Sunday, September 4, 2011

Personal Statement Tip #2 - Handling Weaknesses

So you have all of your application materials ready to be sent off, and you even have your first draft of your personal statement complete; however, as you reread your statement, you realize that you've glossed over a stain in your application. This stain could be a number of things:

  • Test Scores
  • Low GPA
  • Writing Sample
  • Resume/CV
  • Portfolio etc.

The list can differentiate based on level (undergrad, grad, professional etc.) or speciality (engineer, fine arts, business, medicine, social science etc.) No matter the variation, one thing is for certain--if you have a weakness in your application, the people who review it will find out about it.

WHAT NOT TO DO: Intentionally ignore the weak points in your application, by glossing over them, or dismissing them all together. 

WHAT TO DO: Use your personal statement as an opportunity to discuss not only your application's weakness(es), but how you overcame them. 

Explaining why your resume may be lacking, why you received a couple of Cs, or had several withdraws shows you're honest and accountable for those weak points. Avoidance of your weaknesses only puts up a red flag in the minds of people who read your personal statement. So just remember--don't even let their fingers touch that red flag. 

Until next time,
Happy Writing!