Personal statements are an integral part of your application. They are your opportunity to let the admissions committee understand you and your motivations for applying. Well-written personal statements can make you stand out from other applicants, and can be an invaluable asset to your application.
Writing good personal statements is not easy. You should aim to strike a delicate balance between self-promotion, listing qualifications, and reflecting on your experiences. Make your statement interesting and personal—try to tell a story, or have a narrative thread that carries throughout your piece.
+ Questions to Think About
Asking yourself the following questions may help lay the groundwork for your personal statement.
- Why are you choosing your specific health profession? If you want to help people, why don’t you want to be a social worker or a teacher?.
- Think back to volunteer, shadowing, study abroad, research, work, and course experiences. What has been defining? Are there any moments that stick out? What did you learn about yourself or your future profession?
- What do you want the committee to know about you as a person, a student, and a future colleague? What makes you a good fit for the profession, and the profession a good fit for you?
- What makes you unique from other applicants?
+ Tips for Writing Your Personal Statement
Writing personal statements is a long, involved process. Here are some tips on how to go about writing them:
- Start early on your statement, and be prepared to do many drafts.
- Don’t just focus on activities that the admissions committee can learn about from your application. Use this opportunity to give NEW information that is not available anywhere else.
- Show your personal statement to faculty in your field for feedback.
- Utilize the Writing Center: tutors have been trained on what health professional schools are looking for. The Writing Center also offers workshops on personal statements and health professional school applications.
- Make an appointment with a pre-health advisor to go over your statement (see homepage for advising locations).
The following are excellent resources to help you formulate and edit your personal statement:
The Writing Center (6171 Helen C. White) offers classes on writing personal statements for pre-professional schools. Writing Center tutors are also specifically trained to work with students applying to health professional schools. They can help you at any point in the process, whether you are still brainstorming ideas for the statement, or are on your final draft.
The Health Professions and Pre-Law Center at Indiana University offers comprehensive guidelines for writing your personal statement, including some warm-up exercises that will help generate ideas for your personal statement.
Our office is happy to help with the personal statement writing process. Call our office to make an appointment: 263-6614.