I know, I know…personal statements can be daunting.
It took me around 5 different drafts, 3 different teachers and 8 different friends to “perfect” my personal statement. I started writing it long before my UCAS application was due as it really does take a lot of time and effort. Many people do not think it’s difficult but it’s probably the hardest bit about your application, as it can be sometimes hard to talk about your strengths, weaknesses, goals and passions. So, after speaking to my mentees who are currently working on their UCAS applications, and remembering back to my own personal statement, I’ve compiled a quick Do’s and Don’ts list that could potentially help you out.
So here it is:
- DO talk about what inspires you. Ask yourself these questions: “Why do I want to do this course?” “What is it about this subject that interests me more than others?” “What do I want to achieve by the end of University?” Use the answers to these questions as pointers of what to talk about in each paragraph of your statement.
- DON’T exaggerate or lie! You WILL be caught out. Some Universities will invite you to an interview and will ask questions about your statement. They may also ask for proof of any achievements that you have highlighted in your application.
- DO talk about your interests and hobbies outside of school – while it’s important to talk about your education, it is equally as important to show off your personality. This is your chance to really sell yourself so make sure to include any achievements like winning a sports award or getting an article of yours published. Things like that can make your application stand out from the rest.
- But DON’T include irrelevant or personal facts like “I like to take long walks on the beach”. While it’s cute for a dating profile – it’s not very relevant to your application. Just think about it this way, if it doesn’t add value to your application or make you stand out from thousands of other students wanting a place on that course, DON’T include it.
- DO look on the internet for examples of personal statements so you can get a good idea about what to write about or how to set your application out
- But DON’T copy and paste! Your statement will go through a plagiarism check and you will get caught out if you copy from other people’s or from the internet
- DO at least 3 drafts – rewriting things will allow you to spot any mistakes or remove any waffle! Be clear, concise and show them what you’re made of!
- DON’T (atleast try not to anyway) start your statement with a cliché quote! It’s a device that is commonly used amongst students and can get a bit boring/predictable after a while. Also, try not to use big “fancy” words that you found in a thesaurus – you can spot these from a mile away!
And there you have it. I hope these tips help you in some way!
See you all on the flipside!