By the time you start to write your personal statement, you should know why you want to be a midwife. This is your chance to show the admission tutors why, out of the hundreds of applicants they receive, they should be particularly keen to interview you.
Most people either provide personal statements which are boring and very similar to everyone else’s, or provide information which isn’t relevant or appropriate. It’s important for your application to show the right:
- Commitment/ enthusiasm
What should you include in your personal statement?
- Reasons why you want to be a midwife
- Your awareness of what a midwife is
- Your understanding of the needs of service users
- Your ability to communicate, work in a team, be organised and have empathy
- Demonstrate that you are non-judgemental
Personal statements that stand-out
Getting on a midwifery course is tough, and gets tougher every year. So you may need to be a little ‘tactical’ about how you approach it in order to secure your place within this highly sought- after career.
- Work experience
We’ve all done a range of jobs, but not all of them will show evidence to uni tutors that you have the skills to train as a midwife. Midwifery-related work experience, including any volunteering or shadowing is very useful, but if you haven’t got this there are plenty of other ways you can show you have what it takes. There are plenty of ‘caring’ professions through which you can show a range of very transferable skills such as a kind, empathetic and practical approach. Even jobs which don’t fall neatly into this category can have a lot of merit when it comes to proving your worth to application assessors. You just need to know how to present your experience in a way which makes it seem relevant and highly desirable, even if at first glance it’s not obvious how this role and midwifery connect.
- Extra activities
When there is a pile of application forms on a desk, all describing similar qualifications and similar work experience, it can be the extra activities which make all the difference to your application, so use your free time wisely! If you are just finishing school or college you may be thinking about taking a year out and applying for a uni place on your return. You can use this year to get experience in a relevant profession or do some volunteering either locally or abroad. Travelling can have its merits, although you will need to demonstrate that you did more than bar-hop across continents if you want to impress potential employers!
You don’t need to quote journals at length to make a good impression, but if you give some indication of reading around your subject it will go a long way to towards showing your commitment to the profession. You may wish to mention something current happening in the profession mentioned in the mainstream media or a latest piece of research which could have an impact on practice. By referencing this, not simply as a snippet directly lifted but as a basis for your own comment and reflection, you will show your interest in the profession ad motivation to learn more.
- Understanding the course
Some universities want to be sure you know what you are letting yourself in for! They will expect to see that you understand the clinical placement aspect of the course, that this may involve travel, shifts and a real work environment (no slacking just because you are a ‘student’!)
- Appreciation of the challenges
Uni tutors are wary of selecting anyone who may drop out of the course, or leave the profession early, simply because they didn’t appreciate the demands which they would be facing. To have come this far you’ll know that a career in midwifery is not an easy option. Rewarding, fascinating, fulfilling yes, but rarely easy. The training requirements are no different, and if you can show that you have not only understood this but have strategies to overcome these obstacles, your uni assessors will be able to put another ‘yes’ tick next to your name.
Personal statements tend to be littered with phrases such as ‘work well independently as well as part of a team,’ ‘good communication skills’ and ‘reliable and hardworking’. The problem is, when everyone is writing the same thing it becomes rather meaningless. To really stand out you need to prove these things, and that’s done through your personal examples. These have the power to back up even the blandest generalisation and turn your personal statement into something that will make your tutors sit up and smile.
With all of these recommendations, understanding that you need to apply them to your statement is easier said than done. What’s the best way to write an example, how much detail should you include, where should you put it? How can you seem genuine about the challenges you will face and how can you convince your audience that you can face these? What extra activities are highly regarded and which would be frowned upon? There are plenty of opportunities you get your personal statement spot-on, and plenty to mess it up as well! If you’d like more help on how to get it right, click here
Top 10 Personal Statement Mistakes
- 1. Your personal statement is lacking personality.
- 2. You write about previous work experience, which is unrelated to your application.
- 3. You write about your own experience of giving birth.
- 4. You write about being a team player and how well you communicate, but do not give any examples.
- 5. You forget to write why you have chosen to be a midwife.
- 6. You don’t demonstrate any wider reading about health care or midwifery.
- 7. You don’t demonstrate your awareness of challenges such a shift work or balancing placement with academia, and how you would overcome such obstacles.
- 8. You haven’t done any work experience within the care sector
- 9. You mention your other commitments, which may hinder your ability to work full time.
- 10. You submit your personal statement without getting someone to proof read it for structure, typos and grammar.
Get expert help with your Personal Statement
Let our team of Midwives and Assessment professionals review your personal statement so that you will stand out amongst the competition and get selected.
Next Page: The University Selection Day
Each university will have a slightly different selection process. Many will have details on their websites about what to expect….