Your Personal Statement: You Want Them to Remember You

Photo Credit: Phil Long

Sometimes articulating your thoughts seems impossible, but I am here to help.

Application season is upon us and future PAs are hammering out their personal statements. While many of you are digging deep trying to materialize your thoughts onto paper, some of you may find yourself in front of a blank sheet.

Before your pen touches the paper, think. What drove you toward the profession? Did you have an, "aha moment" when you decided to become a PA? Did a tragic experience intensify your desire to become a PA? Remember this is your personal statement and the goal is to exemplify who you are. You want to make it unique to your experiences and ensure it exudes all of the passion that you possess. When the admissions committee has finished reading your masterpiece, you want them to remember you.

It would behoove you to stay away from cliché statements such as, "I want to become a PA to help people" or "I want to make a difference in someones life". These are generic justifications for becoming a PA that admission committees have heard one too many times. When expressing how your life experiences strengthened your desire to become a PA, make sure to be specific. A personal statement symbolizes one window of your life. It is going to give the reader insight into who you are and you want your name to resonant with them long after they are done reviewing your application.

You only have 5000 characters (roughly 750 words), remember to make every word count. Having been asked to read personal statements, this is one thing that I always emphasize. Your statement should be of the highest quality. You want to engage the reader with your first paragraph, share your experience in the body as well as relate it to why you chose the PA profession, and bring it all together in the end. Your aim should be to include your richest thoughts and most moving statements. Stay focused and true to the theme of your writing.

Re-read your personal statement and when you think you've achieved perfection, read it over again - this time out loud. Going over my writing in spoken word always helps me catch mistakes that my eyes seem to glance over when I'm proofreading. You know exactly what you're trying to say and it is important that the reader also has a clear understanding of your thoughts.

Good Luck!