Saturday 2 July 2011

Ten Commandments of a Stellar Personal Statement

1. Be honest, brief and to the point.

2. Revise, re-read, revise, have others read your essay and spend a sizable amount of time working on your personal statement.

3. Do not embellish your personal statement with things you have not achieved or done, it is easy to look things up and then your credibility will be in question.

4. Just as not all applicants are top three percentile in class, not all colleges in India or Canada or wherever rank in the top 3 or top 5 or top 10 in the country or continent for that matter. Don’t write it things that are incorrect.

5. Do write your own PS, do not copy - paste from online samples or others.

6. Avoid the 'Zebra effect', this is when you have copied and pasted stuff from other statements and it is obvious because the flow and style of the essay is intermittent and sporadic.

7. From the viewpoint of faculty, who has to read hundreds of similar essays, think long and hard as to how you can make your essay pop.

8. Point of personal statement is just that - it’s a statement of your personal thoughts and what makes you as you. Don’t rehash your CV in a PS.

9. Don’t be too modest in stating what you have achieved but at the same time do not lie about things you have not done.

10.  Be clear about your job responsibilities and role in externship or observership you did.

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