How to write a great personal statement

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When you apply for a course at college you will need to write a personal statement. This is a couple of paragraphs of text which provide you an opportunity to tell the college why you should be considered for a place on your chosen course. Read our blog for some tips on writing a great personal statement so you can be ready to apply when courses open.

Plan it out

Before you even start putting pen to paper, you should research the course you want to apply for and plan out what you want to say in your personal statement. This could be done in written form, visually as a mind map, or even a voice memo on your phone. A good starting point is to look at the course description, pull out any parts that interest you and match it up with your skills and experience.

At this point you can also think about the structure your personal statement will take. A good structure will give your writing a good flow and make it easy for people to read and understand your key points. You should include clear sections on why you’re applying, your skills and achievements, any hobbies and interests you have, work experience and plans for the future.

Check out this personal statement worksheet from UCAS to help you structure your statement.

Make it relevant

Researching your course and matching up your skills and experience to the course description will help make sure your personal statement is as relevant as possible. You can also make your personal statement relevant to the course by writing about why you want to study the subject, what interests you about it and what you can bring to the profession after your time at college. This means you can demonstrate why you are a suitable candidate.   

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Don’t worry if you’re fresh out of school or looking to retrain in a brand-new area, as you will have a whole host of transferable skills which you can outline in your personal statement. For example, playing on a sports team demonstrates team work, raising a family demonstrates skills in time-keeping and so much more.

Think about what makes you great

Your personal statement is your opportunity to really sell yourself so you should think about what makes you stand out from the crowd.

We can all struggle a bit when asked what we’re good at, so why not ask friends and family what they think your best qualities are? You’re sure to be nodding your head in agreement and jotting down things in no time.

Think about what makes you stand out from the crowd.

Be confident and positive in your writing

Thinking about your best qualities and reminding yourself why you want to progress in this area will help boost your confidence and this will come across in your writing.   

It’s important that you come across passionate and confident by writing in an enthusiastic and natural style. Avoiding words like ‘think’ and ‘just’ will make you sound more confident in your personal statement. For example, “I am suitable for this course”, instead of “I think I am suitable” can make a big difference.

Triple check it

You will want to make sure that your personal statement is the best it can be so make sure that you read over it a few times, looking out for anything that doesn’t read well or any spelling mistakes. It’s also a good idea to get a friend or family member to read it over for you as they may pick up on something you’ve missed.

View all courses on our website to be ready to apply when courses open for applications.

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