Applying for a postgraduate degree is a very daunting task. Writing your personal statement can cause you sleepless night. It truly is an important time but you should not become overwhelmed with it. Many have done it and many still will. All you have to do is have a plan of action.
Like I said, writing your personal statement for a graduate programme is the start of many things. Here are some tips on writing the perfect statement:
- Make sure you understand which information to include. Find a few online examples as a guide. Do not copy these directly but they can give you an idea of the format and flow.
- Be authentic. You should write this statement of purpose to reflect who you are. Believe in yourself and highlight your accomplishments.
- Pay the application fee. If you fail to pay the application fee, your application will be thrown out. Be sure to read the admission requirements carefully.
- Let the committee know why you are the best candidate for this programme. Show you did some research and this is the one best suited for you. Any lecturer would like your research done and this might get your application approved.
- Do not bore the lecturer. This is a big one. Don’t be too vague but also do not write a novel. Leave that for your PhD programme personal statement - universities may often offer a word length guideline. For now, focus on the best parts of who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
- Show off your knowledge. Be sure to showcase the knowledge you have of the subject you are applying for. Even though your personality might be amazing, focus more on your knowledge.
- Do not use any clichés in your personal statement. Most applicants will do this. They will use clichés and quotes. You do not do that if you want to be successful. Write only unique content. This is not a love story so the words love and passion should be excluded.
- No spelling or grammar errors. This is a big one. You are applying for a professional institution to accept you. This is just an unnecessary and unacceptable issue. Be sure to proofread it twice. Even ask a friend to help.
- Don’t undersell yourself. You are a great individual who has worked hard at getting this far. Make sure the lecturer sees that. You deserve to be a student at the institution.
Now that you have some tips on how to write your personal statement and what to include, let’s look at how you survive it mentally. This is obviously important to you and you getting into the programme is everything. However, be careful not to put your whole life’s worth on this approval. You need to understand that every application is a chance you take. All you can do is your best. Once that is done, you have to let it be.
If you did everything right and gave this application all you have, then that is enough. Do not overthink it after you’ve submitted. Keep yourself busy and occupy your time with other activities. There is nothing you can do after sending the application, so why stress about it?
Following all the tips above will help you in achieving your goal. Read through it carefully and apply them. Please give yourself enough time to do your application. One can always see when something has been rushed. If you give yourself ample time, you will be able to edit it until it is perfect. Once you are 100% happy with your application, press the send button or post it. Then let it fly away into the sunset and don’t worry about it.
Christine McLane is a content manager at SOPforMS. Writing is not only her job but also her passion. Her hobby is reading, travelling and guest posting writing. She never gives up and tries to change this world for better.