One of the most crucial parts of the university application process is writing your personal statement. This is where you get to introduce yourself to your university of choice and express why you’re a good fit for the course you’re applying to. While this may seem challenging, think of this section as an opportunity to highlight your passions, skills, and the experience you’ve gained in your field of interest.
Keep in mind however that university institutions go through hundreds of applications a year. Therefore, your personal statement needs to be original enough to catch their attention and stand out from the crowd. If you’re unsure of how to start writing your personal statement, we have got you covered with a few tips to guide you through the process.
Ensure that you have a structure to work with before writing your personal statement. This is not something to be rushed, so give yourself plenty of time to prepare before the application deadline hits.
Start by jotting down notes that will eventually come together as the outline for your statement. The point of a personal statement is to express your enthusiasm for the course you’ve applied to, and this needs to sound convincing to the reader. Consider noting points such as what interests you the most about your course and why you first selected it.
Note down any skills and interests that you’ve developed from your past studies or work experience and how they relate to your course. You should also think about how your chosen course will help you progress in your future career. Once you have these points down, you have a basic structure to begin writing your personal statement.
Get straight to the point
The opening paragraph is a crucial part of your personal statement and should pique the reader’s interest within the first couple of sentences. According to admission tutors, some of the best personal statements are the ones that delve straight to the main point from the start. Therefore, your personal statement should begin with your motivation for choosing the course. This will demonstrate right off the bat how passionate and enthusiastic you are about your chosen course, which is exactly what universities are looking for.
While the introductory paragraph expresses your interest in your chosen course, you also need to demonstrate why you should be selected. This is your opportunity to brag a little - as long as you do so subtly! For example, highlight any relevant work experience you’ve gained as this demonstrates how knowledgeable you are in your subject of interest. Whether it's voluntary work, a part-time job, or an internship, talk about the skills and achievements you gained during this time and how your work experience relates to the course you’ve applied for.
Universities also want to know why you’ve chosen to study at their institution. This is a good time to do some extra research to help explain why you believe the university of your choice is the perfect fit for you. This could be for reasons such as the career opportunities that former students have gained or even the strong links that your university has to the industry you want to work in. If you’re studying abroad, also talk about your reasons for choosing to study in a different country.
Aside from talking about your current achievements, think about where you want to be in the future. Talk about your long-term goals and how your chosen course could help you achieve them. You may also want to write about how your course is beneficial to your career plans and future job opportunities.
Pay attention to details
Like any essay, grammar and spelling matter. Poor spelling will affect the quality of your personal statement, no matter how good the content is. Ensure to proofread your statement for typos as you write and also ask your friends or family to read drafts of your work to receive feedback. Applications such as Grammarly are a great way to ensure you maintain consistency and clarity throughout your statement.
Most importantly - don’t stress! The personal statement gives your university the chance to get to know you on a more personal level, so be clear, concise and ensure you have hit the main points to prove you are the right fit for your dream course.