Whether you’re applying to go to college for the first time or getting your application package together for law school medical school, or graduate school, writing a perfect statement of purpose can be a mystifying and nerve-wracking experience. You would practically have to be living underneath a rock to have NOT heard the statistics about how the majority of applicants get rejected from their universities of choice. In fact, some Top Ten programs have acceptance rates in the single-digits. It may be easy to rationalize that grades and test scores mean everything, but a well-written, thoughtful statement of purpose can easily help some students get over the hump of “maybe” to “we need you in our program!”
How To Write A Statement of Purpose That Demands Attention
There’s tons of information floating around out there on how to write statements of purpose. Following a template to a “T” may not be the best idea, simply because the top statements of purpose are rarely “cookie cutter.” You need to bring an original, fresh perspective to the table to really stand out from the rest of your competition – not the same old cliched statements and vague “I want to make a difference in the world” proclamations.
Originality means EVERYTHING. Admissions committee members want to read essays that are memorable, incredibly well-thought out, and speaks to your character and professional goals. Once you consider the fact that the statement of purpose is the only place in your application packet where you can speak for and advocate for yourself, consider this your moment of opportunity to “seal the deal” on getting into your program of choice. Rather than an essay full of generalities, you want to tell them about YOU – Why do you want to continue with your education? What background experiences do you bring to the table that can assist your professional goals? Why is this university a perfect fit for you? You have to take some time to craft out your unique story and present it in a way that you’re carefully following the essay prompt as well as giving the committee some insight about YOU.
…Without Being Abstract
Now there are some limits on being original. And by originality, you want to infuse your personality into your essay – not the opposite way around. If the committee asks for an essay, that’s EXACTLY what they want. Don’t decide to get creative and submit poems or video messages. These will simply get thrown in the garbage…. along with the rest of your application package. You absolutely want to follow the guidelines presented to you. Your answers to the essay prompt should stand out loud and clear. You should definitely bring some of “you” into your essay, in using specific details to illustrate examples, but completely side-stepping guidelines to stand out from the competition is an absolutely bad idea.