All of the applications ask for a personal statement that reveals something about you that is not obvious from what you list in the application. Frankly, they are looking for how well you express yourself and your motivations in your life and career. Your adviser can help you with this by reading multiple drafts of your personal statement. Please take advantage of this assistance.
You should answer the following questions in the personal statement:
- Why do you want to pursue this career? What is your motivation for this career? What career experiences led you to this path? Were there personal/family reasons for you to go down this road?
- Why will you be successful in this career? What qualities do you possess that they are looking for?
- What unique attributes do you bring to this program and this field? How can you set yourself apart?
A good rule to follow in your personal statement is to show, don't tell. For example, instead of telling them that you have leadership skills, provide them with a story that demonstrates those skills.
Remember that this is a personal statement. Try to craft even every sentence such that no one else could write what you are writing.