Top tips for writing your personal statement!
Putting together a personal statement can be tricky! Every year, we speak to lots of applicants about what we expect and what we are looking for in the finished piece – it’s something we get asked about a lot!
‘What should I talk about in my personal statement?’
‘How can I make my personal statement stand out?’
‘How long should my personal statement be?’
Fear not! We don’t tend to have strict rules or regulations as such when it comes to the personal statement – so chances are, you’re on the right track already. That being said, we do have our own tips and guidelines that we like to share, so read on for our full insight!
Why does Imperial College Business School ask for a personal statement?
Quite simply, we ask for a personal statement because we want to know about you. All aspects of your application are important, but many areas tend to be factual and to the point. The personal statement is your opportunity to expand and tell us more about who you are, and what your motivations are for applying to Imperial. Our programmes are hugely competitive, so we often rely on the personal statement to help us understand your profile and fill in any missing pieces from our assessment.
What makes a good personal statement for Imperial College Business School?
It helps to think about what you have not told us in your application already and treat this as a priority. Ideally, your CV and academic history should have already given us a good idea of your achievements to date, so be sure to tell us why you are pursuing postgraduate study and why you have chosen your programme of interest. You should be able to link your past experiences to your suitability for the programme and expand on anything else that is relevant.
Be sure to include any quirky or standout experiences that you think make you unique! We love to hear about all the interesting things that applicants have done and achieved, and this is a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
Show us that you have done your research fully and that you have a clear passion and drive for your programme. We want to know how the programme will benefit you and how you will make the most of your time at the Business School. If you are submitting a second-choice programme as part of your application, it’s best to write your personal statement with your first choice of programme in mind. Should we require an updated version of your personal statement at any stage, we will contact you directly via email.
Be clear about your goals. Elsewhere in your application, you are required to complete our Career Section, with details of your immediate career goals after graduating – so you don’t need to overly repeat this. Perhaps you could use the Personal Statement to tell us about how your programme fits into your long-term career plan, or any long-term objectives you have relating to your chosen area of study.
Is there anything I should not write about in my personal statement?
Try not to get too caught up with university rankings or facts about the Business School – we want to hear about you, not us! It’s good to talk about the programme content but avoid simply relaying this information back to us. Focus instead on what interests you the most and how you plan to build on past study.
Don’t waffle - keep it concise! We recommend one side of A4 as the optimum length, but we wouldn’t penalise for going over. We also don’t have a preference for font style or format, just keep it professional and easy to read.
Check, check, and check again! It’s the golden rule; make sure your personal statement is free from any spelling or grammatical errors. Copying and pasting from any other personal statements you have written, such as one to another institution, is a risky game – don’t reference another university and be sure to use the correct programme title!
Hopefully, we have given you some good ideas to get you started. We know that submitting an application, and writing a personal statement in particular, can take a great deal of time – but it is worth all of your efforts and important to get it right. Best of luck if you are submitting an application, and we look forward to reading your personal statement soon!