Written by Guest blogger
To celebrate International Midwives Day on 5 May, current student Jess, shares some tips on how to write a personal statement if your applying for BSc (Hons) Midwifery.
Writing about yourself in general is hard enough but when you only have 4,000 characters to make a great first impression, mention all your transferable skills, talk about your experience, why you want to be a midwife and somehow make it exciting to read is one tall order!
Writing my personal statement I knew already how competitive it is when applying for a place on a midwifery programme. Limiting my chances by only applying to 2 university’s made the process even scarier! I started drafting my personal statement as early as I could, having been through the process before I had a personal statement to work from BUT i am so glad I scrapped the whole thing and started over. The best thing I did was get hold of a book for writing personal statements for midwifery. I made every mistake going when writing my personal statement at 17 and that truly was from a lack of research and understanding of the role of a midwife and not for lack of passion.
Here’s my top tips for writing a personal statement!
1) Start as early as you can! Even if you just start with a bullet pointed list of everything you want to put into your statement… it’s a start.
2) Draft, Draft and Re-Draft! Make the most of support from tutors or other professionals who offer to read your statement. It’s so important to make sure your sentence structure, spelling and grammar are up to scratch.
3) Read it out loud. It helps so much to read it through and you will pick up on so many more typing issues and mistakes by reading it out loud.
4) When you do start writing make sure you type it in a word document or keep a hard copy rather than typing straight into UCAS as this makes it easier for spell check and checking the word limit.
5) If your a few characters over make sure you check the end of your sentences and paragraphs as I didn’t realise that I always put extra spaces on the end which does take up characters and line space!
Now for midwifery specific tips!
1) Don’t talk about babies! The role of a midwife is about supporting women, and that should be the focus of your statement.
2) Research the skills and qualities of a midwife and try to talk about how you have those skills. Try to follow the format of what is the skill? show evidence of you having it ( talk about experience) and then why that skill is important in midwifery practice.
3) BUZZ WORDS! the 6 C’s of care are a great place to start and if you don’t know what they are go and read up about them! Also consider the importance of non-judgemental care especially in the context of the diversity of women and families that you may encounter through midwifery care.
4) The NMC’s code of conduct is a great resource and I would definitely make sure you’ve read it at some point before interviews.
5) Find something about midwifery that gets you excited and talk about it, get that passion across. Look up current ‘hot topics’ if your ensure.
6) Bring that reader in with that very first sentence! I would make use of your buzz words or show something about your understanding of the role of a midwife in that very first sentence!
7) Don’t worry if you can’t summarise why you want to be a midwife! Its not about the why its about how you’ve got to this point now, what have you done to prove that this is the career for you!
8) Remember your applying for a degree and not a job as a midwife just yet, so try and make some acknowledgement to being able to cope with the academic side of the course and your ability to manage your time especially as the midwifery course is 50% study and 50% placement.
9) Make sure you finish that personal statement with a really powerful ending. That will be the very last thing they read and if they haven’t made their mind up by that point that could be what sways it!
10) Make sure that it truly represents you and DON’T LIE! your personal statement will be the only thing they have about you when it comes to interview so they will talk about it with you if you can’t expand on what you’ve said or you seem to not know much about that 6 year placement you did in Antarctica setting up a midwifery unit for Eskimo’s they will realise it was probably a lie!
Just be yourself and if you haven’t got experience or struggle to get it that’s fine! So many transferable skills can come from other jobs. Retail work is about working with people, communicating with customers. Having patience when dealing with frustrated customers. Its all transferable skills so talk about it!
I hope these tips help anyone writing their statement and good luck on your journey to becoming student midwives!
Jess Correia, Midwifery student.