Personal statement editing
Get help from the Ivy League editors

Personal Statement University Application: Step-by-Step Guide

Professional recommendations from the Ivy League Editors
EssayEdge Personal Statement
Updated: April 19, 2023
Craft a perfect essay with the guidance of our professional editors and increase your chances of entering the dream university.
Impress the admission committee with a brilliant essay edited by our native English editors from the Ivy League.
They will not just correct grammar mistakes but ensure your essay corresponds to all admission requirements.
Download step-by-step guides on writing an eye-catching essay worthy of the most prestigious schools.

Sometimes an A4 page containing a few hundreds of words might predetermine your whole future. The promising future in which you are striving to secure a spot in your dream college or university. Therefore, the process of crafting the personal statement puts extra pressure on you, since the way you wrap your words does have an impact on your future. However, we recommend not to stress out, and first familiarize yourself with our hand-picked guidelines which should help to develop a complete personal statement for the university to win the mind and hearts of the admission officer.

Impeccable personal statement for university: reality or fiction?

You might wonder what a flawless essay would look like? The answer is quite straightforward. An excellent personal statement sketches out a perfectly balanced narrative about the applicant’s history, academic and professional achievements, personal traits, and future aspirations, and finally – the match between the graduate program and the applicant’s objectives. All these small things recreate a bigger picture of the overall motivation and the personality of the candidate who is hiding behind the A4 page replete with catchy words. However, to reach high standards, the essay should give a 360-degree perspective of your personality in a very well organized and readable way. So, let’s talk about the structure.

The backbone of the university personal statement.

The more time and energy you invest into outlining the structure and sequence of your thoughts, the better essay you get in the end. Keep it simple, though. Unlike the classical approach to academic writing, this should not look like a thesis or argument-based essay. Quite the contrary – it should be rather a storytelling piece, yet very well-ordered and carefully laid out.

Baby steps.

Draw out a feasible scheme, and lay out the key points you would like to cover. Such as strengths, interests, objectives, experiences and other defining moments of your life which have brought you to start this application process. When you compiled all the significant things you would like to highlight, it is time to organize your thoughts and think about how to approach the essay. The most coherent and consistent personal statement for the university application should include all the following parts: the introduction, a few thematic subsections, and the conclusions. Below, you will find a quick overview of how to make it happen.

Need help? Check out EssayEdge editing services:

Personal Statement Editing
Each document has its features, and our editors know what to focus on to keep it individual and increase your chances of being admitted
Premier Package
Editing files from draft to final application. 1.5 hours of phone consultations. 14 days of email interaction with an editor

The introduction.

In this section, it is required to provide a quick snapshot of who you are and give an explanation that would underpin your motivation for this program. Make an eye-catching opening line, it might be a bit creative, gripping, hilarious and surprising in a way, so as to grasp the reader’s attention with the first shot. This might be related to your personal life, academic story, or any other life milestone which resulted in the choice of the target program. However, it is crucial to stay relevant and to the point, as well as to follow up with the reference on why you chose a particular program or concentration to pursue.

Concentrate on your expertise.

In the first passage, it is advised to unpack your expertise on the subjects you are going to study during your graduate program. You might start at first by mentioning how you cultivated an interest in a certain subject, what or who has inspired you to devote your life and career to this matter. Besides, in this part of the statement, you might need to explain how, and through which courses, workshops, field trips, academic or any other extracurricular activities you have collected this specific knowledge and competencies on let’s say English literature, Medicine, or Chemistry. Not necessarily that you need to be a recognized expert on a subject, however, it is important to demonstrate a genuine interest in the domain you would like to thrive and succeed in.

Talking about the past and future.

The second paragraph can be approached in different ways. Nonetheless, it is better to showcase the variety of skills you obtained through different experiences, the challenges you have encountered and the knowledge you eventually gained.

Given this, you need to illustrate the image of your professional attainments in the first place. For instance, you may want to discuss the summer internships at the newspaper you had, or the volunteering at the youth organization you have undertaken. Even if you did not have a paid job, you can still talk about some job shadowing or internships, as the key thing about this is to display the skill-set and knowledge you have gained. In addition, it is always beneficial to talk about some out of class activities, or leadership initiatives you were involved in during the school or elsewhere.

Speaking of experience, provide a few examples which would show your uniqueness. This can be an example of you dealing with a certain project, or solving a critical issue that bothered your community. Try to garner attention with the example of your accomplishments. Even if this small success seems insignificant to you, the way you deal with certain responsibilities and fulfil the task tell more about independence, critical thinking and problem-solving skills than the overall output. Speaking of the skills, make sure you enlist the transferable skills. In other words, those skills which you acquired in the past can be easily applied during the college program.

However, remember to shortlist your ideas and pick the most strong. Put it differently, try to abstain from enlisting every single piece of your experience on the letter, and limit yourself to only those which have meaningful relevance to your future university courses and subjects.

Think of other things that are successful attainments, for instance, such as failures, hardships or setbacks you were forced to overcome. Talking about the negative experiences in a positive way is a gift, which would be very welcomed by the reader. How this challenge sparked your further development, what have you learnt from this misfortune, and how this impacted your life and academic choices. Description of this kind of experience will also showcase different sides of your personality, such as determination, eagerness to learn, resilience, ability to cope with failures and learn from the mistakes.

Do not be a bookworm person.

Admission officers prefer selecting well-rounded personalities with strong and unique character. That is why do not confine your personal statement only to academic interests. Include anything you are passionate about and proud of aside from the school accomplishments. Give a flavour of who you are outside of school, what are your spare time activities which inspire you. For instance, you can tell the story about your involvement with scout camps, marathons, school councils, theatre, sports clubs or any other hobbies and interests which can tell about your personality, and maybe how these engagements influence your college choice.

The university staff usually welcomes proactive students, who are not only diligent students in the classroom but can also contribute to the active campus life, and enrich the college community with their own talents. Picture yourself at the university, and try to visualize how you fit this out-of-class environment. Provide some examples of how your input can improve, for instance, the work of the university newspaper, student council or the soccer club. Think about yourself beyond the transcripts and GPA.

Looking ahead.

Make background research on the program and think about the perks it offers among the rest of the programs available at the market of educational services.

Based on the research, highlight in your personal statement how you can specifically benefit from the certain courses, concentration and concrete professors this program offers. Finally, summarize how this program is going to uplevel your career. Be specific and provide an example of what kind of career path you would like to embark on. Are you obsessed with cybersecurity, or investigating financial frauds? If so, demonstrate how your future plans correlate and fit into the program curriculum. Therefore, in this part of the statement, you might need to try to explain what kind of professional future this program might help to shape for you, and how the university courses will leverage your potential.

Valuable Tips.

Make sure you read the instructions carefully. You might be tasked with providing a response to a specific question, and failure to address this can lead to a serious disqualification. Thus, ensure that all required sections are mentioned in the personal statement.

Always tailor your statement to every single program. No matter how tempting it is to copy-paste all the sentences, make sure your every statement is unique.

Reading out loud might help to spot certain discrepancies or inconsistencies between the paragraphs in the statement. Hence, try to read this out loud for yourself, or ask your friends so they could trace any vague gaps and you could eliminate these.

Avoid being repetitive and consider your statement letter as a piece of the whole admission package. In other words, whatever has been mentioned in your previous essays or letters, should not be duplicated. You might elaborate on some aspects, however, never copy-paste the things from the CV or other essays.

Embrace the academic style.

Fitting the right words in the text, while sounding professional – is one key to success. Have a glance through your draft, and make sure that you employ academic words, instead of simple ones. For instance, use ‘accomplish’, ‘contemplate’, ‘revaluation’ and other fancy words you can use to replace typical ‘do’, ‘think’ and so on. However, while dealing with synonyms – do not succumb to the lure of overusing these. Consult with the vocabulary if needed, and ensure smooth reading.

Before you submit the statement.

In the stage of the final revision of the statement, go through it and make sure you have provided an answer to all of these questions:

  • Have you answered all the questions given by the university?
  • Do you sound professional and consistent?
  • Have you explained why you are well suited for this program?
  • Do you provide specific examples and do not engage with the ready in empty talk?
  • Have you clearly stated why you are applying for this program?
  • Have you conveyed your motivation in a clear way?
  • Do you refer to your career aspirations?
  • Is there anything to cut? Make sure you outline only relevant things, and you do not describe your whole life story.
  • Is it free of grammar and spelling mistakes?
  • Have you grasped the attention of the reader and made a lasting impression?

Last, but not least.

The cover letter is that single opportunity to ‘talk’ to the university staff, namely the admission officer and deliver the best message about yourself and underlying motivation which drives you to study at the particular program. Take advantage of the final remarks of the statement and summarize your perks which make you an outstanding applicant, while underlining how this college course will invest in your prosperous future. Remember, that a personal statement is not a cover letter, so do go hard on being formal in the way you convey the message. Stay original, convincing and noticeable among the pile of the rest applications.

Haven’t got enough to say?

Do not fall into the temptation to plagiarize others’ statements, and do not panic attack about every single word and sentence you try to put together. Feel free to check out the examples.

For this purpose, you might want to refer to the EssayEdge website and have a glance at the examples, but do not copy.

Finally, if you want to maximize the chances of being offered a place in your dream university, ask for help with your personal statement. EssayEdge know-how to make a distinctive and memorable personal statement for the university application, how to pick the right words and make your application a winning one. With the help of our top-notch experts, you will get the best and comprehensive advice on how to plan, structure and write an excellent personal statement. Check the EssayEdge website, we offer a set of different packages and high-quality editing services from the Ivy League graduates who will excel in your statement. 

You found a comprehensive but easy-to-understand guide on personal statement writing. Don’t forget about it as you usually do. We want you to read the article a few times and highlight the aspects you’ll use in the next writing session. If you want to test yourself, order personal statement proofreading on EssayEdge.

Is personal statement important for university application?
What is a personal statement for college applications?
What to include in a personal statement for college application?
Robin W. - professional essay editor and proofreader
Information prepared by EssayEdge editor
Robin Wilson
10+ years of experience
Our editors on College, Graduate, Medical, MBA, and Law admission documents help you with brainstorming, proofreading, and editing to make your writing concise, persuasive, and original.

Related Posts