Personal Statements – the basics

Personal statements are the most individual part of your application. It’s what sets you apart from your peers and tells your chosen university who you are. That doesn’t mean they have to be a pain to write. I’ve put together some tips on getting started on your personal statement and making sure that it’s the best representation of you.

The layout I chose was to first talk about your subject choice, for example I applied for marketing so I showed a little knowledge on current trends in marketing, nothing fancy just something brief that shows some interest in your subject. Then I chose to give some back story on what educational experience I had that made me a suitable candidate, I spoke about my A levels and the specific topics I’d studied that interested me.

Then I chose to go a little more personal and talk about me, I chose to present my skills through my extra curriculars and how each one had taught me something different. I think it’s important you show yourself to be more than just academically strong, universities are looking for well rounded people.

The structure of your statement is something your school/college will give you guidance on, the most important thing you can do is to make sure that your statement is all your own words. I remember my tutor trying to get me to include a phrase that I know I’d never say. So I didn’t include it because that wasn’t a reflection on me. Also the screening process on cheating is pretty intense so it’s recommended you don’t read other people’s or search for them online. It’s just a way to make sure yours is 100% original. 

The biggest piece of advice I can give about personal statements is to start sooner rather than later. I majorly procrastinated with my statement and I wish I’d have started sooner. Walking into school in September with a rough draft in your back pocket is probably the best way to get yourself ahead of the game. You can never have enough opinions on it, so as your teachers and parents to read over it. Take on board as much advice as you need but remember it’s supposed to reflect the best of you. 

The process can feel long but once it’s done it’s something you’ll never have to read or look at it again.

Good Luck to all of your with your applications! I’m happy to give advice or read anyone’s statements if you’re currently applying.

Xoxo LE


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