As a journalism student, the question I hear the most from people wanting to study the subject at university is, “how do I improve my personal statement?” and understandably so. Aside from your grades, your personal statement is your big chance to prove (or sell) yourself to that dream university.
It’s an arduous process with every word being sweated over and making the most of the strict word count. Deciding what to include is a nightmare in itself, so hopefully the following tips will help you improve your personal statement.
1. Researching and Deciding
Knowing what you want to do can be hard, but making a decision can make things a lot easier. Your personal statement will be much easier to write if you decide on one subject to apply for. Applying for multiple subjects (Journalism, History, English, etc.) can lead to an unfocused personal statement. Researching each subject and their related courses and then deciding what is best for you can make life easier.
Why is writing my personal statement so hard? I’m applying for journalism and creative writing courses I should be good at it
— Chloe Becca (@ChloeBecca_) October 20, 2015
2. Get Blogging
The internet provides a great platform to get your writing out there. Blogging sites such as WordPress, Blogger and Google Blogs allow you to publish content for free and, if you’re lucky, build a readership. Even if nobody reads your blog, its a great place to archive your work.
3. Writing with Passion
Your personal statement should scream that you are passionate about writing and dream of becoming a journalist. After all, this is what your personal statement is about: proving how much you want to study the course. Don’t be too over-dramatic, but make the administrations person reading know how much you love to write.
4. Writing for an Online Publisher
What’s an online publisher? You’re on one. Sites such as Kettle Mag offer an excellent place to get articles published to a wider audience. They also introduce you to people just like you. Make sure to follow any style guide that the online publisher may have.
5. Work Experience
Nothing looks better on a personal statement than work experience. It provides you with experience as a journalist and also proves your interest in journalism. You can organise work experience by contacting where you want to work directly or you can get help through your school or college. Local newspapers are always a good option.
ok so i wanna go into sports journalism and ive got no experience and nothing to write about on my personal statement how stupid can i be??
— rachel (@hwatsonfan) July 21, 2015
6. School Newspapers
Busy days at school and college don’t allow for much time to be a journalist. That’s why becoming involved in a school newspaper is such a useful opportunity. It allows you to work on your writing skills, while having your work seen by other people. It’s also a handy place to start building up an archive of your work.
7. Show Your Ambition
So, you’ve said why you want to study the course and what you’ve done. But, it’s also important to say what you want to do after university. Do you want to become a columnist, a court reporter or a television reporter? There’s a long list of what a journalism course can lead to in the world of work and there is no pressure to make a firm decision at this point, but a quick mention of what you hope to achieve after university will show you have put some thought into your future and taking part in this course is something you really want to do to achieve that dream job.
For information on what journalism courses are out there check out our Journalism course search