How do you write a 500 word personal statement? Best Tips

Personal Statement
How do you write a 500 word personal Statement

The most important document you’ll ever write is the personal statement. Whether you’re applying for a Masters, graduate school, or just trying to secure that dream job, your personal statement will be the first thing an admissions officer looks at. You need to take your time and make sure it reflects who you are in the best possible light. This blog post will help you put together a personal statement that is both compelling and detailed.

To avoid confusion, I’ll refer to the personal statement as the “PS” from here on out. I’ve been working with a lot of prospective students and their PS’s lately and have come across some interesting questions. Here are the main things you should consider when writing your PS:

What is this for?

Very seldom will an admissions officer see your PS without at least some notion of what it’s for. But it’s still important to be sure that you’re clear as to what your goal is. If you’re applying to a school that specializes in Nursing, a 500 word PS will be very different than one for the Harvard Business School. If you need help determining what your personal statement should say, I recommend reviewing this previous post on how to write a personal statement .

What’s the purpose?

This is another question that is pretty self-explanatory but can be easily overlooked. The purpose of your PS is to discuss your unique contributions to the world. It should tell an admissions officer why you are a perfect fit for their program and why they should accept you.

Who do you want to be the reader?

Every admissions officer has a different experience with applicants and will have a different relationship with applicants. You need to know who your main readers are and tailor it to them! Some people may want to see an easy read, while others will want something more elaborate and creative. 4. Where will this be posted?

The majority of programs have a specific place for PS’s to be submitted. Check and see what the requirements are – some places may want one document, some may want multiple copies, and others may not even require a PS at all.

What’s your goal with this statement?

You should be as clear as possible with what your goal is for each PS you write. Some people may write a PS that is meant to serve as a marketing tool to help sell their future potential, while others might write one that highlights previous accomplishments. You need to be intentional with what you want to achieve with this statement.

5 Tips for Creating an Amazing Personal Statement:

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1. Tell your story!

Your PS should not read like a bland curriculum vitae, it should tell the reader about the experiences and challenges you have faced in your life and how you have overcome them. You should also make sure that the beginning of your PS is engaging so it will grab the reader’s attention. Here is an example of a great story-driven opening: “The year was 2003.

I was a 19 year old kid from a small town who had big dreams about making it in the big city. I moved to New York City with some friends and didn’t know a single soul. After a few months of job searching and trying to find a place to live, I was beginning to lose hope that I would ever find my place in the city.

But one day as I was reading the paper at a bus stop, I saw an ad for the New York Academy of Art. I remembered my high school art teacher telling me how much potential I had as an artist, so I decided to check it out.”

2. Be relatable

You should write about yourself in a relatable way. This will help your PS stand out from all the other PS’s. You don’t want to write a ton of info about your life because it may bore the reader but you also don’t want to talk about yourself in an impersonal way. What makes you unique and relatable is your story!

3. Have a goal!

You should have some goals for your PS that are specific and clear. These goals should be what you want the reader to walk away with after reading this document. For example: I want this reader to think about how they could incorporate the tools I learn in this program in their life.

4. Write like you would speak

Write the way you would speak. You are not writing for an English class, so don’t be afraid to write! Start your PS with an anecdote that serves as a hook and then go into a few paragraphs of story-telling that make your reader interested in learning more about you.

5. Don’t forget the details

Write about specifics. You should be able to sum up an experience or a moment in your life in one paragraph. But don’t forget to include the little details that make your experiences unique and interesting for the reader!

7 Steps to Boosting Your Personal Statement:

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#1. Write your story!

Your personal statement will be read by a new person each time you submit it, so you need to make sure they feel like this is a someone they could get to know better if given more time. If you want the reader to remember your name, be sure to include it!

For example: “I am a 21 year old junior from upstate New York who moved to New York City during the summer of 2013. I came to New York with two basic goals in mind: (1) find a summer job and (2) see as much of the city as possible.”

#2. Be relatable

Your story shouldn’t be impersonal like most resumes are. It should be relatable and explain to the reader why they might want to know more about you. For example: “As a student who was giving up on his dream of becoming a rapper, I decided to take my passion for music and create a YouTube channel.”

#3. Have a goal!

You should have some goals for your PS that are specific and clear. These goals should be what you want the reader to walk away with after reading this document. For example: I want this reader to think about how they could incorporate the tools I learn in this program in their life.

#4. Be clear and concise

Be as clear as possible with what your goal is. If you’re applying to a school that specializes in Nursing, a 500 word PS will be very different than one for the Harvard Business School. If you need help determining what your personal statement should say, I recommend reviewing this previous post on how to write a personal statement . 5. Write like you would speak

Write the way you would speak. You are not writing for an English class, so don’t be afraid to write! Start your PS with an anecdote that serves as a hook and then go into a few paragraphs of story-telling that make your reader interested in learning more about you.

#6. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Being able to properly communicate, for most people is a difficult challenge. When writing a personal statement, be careful that you don’t let bad grammar or improper word use distract the reader from the content of your statement. It isn’t necessarily about using advanced vocabulary or syntax in order to sound professional or vociferous.

It’s about communicating your ideas and sharing information that is relevant to the position you’re applying for in a way that is engaging and easy to understand. 

#7. Keep it short!

Personal statement should be no longer than 500 words. There is nothing wrong with writing more, but it’s important to remember that you need to communicate the most important information in the least amount of words possible.

For example: “To improve my chances of making it in one of the most competitive fields, I was lucky enough to fall into an internship with a company that has gone on to accomplish amazing things during my short tenure there. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to learn as much about business from a highly successful company as I have. I would like to take all of that knowledge and apply it toward my future goals.”

Hopefully, these guidelines will help you write an amazing personal statement! As always, let me know if you have any questions and/or comments below! I love hearing all your feedback!

To know more about personal statement, visit Wikipedia

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