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.
If you miss any of the above, your application will already be short_changed. Word limits are fixed and if you can imagine yourself with the job of reading thousands of applications, you can understand why. Not answering any of the questions will give your application a one way ticket to the rejection pile. This will also help with the next step planning. _ Planning your Personal Statement _ Planning not only gives you an outline to work to, it also helps avoided the dreaded writers block. Chances are you have already had to plan and write many essays to get to this point, don't be complacent and skip this step as it may lead to omitting either required or useful information. Planning can also ensure that you don't give yourself room to babble or write a novel instead of a 500 word essay.