A guide to writing your Personal Statement
What is a personal statement?
A personal statement is a summary of your experience, achievements and personal qualities along with your skills.
Why do I need one?
If you are applying for college, an Apprenticeship or work, your future tutors or employers will want to know more about you, so that they can ascertain your commitment to their college or to their workplace.
What shouldn’t I put in?
Do not put anything negative in, be positive and demonstrate your strengths, let them know how amazing you are.
What should I put in?
Your personal statement is about you, be honest and always positive. Start by introducing yourself in a positive way that highlights your Personal Qualities and Skills. There are some skills and positive personal qualities detailed below, that you might wish to consider using. You can use ones of your own too, these are just to help.
- Problem solving
- Team working
- Good at researching
- Good listener Database skills
- Creative writer Presenting skills
- Good at analysing
- Web design skills
- Decision making
- Well organised Adaptable Time management
- Strong work ethic
- Hard working
Describe your strengths and say what you can do, the questions below may assist you. Do you...?
- Communicate effectively, including listening and responding to questions?
- Prioritise your time well and answer to deadlines?
- Can you use your own initiative?
- Work well as part of a team, how about on your own?
- Work well under pressure?
- Are you a positive influence to others, can you motivate people?
- Have leadership skills?
Include the positives about school
Once you have detailed your strengths you will need to inform the reader of your achievements at school, if it’s a college application you won’t need to list your grades as this will be detailed on your application form. You may wish to add the following information if it’s relevant:
- Your attendance – especially if it’s 100%
- If you are part of any school teams
- If you have helped out at any school events
- If you work hard to ensure that your homework is in on time and completed to the best of your ability
- If you are a prefect
- If you are part of a School Council
- Any certificates that you have been awarded
Make sure that you detail any work experience, this includes paid or voluntary work. If you have had a paper round, baby-sitting or gardening round it all goes to show more of your positive qualities. Let the reader know where you work(ed), what your role is or was, how long you were there and what key attributes you need for this role.
- Good time management
- Able to take instruction
- Adaptable Team working
Now it’s the time to shine, whatever it is you do when you’re not at school, people want to know. If you are part of a sports team, especially if you’ve been in it for quite a while, it will show that you are a team player and dedicated – two key strengths.
Let your new tutors or employer know if you belong to any clubs, this may include: Sporting team’s clubs/societies, Explorer Scouts, Air Cadets, St John Ambulance or a Dance group etc.
Ensure that you tell the reader of all the achievements or awards that you have earnt while at your groups, this may include player of the year or a leadership level in Scouts, Cadets, or similar.
Other interests may include keeping fit, cycling, going to the cinema, keeping pets, meeting up with friends, cooking or similar. By including these extracurricular activities, you are demonstrating a wealth of different skills and abilities.
Why do you want to come and study/work with us?
If applying to a college let them know why you want to study there, what attracted you to this course and how this course will help you reach your future ambition?
If you are applying for an Apprenticeship or a job, the company will want to know why you have chosen them, so inform them of why you are interested in their company. And finally:
- Proof read it thoroughly to check your grammar and spelling
- Get someone else to read it through
- Save it in a suitable format
- Email a copy to a personal email address, so you can access it once you’ve finished school
- Update it on a regular basis