Write the Perfect Personal Statement

Your personal statement provides the admissions committee a glimpse into who you are, beyond your GPA and DAT score. This is your chance to “sell yourself!” Why should you be selected for admission? What past experiences demonstrate that you will be a successful dental student and dentist?

Given the importance of your personal statement, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as you begin writing. Oftentimes, the hardest part is simply figuring out where to start! 

As a career changer, I had nearly 30 years to condense into 4500 characters! For advice, I turned to a writing coach. Rather than aimlessly writing, my coach provided me with a wonderful organizational tool to outline my personal statement. 

I am sharing this organization tool with you below. Complete this graphic organizer for each paragraph until you have an outline of your entire personal statement. Writing will be a breeze from here! To see a modified version of my personal statement, check out my About page

Paragraph #1

  • Topic:
  • Goals:
What happened?What did I gain?Why is this significant?How does this make me a highly qualified applicant?

Here is an example of how I completed this graphic organizer for the paragraph about my post bacc program:

Paragraph #5

  • Topic: Post-Bacc Program
  • Goals:
    • Explain program
    • Describe how it led to an appreciation of the sciences
    • Describe benefits of cohort-structure
      • I will contribute to a collaborative, cooperative environment in dental school.
What happened?What did I gain?Why is this significant?How does this make me a highly qualified applicant?
I entered a post-bacc program for career changers. I completed all pre-requisite coursework for admission into dental school.An appreciation for the sciences…I became so curious about everything around me and how things worked.
I completed my pre-reqs alongside 60 fellow career-changers in a cooperative environment where collaboration (rather than competition) was encouraged.
Dental school coursework is science-based. Admissions committees want candidates who will be successful in these courses.

Dental school can be competitive. Admissions committees want candidates who are team players.
I have an appreciation for science that will allow me to be successful in my D1/D2 courses.
I am a collaborative, team-player. I will benefit the dental school climate.

How did you approach writing your personal statement? Any tips? Comment below!


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