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How to Make Your Personal Statement Stand Out & Pitfalls to Avoid

posted Apr 20, 2017, 8:12 AM by Explore More   [ updated Apr 20, 2017, 8:44 AM ]
For some students, writing a personal statement can be a frustrating experience. But don’t over think it. It’s just one piece of your application that will be considered in the entire process.

Before you start, make a list of specific experiences that helped shape your career choices and showcase your personality and skills. If you’re having trouble, asking someone else who knows you well may help focus your list. They may come up with ideas that may jog your memory that make good talking points for your personal statement.

When honing your experiences, it’s best to select those that are both recent and significant. So think about recent osteopathic school or clinic experiences rather than those in your undergraduate experience.

You can talk about personal experiences but make sure they speak directly to how they shaped your professional osteopathic outlook.
When you describe these experience, make sure you sum them up. Don’t just describe but explain how they affected you, what they taught you and how they shaped you.

Make sure you don’t simply repeat everything that’s on your CV. They want to know more about you than what you’re done when and where. This is your chance to sell yourself, so don’t waste it on reiterating what they can easily glean from other parts of your application.

Don’t make it too long or too short. Shoot between 700 and 1,000 words. This range is long enough to talk about a few important experiences but not too long so that residency directors stop reading.

Also, don’t exaggerate and definitely don’t lie. It’s not worth it and if you get caught, you will lose any chance of securing that residency.

Another point worth nothing is don’t try being creative. It might backfire, and you could appear eccentric when you’re just trying to stand out. Just follow typical personal statement guidelines, and you will not hurt your chances.

Remember your personal statement will not make or break your application, but it can enhance it, so be truthful and clear, so that residency directors can get to know the real you.