A personal statement is one of the most important essays you will have to write. When it comes to getting into a residency program, it becomes even trickier. At this point in your career, you have come a long way. There is a lot to mention in a personal statement. A residency personal statement has to be unique, but also factual.
When you write a personal statement straight out of high school, you might not have much to add. Now, you have many achievements behind you. If only it was as easy as listing these achievements. You need to do it in a way that engages the reader. Here are 6 tips to achieve your goals and get that personal statement right.
The opening statement needs to be attention-grabbing. Most students start with clichés and do not stand out. You need to dig a little deeper and make your first paragraph the most interesting one. If you lose the attention of the reader at the beginning of your essay, they might not read the rest. Do not risk it by keeping your most impactful stories for the middle of your essay.
Overall life experiences
There is more to you than just your academic experiences. A family medicine residency personal statement needs to include some of your extracurricular activities. You do not want to only speak about your hobbies, but it shows that you are well-rounded. Find the right balance between academic and non-academic achievements. It makes you sound more interesting as well. Remember, this is not your resume. You can get a little creative with the process.
If there are any red flags in your application, you need to explain. Use your personal statement to set the record straight. You might not have another opportunity to explain why these red flags exist. If you were absent from a class a lot or did not score well on a test, mention it. You might have a valid reason for why these situations took place.
A lot of mistakes on personal statements can be avoided by starting early. Know what the residency personal statement word count is and allow yourself enough time. You need to factor in some brainstorming, outlining, first and final draft. This takes a lot of time. It’s not going to be just a simple essay you can wrap up in one hour. As soon as you receive your guidelines, you should sprint at the task.
Ask for help
Some people are just better writers than others. If you are struggling to put your life into words, ask for help. This does not mean that someone has to write it from scratch. It can be as simple as helping reword a sentence or proofreading it. There is no shame in this.
Students sometimes believe that their stories and achievements aren’t enough to get into a residency program. This is absolutely not true. The panel is not looking for someone with an extraordinary story. They are looking for people who are willing to work hard and get the job done. You want to exude confidence when writing your personal statement. This step is better than any life-altering experience.