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Personal Statements

To apply for jobs and postgraduate study you need a  personal statement – it’s a chance for you to show that you have the appropriate knowledge, skills, personal qualities and experience.

Before you start

  • Allow plenty of time to write and re-draft your statement.
  • Read the person specification or course detail.
  • Research the role and organisation and use this to show your wider understanding of the job.
  • Always tailor your personal statement to each opportunity.
  • Read any instructions – these might include restrictions on word count.


  • Keep your statement direct and focused on the post/course.
  • Address each specification point to show how you match the criteria/course requirements.
  • Use evidence to back up your suitability from a wide range of examples.
  • Reflect the language and terminology that they use.
  • Try to use positive examples that show you in a good light.

Ask yourself

  • Have I addressed all of the essential criteria?
  • Have I stated what makes me different from my course colleagues?
  • Have I offered evidence for the skills that I claim to hold?
  • Have I mentioned why I’ve applied to the course at that particular institution or job with that particular employer?

General Tips

  • Plan your statement before writing it: this will allow you to have a clear, concise structure.
  • Always re-read and double check your personal statement and remember that grammar and spelling need to be spot on.
  • Keep a copy! You may need it for an interview.
  • Get some feedback on your personal statement from a careers adviser by booking into one of our appointment slots via:

Supporting statemments for job applications and speculative applications

Have a look at our Speculative Applications booklet for advice on how to be more proactive in finding experience. 

You can also use our Supporting Statements for Job Applications Leaflet for advice on supporting statements, which are very common for charities, education and healthcare roles.

Supporting statements for job applications booklet

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Speculative application booklet

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