Produced by Will Rodwell
BA (Hons) Media Production
Writing your personal statement is difficult, especially as you are talking about yourself! In this blog, I will… tell you what a Personal Statement is, how to talk about yourself in the best way possible, share a simple structure to help you start your statement and give you my 5 top tips for writing your statement.
Your personal statement is an introduction to universities you are applying for. It is similar to a cover letter when applying for a job, except loner and more detailed. According to UCAS, a personal statement should be no longer than 4,000 characters, this is approximately anywhere between 570 and 1,000 words. This is your chance to show off your academic achievements, extra-curricular activities and other relevant experience which has made you interested in taking the course.
Talking about yourself is the hardest part of the personal statement, you don’t want to be too humble and you don’t want to boast. Finding the middle ground takes time and multiple drafts. In my experience, the best way to achieve this is to recognise what you gained from your experiences. Did you find a new-found confidence? Did you develop any skills? Public Speaking? Technological ability? How can these skills benefit you on the degree you’re applying for? Do your research on the units you’ll be studying; you don’t want to talk about any camera skills if you are applying for a Sports Coaching degree.
How do I structure it?
Different to cover letters, where there is often a clear structure set out by the hiring company, your personal statement doesn’t need to follow a set structure. With that said, here is a rough guideline of how you could order your personal statement which was suggested by my college teachers:
- Reasons why you want to study
- Why you’re suitable
- How your current study is relevant
- Your related hobbies and interests
- Your skills and achievements.
My Top 5 tips
- Make it relevant – remember, there is a character limit. Don’t waste space on details that are not relevant to your chosen degree
- Show how you’re unique – through research and your personality
- Balance out academic and extra-curricular achievements – but don’t feel like you have to include any hobbies if you don’t have any
- Make it engaging (whilst avoiding clichés) – lines such as ‘since a young age’ are seen countless times, and generic clichés like this might risk irritating the admissions team
- Think carefully about why – try to be different and talk about why you want to study that course/at that university. A good scenario I often use is, if you received unconditional offers from all five applications, why have you chosen that course/your firm choice university
So.. there it is, my advice for writing your personal statement. I hope this helps and best of luck with your application.