A personal statement is also called a statement of purpose (SOP), and it allows you to introduce yourself to the admissions office of a University college or interview committee. There are several types of personal statements, and all of them serve the same purpose. It is an integral part of your college application, and many also consider it to be the deciding factor.
Whenever you are applying for a job, university degree, or scholarship, there are certain factors that need to be highlighted, including all your academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and your statement of purpose. If there are several applicants with the same level of academic achievements and positive letters of recommendation, then the statement of purpose can play a huge role in helping the admissions committee decide who they want to award the admission offer or scholarship to. Therefore, everyone who is planning on applying for such programs must take great care in drafting a well thought out and structured personal statement, which can make him or her shine among all other applicants. A good personal statement will require proper planning and preparation.
Importance of the Personal Statement for Applications and Interviews
- It is an integral part of any application to a university program or scholarship.
- It can either make or break your chances of receiving a scholarship or an admission offer.
- It serves as a way for you to introduce yourself to the admissions committee.
- You can put across all your academic achievements and qualifications, as well as work experience. You can also talk about your academic and professional aspirations.
- It should bring the admission committee’s attention to your application, and they should get an idea of what you are like and how suitable you are for their program or scholarship.
- Your personal statement will be reflective of your communication skills.
- The personal statement will play a role in determining whether or not you will receive an interview call.
Components of the Personal Statement
Your personal statement is going to be a reflection of your motivation, aspiration, and perspiration (or MAP), which should be clearly stated and highlighted within its body.
Following are the three basic components of a well-written statement of purpose (SOP):
- What makes you motivated?
- What is your aspiration?
- Describe perspiration or MAP
How to Structure a Personal Statement?
If you are about to begin the process of writing a personal statement, you can use the key points below to learn how to structure your personal statement, as well as what to include and avoid in it:
- Make sure you have done all your background research about the degree or scholarship that you are applying for before you start writing your statement.
- Make a list of the various aspects of the program or scholarship that you find most appealing or attractive so that you can include those in your write-up.
- Use your personal statement as an opportunity to describe yourself personally to the admissions committee.
- It should identify what your goals and priorities are in life, as well as the factors that have motivated you to pursue a particular program.
- You should also try to draw links between the course that you want to pursue and your goals in life.
- As the name suggests, the personal statement should have a personal touch to it. It should not sound like an academic essay, but more like an interesting story.
- While it is important to talk about your academic background, you should also weave in the skills you have acquired over time as well as your expertise that is relevant to the course you want to pursue.
- You can also consider including any hiccups that you faced in life, which could be academic or personal in nature, as well as how you managed to cross these hurdles.
- When writing your personal statement, make sure that it is truthful and authentic. This is because if you get an interview call, it is quite likely that your admissions committee will base the interview on your personal statement. Thus, all applicants are strongly advised against including any false or incorrect information in their personal statements.