It is that time of year, where many of you are focusing on making your personal statement for university the best it could possibly be. It can seem like one of those on going tasks as making yourself stand out from thousands of other students can be difficult..
I actually pulled out my personal statement from 2010 not long ago to see if I could help my younger sister in any way, whom is heading off to University next year (slowly wipes away tear and takes a deep breathe). After reading it over I found that I was not able give her my statement to use as a guide, one because it was not as good as I could make it now and secondly the course I studied is on a completely different spectrum to what she wants to study.
Marketing and Event Management to Optometry (optician) you can see where I am going here...
Anyway....below are some key tips I think are very important to include or think about adding in your statement to make it POP! Word of warning, don't over indulge yourself in panic! There are thousands upon thousands of students in the same place as you trying to achieve the same thing. Everyone gets there in the end, no matter how long it takes! Be confident and positive!
1. The opening of your STATEMENT
Keep it simple, do not make it sound like an opening of a story book and then drift half way through. It is so vital that you set expectations at the beginning of your statement and carry this through till the end. You don’t want them to think the opening bit was text book written and not written from you. Your statement is about you, so your personality needs to come through from beginning to end, there shouldn't be anything that suggests this was forced written if that makes sense?
2. FOCUS ON THE COURSE/SUBJECT YOU WANT TO STUDY, KEEP IT POSITIVE!!
I found that it was really firstly so important to actually focus on the subject you want to study and the passion you have for the particular subject. There is no point studying something your not passionate about. Therefore, it is important when writing your statement to show emotion and positive intentions. Start with first researching your chosen course and why you enjoy the subject, are there any specific interests within this subject? What unique qualities do you have that will help you succeed? Positively express why this is the course you want to study and your passion for it and how you are a eligible candidate by focusing on your key qualities and skills. Most importantly make sure your personality shines through in a formal way and do not get carried away. I recommend you map this out before you start blabbing on how amazing you are!
3. Mention what you have done/experience (work experience, travelling, skills gained, school rep etc)
It is really important that you have gained some sort of work or experience that is away from your general studies. This will really help you stand out from other candidates. Most universities are really captivated by students that have done more than just what they are expected to do it can say a lot about your character. Make sure you talk honestly about your experiences though and do not go overboard, we all have gained skills here and there, do not blab too much. Take the key experiences that reflects the profession you want. Be careful here though, you cannot write about experience if you do not have any backing evidence about the skills and experience you have gained!
4. take your time!
No rushing allowed please! Your personal statement is so vital and will never be perfect in a matter of hours! I think I took a good few months to finalise mine before handing it in. The worst thing you could possibly do is rush and the find you haven't been accepted into your desired universities, you will only kick yourself. So, plan, plan, plan, breathe, breathe, breathe and more importantly take breaks! It will be refreshing for you to come back to your personal statement with a clear mind.
5. get feedback!
Share your draft for your personal statement with whoever can take the time to read it over and provide you with honest feedback - your parents, sisters, brothers, friends, teachers. The more people who provide you with feedback the better, but don't get carried away, too much feedback may make you go crazy. Take the feedback from those you know are going to be honest with you and feedback that has come up more than once and focus on how you can improve that specific area.
This is probably one of the most important stages of your statement, you have to make it memorable. In this section do not include anything new. The whole point of a conclusion is to sum up the above. Here you will need to restate why you're passionate to study this course but do not repeat a sentence you have said before, make it different. Short and sharp and to the point, do not make this part lengthy!
7. Its now done and submitted... STOP READING IT !!!
All that hard work is now done, feel content with what you have sent to your chosen Universities, remember at this point there is no going back. So, sitting there worried sick and wondering why no universities have got back to you quick enough and reading over your statement will make you go cookooo! Once it has been sent, put it away and keep positive!