Make your statement…
Land your personal statement top of the pile!
Your personal statement is a crucial part of your uni application and it can be make or break with landing your dream offer. It’s your chance to show what makes you unique, besides your birth name and UCAS ID. In just 4000 characters you have to convince your chosen uni you are the ideal applicant and that they should give you an offer immediately!
Here are our top 10 tips to land your personal statement the top of the pile:
1. Make your draft without a character counter. It’s easier to write your full story, including everything you want to say. You can then cut, keeping only the most memorable and important parts. It’s far easier than inserting new ideas.
2. That brings us to our next point; Keep it succinct. Cut out any repitition and waffle. Show them your absolute best and nothing more.
3. Find the perfect words and expressions. Using “accomplish” rather than “do” sounds far more professional and eloquent. However, while you want to showcase your skills, be careful of making it too wordy. It could become difficult to read, leaving it looking overdone.
4. Be positive. Emphasise your strengths. In these 4000 characters, you have to sell yourself to the uni. You should write about your experiences, knowledge and how they have developed you as a person. Don’t be afraid to include future plans and where you hope life will take you.
5. Keep it relevant. Remember you are applying for a certain course. Share your thoughts and experiences, what you learned from them. Then link it to how this will benefit you during your time at the university or its relevance to the course. Look into the ABC rule (Activity, Benefit, Course).
6. Use quotes sparingly. The university are geniunely interested in you and using lots of quotes gives you less time to talk about yourself. Make it the best version of your own work, voice and ideas.
7. Be careful with humour. Whilst expressing your character is an aim of your personal statement, you don’t know what the reader will find funny.
8. Perfection takes time. A dazzling personal statement cannot be written in a couple of hours. Sometimes it’s worth taking a break for a few days and letting your thoughts and ideas develop. Read it out loud a few times too- you might realize it doesn’t flow particularly well in certain paragraphs.
9. Don’t be afraid to showcase your skills. Give examples of your relevant skills, experiences and achievements. But don’t exaggerate- you could be asked to expand on a particularly interesting point in an interview, you wouldn’t want to get caught out!
10. Get feedback. Find someone you trust to give you genuine feedback. Sometimes once you’ve read something a number of times, it’s difficult to see it’s merits and flaws. Someone else may be able to point out what a great opening statement you have, but realise it doesn’t quite flow in other parts.
While many students may apply to the same university course with the same grades, they aren’t you as a person, with your experiences and your thoughts. Make yourself stand out as a real person to the admissions tutor as opposed to just another applicant.
UCAS has a great personal statement tool to help you get started!