How to start your personal statement

It's not always easy talking about yourself and all the things you've achieved. Our step-by-step guide to starting your personal statement will have you putting pen to paper in no time.

1. Do your research

Take a look at as many examples as you can of personal statements to get an idea of how it should be structured and to get the right tone of voice. We have some handy examples in our personal statement guide.

Remember that these examples are there for inspiration, not to be copied!

2. Get it all down

Mind-map all of your experiences in school or college, work, volunteering and extra-curriculars and the key skills those experiences have taught you.

For example, did working on a presentation teach you to work independently? Or, maybe being a part of your hockey team has taught you to work with others. Whatever it is, write it down and once you've got all your ideas on paper you can pick your favourites that really demonstrate why you're the perfect candidate for your course.

3. Break it down

Turning your notes into paragraphs might still seem like a huge task. so break your personal statement down into manageable chunks.

Think of what you would like each paragraph to be about and put your ideas from your mind map into these sections to start getting an idea of how your personal statement might be structured.

4. Start writing!

Don’t be scared to start writing, your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, you can go back and make changes.

We’d recommend skipping your introduction and getting stuck straight into the body of your personal statement as this will be easier to write, you can come back to the introduction and conclusion once you know how your personal statement is going to look.

5. Draft, draft, draft

Write several drafts and get feedback from others. It can be hard to spot your own mistakes or make improvements to your own writing but others but will be able to spot where changes can be made.

Once you’ve redrafted, show someone else – your teacher, your parents, your neighbour – whoever will look at it!

What should you do next?

Download your free personal statement guide

Get even more advice on starting, writing and checking your personal statement. Plus, be inspired by real personal statement examples from our students!

Download now

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