Personal Statement 101: Five Tips to Telling Your Story

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Personal Statement tips from Granite State College.

When reviewing personal statements, our program directors want to understand your intentions. They want to know how you will use the graduate program as an opportunity. Will you use it to improve yourself, or impact your personal effectiveness, or to attain specific professional goals?

If you have never written a personal statement and are unsure of where to begin, don’t worrywe’ve got you covered.

Here are five tips on writing a personal statement that will help us get to know you.

Start Off Strong

It is important that you make a great first impression. Begin your personal statement with something other than, “My name is … and I am interested the Master of Science in …” Start off with what excites you the most about the graduate degree programs, how your personal and professional background makes you a great fit for graduate school, and why you feel like you’re ready to start.

For example…

After three years as a department supervisor in a high tech company, I am ready to learn more about best practices in leadership. I am interested in the M.S. in Leadership degree because I want to advance my career into division management. To accomplish this goal, I need to learn how to lead diverse teams and find different ways to communicate expectations with my employees.

Do Your Research

Read everything that is available about the master’s program you want to enter. Demonstrate your knowledge about the program by relating the degree outcomes to your professional goals. Provide examples of which classes or parts of the graduate program you are most excited to explore.

Be Concise

When you’re writing your personal statement, choose your words carefully and be articulate. Remember, you are writing a statement that will be reviewed by your program director. You want to demonstrate your best writing skills. Avoid using figures of speech or jargon that require explanation. Your personal statement should be between 500-1,000 words.

Add to Your Resume

Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, but don’t re-write your resume. Instead, connect your personal and professional highlights to your pursuit of a graduate degree.

Edit

Review and revise your personal statement. Read it out loud. Ask a friend to offer constructive feedback. Revise any awkward words, run-on sentences, and grammar.

We can get a sense of who you are from your resume and references, but your personal statement allows you to highlight your strengths, goals, and areas for growth.

Ready to apply for a master's? Get your admissions checklist.

 

Editors Note: this post was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated to incorporate emerging trends, best practices, and expanded insights.