your statement is only a portion of the application and should be written with this in mind. Your entire application package will include some, possibly all, of the materials listed below. You will want to consider what these pieces of the application communicate about you. Your personal statement should aim to tie everything together and fill in or address any gaps. There will likely be some overlap but be sure not to be too repetitive.
- Personal Statement(s)
- Letters of recommendations
- Sample of written work
- Research proposal
Preparing to Write A large portion of your work towards completing a personal statement begins well before your first draft or even an outline. It is incredibly important to be sure you understand all of the rules and regulations around the statement. Things to consider before you begin writing:
- How many prompts? And what are they? It is important to know the basics so you can get your ideas in order. Some programs will require a general statement of interest and a focused supplementary or secondary statement closely aligned with the institution's goals.
- Are there formatting guidelines? Single or double spaced, margins, fonts, text sizes, etc. Our general guideline is to keep it simple.
- How do I submit my statement(s)? If uploading a document we highly suggest using a PDF as it will minimize the chances of accidental changes to formatting. Some programs may event ask you to copy and paste into a text box.
- When do I have to submit my statement(s)? Most are due at the time of application but some programs, especially medical schools, will ask for secondary statements a few months after you apply. In these instances be sure to complete them within two weeks, any longer is an indication that you aren't that interested in the institution.
Before you start writing, take some time to reflect on your experiences and motivations as they relate to the programs to which you are applying. This will offer you a chance to organize your thoughts which will make the writing process much easier. Below are a list of questions to help you get started:
- What individuals, experiences or events have shaped your interest in this particular field?
- What has influenced your decision to apply to graduate school?
- How does this field align with your interests, strengths, and values?
- What distinguishes you from other applicants?
- What would you bring to this program/profession?
- What has prepared you for graduate study in this field? Consider your classes at Wellesley, research and work experience, including internships, summer jobs and volunteer work.
- Why are you interested in this particular institution or degree program?
- How is this program distinct from others?
- What do you hope to gain?
- What is motivating you to seek an advanced degree now?
- Where do you see yourself headed and how will this degree program help you get there?
For those applying to Medical School, if you need a committee letter for your application and are using the Medical Professions Advisory Committee you have already done a lot of heavy lifting through the 2017-2018 Applicant Information Form . Even if you aren't using MPAC the applicant information form is a great place to start.
Another great place to start is through talking out your ideas. You have a number of options both on and off campus, such as: Career Education advisors and mentors ( you can set up an appointment here ), major advisor, family, friends. If you are applying to a graduate program it is especially important to talk with a faculty member in the field. Remember to take good notes so you can refer to them later.
When you begin writing keep in mind that your essay is one of many in the application pool. This is not to say you should exaggerate your experiences to “stand out” but that you should focus on clear, concise writing. Also keep in mind that the readers are considering you not just as a potential student but a future colleague. Be sure to show them examples and experiences which demonstrate you are ready to begin their program.
It is important to remember that your personal statement will take time and energy to complete, so plan accordingly. Every application and statement should be seen as different from one another, even if they are all the same type of program. Each institution may teach you the same material but their delivery or focus will be slightly different.
In addition, remember:
- Be yourself: You aren’t good at being someone else
- Tragedy is not a requirement, reflection and depth are
- Research the institution or organization
- Proofread, proofread, proofread
- How to have your personal statement reviewed
The prompts below are from actual applications to a several types of programs. As you will notice many of them are VERY general in nature. This is why it is so important to do your research and reflect on your motivations. Although the prompts are similar in nature the resulting statements would be very different depending on the discipline and type of program, as well as your particular background and reasons for wanting to pursue this graduate degree.
- This statement should illustrate your academic background and experiences and explain why you would excel in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (UMass Amherst - M.S. in Civil Engineering).
- Describe your academic and career objectives and how the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies can help you achieve them. Include other considerations that explain why you seek admissions to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and your interests in the environmental field (Yale - Master of Environmental Management).
- Please discuss your academic interests and goals. Include your current professional and research interests, as well as your long-range professional objectives. Please be as specific as possible about how your objectives can be met at Clark and do not exceed 800 words (Clark University - M.A. in International Development and Social Change).
- Write a 500- to 700-word statement that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and describe how the Master of Fine Arts in Studio (Printmedia) is particularly suited to your professional goals (School of the Art Institute of Chicago - MFA in Studio, Printmaking).
- Your statement should explain why you want to study economics at the graduate level. The statement is particularly important if there is something unusual about your background and preparation that you would like us to know about you (University of Texas at Austin - Ph.D in Economics).
- Your personal goal statement is an important part of the review process for our faculty members as they consider your application. They want to know about your background, work experience, plans for graduate study and professional career, qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the program, and any other relevant information (Indiana University Bloomington - M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education).
- Your autobiographical essay/personal statement is a narrative that outlines significant experiences in your life, including childhood experiences, study and work, your strengths and aspirations in the field of architecture, and why you want to come to the University of Oregon (University of Oregon - Master of Architecture).
- Personal history and diversity statement, in which you describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may refer to any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education (U.C. Davis - M.A. in Linguistics).
- A Personal Statement specifying your past experiences, reasons for applying, and your areas of interest. It should explain your intellectual and personal goals, why you are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary degree rather than a more traditional disciplinary one, and how this degree fits into your intellectual and personal future (Rutgers University - Ph.D in Women’s and Gender Studies).
- Your application requires a written statement to uploaded into your application and is a critical component of your application for admission. This is your opportunity to tell us what excites you about the field of library and information science, and what problems you want to help solve in this field. Please also tell us how your prior experiences have prepared you for this next step toward your career goals and how this program will help you achieve them (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Master of Science in Library Science).
- After watching the video, please describe what strengths and preferences as a learner you have that will facilitate your success in this innovative curriculum. What challenges in our curriculum do you anticipate and what strategies might you use to address these challenges? (MGH Institute of Health Professions PT - They recently redesigned their curriculum)
- Your personal goal statement should briefly describe how you view the future of the field, what your goals are to be part of that future, and what brought you to pursue an advanced education degree in your chosen field. You may include any other information that you feel might be useful. (Northeastern PT)
- Personal Statement: In 500 words or less, describe a meaningful educational experience that affected your professional goals and growth and explain how it impacted you. The educational experience does not need to be related to this degree. Focus on the educational experience and not why you think you would be a good professional in this field. (Simmons PT)
- Personal Statement (500 word minimum): State your reasons for seeking admission to this program at this institution. Include your professional goals, why you want to pursue a career in this field and how admission to this program will assist you in accomplishing those goals. (Regis College Nursing)
- “Use the space provided to explain why you want to go to this type of program.” (AMCAS)
- Address the following three questions(Though there is no set limit, most statements are 1–2 pages, single-spaced.): What are your reasons for pursuing this degree? Why do you wish to pursue your degree at this institution? How do you intend to leverage your degree in a career of this field? (Boston University MPH)
- Please submit a personal statement/statement of purpose of no more than 500 words for the department/degree of choice. Professional degree essays require a clear understanding of the _______ field and how you hope to work within the field. Be sure to proofread your personal statement carefully for spelling and grammar. In your statement, be sure to address the following: what interests you in the field of _____ what interests you in a specific degree program and department at this institution and what interests you in a particular certificate (if applicable). Please also describe how you hope to use your ________ training to help you achieve your career goals. (Columbia PhD in Public Health - Epidemiology)
- Because each Home Program requires significant original research activities in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, we are interested in obtaining as much information as possible about your previous research experiences. Those who already have such experience are in a better position to know whether they are truly interested in performing ______ research as part of a graduate program. Please include specific information about your research experience in your Statement of Purpose. You may also use the Statement to amplify your comments about your choice of Home Program(s), and how your past experiences and current interests are related to your choice. Personal Statements should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced). Make sure to set your computer to Western European or other English-language setting. We cannot guarantee the ability to access your statement if it is submitted in other fonts. (Stanford Biosciences PhD)
- Your statement of purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the Department of ____ at ___ University. It would be helpful to include what you have done to prepare for this degree program. Please describe your research interests, past research experience, future career plans and other details of your background and interests that will allow us to evaluate your ability to thrive in our program. If you have interests that align with a specific faculty member, you may state this in your application. Your statement of purpose should not exceed two pages in length (single spaced). (Stanford Bioengineering PhD)
- Statement of purpose (Up to one page or 1,000 words): Rather than a research proposal, you should provide a statement of purpose. Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at this institution and your relevant experience and education. Please provide an indication of the area of your proposed research and supervisor(s) in your statement. This will be assessed for the coherence of the statement; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the ability to present a reasoned case in English; and commitment to the subject. (Oxford Inorganic Chemistry - DPhil)
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10 Best Personal Statement Examples (How to Write)
Personal statements refer to an account of your talents, achievements, goals, and interests included in a job or school application. Personal statements are also included in resumes. Whether it is being written for a job or university application, personal statements have the same content. The only difference between them is university personal statements are slightly longer and detailed than job personal statements. When you include them in resumes and job applications, personal statements are generally one paragraph. It is important to note that every company or learning institution has its requirements for personal statements. Therefore, when writing to yours, make sure that you follow these guidelines strictly.
Importance of Personal Statement for Applications and Interviews
Personal statements form an integral part of any job or university application. If you are seeking a scholarship or study program, you need to write an excellent personal statement. Personal statements can either make or break your chances of getting a job, receiving a scholarship, or getting an offer. A good personal statement should contain detailed information about your academic qualifications and achievements and related job experience. To make your personal statement more appealing, you can also talk about your career or academic aspirations. This will be a significant boost, especially if you are applying for a scholarship. Given the high number of applicants in the most job and scholarship opportunities, a personal statement can play a vital role in determining whether or not you receive an interview call.
Types of Personal Statement
There are different types of personal statements. They are categorized according to the purpose they serve. For example, a personal statement might be included in your CV. Like a summary section or an in-person pitch, personal statements written in resumes highlight an individual’s abilities and objectives. Given the fact that resumes can be as long as several pages, you should take advantage and showcase must-see details that boost your candidature. In a CV, however, you shouldn’t write a lengthy personal statement but instead, keep it short and straightforward.
Some companies ask applicants to include their personal statements in the job application. By doing so, the companies will be able to sort out the candidates according to the position they are applying for. For example, if there are several job openings, it can be challenging to tell which application is for which position — this is where personal statements come in handy.
How to Write a Personal Statement
Start by sharing details about yourself: Answer the question “who are you?”. You can mention positive things about yourself like “highly experienced Digital Marketer” or “I recently graduated with a Masters in Foreign Diplomacy.”
Mention your most relevant attributes and what the company can benefit from hiring you: Mention what you will do when hired. For example, “a highly experienced Digital Marketer with skills in data management and analysis,” or “in my 12 years as a Chief Editor, I have never let a detail slip: I won the best employee five-time for my efforts in the company. I meet my targets on time and work well with other employees.”
Say something about your career goals: No employer wants to hire an individual without ambitions. It is, therefore, important to say something about your career goals. You can say, “I am looking for a digital marketing position” or “I am looking forward to working in a midsized company as a Chief Editor” to further develop my skills in Journalism. I would also like to put my production and management skills to the test.”
Proofreading and Editing a Personal Statement
Once you have completed writing your personal statement, it is essential to proofread and edit it. The best technique in doing so is reading it out loud to hear how your writing sounds. This will help you find areas of improvement such as:
- Spelling and grammar
- Passive voice
- Simple and clear phrasing
- Easy to understand the language
You should review the personal statement on your own to find these areas. If possible, get a friend or colleague to read it out for you. Ask them what they think about the statement and if there are areas, you should improve.
Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement
Below are tips for writing a convincing personal statement:.
- Use a positive tone: Use language that shows your enthusiasm for the opportunity. You should also show gratitude for the reader’s consideration.
- Always use the active voice: By active voice, I mean using powerful verbs that directly engage the reader and compel them to consider your qualifications. This will significantly boost the strength of your personal statement.
- Be unique: The personal statement should be unique to you. Therefore, you should discuss what makes you different from other candidates.
Personal Statement Templates
When creating a personal statement, it is important to take time and research on the do’s and don’ts. Creating a personal statement can be challenging. And that is why we have created easy-to-use personal statement templates. Simply download them and customize them!
What is the most essential part of personal statement?
The content, good sentence structure, and ending of a personal statement are crucial. Ensure everything you write is relevant.
Should I talk about what I do after university?
Yes, but this should be only when you have an idea about what you want to do.
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