Hello again… 🙂 After a couple of requests from some of you, today I’m going to write a little bit about personal statements… What are they for? What should you include? Ultimately your personal statement is your opportunity to tell Universities and Colleges why you are suitable for the course that you want to study. It is vital that you make the most of this opportunity and demonstrate your commitment, enthusiasm, and most importantly, ensure that you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants… Now I know this sounds like a huge, daunting task, but if you break it down and use the following hints and tips, you’ll find that it’s actually not so bad! Okay, so a little bit about what to include… Writing about the course You need to answer two main questions here:
- Why are you applying to this particular course? Here, you need to talk about why the subject interests you, try and include evidence that you understand what is required when studying the specific course.
- Why are you suitable for the course? This is your chance to tell the Universities what skills and experience you have that will help you to succeed on the course.
- How do your current or previous studies relate to your chosen course?
- What experience do you have that demonstrates your interest in the course?
- Why do you want to go to University?
A few do’s and don’ts when writing your personal statement
- Do create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the real thing.
- Do expect to produce several drafts before being totally happy.
- Do ask people you trust for their feedback.
- Do check university and college prospectuses, websites and Entry Profiles, as they usually tell you the criteria and qualities that they want their students to demonstrate.
- Do use your best English/Welsh and don’t let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement.
- Do be enthusiastic – if you show your interest in the course, it may help you get a place.
- Don’t feel that you need to use elaborate language. If you try too hard to impress with long words that you are not confident using, the focus of your writing may be lost.
- Don’t say too much about things that are not relevant – if you think that you are starting to, take a break and come back to your statement when you feel more focused.
- Don’t lie – if you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement.
- Don’t rely on a spellchecker as it will not pick up everything – proof read as many times as possible.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute – your statement will seem rushed and important information could be left out.
- Don’t expect to be able to write your personal statement whilst watching TV or surfing the internet – this is your future, so make the most of the opportunity to succeed.
I know this guidance isn’t extensive, but hopefully it will be a starting point for some of you looking to apply to University… If you have any questions about writing your personal statement feel free to post them below and I will get back to you, or as usual you can ask me on Twitter at @Jen_EHU Good luck with your applications! If there are any other topics you would like me to cover over the coming blog posts, let me know and I will do my best to include them… Thanks for reading Jen 🙂