A personal statement or statement of purpose is your chance to draft a narrative that ties together all parts of your application and positions you in the way you think is best for admissions. It is critical to do this part well both in what you say and how well you say it.
What should personal statements say?
Answer the question. Not just part of the question. Not some other question from another school. Not a parallel question you wish the admissions committee asked. Answer the question completely and unambiguously. Make your essay detailed and direct. Use a point, evidence, point approach to illustrate your fit with the school and qualification for the program. Don’t be arrogant. Make every essay custom to the school you are applying for by naming the school or program you are applying to. This early signal tells the admissions committee you are not giving a generic essay. In proess of researching schools, you probably talked to current students, alumni, or faculty. Mention how those conversations or communications have contributed to your school selection and convince you that this is the right place for you to study. Drop names of faculty and the number of current students or alumni you talked to. If you see current student profiles, vitae, or LinkedIn profiles that match up to your own background, tell the adcom that your similarities with current students confirms your interest in the program. If you see current students with backgrounds not as appropriate as yours, emphasize how your focused background will make you a very successful student. Doing these simple things will make your essays custom to each school. Remember there is no excuse for generic essays. There is no excuse for an essay that could be submitted to any school. None. Don’t do it. If you would like an essay review or planning session, contact me. Together we can make sure your essays are on target and effectively position you for the schools you are applying to using my “Four Degrees of Detail” framework. Sign up for updates and email or call me. Contact information is on the about Inside the Admissions Committee page.