The Three Common Oversights when writing medical residency personal statements: 1. Not Paying Attention To the Question _ Almost every single teaching hospital poses one or more very specific questions that they want residency applicants to answer. One has to assume that these questions were worded the way they were for a very specific reason(s). Nevertheless, you would be amazed at how many draft personal statements that I get for editing in which it appears that the applicant has not even attempted to answer the specific question(s) posed by the target institution. In fact, most draft statements I receive are generalized essays that fail to address the actual question(s) posed in the target institution's requirement statement. This is an important, if not fatal, oversight.
Keep it short and sweet _ It's tempting to write after page of additional information to include in your personal statement. To be most effective, however, you should cap your statement at no more than one page, or about three paragraphs. The last thing you want to do is bore the person reading your application. So find one or two things you'd like to talk about and address these points strongly. Try to make your statement pop__use strong words, active voice and short paragraphs. The goal should be to make your reader want to know more after reading your piece, not be thankful that it's finally over.