Effective Personal Statements for Committee Evaluation
Keep in Mind...
This is the opportunity for you to tell
Why to you want to be a
What is your burning desire?
What fueled that fire
List your abilities/ skills and how you have
demonstrated them throughout your life
i.e., work great under pressure, gifted with
understanding children and their bodies, capable of managing
multiple tasks, etc.)
List your personality traits
(i.e., outgoing, loyal, hard-working, honest,
List some major influences and/or mentors
you have had throughout your life
List some short term and long term goals
as they relate to your story
Questions to ask yourself as you sit down
What is unique, distinctive, and/or impressive
about my life story?
What details of my life (personal or family situations, history,
people or events) have shaped or influenced my goals?
What might help the Committee better understand me or help set me
apart from other applicants?
When did I become interested in this field?
What have I learned about it (and
myself) that has further stimulated my interest and reinforced my
conviction that I am well suited for this field?
How have I learned about this field — through research,
classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or
conversations with people already in the field?
If I have worked a lot during my college years, what have I learned
(leadership or managerial skills for example)? How has that
work contributed to my growth?
Are there any gaps or discrepancies in my academic record that
should be explained, such as great grades but mediocre MCAT or
GRE scores or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA, if it was
only average in the beginning?
Have I had to overcome any unusual obstacles
or hardships (i.e., economic, familial, or physical) in my life?
What personal characteristics (i.e., integrity,
compassion, persistence) do I possess that would improve my
prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to
demonstrate or document these characteristics?
What skills (i.e., leadership, communicative, analytical) do
Why might I be a stronger candidate for Professional school
— and more successful and effective in the profession or
field than other applicants?
What are the most compelling reasons I can give for the
Admissions Committee to be interested in me?
Make an Outline
Make sure to create an outline that has the
following: Introduction, Body (Supporting Paragraphs), and
The Final Draft:
Principles for writing
Unifying theme is key.
Organize your essay around the theme, rather
than merely listing your accomplishments.
Give good examples and
Do not just provide lists; explain how
and why an experience or person had an effect on you. These
details show your passion, enthusiasm and dedication far more
Help your reader understand how the
information is important.
Demonstrate your potential and preparedness
for this type of advanced study, with sound and concise
Respond to the Question(s) listed on the
Follow instructions carefully.
Cover your bases.
Make sure that you have called attention to
your successes and relevant experience and explain
any discrepancies in your record.
Refrain from duplicate information.
There is no need to add information to your
personal statement that is listed elsewhere in
your application, resume, etc.
Be specific and brief.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
This is a case of less is more!
Committees value sustenance and
do not value flowery words or excessive ramblings.
Use “I” and speak from the
It is YOUR personal statement.
Do not put “you are a good science
Student and that you enjoy helping people”. This is a
given if you are applying for admission to a
Cover any questionable/controversial
If there are stories and comments about your
life and past that need to be explained, do so thoroughly,
concisely and move on.
Indicate what you have learned
from the event and how you could handle/avoid the circumstance
differently in the future.
Check and double-check your word/character
Most applications for professional schools
have a word or character limit for the personal statements.
Be sure you have not
exceeded that limit.
For more help with writing your personal
statement, make an appointment with the
& Communication Center.