I have been asked to start doing my personal statement but I am struggling on what to include and how to write my statement.
Your personal statement is an opportunity to give additional information that is not asked for elsewhere on the application form. Here you can show your commitment to the subject matter and future career ambitions. It may be useful to talk about fashion magazines or online services that you subscribe to in order to follow trend forecasting. It would also be good to list any industry or retail work experience and the skills you gained in these posts.
The internet is really helpful to give you an idea of what a great personal statement looks like.
Colleges will check so please don’t copy someone else’s statement and whilst all the colleges will tell you there is no right or wrong format, reviewing a number of other personal statements will definitely help you get ahead.
Many universities and colleges provide invaluable guidance and pro-formas to help you gather all the information you will want to include, addressing four key areas:
- Course choice (most of the guidance recommends devoting around half of your personal statement to your chosen course);
- Personal achievements (what have you achieved and what does this show about you);
- Extra curricular activities (what activities have you been involved in that support your career choice) and work experience (what transferable skills have you learned - related and un-related to your chosen course); and
- Your career aims (how does your chosen course fit with your career aims).
Spending time gathering all the key information you will want to include will make it easier to sit down and start writing your personal statement.
The best examples of personal statements demonstrate clear interest in and commitment to a chosen course and give a real sense of the personality of the student, linking in how the course fits to their future career and providing an overview of the student’s interests and skills.
Your personal statement is your opportunity to gain that coveted place and is one of the most important parts of your college application but keep it real and honest - do bear in mind if you get invited to interview you will be asked questions on your personal statement.
Gathering together all the top tips available:
- Get your application in as early as possible;
- Collate all the information you need in the above headings and then write out several drafts of your personal statement;
- Devote roughly half the space to your chosen course and the rest to writing about your personal achievements; extra curricular activities and career aims;
- Read, re-read and re-read your personal statement before finalising it and ask a teacher, parent or friend to check it for you;
- Check and double check that your statement is written within the agreed word/character count;
- Use the appropriate font and size;
- Make sure all your details are correct - an error could delay your application; and
- Keep a copy of your application and personal statement - you will want to review it and refresh your memory before going to an interview.
Like any big task is can be a bit daunting before you start, devoting some time to writing down all the information you will want to include and carrying out your research to gain an understanding of what makes a good personal statement will help. Very best of luck in securing a place.