Writing Resources: Personal Statements and Letters of Recommendation


Writing a personal statement, letter of recommendation, scholarship or fellowship statement is a reflective process. It requires one to be thoughtful about why one has engaged in professional experiences as well as intentional about what one has learned.

In general these documents should discuss how the applicants' pursuit of their goals has informed their career paths and ideally how their goals align with the mission and values of the organization they're seeking to join.

We recommend that applicants work closely with their school advisors, faculty members and skilled writers who know them well, to help them review and edit their documents.

The Office of Career & Professional Development does not review personal statements and, as of October 1, 2018, no longer provides one-on-one appointments on personal statement strategy. Students looking for additional help with their personal statement can find a list of resources below including: online personal statement samples and criteria for finding editing resources.



Writing Your Personal Statement

Additional Personal Statement Samples



Writing Your Personal Statement


Additional Personal Statement Samples


Dissected Personal Statements


Online Statement Review Resources:

While OCPD doesn't not endorse any copy editing service, students could perform a google search for copy editing to find proof readers. It is every student’s responsibility to research and validate their options so please make sure to engage in due diligence if contracting any service. Below is a list of criteria to consider if a student chooses to look for a proof reading service, (Please also note that per the UCSF policy of student conduct and discipline, any form of academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action per section 102.1):

  • Search the Better Business Bureau's online database for proof of accreditation, consumer complaints, or government actions taken against a business 
  • ​Validate the company's contact information.  Legitmate businesses make it easy for a person to contact the business and talk to a live person that they'll be working with
  • Perform a thorough assessment of your budget and needs, as well as researching reviews for services rendered

Below is a professional association resource, however sometimes students can also get personal statement reivew services through their undergraduate career centers if that service is offered to alumni.


Letters of Recommendation Resources: