10. Use poor spelling or poor grammar _ This one should be pretty obvious. Academics on admissions committees are generally high achievers with high standards who won't disregard even simple typos. If your personal statement is not technically perfect, it can make you seem sloppy, lazy, or inattentive, which are not qualities anyone wants in a future colleague. Remember that the people skimming your essay are seeking a reason to reject your application and make the pile of possible admits smaller. Always get someone with strong writing skills to review your essay.
6. REVISE, REVISE, REVISE. Have another person (several persons) critique your work. Use fellow students, trusted professors, your parents or significant other _ anyone who will read your statement closely and give you constructive advice. You, yourself, should read your statement out loud; the ear will hear errors (sentence fragments, grammatical missteps) the eye misses. Be aware of unconscious mistakes, like starting every sentence with the work "I", using cliches (example: saying you want to be a doctor to "help people"), or over_stating or exaggerating accomplishments or emotions. Once satisfied, put the statement down, do not over_write it and drain it of all intensity and enthusiasm. Lastly, think on this. Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell your "story" and a window into your humanity _ ultimately, that is what makes it engaging and memorable to the schools you are applying to.