Your postgraduate personal statement is among the most vital parts of your master's application. It is one of the first steps towards starting your academic journey because it plays a major role in persuading your chosen university that you’re a suitable candidate for its course.
Based on our expertise, we would like to provide you with a head start in composing a great personal statement and increase your chances of getting accepted to your desirable university. Without further ado, let’s begin!
Why is your Personal Statement important?
Unlike your grades or admission test scores - that many other candidates may also have - your personal statement is the main way you can present your uniqueness. It is a kind of autobiographical essay to introduce yourself and a way to show how your academic achievements, personality traits, values and goals have made you the right person for your desired postgraduate program.
No matter how hard this process of “selling yourself” may seem at first, you should always remember that this is your time to shine! Seize the opportunity to stand out in the most positive way. You have approximately 40 lines and 4.000 characters (depending on the country and the institution you’re applying for) to prove to the admission committee that you are the perfect candidate.
How to write your Personal Statement?
Although there aren’t any set rules on how to write a personal statement for Master’s applications, there are some topics you should always include.
- Reasons for wanting to follow a particular postgraduate program. You need to explain why you’re interested in the course. Write about what made you choose it and how this course can help you achieve your career goals by providing solid examples.
Tip: Be specific and demonstrate enthusiasm!
- What makes you a suitable applicant. It is important to have a genuine interest in the university and subject you’re applying for, but it’s even more important to fit the criteria. So, it’s vital to explain how your skills and previous experience are relevant to that master’s course and how familiar you are with the field you are about to enter.
Tip: To really impress, do your research on the program so that you can be more specific about how you match up!
- How your current study and/or work experience is relevant to the field. Even if the subjects you’ve studied in the past or your work experience are not very relevant to your chosen university course, you can explain how your knowledge and practical skills can contribute to the postgraduate program you want to attend.
Tip: Support your statements with specific examples!
- Your related interests and achievements. Hobbies and extracurricular activities are a great way to show your unique personality. Provide examples of your most relevant interests and write about how you have developed key transferable skills through them, such as communication skills, leadership, teamwork, time management, etc.
Tip: Transferable skills and common qualities are highly valued by admission committees.
Tips to help you get started
Make a draft: It’s important to keep your personal statement for Master’s applications under 4,000 characters and this is proven to be one of the most stressful factors. It will help if you start writing down everything you want to include in your letter without word counting, and then just try to compress the text and delete less relevant information.
Research the program you’re applying to: Look at course descriptions and identify the qualities, skills, and experience it requires. You can use these to help you decide what to write about, as well as concentrate on the ones that make you an ideal candidate. Moreover, it’s very important for universities to see that you have fully understood the course and that it actually fits your knowledge and skills!
Think of all the reasons that made you consider this degree in the first place: Try to understand and write all the reasons that made you chose that particular program and university. Consider your ambitions and qualifications and explain how they match to the course’s philosophy and mission. Finally, always have in mind your long-term goals and think of how this program could assist you in achieving them.
Think of all the positive traits that make you unique: Okay, this may seem difficult, but you can always ask for some help! Ask your parents, friends or colleagues to sincerely give you some feedback of the qualities and skills that make you stand out. Believe us, what you will hear is going to surprise you!
Be positive and enthusiastic: This is not the time to be shy, but there is also no need to show arrogance. Think about what you’re good at and what you’re proud of. Be honest and don’t exaggerate.
Keep it simple and relevant: Avoid overly complicated phrases and try not to waste space on details that have no relevance to your chosen course and career path.
Personal Statement Do’s & Don’ts
- respect the word limit. It’s important to keep your personal statement for Master’s applications under 4,000 characters.
- personalize your statement. Avoids using the same personal statement for different applications. Research each program and demonstrate a good understanding of the subject area and university you are applying to.
- get feedback. Have a few people look over your statement before submitting it to catch possible typos and assess its strengths and weaknesses.
- have someone else write your personal statement for you. No one knows yourself better than you!
- wait until the last minute to write it. Your statement will seem rushed, and important information could be left out.
- let spelling and grammatical errors destroy your statement. Proofread your text multiple times.
At Brive, we acknowledge that composing a personal statement for Master’s applications could be a real struggle sometimes. For that reason, our team of experts are here help you capture on paper all those special ingredients that compose you!