How to Let Them Know Who You Are

on November 17, 2011 by Susan in Personal Statements facebook in twitter

The page is blank and your mission is to write a personal statement for an application, or an assignment, or maybe even for a dating service! The team at can help you express yourself!

Avoid the temptation to begin with “I was born in ….” or “My name is….” You can disclose those details later, after you have gained the reader’s attention with a knock-out opening sentence.

Take some time to think about why you are writing your personal statement and who will be reading it. Then, think of something unusual about yourself that you could say in that context. For example, if you are writing a personal statement for an application to college, think of some past experience that says something about you and your past education. Try a new twist. Look at your past experiences with enthusiasm and find a creative way to fit them into your present task. For example, did you once forget your lines in a school play? Work that in to a description of your current study and memorization habits. Did someone in one of your classes or on the schoolyard influence your life in some dramatic way? Weave that story into your description of who you are today.

Lists of character attributes really don’t describe who you are. Most people who are writing about themselves will want the reader to know positive things. Words like motivated, hard-working, passionate, dedicated, and determined may all be true about you. But they are just words unless you match them with personal experiences to show how they are true for you and how they play out in your life. Remember, other people are also using those same words, so set yourself apart by putting yourself and your experiences into the words.

Avoid “always” and “never.” These words are so seldom true that it’s best just to avoid them. Stick to the truth and you will be more believable. Instead of “always,” use “often” or “usually” or a specific number of years. Instead of “never,” use “rarely” or “seldom.”

When you have written an engaging description, submit it to and let us enjoy your story. We will let you know if we think there are ways to improve what you have said or how you’ve said it. No one will ever have to know--and we would love to help you put yourself into words!

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