Four tips for writing a personal statement for university applications
We get it. Writing your personal statement might seem scary but it’s a great chance to shout about your skills. Your personal statement is your opportunity to showcase what you have to offer to universities. But what should you include?
Here are four things to include in your personal statement to help you stand out from the crowd.
Make a strong first impression.
Admissions tutors will read hundreds of personal statements so capturing their attention is crucial. Talk about something you’re passionate about, or an interesting skill or experience. Your enthusiasm will set the tone for the rest of your personal statement and make them want to read more. Avoid generic phrases. It’s your personal statement after all, and a university will want to know what makes you tick!
Reference how your sixth form or college subjects align with your chosen degree
By doing this, you will demonstrate how your academic journey to date aligns with the subject you're applying for. It will show your commitment towards your chosen subject area, and evidence skills you may already have. Draw out any elements of your studies that have particularly interested you and try to align these with the university course you are applying to.
Mention work experience or any extracurricular activities you do.
Talk about your achievements outside of your education. This will show that you have a genuine interest in your subject area and is a great way for universities to get a feel for the kind of person you are outside of your studies. Highlight any transferrable skills you have picked up and how you intend to use these during your university studies. The ABC method is a great way to communicate this:
- Activity – this is what I have done.
- Benefit – These are the skills I have gained from it.
- Course – This is how these skills relate to the subject I’m applying for.
Finish/end your personal statement with a summary of the key points you have made.
Remind the reader of your key skills and strengths. This is your last chance to prove that you are a good fit for the course and the university. Be specific and provide evidence to support your claims. You could share your aspirations for the future, too. This will show ambition and will help the admissions tutor understand whether the course is right for you based on your goals.
Whatever you decide to include in your personal statement, don’t forget to start early so you have plenty of time to get it right., Ask someone to check your drafts, be positive, and sell yourself! Remember that your personal statement can be no longer than 4,000 characters (this includes spaces). As an example, this page has a count of just over 2,200 characters.