Writing a personal statement can be challenging. Not only can you demonstrate why the University of your dream should choose you over your peer, but it is also an opportunity to express and explain what you have achieved, outside of your application form.
When looking back, I remember being extremely confused about what to write, especially since this format is not commonly used where I come from (Czech Republic) (I bet many International students can relate to that, right?).
However, writing a personal statement can be exciting and challenging. Here are some tips on what to include in your personal statement to make it stand out.
- List reasons and explain why you want to study the course
- Demonstrate skills that are relevant to the course
- Present your extra-curricular activities to enhance the statement
- Introduce yourself and your background
- Find the link between the course, University and yourself
The University wants to know why you chose that specific course over another one and why you are the best candidate to study it. Do you have a similar background? Are you skilled in any areas? Have you always wanted to become ….?
Explain why you are the most suitable candidate to study the course, be precise, clear, informative and inspiring. When you truly want to study something, it shouldn’t be a problem stating reasons why, be natural and it will go smoothly.
Whether it is attending dancing classes, playing a sport, volunteering, having a part-time job or even singing, list any relevant extra curricular activities that will make you stand out. Don’t just present them, try to highlight an area in which you improved, the skills you have developed and how.
This way you will make sure you are not just listing the relevant experience, but also showing real-life examples and demonstrating your skills development and how they relate to the course. Find a link with everything you mention. Do you come from an accounting background and are applying for Business course? Try to showcase that in your statement.
Your background is a strong part of yourself; therefore, you should provide examples, experience, explanation and a put a bit of your personality into the statement.
It is a statement about you, but don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. An insight from another person can actually help since we tend to be very critical about ourselves.
Another tip is to give it few days. Finish a draft, close the document (if the deadline is not the following day) and let your brain rest. When you open the document again, you will have a different perspective and will be able to make amends.
Also, ask your parents or friends to read it for you and give their opinion on it.
Lastly, start the personal statement early and don’t rush it.! Good luck, everyone!