Zoe blogs about personal statements

Friday, August 02, 2013 12:00 AM

Zoe, our student blogger, blogs about planning and perfecting your personal statement.

I'm sure that you really don't want to hear the words 'personal statement' while you're trying to enjoy the sunshine and catch up with all the things that took a back seat while exams were around. Unfortunately, it's something that you can't avoid.

Some of you may be thinking that you have no idea what course you want to do. If you're sitting there with your ice cream agreeing with me, then it's time to get researching! Check out website www.bestcourse4me.com: it allows you to search through courses and careers that you are interested in, and lets you know the likely lifetime wages these will lead to. It also tells you which universities offer the courses that most interest you. If you already have an idea of the universities that take your fancy, then it'll be much easier to relate your personal statement to their course specification.

Going back to personal statements, I think the most daunting issue is how to fill a page with information that's going to make you sound interesting - in a good way. There are a few ideas that may help you to get a head start:

  • Make a mind-map of all activities you've taken part in (eg. Dance or Football Club)
  • Highlight those that are easily relatable to your course
  • On that mind-map, in a different colour write down all the personal qualities or skills you have gained through your activities
  • Write down why these personal qualities will help you in your future career

Planning is absolutely necessary; planned properly your personal statement is more likely to get you a place on your desired course. If everything is planned and flows from each paragraph, those reading it will be confident that you are an applicant who is organised, reliable and hard-working.

On the subject of confidence, you need to show that you fully believe that YOU deserve a place on the university's course. In order to do that, I'm afraid you have to sell yourself.

A personal statement has a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Although you have to sound as though you have the qualities needed to complete the course, don't go overboard with how brilliant you are and how you'd be better than all others who have applied.

If there are certain things that you're worried about writing, for example my course mentions that you have to experience at least two work placements, and I have yet to take part in my second, don't be afraid to be honest. In my predicament, because I have planned my second placement, I explained how I had to use my organisation and communication skills in order to get my work experience. So although I'm yet to fulfil the course requirements, I have still demonstrated that I am being active regarding the course, it's also a great talking point at an interview!

So get planning and write as many ideas down as possible and soon you'll have a shining, successful personal statement!

Until next time!

Zoe

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