Writing a personal statement for dentistry can be challenging at the best of times. You are trying to walk that tight rope between appearing darn right arrogant and being too modest. Both of which would mean an automatic chuck into that dreaded “NO” pile. Does it have to be this difficult? Well here is 6 points to get your creative juices flowing.
1) Start Early
Sounds simple but you would be highly surprised to how late some people leave it. One to two days before the deadline is not uncommon. As a guide I would say start writing your dentistry personal statement at least 3 months in advance.
2) The Primacy Effect
Just like when meeting someone new, first impressions count. Make sure to write your most impressive attributes or experiences in the opening paragraph to grab the examiners attention. Put yourself in the position of the examiner marking hundreds of personal statements. What would grab your attention and make you sit up from your chair?
3) The Ideal list
Your dentistry personal statement should show how you demonstrate the attributes of the “ideal” dentist. Here is a shortened list for your convenience :
10 Attributes of a Dentist
Honest and Truthful
Caring and Empathetic
Professional and Punctual
Amazing Communication Skills
Organised and Clean
Be a Team Player
Hungry for Continued Learning
Careful and Meticulous
Great Manual Dexterity
4) DO NOT LIE
I wrote this in capitals because it is so very important. Do not lie about work experience or hobbies in your personal statement because at the interview stage they WILL find you out and if they do, it is goodbye to your dentistry dreams. Honesty is vital within dentistry especially as you will be explaining treatments to patients. Do not break this cardinal rule.
5) Spell check, Spell check and More Spell Check
Did you know that in our final dentistry exams they got us to spell Syphilis? There is nothing more that annoys an examiner than spelling and grammatical errors in a dentistry personal statement. This is because it shows that first of all you do not really care and secondly being meticulous and careful is part of being a great dentist
6) Use Friends and Family
If you have any friends that are dentists or dental students get them to read over your dentistry personal statement to make sure it reflects you in the correct light. I would also highly recommend showing it to a teacher that teaches English to double check your spelling and grammar. As a general rule the more times it is read the better.
Bonus tip: The Recency effect
In psychology the primary and recency effect collectively is called the serial position effect which in layman’s terms means that you remember the first (Primacy) and last (Recency) thing best. Your conclusion for your dentistry personal statement needs to highlight unique attributes about yourself and most importantly summing up why you think you would make a great dentist.
Best of luck writing your personal statement for dentistry. You have chosen an honourable profession to go into.