I remember those first few moments, looking at a blank screen and visualising the past 17 years of my life. – What have I been doing all these years again ? Someone tell me plehhs !!
My mum came into my room, looked at me and told me to go follow her downstairs with some felt tips, lots of paper and highlighters.
I still remember what that first page looked like. I ended up finishing that evening , having a good idea of what I was going to write. And I’m going to share that Mum-genius-method with you…. It works, trust me.
On the first page you’re going to make a diagram; and note out in one colour all the things you have ever achieved. Every medal , every work-experience (even if it was just for a day). Your Duke of Edinburgh, or the instrument you picked up , your sports teams, and side hustle businesses (even if they didn’t make any money). Did you go on a missions trip , did you sing in a choir, did you learn first aid , how about that time you helped to organise a charity event, or volunteered .
**Note here that next to each point note how long you had worked on that project for . So for example one would say : Theatre School – 10 years . Piano – 7 Years …
Keep working with that until you’ve listed every accomplishment ever – don’t miss anything out !
Write about all the skills you learnt form each of the experiences that you’ve had. So if it was volunteering at a thrift shop – you may have learnt time management – if it was 5 years playing the cello – you may have learn persistence. If it was mentoring at a school programme you might have learnt leadership and time management … the list goes on.
-And with this, you might have a gleaned a lot of skills , but major on 5 of them – make these skills the theme that carries through the writing.
Now on this page you need to think deep and hard, you might even need a few good friends or family members or a teacher to help you . List out 10 good qualities about your self and 3 qualities that need to be improved.
-This is useful for letting the reader know who you are. And then with the ‘improvement qualities’ you basically want to see if any of your past experiences has helped you to improve so far. An example sentence would be ‘My on-going support for my local climate-change club really helped in improving my ability to be consistent. I had to learn about supporting a cause I believed in even when it was challenging’.
Then the 10 qualities of your best attributes is really an opportunity to show them who you are. ‘ My passion for the subject of computer science made me a highly enthusiastic leader , and my team ended up winning our category’
This page is all about your career goals, think of yourself in 5 or 6 years, you’ve finished your undergrad degree and your in the 1st year of your first job. Don’t think about the money or the position (even though I would encourage you to search that up before choosing your degree.) . Think about the purpose. Why do you need this opportunity to take you a step closer to where you want to be ? eg: ‘ This degree will allow me to progress in the field of forensics and allow me to focus on the science behind intriguing cases’
And then there’s the tye-in . Your personal statement needs to have a unique and distinct thread that shows the reader who you are, and is consistent throughout Make sure your first sentence is gripping and authentic. Don’t go for the stereotypical : ‘I first knew I wanted to be an X when … I’ve always wanted to … becoming an X is such a dream ‘ – Nope. Just don’t do it.
Write it out without the word count first, then slowly slowly being to make it more concise. The aim here is to say as much about yourself and convey your passion as concisely as you can.
And remember not to make it look like you’ve got it all together… unless you have (in that case can you please message me !). Afterall you’re asking them for a place in their course so that you can learn something you don’t know. Somethings along the lines of ‘ I appreciate that law is a very tough and consuming field , and I’m sure I’ve only seen the surface of it , but I am willing to learn how I can develop myself in order to excel in this field.’
It took 12 drafts till I got to my final piece. Do it as many times as you need to, and be honest .
Don’t go for the cookie cutter phrases , be as authentic as possible without being too casual … make it sound like you.
And if you want an extra pair of eyes to give you some tips, myself and a few other team members don’t mind taking a look.
Send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll be of help.