How not to write ” SOP” ?

Do you know most B-schools ask for SOP before you appear for GD/PI ? And do you know the most people who write SOP have literally no idea what the SOP is ?

This post is dedicated to those aspirants who either don’t know how to write SOP or they put some catchy buzzwords to make them stand out in all other application forms.

If you happen to be in the later category, you are in grave danger, make sure you read this post before you are grilled and screwed badly on your SOP….

These are some strict rules of what to avoid when you write SOP at any cost.

  1. Don’t put too many quotes, B-school is interested in knowing more about your profile, your background not about your choosiness to pick quotes from other people.
  2. Don’t use “Most deserving candidate”. Deserving is the relative term. When you say you are the most deserving candidate, it only reflects that you are not the most deserving. Don’t make your SOP sound like you are the only one deserving candidate.
  3. Don’t use “Top performer in Academics or Topper throughout life”: Always be specific. If you say you are in top 10% of the class, it doesn’t signify anything. Most SOP reviewers know famous institutes like IITs and other famous colleges but beyond that they don’t know about other colleges and also specify the batch size so they get the fair estimate of your performance.
  4. Top Performer in Professional life : If you are performing exceedingly well in your job and there are a lot of people who got the same performance reward, then you aren’t really doing exceedingly well, you have just surpassed some benchmarks set by the company and that’s doesn’t make you a top performer. Don’t use it unless you have really some accomplishments to show off.
  5. Born to be an Entrepreneur/Manager/ Leader: Nobody is born manager/leader or entrepreneur. It’s a myth. All the skills required can be learned, they are not inborn. If you try to show interviewer someone you are not , you are going to get into trouble.
  6. Don’t make SOP your job description. Some people elaborate their job so much that it starts feeling like you are reading his resume. SOP is not your resume.
  7. Praise the college unnecessarily. Some people without researching on colleges write some vague things like diverse batch profile, dynamic curriculum etc etc. All these are buzzwords written in order to get attention.
    I know someone who was grilled on same issue in his interview, just because he described the college so elegantly and had no idea about the professors and curriculum.
  8. Don’t use ornamental language so the interviewer has to take dictionary besides him to understand what you have written.
  9. Don’t use too many jargons ( the person reviewing your SOP is not supposed to be an expert in the topic you have graduated in)
  10. Don’t write any statements which look nice on paper but actually doesn’t make any sense as far as your candidature is concerned.
    This is one example of this.
    My long term goal is to be a social entrepreneur who is able to bridge the gap between India’s immense untapped talent pool and the organizations which are looking for the same set of people though with a little different skill-set.”

    This is a complete nonsense statement, it’s just written in order to get recognition from interviewer similar to all beauty pageants where the winner says “ I want to dedicate my whole life to poor people.” And then later she is observed to do every single thing under the sun except that thing what she promised when she won that crown.

  11. For God’s sake don’t use Pagalguy or any other forum to get access to “copy paste and fill in the blank templates” which you can use to create your SOP, you have to understand that SOP is not a fill in the blanks work and interviewer reviewing it is not a mindless robot.

Use these tips and write your SOPs, if you have some more valuable tips , feel free to share it in your comments.


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Sukrut is a passionate geek, internet visionary and a full time blogger, he has been teaching MBA students from the past two years, he is a chemical engineer by qualification,. Read my full story here



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