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Writing a personal statement for engineering

Writing on a laptopFrom UCAS forms to job applications, you’ll often find yourself having to sell yourself in a personal statement. Find out how to engineer a good one.

Start with the basics

Certain things are the same for any kind of personal statement.

  • Tailor what you write: It might save time to use the same personal statement for everything, but you’ll end up waiting a long time for a successful application. Rewrite your statement for each course or job you apply for, making sure you bring out the things that are most relevant.
  • What’s the point?: You’ll have limited space in your personal statement, so every word counts. Before you include something, think about how it will help your case and whether it’s relevant to the job or course you’re applying for.
  • See it their way: Although you should demonstrate your enthusiasm, it’s a mistake to make your statement all about what you want. Employers want to know what you’ll be able to bring them, while for a course you need to show that you’ll be able to succeed.

For more on the basics, take a look at our personal statement checklist.

Tips for Engineers

  • Show an engineering mind: It’s tempting to include cute stories about playing with Meccano to show that you’ve always been interested in engineering, but these don’t show anything about your potential as an engineer. Instead, mention things that show you think about how things work and can think creatively.
  • Mention things you’ve done: Describing a project you’ve completed or helped with is much more convincing than simply saying that you’re interested in an area.
  • Explain your acheivements: There might be things on your CV or application form that don’t look as relevant as they are. Your personal statement gives you the chance to explain why these should matter.
  • Show you can work with others: Whether it’s a course or a job, you’ll often be working as part of a team. Show that you can do it with real examples. These don’t have to be engineering-related - you might have been part of a sports team, for example.

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