Writing a personal statement can be a really tough thing to do. No one likes talking about themselves for a prolonged period of time, and it can be really difficult to think of anything to see. Since we know that the struggle is real when it comes to personal statements, we’ve written a handy guide to help get those creative juices flowing!
Things to consider:
- Make yourself stand out – you could include a quote, or an anecdote about why you want to study the course. If you can, a good way of making yourself stand out is by ending on a ‘mic drop’ moment – this could be a quote, or an amazing statement that’ll make the admissions tutor go wow.
- Have a good idea of what course you want to study, and your reasons for choosing that course. Since you’ll be applying to different Universities, it’s best to keep this quite vague, so talk about the general subject area if you can.
- Show the relevant skills and experience you’ve got if you’re applying with ‘non‑traditional’ qualification. This might include things like time management, organisation and communication.
- You could talk about why you’d be a good student at University – talk about your academic skills, and motivation to learn!
- Talk about the future – if you have a career goal in mind, talk about how the course you want to study will help with that. If you’re not too sure about a career just yet, you could write about a general future ambition
- Other interests, abilities and achievements – show that you are a ‘well-rounded’ person
- Length = 4000 characters (approx. 600 words)
- Expect to make several drafts.
It’s really important to have a good clear structure for the personal statement, and equally important to include all the right information about yourself! Your subject interests needs to be about half of the personal statement, but make sure to keep this general, due to applying to multiple Universities. It’s also a good idea to talk about any work experience you’ve done outside of school. Also mention any hobbies or interests you have, and if you can, link that to the course you’d like to study. Lastly, mention achievements and awards you have received, and how this has made you an excellent study. If you’ve taken a gap year, it’d be worth explaining what you did, and how that has helped you prepare for university study.
Check over your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Ask your friends to read your work too, as they’ll pick up any obvious errors. Also ask a tutor or two to look over your statement – they’ll be able to see the tiny mistakes you might have made.
In summary, try and do the following:
- Introduce yourself
- Showcase your writing skills
- Show that you can write a persuasive argument
- Check your work over and over again
- Try not to be someone else or over embellish
- Show why you want to attend University
- Explain long term goals and how University can help to achieve them
- Talk about life experiences
- Highlight the reason for why you want to study your chosen subject area, and your enthusiasm for it
The best advice I can give, is to write a personal statement as if it was a job interview. Express why you chose the course and what exactly you like about it and you can’t go far wrong!
Your personal statement is an important part of your application, but try not to worry too much about it. Ask your family and friends for help, and your tutors too.