Updated: Apr 7
So you've busted your butt to complete the first draft of your personal statement, and now there's a whole other set of obstacles to overcome: How do you go from first draft to ready to submit, personal statement, polished perfection?
If you haven't quite gotten to the first draft of your personal Statement, no worries, I have plenty of resources that will help you get there.
Make sure you check out my blog post Write a Personal Statement that will Knock their Socks off
If you need help with how to start or what to write about on your personal statement make sure you Get my Free Writer's Block Questionnaire, it's a great secret tool to gain clarity about yourself and goals.
Back to the first draft. So maybe the length of your statement is problematic, or maybe its the grammar or spelling, or perhaps you're getting stuck on the character count. Here are my best tips on streamlining and polishing your Personal Statement.
1. Keep it Concise
If you find that your personal statement is too short, try elaborating on your peak experience a bit more using imagery, or expand upon your Intro or Conclusion, or both.
If you find that your statement is too long, then work to eradicate nonessential information, such as elaborate descriptions of how you got somewhere. example: I woke up, made my breakfast and made my way to the lab, which can simply be expressed as I made my way to the lab. Focus on eliminating things of that nature.
If you need more help here are 7 Tips for Cutting Words from your Personal Statement.
2. Mind your Character Count
Try your best to stay within the character limit suggested by your program. Know the absolute minimum requirement, and know the absolute maximum character allowance, and stay within those confines. Use a word counter, mind your spacing, and paragraph formatting, as this can add extra characters.
To access your character count in Microsoft Word:
a) Click on the top, the main taskbar under Review
b) Head to the lower-left corner of the drop-down taskbar and click word count
3. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
This day in age, there is absolutely no excuse to submit a personal statement fraught with spelling and grammatical errors. Mind those run-on sentences, as this is one of the most common errors I see in my personal statement reviews.
Even if you do not consider yourself a good writer, and even is spelling and grammar are not your forte, There are so many free resources you can use, that will help polish up your writing tremendously!
Here are my favorites:
Microsoft WORD: Spell check and Proofing Functions
Grammarly: This is one of my all-time favorites because it has an automated grammar checker, Instant writing assistant and plagiarism detection. Get your free version of Grammarly Here
4. Polish to Perfection with the Help of Expert Eyes
Every great writer on earth has at least 1 editor, if not an entire team of editors and proofreaders. I highly recommend getting yours reviewed by a reputable source. I know it is tempting to ask your friends, or even professionals currently working in your desired field, but care must be taken that you are not asking someone who is under-qualified. After all, your personal statement may be the deciding factor that gets you in or keeps you out of your desired programs.
On the same token, there are also some predatory essay review services out there that prey on vulnerable applicants but charging insane prices. Be aware of these. They are the ones, trying to tell you that you need to purchase their service in order to get into your program.
Pleases understand that reviewing personal statements correctly, takes dedication, impeccable attention, and expertise, and the real professionals, deserve to get compensated for providing this service.
I believe in the right of all students being able to have their statements reviewed at a reasonable cost, this is why I have teamed up with MotivateMD app to offer you a free Rapid Review of your personal Statement.
I love their essay review service, not only because it is reviewed by not 1, but 2 experts, but also because their pricing is so reasonable. For less than $70 bucks you can get your statement professionally reviewed.
In Addition, if you decide to purchase any of their awesome essay review services or really cool products, save even more by using code KCALCANO for an extra 20% off.
You Got This!
Best of luck on polishing up your first draft, and remember that writing this personal statement is a process that evolves, so do not be afraid of producing many more drafts if you have to. The amount of time it takes to do this right, varies from person to person, so do not be discouraged if yours is taking a bit longer. Take your time, do it right, because the patience and perseverance it takes to do this is the same level of skill that is required to thrive in your desired profession. The work you put into your personal statement will be a direct reflection of your work ethic, capacity to be resourceful, and your ability to work through a project taking all minor details into account. These are the makings of great healthcare professionals. Do the work, and you will be on your way to receiving that acceptance letter!