Every job, college, and scholarship application has a complete or partial personal statement attached. These applications are not finalized without the personal statement. Many times the person conducting your interview will ask for a copy of the resume and your personal statement. Do not confuse this writing with an "I Paper", and do not take this writing lightly.The personal statement portrays you as an individual!

An analytical look at self:

  1. interesting, insightful, revealing, and self-reflective
  2. skills
  3. aspects that distinguish you from others

Personal and critical look:

  1. sharing information you normally do not share - history or family
  2. personal characteristics - integrity, compassion, persistence, conscientiousness, diligence
  3. assessing your life
    1. experiences
    2. changes
    3. who or what has influenced you
    4. obstacles
    5. history (special)
    6. notable accomplishments

Insight to why this career or school choice is important to you:

  1. reference to research
  2. aptitude/skills
  3. work experience and its significances, growth, development, change, and skills


  1. 5 to 10 year goals
  2. personal and educational
  3. background situations/information that have helped shape the goals


  1. extracurricular - member not - leader yes
  2. community/volunteer - a big important aspect
  3. academic performance - notable GPA, Dean's List or Highest Honors, Advanced courses (college courses, AP-fit the school's curriculum)

Narrative/Expository writing that emphasizes your exceptional qualities, goals, and past performances.

Must leave an impression on your audience! The paper must be memorable!

Do not bore your audience with:

  1. too much
  2. unfocused or rambling information
  3. poor word choices/lack of conciseness
  4. no effective opening
  5. The essay and its components:
    1. 250-500 words
    2. precision writing
    3. portray yourself as an individual
    4. distinguish yourself from others - the analytical part
    5. personal characteristics
    6. skills
    7. Why should admissions or the business be interested in you?
    8. Experiences that have had an effect on your life
    9. Who has influenced you and why?
    10. How have you changed and why?

The Opening: unusual dimension that relates to your personal and/or educational goals.

Example: As a child I often accompanied my father to a small coin shop and spent hours watching him work. When I was older, I would set up displays, waited on customers, and even recorded receipts. This experience instilled in me the desire to own and to manage my own business someday. My research has informed me that the business world is competitive and complex.

The Opening is a situation or event that changed your life and thought.

Things to consider for the personal statement:

  1. What is most important for us to know about you?
  2. Do not try to guess what the committee is looking for or write what you think the committee wants to hear.
  3. Be material selective - brainstorm for powerful stuff
  4. Maintain a positive and upbeat tone even with obstacles and hardships.
  5. Project confidence and enthusiasm.
  6. Be specific and use details
  7. Concisely follow the word limits
  8. Do research of the job or college as to set your choice words apart from the others and fit the job or college requirements.
  9. Express original thought - Example for a medical student to say I am good at science and want to help others is not expressing original thought.
  10. Do not start every sentence with ìIî.
  11. Do not include hobbies and interests.
  12. Do not embellish or lie.