The value of a unique personal statement is that it makes you memorable to the admissions committee. A personal statement’s purpose is to help the committee get to know the applicant beyond the confines of the standard application materials. Your application folder will probably contain superior transcripts, amazing test scores, an enviable resume, glowing letters of recommendation, and…your personal statement!
If your personal statement is unique, it could help your candidacy. To say the personal statement is unique is to mean that it is distinctive, exceptional, and individual. Personal statements represent the applicant’s opportunity to describe their motivation, emphasize their relevant experience, highlight their qualifications, and discuss their reasons for hoping to pursue the specific program. All of this should be accomplished without repeating information already included in other application materials. You can refer to other documents, such as your resume, perhaps adding important new details which may boost your personal statement, but be sure to do so without reciting the same information already covered in the document. The reader will not want to see the same material repeated again.
The admissions committee will be looking for a reason to offer you a slot in the class or degree program. If you can convince the committee of your great passion for the field or your longtime desire to acquire this degree so that you can achieve your noble dreams, the personal statement will accomplish its purpose. The personal statement should include a specific story or anecdote which “shows” the reader your commitment and abilities, rather than just “telling” them. A creative or moving story will remain with the reader, instead of trying to remember a list of personal attributes which mirrors so many other applicants’ personal statements.
The value of a unique personal statement rests in its ability to make the candidate stand out from the other applicants. Many applications list similar qualifications and experiences as well as equivalent goals. Creating a personal statement which is notable for its content requires a great deal of preparation and planning. Personal statements need to be meticulously organized, well-written and focused on setting the applicant apart from the larger group. Whether the personal statement includes an effort to disclose or explain a misstep along the way or to communicate the applicant’s all-encompassing passion for the degree program or specialty, the content must be clear, the ideas must flow well, and it must be in the applicant’s voice and words.