How to Write a Grad School Statement that Stands Out
A guide to creating a personal essay that makes (not breaks) your grad school application.
Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell grad school admissions teams your unique story. Stand out among the thousands of other grad school applicants with a personal statement that wows.
What's Your Story?
Everyone has a story. Even if you think your path to grad school is generic, or you're worried your journey doesn’t have dramatic impact, you do possess a unique story. The key is understanding your story before you begin writing. Ask yourself, "Why do I want to go to grad school and become a Chiropractor?" Maybe you've always dreamed of innovating in the healthcare industry, or your goal is to own your business and achieve the positive work-life balance that the chiropractic profession provides. Whatever the reason, your story will be unique when you connect it back to your path, including your upbringing, your family, your beliefs, and your ideas for the future of the industry.
Write a Unique Opening
Pick up any novel and read from the beginning. You'll notice most of the best stories begin with action and develop based on the most important information they need to get across. With thousands of applications, the beginning of your personal statement needs to stand out, and starting with a unique opening will help your statement be remembered over others.
Keep in mind, this doesn't mean your statement has to be your most creative piece of writing; many prospective Chiropractic students come from scientific backgrounds and prefer a straightforward style. Stay true to yourself and your unique viewpoint, and your personal statement will reflect that truth.
Show Your Long-Standing Dedication
Top grad school candidates are students who are serious about their future careers. Highlight any courses you took in undergrad that show you’re dedicated to your future program. Have you volunteered at a clinic or healthcare facility? Or perhaps you have prior work experience? These are great points to expand upon in your personal statement to show you're serious about grad school.
Of course, not every chiropractic student has wanted to become a Chiropractor their whole life. Many Chiropractors are second-career professionals. In fact, the experience gained in another field can be an advantage, so be sure to detail why you're making the switch to the chiropractic profession.
Stay Away from Cliché
It's easy to write something like, "Ever since I was a child, I wanted to become a doctor." While it may be true, it's not necessarily unique. Provide more insight into how the healthcare field remained with you throughout your adolescence, high school, or post-secondary years. Your story should reveal how the healthcare field, and a desire to be part of it, has been a consistent presence in your life. Show how your decisions (your college courses, grades, personal decisions, volunteering choices) have been driven by that goal of becoming a chiropractor.
End With Insight
The best personal statements are those that leave the reader wanting more, and provide insight in the final few sentences to ensure your application is memorable. One strategy is to call back to your opening, bringing your statement full circle and creating a strong sense of reader satisfaction. Your ending should also instill confidence and trust that your story is an accurate representation of who you are.
Your personal statement is your opportunity to use your voice during the application process. Being original and true to yourself will help you stand out in your pursuit of becoming a Chiropractor.