8 tips for writing the perfect personal statement

8 tips for writing the perfect personal statement

It’s something that most students will dread, but it’s something that just has to be done. Here’s our advice to help you make your personal statement a winner!

The application process is long and often daunting but my advice would be to create a very good personal statement that reflects your personality. Also get a feel for the university by attending open days.

Rob Husband, Electronic Engineering
Don’t start with: Hi, my name is…

It’s much better to start with something that is interesting and different for the universities to read. For example; your ambitions, your passion for your area of study, the age you were when you became interested in the topic.

Tell them why you’re a suitable candidate.

Why you? What skills/qualifications do you have? Do you need to have certain personality traits in order to do that course? Make sure you fit the bill. Don’t be afraid to sound confident, but be careful not to sound arrogant – there’s a thin line between them!

Don’t just focus on the academic stuff.

Universities want to get to know the person behind the statement. A great thing to show off is work experiences, any volunteering undertaken, your key hobbies and passions. If they’ll help you progress in your career/course, you’re onto a winner.

Draft, Read, Re-Draft, Re-Read, Re-Draft…

The first attempt is most likely NEVER the last! That’s not to put you off, though – it’s to prepare you. Read it aloud more than once, and give it to other people to read so you’ve got some new eyes on it.

Save multiple times and in multiple locations.

Then save, then save again, then save somewhere else, then send it to your email, then make a copy, print one off, and then save it again. Safety first and all that.

Check it out.

Don’t underestimate the power of a proof-read. This doesn’t just go for spelling errors – check your statement for sentence structure, repetition, grammar and repetition too.

Keep that personal touch.

Use your own judgement when deciding where to go next with your personal statement. Make sure it’s linear and understandable, make sure it flows, and make sure the person reading it isn’t thinking "what on earth is this person on about?!". You don’t have to follow a strict template, just be sure it makes sense!

Think it’s ready?

Well… not totally. Never totally. When you think it’s as polished as you can possibly make it, get somebody else to read it again. Run it past your college or sixth form tutor – they’ll tell you the truth. Now you can press send – good luck!

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