Hints and Tips from Careers Wales
Apart from your grades and references, the personal statement is the most important part of your UCAS Application.
Here are some hints and tips from Careers Wales to help you get started.
- Plan and make notes
Before you start, think about the following aspects and write down some notes for each one.
• Skills and requirements of the course
• What interests you about the course or subject
• Your work experience, skills, achievements, voluntary work
• Your goals and aspirations
- Read examples
Read example statements to give you ideas. There are some on www.applytouni.com and www.studential.com.
Don’t copy though. It’s a “personal” statement after all!
- Get the structure right
There is no set way to write it but structuring it well will show you are a good communicator. Our ideas below may help you structure your statement.
You only have 4000 characters or 47 lines so make the most of them!
You could include:
• a punchy beginning that attracts their attention;
• an informed middle that tells them all they need to know; and
• a conclusion that sticks in their mind
- Write a punchy beginning
Tell them something that attracts their attention. Make them read on rather than just scan your statement.
- Write the middle – Why you are suitable for the subject?
Say why you are a good candidate for that subject. Show your passion and enthusiasm here.
Include these aspects.
• What interests you about the subject or course and why?
• What Skills, experience, awards or other activities have you done that are relevant to the subject. Examples include part-time work, ASDAN and Young Enterprise.
• What have these taught you?
• Link what you have learnt to the course requirements i.e. skills and qualities.
- Continue writing the middle – Why you are suitable for Higher Education
Include other interests, skills and experiences that show that you are suitable for HE. Again, Make sure that you explain what you have learnt from any experience e.g. teamwork skills, communication skills etc.
These should show that you are:
• reliable, responsible, committed;
• able to cope with pressure and deal with situations, even when problems arise
You could include aspirations and goals for the future here.
- Write a conclusion that stands out
Finish with something that they will remember you by. The examples will give you ideas.
- Draft and redraft
It’s hard to get it right first time.
Drafting your personal statement a few times makes sense. This way, you get the chance to see how your ideas look on paper.
You can make changes if needed.
You could get others, such as teachers, careers advisors and family to check it through with you.
- Check it, check it and check it again!
Make sure it looks right and there are no mistakes.
• Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar
• Don’t use any formatting, such as bold, underline etc.
- Never Copy
Looking at examples is good but don’t be tempted to copy a statement or any part of one. They want to hear about you and your merits.
You could lose your place if they find you have copied even a sentence. They have software that can check so it’s not worth the risk!
- And finally, don’t struggle!
Writing a personal statement is hard, so it’s not you!
If you need more help with writing it, there is advice on the UCAS website. Other websites include
www.applytouni.com and www.studential.com.
Family, teachers and careers advisors can also help too. For advice from careers wales, Contact Us.