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PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:03 pm
by saraK
Okay I am just beginning to write a personal statement for law schools and I've come up with a rough idea of what I want to write about but I'm not sure if it's too commonplace, so I was hoping for some input or suggestions to make it more interesting!

Basically I'm planning to write about how I've been working since I was 15 years old, always had an after school job in high school, part-time jobs throughout college and summer jobs every year. Pretty typical, I've never needed a job and my family is very well off but for some reason once I started working I haven't stopped. Also I've had a variety of jobs - lifeguarding, waitressing, telefundraising, babysitting and kind of how each one gives me some characteristic I might apply in law school: time-management, hard work, dealing with a variety of people, etc etc etc. Writing is one of the my strength so I think I could make it into a well written paper but I'm just unsure if the content will be too run of the mill.


Thanks!

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:08 pm
by Tautology
Very few people will have unique, or rare enough, experiences that will set them apart through content alone. What makes a good personal statement isn't what it's about, but that it shows something about who you are. Do that well, and it doesn't matter how many other personal statements about the same general experiences they've seen.

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:10 pm
by philosoraptor
Anything that reads like a rundown of your resume/activities list is not a great idea -- not even "strong" writing will save it. Consider a more focused approach.

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:16 pm
by blurbz
I agree that you don't want just a resume summary as your PS.

I think if you have strong writing abilities you can talk about your work history and how it has impacted your decision making, drive, etc. and do really well.

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:19 pm
by afa_brandon
personally I'm gonna go with the revelation structure--ie, a specific anecdote about a moment in my life where i realized something relevant.

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:21 pm
by 03121202698008
Your PS should let them feel who you are since they don't really get an interview. Anything that is included on your resume doesn't and shouldn't really be repeated. If anything, pick one thing and then talk about how it defined or changed you.

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:29 pm
by saraK
The problem is I don't really have a revelation or defining point in my life or at least not one I could put into writing. I wouldn't really write the PS as a rundown my activities and work experience so much as how they all culminated together to give me the skills I think would be applicable in law school and how they changed me as a person especially because on my resume they don't look too impressive (working at a burger place, lifeguarding, etc for maybe 6 months-year) if that makes the topic any different. But any and all suggestions are appreciated! Thanks :)

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:49 pm
by 03121202698008
saraK wrote:The problem is I don't really have a revelation or defining point in my life or at least not one I could put into writing. I wouldn't really write the PS as a rundown my activities and work experience so much as how they all culminated together to give me the skills I think would be applicable in law school and how they changed me as a person especially because on my resume they don't look too impressive (working at a burger place, lifeguarding, etc for maybe 6 months-year) if that makes the topic any different. But any and all suggestions are appreciated! Thanks :)
That is very difficult to pull off without it sending too resumey. Did you ever make a save as a lifeguard? Be careful it doesn't sound like you want to go to law school because your previous jobs weren't prestigious enough.

Re: PS - too commonplace?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:57 pm
by philosoraptor
blowhard wrote:That is very difficult to pull off without it sending too resumey.
This. You don't have enough space to write well about more than one or two activities.

Don't worry about the "revelation" idea; just pick one job that helped you grow as a person (whatever that means to you) and see where that takes you.