PS Tip 71 : KISS

KISS stands for ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’, or if you prefer not to insult yourself, ‘Keep It Slogan Simple’.

This is a useful concept for any writing, and particularly for an official document such as a personal statement. You statement should be so simple that someone with only a passing knowledge of your industry, profession or subject can easily understand it.


Because personal statements are often vetted by HR, personal assistants or non-teaching faculty members. Essentially, people who probably won’t have a thorough understanding of the role or course you’re applying for. If they don’t understand it, that increases the chances of being discounted before the main selection process even starts. Clearly that isn’t a good thing… So keep it simple.

Additionally, the alternative to keeping it simple is making it complex, long-winded, and sometimes even cryptic. Don’t laugh, literally thousands of people apply for good jobs and sought after university courses with statements that are anything but simple, straightforward and enticing to read.

Of course, most people who do this are actually unaware that they’re doing it, which is one reason why it’s good to get your statement checked out. As a rule, if you’re in any doubt you should get a second opinion – it won’t do you any harm, and could potentially do your statement the world of good.

<< Tip 70 Edit ruthlessly >>

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