Over a year ago now I wrote a blog post about what to put in your personal statement to really make it count (go and check that out if you’re looking for some structural inspiration), so today I actually want to talk about why you want your personal statement to not only be well written and persuasive, but also a good reflection of you!
There’s a key word that many people seem to skip over when thinking about what they’re writing, and that’s probably the most important: personal! Logically, although a vast amount of people will follow a similar structure, the content should ultimately be unique to you. That doesn’t mean that no-one else applying for a film degree is going to talk about their love of film, but the way you articulate yourself can really make a difference as to how you come across. Avoid gimmicky one liners or something that makes you appear cocky or arrogant; although you do want to appear to have a confident communicative tone, you do not want to come across as obnoxious.
Imagine your personal statement as a long string of prepared answers at an interview; you do want to showcase some personality (particularly relevant when discussing your more unique interests and hobbies), but you also want to come across as professional and formal, to really give a good balance of your personality. Equally, when being professional, it’s paramount to do at least a few drafts, and always check for spelling a grammar errors, you want your statement to stand out, but not for containing mistakes; your statement should appear to have a large amount of time and effort poured into it.
But really, why is your personal statement important? For me, I’d say it’s for two particular reasons:
1.If you don’t have the desired predicted grades.
2.If your course is at risk of becoming oversubscribed.
Your personal statement is their to present not only your personality, but also your drive, and often your willingness to work hard. This may not only convince an admissions tutor you are capable of reaching your desired grades, or equally whether if you missed the grades you would work hard to keep on top of your degree if you were accepted. Also, it is only your personal statement, and perhaps your references, that will differ from one application to another. Say your course is extremely popular and only half of those who apply are offered a place, yourself and another candidate come from the same area, are the same age, have similar hobbies, and both reach the desired grades…who gets the spot? The one with the stronger personal statement, as ultimately, it’s the main thing that separates you from each other.
Writing your personal statement really isn’t as daunting as you think, but it is important. Start early, and give yourself plenty of time to re-write and adjust your work. There’s plenty of advice out there, whether from your parents/guardians, friends, tutors, or even blogs like mine and my fellow bloggers. Take your time, and best of luck!
Take Care Everyone, I’ll Speak To You All Soon!