How to make your personal statement stand out

Are you struggling with your personal statement at the moment? Want to stand out of the crowd?

You are not alone, I have gone through the whole process as well. My name is He, a marketing student at the Streatham Campus in Exeter. I am here to share my experience in terms of personal statement when I applied for my Master degree.

When I first applied for my MSc Marketing programme, I realised there are many templates available online. However, the personal statement is considered to be the most vital part of our application. It is an opportunity that we can actually introduce ourselves and convince the university that we are qualified for a place on the chosen course. So, I did not use the template, instead I only wrote based on my personal experience, interests, as well as my understanding of the chosen programme.

I chose to include the following:

Reasons for applying to the programme and what are my strengths.

I discussed my personal interests of why I decided to apply for this particular programme above others. For example, some of my friends and colleagues graduated from Exeter a few years ago, and they recommended me to apply to this University and shared their experience when they studied here before. Also, a few colleagues worked with the University as partners, they also had positive comments. Besides, I demonstrated my skills from a professional perspective. Prior to my Master degree, I worked for a British organisation as a Talent and Development Advisor (HR), so I have a strong connection with British culture, and also based on those 6 years work experience. I am familiar with the education market between the UK and my home country. However, I did not have enough academic background of marketing, which motivated me to start the application.

All of these aims to make my personal statement unique and help differentiate from other candidates.

Showed I was fully prepared and had a clear plan.

You need to show the university that you are well prepared for this course, and you can highlight your achievements in the past. For me, I attached my performance evaluation in the previous company, as well as some projects I participated in, such as the Education Expo. I also read through the course details and modules, and displayed my current grades. Such as I studied business English before, and I have some excellent grades and certificates to show that I have no difficulties studying in an English environment.  Besides, I travelled to different countries both for work and sightseeing, which means I am capable of living in another country by myself. Other than explaining the preparation which supports me to get the offer, I linked it to my career path. By studying this programme, I will be able to transfer the knowledge learned to achieve my career objectives in the marketing area in the UK.

Discussed my weaknesses, but in a positive way.

Of course, after showing your strengths in previous sections, we can do some reflections of weak points or anything that might concern us in the future study life. In my PS, I wrote that my previous job was more focused on HR, events and training other than marketing, and honestly stated that I participated in some marketing projects but needed to learn more about it. And then I introduced a few cases I did with my colleagues to show what I have learnt from it. It all indicates that even though I do not have rich experience, I have the capability to overcome the difficulties to improve the situation. But remember, do not exaggerate the final result.

And finally…

Here are some small tips gathered from previous university students for your information.

  • Have sufficient time to prepare, do not leave it until the last minute

(I started about 6 months earlier to make sure I have sufficient time to prepare

documents and to do research.)

  • Never lie or exaggerate your experience or skills
  • Ask for suggestions

(When I finished my PS, I send it to my British friends, and native speakers to have a

double check and ask if there is anything I can improve from their perspectives.)

  • Check your spelling and grammar before you submit your application

I hope this can help with your application.

   June 11th, 2020    Applying, Higher Education, Postgraduate, Preparing for University

Skip to toolbar