Advice for Starting Your Personal Statement

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Writing a personal statement can be hard, writing about yourself is one of the most difficult things to do and we can see why so many people are struggling with it. So we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important things that you can possibly include in your personal statement, see them all below:

Don’t Make It too Personal:

Three years ago, if all you did is talk about how friendly you are, and about what a good and dedicated student you are, then you really didn’t stand a chance. These days everyone starts by talking about why they like the subject that they’ve applied for, and then move onto talking about themselves. Undoubtedly this was definitely a step in the right direction. But why stop there? Admissions officers have to read through hundreds of applications, and it’s just boring listening to people talk about themselves. They don’t work at university to be admissions officers, they work there because they love their subject and what it stands for. So if you want to appeal to them and their sense of vanity, then stop talking about yourself and start speaking their language, basically talk about their subject. Now this can sound a bit radical, and I agree, it is. But you need to make your personal statement unique, and so all I’m suggesting is a new way to make your personal statement stand out, but if you can think of a better way to make your statement unusual, then go ahead.

Talk About Your Free Time:

Academic qualifications alone are not really anywhere near enough for most admissions tutors, they love students who put themselves out to achieve something and also enjoy a life outside of their academic pursuits, they want to see what if anything makes you tick! Include any hobbies or interests you may have and, if possible, relate them to how they will make you a better student, and mention any involvement with any other extracurricular groups, if you belong to them like your inclusion in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. If possible, try to include anything that shows that you have an intelligent interest in the world. Try to mention any positions of responsibility, some evidence of self-motivation and any hurdles overcome and use these to demonstrate your character and your strengths. Alternatively if you are planning to take a gap year, explain why. This will help you a lot, especially in your university interview.

It Should All Be Linked:

Address the subject of the course that you’re applying for. For instance if you’re applying for a degree related to business, most universities do not offer general “management” or “business” courses, so be specific: how are your skills and interests related to Logistics, to Project Management, to e-Business etc? Relate the things you say about yourself to the course applied for. Don’t just say something generic like “I worked for two months at Company X”; explain its relevance to you and what you learned: “At Company X I was involved in troubleshooting project overruns on a new product design. This made it clear to me how important project management and risk management is”.

Don’t Overthink it too Much:

For most people, the hardest parts of writing a personal statement are normally the opening and the closing sentences. You need to make it clear from the very beginning why it is that you want to study your chosen course. A good way to do this is by opening with something mildly interesting that captivates your audience, something unusual or surprising. It can be stressful trying to come up with the perfect opening sentence, but don’t worry about it too much; it will suddenly just hit you.

Check Our Examples Online:

There are loads of different personal statement examples available for people online. These are always spell-checked, checked for plagiarism and most importantly of all, are successful. These can give you an insight into how different people are applying for different universities. A good thing to do is to put yourself into the shoes of the admissions officer that is reading any of the examples for the very first time, is there anything else about the applicant that you wish they’d mention?

For any more advice on university or for anything else then check out University Compare, a university comparison website that compares over 36,000 courses across 425 institutes and offers university advice, guidance and plenty more!

Thanks for reading and good luck!

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