Personal Statements: how long should it take?


I attach this photo to every single personal statement I submit.
*Photo taken by Melissa Gruver


Draft 1

Esteemed colleagues thank you for visiting my weblog. Perchance would you give me but a fraction of your time to discuss a matter of utmost importance. Your personal statement.

Draft 2

Yo HoMiEs! WhAt’S uP? I wAs ToTeS LoLiNg aT mY fRiEnD’s Fb StAtUs AbOuT hIs TrAgIc PeRsOnAl StAtEmEnT!

Blogosphere… what’s good? As you can see I’ve been working on several drafts of this blog. I just want you (my audience) to understand who I am and why blog is worth reading.

Last year I wrote an awesome blog about the do’s and don’ts of letters of recommendation. You should check it out if you haven’t done so already.  It’s pretty helpful and well written (if I do say so myself). But this year I’m going to bless you with an awesome FTOD (that stands for Free Tip of the Day if you are new to the blog). I know this time of year many of you are working on personal statements, and you may be wondering what should the process look like. Well you are in luck, because the personal statement doctor is in with THREE, that’s right THREE FTOD’s.

First you should give yourself at least six weeks to complete your personal statement. Why six weeks? Because you want to give yourself plenty of time for re-writes. When I wrote my personal statement I gave it to several people to read and edit. Second, make sure your personal statement talks about you. It should not be a re-hashing of your resume. This is the only space for you to talk about your goals, dreams and desires. Finally, be authentic. Don’t try to anticipate the student the program wants and write a personal statement that aligns with that ideal. It’s not worth the time and effort. Instead think about yourself and what makes you unique and special. Write about that and I guarantee you will blow them away.