Your personal statement should make readers want to know you.

No matter how smart or talented you are, you’ll need an extra edge to get noticed when applying to a competitive school or trying to earn a scholarship. Your personal statement gives you an important opportunity to show the real and unique person behind the numbers and resume entries on the rest of your application. Think of the conclusion to your personal statement as a showstopper dessert at the end of a fine dinner: the final, favorable impression that readers will remember you by.

Target Your Audience

Begin by targeting your central message to your intended readers. If you are applying to a college, graduate or professional school, state specifically why that school or specific program interests you and why you would be a good fit for the program.

Main Message

Determine the main message you wish to convey in your conclusion. Rather than merely summarizing the rest of your statement, use your conclusion to expand upon the themes you developed earlier in the statement and show them in a wider context. For instance, if the body of your statement describes how your interest in studying speech therapy was piqued by your childhood stuttering problem, your conclusion could discuss how this experience will shape the way you study and work in speech therapy in the future. Answer any questions or address any required themes or topics in your conclusion.

Use Interesting Language

Use vivid, clear language and provide concrete examples to convey your message. For instance, don’t just state you are resilient and handle adversity well. Instead, describe an incident in which you used these traits to your advantage.

Be Honest

Be honest when writing your personal statement. Don’t second-guess your readers and write only what you think they want to hear or what they expect in a statement. Use this written opportunity to reveal your own unique personality and character.

Revisit Draft

Set your conclusion aside for a few days after you complete it and then revisit the document. Imagine how a potential reader who has never met you and knows nothing about your life story would react to it. Ideally, your personal statement will make your readers want to meet you in person.

Convey Professionalism

Check your grammar, punctuation and spelling or have a trusted instructor or friend do this for you. Make your statement, especially the conclusion, convey professionalism and competence. Give yourself several weeks to write and revise your personal statement. No matter how good a writer you are, you will need more than one draft to complete a strong statement that also expresses who you are. Don't write it all at the last minute; give yourself several weeks to write and revise your personal statement. No matter how good a writer you are, you may need several drafts to perfect it. Finally, before submitting, enlist trusted instructors and friends to read over your drafts, give you honest feedback and check for any spelling or grammatical errors.