Personal Statement Template Uk

You have a limited amount of time to make an impact on the reader (no more that 30 seconds to be precise) therefore the effect has to be immediate. A personal statement is usually situated at the top of a cv under your personal information and is one of the first sections of a cv that the reader will come across. There are various formats and types of cv that are useful dependant on the job role or your skill set, however almost all include a personal profile. In addition generally most application forms will also include a personal statement section.

“This is your banner heading summarising your main selling points" 

So what should this heading or opening paragraph include? 

  • A brief overview of who you are and what personal qualities you have to offer.
  • Reference to your skills ensuring they are specifically tailored to that of the position
  • Outline your areas of expertise and experience

In addition it should entice the reader to want to know more and go on to read the rest of your cv or application form.

How long should a personal statement be?

There is no definitive answer providing the information is relevant and interesting, however generally a profile will consist of between 30 – 60 words. No more than a few short sentences around 5 lines long.

How do we go about writing a personal profile?

  • Firstly you should think about compiling a list of descriptive words or phrases that you may wish to use when explaining the above mentioned bullet points.

Some sample words; Approachable, Analysed, Caring, Challenging, Creative, Diplomatic, Experienced, Flexible, Helpful, Influential, Inspiring, Motivated, Organised, Professional.

Some sample skills; Effective listener, Good at motivating others, Training, Writing, Public Speaking, Completing Forms, Cooking, Innovative thinker.

  • Your personal profile should be written in third person narrative, as written in first person will appear as only your opinion of yourself.
  • Compile a few short sentences combining your pre - selected words and key skills. It is recommend you have two versions of your profile, one which targets a specific job or industry sector and a general multi - purpose version which you can adapt dependant on your requirements. This will also help if you are applying for a range of different jobs. 
  • You must feel comfortable in explaining and justifying the points included and be mindful of not sounding “too good to be true”. 

It is not uncommon to be asked questions in relation to points included within your profile for example;

Q: You state that you are a good problem solver can you provide an example of a problem you have solved and how?

Q: You mention you are an innovative thinker, can you explain an idea that you have suggested that was successful? 

  • Where possible have someone proof read or help suggest points for you to include as it can sometimes be difficult to write in a positive and descriptive manner about yourself.

To conclude here are some example profiles and important Do’s and Don’ts: 

Do’s

  • Set the tone appropriately and word in a positive manner that will help precondition the reader.
  • Contain only appropriate and relevant information.
  • Keep it within the recommended length or you run the risk of waffling.

Don’t

  • Pigeon hole yourself to one type of person or profession (unless your intention is to achieve one very specific objective).
  • Include and information in relation to your life eg, married, single, age, how long you have been unemployed.
  • Go over the top, try where possible to keep it simple and do not include anything negative in this opening paragraph.

Example Profiles

A responsible, intelligent and experienced retail professional with an extensive background in fashion and children’s wear both in large departments and small boutiques. Highly creative, adaptable and bright individual with an excellent eye for visual detail and design.

A skilled and adaptable Project Manager, with experience in implementing and overseeing change. Has a proven track record of exceeding performance expectations, remaining customer focused and adhering to budgets and timescales. Ability to bring about the fundamental changes needed in response to changing commercial, legislative and financial factors. Strong strategic vision; along with the ability to successfully deliver complex multi-track projects.

An energetic, ambitious individual who has developed a mature and responsible approach to any tasks undertaken. As a Finance graduate who also possesses three years’ managerial experience, now seeks a senior financial management role. Has the ability to organise people and systems in order to achieve objectives and is used to working under pressure and meet strict deadlines.

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The personal statement is an important part of the UCAS application. It's your chance to describe your ambitions, skills, and experience.

Our personal statement tool

You can write up to 4,000 characters of text that show you’d make a great student – so it might take a few redrafts until you’re happy with it.

This tool will help you think about what to include in your personal statement, and how to structure it. It also counts how many characters you’ve used, so it’s easy to see when you’re close to that 4,000 character limit.

Write your personal statement now


  • Course descriptions mention the qualities, skills and experience it’s useful to have for each subject – take note of these to help you decide what to write about.
  • Remember it’s the same personal statement for all the courses you apply to, so avoid mentioning unis and colleges by name. Most students choose similar subjects, but if you’ve chosen a variety, just write about common themes – like problem solving or creativity.
  • If you've got a question about writing your personal statement, don't worry you're not alone. Check out our blogs:

What to write about

  1. Why you are applying – your ambitions and what interests you about the subject, course providers and higher education.
  2. What makes you suitable – any relevant skills, experience or achievements gained from education, work or other activities.
  • Extracurricular activities

    These are great ways to prepare for higher education.

    If you do or have done any of these before, they could be ideal things to mention in your personal statement. Or you might be able to organise or start a new activity before you send your application.

  • International and EU students

    As an international student there are a few extra things you should mention.

    1. Why you want to study in the UK
    2. Your English language skills and any English courses or tests you’ve taken
    3. Why you want to be an international student rather than study in your own country
  • Mature students

    Here’s where you can mention any alternative entry requirements you’ve used – like an Access course or APL – demonstrating the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through your previous experiences.


How to write it

Feel free to use our personal statement mind map and personal statement worksheet for planning your personal statement.

There’s no definite formula to follow – just take your time and follow these guidelines.

  • Structure your info to reflect the skills and qualities the universities and colleges value most.
  • Write in an enthusiastic, concise and natural style – nothing too complex.
  • Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
  • Proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it and the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.

We recommend you write your personal statement first, and then copy and paste it into your online application when you’re done.

Check the 4,000 character and 47 line limits though – some word processors get different values if they don’t count tabs and paragraph spacing as individual characters.

When you do add it to your application, save it regularly as it times out after 35 minutes of inactivity.

Applying for Teacher Education in Scotland?

If you're applying to study Teacher Education in Scotland, you'll need to make your application through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme. Read dedicated personal statement advice from Scottish training providers about what to include in your personal statement.


  • European characters and other languages

    You can use some ​European characters in your personal details, personal statement, employment and referee details. Some of these will be substituted with UK equivalent characters. Check our Extended character sets substitutions​ for more details.

    It’s not possible to apply in an alternative language, unless you’re applying to Welsh course providers and you’d like to make your application entirely in Welsh.

    1. To register in Welsh, when you go to the application service ‘Apply’, you can select ‘Cymraeg’.
    2. When you’re logged in to your application you can change the language to English or Welsh on the ‘Options’ page.
    3. The help text in Apply is available in Welsh too.
    4. In Apply you can choose to receive correspondence from course providers and from us in Welsh.

    Sut i ymgeisio

  • What happens to personal statements that have been copied?

    We screen all personal statements across Copycatch our Similarity Detection system – so make sure your personal statement is all your own work. Don’t copy from anyone else or from the internet and don't share your personal statement with other applicants.

    If we find any similarity in your personal statement, your application will be flagged. Then we’ll email an alert to you and your university or college choices and this could have serious consequences for your application.

  • Want to say more?

    You can only submit one personal statement – the same one for all the courses you apply to – and you can’t change it after your application has been submitted.

    If you want to send any more information you can ask your university and college choices if they’ll accept further details.

    • If they agree, you should send it to them, rather than us.
    • After we receive your application, we’ll send you a welcome email that includes your Personal ID – quote your Personal ID along with the further information you send to the unis and colleges, so they can link it to your UCAS application.

 


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