How NOT to Begin Your Personal Statement

Applicants are often told that they need to begin their personal statements with a bang. Tell an over-the-top story, open with an emotional tear-jerker, or start things off with some clever turns of phrases that will make the reader remember you.

This is horrible advice.

In 99% of cases, a “hook” of this kind will come across as insincere or gimmicky. It almost always feels like the writer is trying too hard. That why I often tell clients “let’s turn down the volume here” so that we can work to make the opening more sincere and authentic.

In this brief video, I talk about why you should avoid hooks and a technique for how to think about your openings.

For more help, check us out at Our editors have decades of experience helping clients get into top Masters and Ph.D. programs in STEM, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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