Published On: June 27, 20245 min read

Beginning a higher education journey or applying for a job typically takes more than experience or grades. Personal statements are an essential component of applications, allowing individuals to demonstrate their unique talents, objectives, and eligibility for a specific course or employment. Writing a captivating personal statement requires careful consideration and effective execution. This article will review the difference between a personal statement and a statement of purpose, the essential elements to include, and important do’s and don’ts when writing an impactful personal statement.

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a story that describes one’s personal traits, experiences, motivations, and ambitions. It should express who you are beyond your grades or academic achievements, helping the reader to grasp your character, values, and objectives. Its primary goal is to set you apart from other applicants by providing insight into your distinct perspectives and possible contributions to the good of those around you.

How is a Personal Statement different from a Statement of Purpose?

A personal statement focuses on your personal experiences, journey, and motivations. In contrast, a Statement of Purpose (SoP) focuses on the goals related to the specific program or employment that you’re applying to. An SoP includes questions such as why you opt for a particular program or employment, your career aspirations, and how the opportunity fits into your long-term plans.

Essential Points to Include:

1. Who are you? – Introduction: Begin your personal statement with a captivating hook to pique the reader’s interest.

  • Introduce yourself, emphasising your enthusiasm for the field or job.
  • Talk about your previous and current academic journey.
  • Highlight any academic achievements that make you stand out, such as related coursework, projects, or research activities demonstrating your ability.
  • Mention whether or not your studies have been assessed in English, and prove it with evidence.

2. Why have you chosen the UK? Explain how the UK can enhance your learning experience. Mention how your decision is well thought-out.

  • Compare your home country with the UK in terms of lifestyle and education.
  • Explain why you have chosen the UK for your further studies.
  • Compare the UK to other countries, and tell what sets it apart.
  • Talk about how the UK attract you. Explain the personal and professional growth that the UK can bring to you.

3. Why are you choosing this university?

  • Justify your decision to apply to this University.
  • Compare the university ranking, facilities, and job turnover with other universities.
  • Include an explanation of why this University is suitable for your desired course.
  • Discuss the strengths of the university campus. Tell them what you know about the city.

4. Why are you choosing this course?

  • State your reasons for choosing the course. Tell me what interests you and benefits your long- and short-term goals.
  • If you’re shifting course, please explain why you want to change.
  • Explain how your previous education is related to this course.
  • Talk about the modules of the course and what soft and technical skills you’ll gain from this course.
  • Highlight any job, work experience, placement or voluntary work you have done, mainly if it is relevant to your subject. You may also include the skills and experience you have gained from these activities.
  • Justify study gaps with proper experience.
  • Explain how your program choice fits with your future educational and career plans.
  • Specify how your chosen program fits with your future goals and how it can help you enhance and achieve them.
  • Mention what skills or knowledge you want to gain that encouraged you to opt for this course.

5. What makes you the best fit? – Future Goals Discuss your long-term goals and how the course will be crucial in helping you achieve them.

  • This is a vital paragraph where you can highlight your long and short-term goals, future job profiles, the company you aim to work for or a business you wish to commence.
  • Talk about how this course will help you achieve your said goals.
  • Tell about your mission, vision and ethics. Don’t speak about leaving the UK – it might give a negative image. Instead, you can mention that you will return to your home country after completing your studies.
  • Explain why you are the best applicant for the program; they cannot find a better fit than you. Highlight your distinctive qualities and how you can contribute to the program.

Do’s and Don’ts of an Effective Personal Statement:


  1. Stay genuine: Be truthful and accurate in your writing. Always remember: Authenticity is more potent than exaggeration.
  2. Customize it: Make your personal statement unique for each application. Highlight features of the program or position that are significant.
  3. Show, don’t tell: Instead of describing generic attributes, use vivid examples and experiences to explain your arguments. This would help them trust you more.
  4. Read, edit, re-read, re-edit: Review, modify, and proofread your statement to ensure your writing is clear and error-free.
  5. Ask for Feedback: Seek advice and feedback from mentors, teachers, or peers. Fresh and diverse perspectives will help you improve your statement.


  1. Copy and Paste: Never plagiarise content from sample statements or other sources. Originality is essential.
  2. Exaggerate: Do not exaggerate or fabricate experiences. Be truthful and succinct.
  3. Include Clichés: Avoid using clichés and conventional language. Be distinct, unique, and selective in your phrases and words.
  4. Write Extensively: Do not cross the word limit (approximately 500 words).
  5. Include Jargon and Imagery: Do not include technical terms, images, and creative fonts.

A well-written and precise personal statement can significantly impact your application. It provides a platform to express your uniqueness, objectives, and appropriateness for your desired opportunity. You may develop a captivating narrative that distinguishes you from the competition by combining personal tales, highlighting essential experiences, and remaining loyal to yourself. Remember that it’s not just about what you’ve done but also about who you are and what you want to become.

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