Should you get someone to write your personal statement for you?
If you're struggling to write your personal statement for university it can be really tempting to pay a professional to write it for you. After all, they know what they're doing, they can do it quickly and easily and you know for certain that what you submit to UCAS will tick all the boxes. Right?
In this article I'm going to be explaining why you should NOT get someone to write your personal statement for you, no matter how tempting it might be.
Why you shouldn't get someone to write your personal statement for you
1. It's personal
The clue's in the name. A personal statement is just that. Personal. It should be the account of what you've done, the interests you have the opinions, ideas and questions that you've developed that have brought you to the point in life where you want to apply to do the course you've chosen. (This blog post, although it's written for Oxbridge applicants, is really helpful to everyone in working out how to tell their story).
No one else will be able to convey the passion and personality that you can put across concerning yourself, particularly a stranger you've commissioned to write about you on the internet.
You are your best advocate.A personal statement is just that. Personal. Click To Tweet
2. It's unethical
Getting someone else to write your personal statement for you is unethical. It's a bit like copying someone else's essays and handing it in with your name at the top. It's not a true representation of who you are, and if you're offered a place on the strength of it, you're effectively committing fraud.
Write it yourself and keep the playing field even for all the students applying to university in your cohort.
3. It's risky
When you get someone else to write your personal statement for you, particularly someone who writes loads of the things, you're taking a big risk.
Whilst this person may look at all your experience and history and write about you they can't but help having their own turns of phrases and ways of structuring things. No matter how hard they try not to plagiarise other UCAS personal statements they've written it might just happen by accident.
However, if you write your personal statement yourself in your own authentic voice then you can be sure that your personal statement can't be accused of plagiarism.
This is what it says on the UCAS website:
If you provide true, complete and accurate information and if your personal statement is all your own work, then you have nothing to worry about.
So, make your life easier in the long term and write it yourself.
OK, I get it. I need to write my personal statement myself. But I'm still stuck.
I hear you. There are loads of places to get help with writing your personal statement that range from free (asking your parents or teachers) to more costly. Check out my blog post The definitive guide to where to get help with your personal statement for more on that.
The thing you really need to remember is that a personal statement is a little bit like an essay. You need to include certain bits of information, you need to structure it in a certain way and include certain things like your reflections on your further reading. It's these little bits of you that make it personal within the generic structure of a personal statement.
To help you with this I've created an online course which takes you from blank piece of paper to done in three easy steps. Through a series of short videos I guide you through identifying all the things you could possibly talk about (there's more than you might think) and narrowing it all down to the things that you really should say and will impress the most. I then show you how to craft a compelling opening sentence, tinker about with the structure to get the perfect flow and go through the editing process.
Find out more about my Personal Statement Masterclass. Just be rest assured of one thing: I won't be writing it for you!
Over to you
Have you got any questions about writing your UCAS personal statement? Just leave them in the comments below and I'll answer them for you.