If you’re applying for university, wherever you are in the world, you’ll need to write a personal statement. But what is a personal statement? How do you prepare one? and How can it help?
A personal statement is your chance to articulate to the university or college that you would like to apply, to let them know why you’d like to study at their institution, why you’ve chosen your particular course and to showcase the skills and experience that will help you throughout your studies. If you’re wondering how to write a personal statement for your university application then check out our tips, techniques and the information below to help you prepare a personal statement that will stand out from the crowd.
Write about yourself
It can be a little awkward to talk about yourself, especially in a way that highlights your strengths and positive attributes, but you’ll need to write about yourself. This after all is your personal statement and it’s the chance to let the universities admissions staff know why you’re an ideal candidate for their university. However, as you typically only get one chance you write your personal statement, we suggest that when you avoid using a specific university’s name.
How to get started with your personal statement?
- Research the course you are interested in applying for, and think about the skillsets or experience you possess that would be beneficial. Make sure you highlight these skills and experience in your personal statement.
- Include why you are interested in a particular course, for example you will use your education as a stepping stone into your dream career, or because you’re keen to learn the specific course subject matter.
- Talk about your personal life. Give the admissions officer an idea about you and how you, as an individual, will fit into their university and the university campus life. For example, if you’re a member of a club or team, let them know why you participate in these activities and how they have impacted your life.
- Discuss any other areas of your life, outside of your academic skills, that are of interest. For example, if you volunteer, have received any awards or commendations, or achievement highlights. Adding these to your personal statement will help to give admission teams a picture of you and help them understand how you’ll fit the university academically but also culturally.
Make sure that with all the points listed above, you bring your statement back to how they have prepared you for your studies, and how improving your skills, knowledge and capabilities in the subject area will help you reach your study and career goals.
It can be tempting to embellish your experience or to ‘bend’ the truth a little to make you sound more appealing to a university. As tempting as this may be, we strongly encourage you to always be honest. For example, if you’re not fluent in French, don’t put it in your personal statement. However, if you’re learning French, then this could be an interesting fact to add. Highlight your factual good points and even mention your progress, it’s ok to still be learning. Being honest makes sure that both you and your personal statement are believable, and you’ll be able to rely on yourself throughout the other stage of the application process.
Preparing to write
Before you sit down to write your personal statement, we recommend you become familiar with personal statements. Read a friend’s or family member’s personal statement, this is a great way to learn what makes up a personal statement. Think about your own personal journey and how your experiences help to define the path you want your future to take.
Once you’ve completed your personal statement, get someone to proofread it, it’ll help spot any errors. Proofreading is key, do NOT forget this step.
Finally, when it comes to your personal statement, remember you’re unique and have your own story, goals and future. You got this and we hope our tips help you to write a great personal statement.
If you’re looking for courses to help you prepare for university, visit our higher education courses page.