Tips for the Perfect Personal Statement

Writing a personal statement for your university application can be daunting, but it needn’t be.

Here at the School of Management, we wanted to share our insider-know-how with you so you can draft a top personal statement which will help you get noticed, for all the right reasons.

Structure is everything

Before you begin, jot down the structure for the personal statement. What do you want to include and in what order?

We’d always suggest:

⦁ An opening paragraph outlining your passion for the subject and your drive to succeed
⦁ Your academic studies
⦁ Work experience
⦁ Interests / hobbies – are there any that lend themselves well to Swansea University or studying within the School of Management?

Strong opening paragraphs

Opening paragraphs and sentences are really important but please be aware that we see thousands and many opening lines are just overused, including:

⦁ ‘From a young age I have always been interested in/fascinated by…’ (used by 1,179 students)
⦁ ‘For as long as I can remember I have…’ (1,451 students)
⦁ ‘I am applying for this course because…’ (1,370 students) 
⦁ ‘I have always been interested in…’ (927 students).

If you find it difficult thinking of an opening sentence or paragraph, try writing it last.

Academic achievements

Your personal statement is about highlighting why you are the perfect candidate for a place at our School. So be confident when you talk about your academic achievements. We want to understand what motivates you academically and what your particular interests are.

Ambition is key

We don’t expect you to know exactly what you want to do after graduating but we want to know that you have ambition. Make it clear that you are driven and are excited to learn – is there a particular module that excites you?

Let’s talk about YOU

As well as outlining your academic achievement and your aspirations, we want to get to know you as a person. What are your interests outside of the classroom? Do you do any extra-curricular activities? Your interests and hobbies don’t need to be award winning, they will simply help build a well-rounded image of you as a person.

Think outside the box!

Transferable Skills - Think outside the box! We know that work experience has been hard to come by this year, with all sorts of opportunities disappearing with the onset of the pandemic. But you'd be surprised how much you learn from every day activities! Maybe lockdown has given you a new hobby or take on life in general? Don't forget too that many sports boost communication and teamwork abilities; and even gaming can have an impact on your ability to make decisions - don't be afraid to tell us all about it!

Don’t plagiarise.

Plagiarising is a big no-go; at university and within your personal statement. Please remember that we read thousands of personal statements each year and it’s obvious when parts of your statement have been lifted from elsewhere.

There’s a limit

There’s a 4,000 character limit or 47 lines – keep tabs on how much you’ve written.

No jokes

Humour is often a great way to stand out from the crowd but not in this instance. Keep humour out of your statement. We want to take you seriously and the assessor may have a very different sense of humour to you.

A second opinion

Ask your teacher to proof read your personal statement and to give you pointers on what to include or remove. Although you may think you’ve perfected it, another pair of eyes is always beneficial.

If you have any questions about the University or the course you want to study, please contact us on study@swansea.ac.uk