Whether you are applying for grad school or a scholarly grant or scholarship, a statement of purpose is the most daunting thing of the process. It is not the statement itself that fears you, it is the simultaneous pressure to be unique and creative which engulfs us with fear and anxiety. It is this pressure that stops you from being yourself and you always end up writing monotonous statements of purpose. But, you need not worry, in this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about writing a good statement of purpose. Before we begin, you must know that there are different kinds of statements of purpose. The key difference is that there is a statement of purpose for a job and a college statement of purpose.
If you have been living under a rock until now and this is your first time writing a statement of purpose, you must be wondering exactly what the statement of purpose is, to begin with. Well, in terms of college statement of purpose (SOP), it is an essay that’s one of the most important aspects of your application because it tells the admission committee who you are, why you’re applying, why you’re a good candidate, and what you want to do in the future. This statement of purpose is perhaps the most important part of your graduate school application. Because apart from the academic transcripts and recommendation letters, the statement of purpose truly reflects you as a person.
In a statement of purpose, you always get to describe yourself, your aspirations, hopes and dreams in a compelling way. Therefore, a statement of purpose is a great chance for you to be yourself and stand out from other applicants simultaneously. The statement of purpose for a job is an essay that includes your introduction, a background of your education, a summary of your work experience, your career ambitions, aspirations and your expectations from the industry or workplace you are applying to. Similar to the graduate school or college application, the statement of purpose at a job is your chance to be creative and tell your employers a story they cannot know from your CV or your cover letter. While writing a statement of purpose for a job application, you should also include learning experiences that serve as a foundation for your choice of career. Therefore, you should never underestimate the importance of the essay, it is a very common mistake. The key to writing a good statement of purpose is to write with a clear head. You should forget all preconceived notions of yourself and the world and write from within. That is where all the best writing comes from. Be comfortable with the image of yourself that you’re presenting.
As you begin writing your statement of purpose, you should know that the key paragraph is always the first paragraph of your essay. It is the first impression of you. As you may have heard, the first impression is the last. So be very careful while writing the introduction part of your essay. When you start writing your statement of purpose, always remember that your first paragraph should be no longer than four or five sentences. However, it should also give a summary of the entire Statement of Purpose. Your statement of purpose should include everything that is to come in your upcoming paragraphs. Many graduate committees or interview panels will read your first paragraph to decide if the rest of your application is worth reading as well. The key to writing a good statement of purpose is that you should always have a strong command over the statement of purpose format. These formats vary. Therefore, it is best to consult your application guide and college or job requirements beforehand and write according to that. In short, your introduction should include a summary of your accomplishments and a little background information.
2. Keep it Concise
While we are cognizant of the fact that your statement of purpose, in a way, summarizes the struggles of your life and your unique life story, there is no need to ramble on paragraph after paragraph. You should keep it clear and concise, yet detailed and specific when it comes to faculty and areas of potential research. You should always go for a fine blend of detail and specification when it comes to writing a good statement of purpose.
3. Avoid Sweeping Sentences
The admission committees or the interview panels are not there to listen to you ramble about how amazing you are. Therefore you should not incorporate any empty phrases like “I’m talented,” “I’m very intelligent,” “I’m a great writer/engineer/artist,” or “I had the highest GPA in my department as an undergrad.” Instead, you should show them your competence through your professional Statement of Purpose and application portfolio and let them decide if you are amazing enough to attend their institution. However, if you feel like you need to elaborate on your skills and talents, make sure your portfolio justifies it well. It is best to remain humble. For example: “I believe that I have the confidence in myself to strive for the furthest goal.”
4. Include an Anecdote
An anecdote is an appropriate place to elaborate on your leadership role activities and career objectives and goals. In your statement of purpose, you should always use short anecdotes to highlight your strengths. When it’s your turn, committee members are often exhausted due to reading monotonous essays all day. After a while, all statements start to look alike; some specific and interesting details can help a candidate stand out. Of course, it helps if these anecdotes are related to the broad point you’re making in your statement. Through this anecdote, you should let your personality and individuality show. Including an anecdote gives insight into your hopes, goals, motivations, and dedication. Therefore, you should not be afraid to let your passion and commitment to a career shine through.
5. Include Experiences
Include your past and future experiences. Numerous students tragically sum up their CVs. Boards of trustees that trouble to pursue your application know effectively that you’re a decent student; they currently need to see whether you’ll effectively make the change to a more self-coordinated and unstructured type of learning in graduate school. They search for proof of this by the way you portray your previous examination encounters and your likely arrangements. The key isn’t especially the theme you propose- – the advisory group will anticipate that this should change after you get some more experience. All things being equal, they will hope to see whether you have a practical and all-around educated sense regarding what an alumni understudy would hope to do to acquire a degree. Keep a diary of your work and volunteer insight.
6. Revise and Review
Remember that a Statement of Purpose is only one, albeit extremely important, part of your graduate school admission portfolio. You should always carefully examine all the requirements on the university’s admissions webpage before you apply. We urge you to apply to as many schools as you can afford. Four distinct Statements of Purpose for four different universities should be your minimum. You mustn’t underestimate the length of time it will take to write your statement. Do not have someone else write it for you! There are ethical issues involved here. Besides, you are the best spokesperson for yourself. Your statement must be neat and error-free. No excuses. You must make a good impression.
7. Avoid Unnecessary Details
While you are writing your statement of purpose, you should avoid giving unnecessary details. You should always be honest, consistent and straightforward in your statement of purpose. While describing your career objectives and goals, you should be specific, not general. The statement should read smoothly and it should turn out to be a pleasant experience for the writer.