Personal Statement



  • font; spacing; margin
  • word/character/page limit
  • prompt
  • Do they want a personal statement(or statement of intent)


who are you?(not what are you?)(don’t involve transcripts a lot) a person(not a stutent, not a worker) uniqueness, imagination, creativity thinking outside the box give them something fresh, wake them up


  • find your theme, arc, “in”(a plot of story)
  • take time to do this
  • make a list of questions
    • who, what, when, where, how, which, etc.
    • ask non-typical questions(ask one more question, why you want to be rich, why do you want to help people)
    • give non-typical answers, make them want to be friend with you, think what makes you stand out


find the hook

what makes you better or more qualified(introduction, hook which catch the reader’s attention)

don’t state your name, don’t state your hometown, don’t state your area of study don’t waste words and time

name -> overall theme, then talk

don’t flatter in the introduction, do not beg, don’t plead, explain

you have something to offer them, don’t make it like they have something to give you, don’t justify

take the bad, and give it into good, but don’t give an excuse. Nobody want excuses, they want results


super important part let the school know that you know why you are applying to this school a particular reason


  • website(school and program)(the school in general, students, general place itself, campus life, where it is, why it’s famous, what’s good about it, everything about your area of study)
  • rankings, reviews, news

collect keywords - make a list(show me about the understanding, don’t tell me, real concrete example, make them know you have done some research)

pride and joy(when this school promotes iitself, what the thing they concentrate on the most, what makes them most proud of themselves?) -> incorporate into your theme, connect to your personal story

your story and the school’s story, compatible the relationship need to be clear

brief, don’t include so many detail

create a sort of storyline


rewrite, edit, edit, edit 1st draft of many 0 spelling, grammar, usage, etc. errors(each mistake show carelessness) make evert word work for you, move the story along get fresh eyes + feedback

make sure it’s impressive determined, motivated, to be succeeded sell your self, don’t sell the resume

Yikun Han
Yikun Han
First Year Master Student

Wir müssen wissen. Wir werden wissen.