Personal statements are more commonly used in other parts of the world like the United Kingdom and the United States, but some universities in Canada accept personal statements. They can be a valuable tool admissions officers use to pick the right applicants. It is important to note more and more universities allow students to submit a personal statement along with their application.

The personal statement is a document that is used for admission and can also be used for scholarships. On a personal statement, you should explain why your the right person for the program. It’s essentially like a job cover letter or an interview question like “why do you want to work here”. Personal statements should be seen as a positive. Think about it from the admission officers they have 100s of students with the right qualifications and grades. How do they possibly decide who is the right fit? Your statement is a great way to stand out from the crowd and gain acceptance.

Personal statements can be seen as a positive rather than a negative.
Personal statements can be seen as a positive rather than a negative.Source: Zen Chung, Pexels
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What Should Be On Your Personal Statement?

The basis of your personal statement should specifically demonstrate why your right for the program. This means your going to explain all of your skills and personal qualities that would make you the perfect person to enrol. Schools are also going to be looking for students who contribute to their school. They want someone who will be a leader for other students and get involved in the school's community.

Aside from the things listed above you should also add how you've grown as a person in an academic and non-academic way. You can also provide some insight into why you want to attend the university and your plan for connecting with the university. Keep your statement to the point. Stay on topic and only list necessary experiences and qualities.

How to Write Your Personal Statement?

Your statement needs to be thought out. You shouldn't just sit down and start writing. Your first step should be looking at your school's website. If they require a personal statement they should have some things there looking for on their application page. This is going to be your checklist for when you start writing. Next, look at your checklist and figure out your experiences and abilities of what makes you a great fit.

Your next step is to start writing. After you've finished writing your first draft, now is the time to go back through the school's checklist and make sure you have all the right steps. Now, it’s time to re-write, re-read and edit, until you feel confident in your work. A good writer will re-visit their work a day or two later to finish their statement. You’ll have fresh eyes and be able to pick up on new things. It’s best to always have someone read it over for you before submitting it. If you’re worried about the structure of your statement there are lots of examples online.

Having trouble writing? Just start writing. Your first draft is never perfect.
Having trouble writing? Just start writing. Your first draft is never perfect. Source: Julia Khalimova, Pexels

Make sure your statement is reflective of you. You should be honest with yourself when writing. Don’t lie to seem like a better candidate, the school will be able to tell it’s not genuine. We all have something the makes us unique, you can use that in your personal statement to stand out. Our last tip for writing your personal statement is to have different personal statements for each school you apply to. We know this is time-consuming and may sound unnecessary, but just like applying for a job, your application should match the school. This means there going to be looking for different things or value some experiences more than others.

Schools that expect personal statements do a great job of explaining what they're looking for and how to stand out in the application process. Start with the school's website you're looking for as your first step. If you are stuck writing just write what comes to mind. Your first draft is never perfect. Your second draft may not even be perfect, but you can't start fixing things until you have something down. If you are really finding it hard to find the words to say about yourself ask your friends and family about your qualities. The schools are going to be looking for certain qualities or experiences in their applicants. You can ask the people that know you how these qualities and experiences relate to you. Then after you can write down what they say and put it into your own words. It can sometimes be hard to examples of the qualities about ourselves, so ask the people that know you.

What Not To Write on a Personal Statement

Your personal statement is the chance to showcase your strengths and show the admissions boards why you're the right fit for the job. It's essential to know what to include on your personal statement and it's just as essential to know what not to write on your personal statements. We'll list 3 things you should not add to your personal statement to a university in Canada.

  1. Grammar and Punctuation - This is crucial to your personal statement. Having spelling mistakes or other common writing errors can cause you to look unprofessional. You want your writing to stand out. Using grammar and punctuation software is a good idea, but they can still miss errors. Always go over your writing and have other people review your work.
  2. Unnecessary Information - You should not be adding any unnecessary additional information. Keep your information relevant and to the point. Of course, you need to show how you're a great fit, but saying too much can be worse than saying too little.
  3. Quotes and Common Phrases - The personal statement needs to be your words. Adding quotes in or common phrases doesn't showcase your writing talent and won't showcase your qualities. It's best to steer clear.
Only include necessary information on your personal statement.
Only include necessary information on your personal statement. Source: Cottonbro, Pexels

Start Writing Your Personal Statement

Our last big tip for personal statements is not to start them at the last minute. You want time to critically think about your writing and the qualities the school is looking for. Leave yourself lots of time and you'll be off to a great start. Also, feel free to ask family or friends to help you edit or re-word things. It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes on your writing. Now, the rest is up to you. It can cause you to be anxious thinking about your personal statement, but the quicker you start the less anxious you'll start to feel. Your personal statements are your time to prove to the university where you're fit to a be student there. It's your time to stand out from the crowd.

Applying to university is going to require having the grades as well. If you need help in school or raising your grades your tutor will be able to help you. Superprof has 100s of tutors that offer lessons on numerous subjects. They all have the experience and knowledge to help you learn the best way possible. Superprof also offers lessons online and in-person giving you the freedom and flexibility to learn when you want to learn. Get the help you need with a Superprof tutor.

Applying to University in Canada can come with a lot of questions. This is why we have created numerous articles to help make your application process easier. Check out the articles down below to learn more.

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Chester

You can usually find me writing at a cafe sipping on coffee or working out at the gym. I fell in love with writing a few years ago and have never looked back. I love being able to share my words with the world.