Personal Statement

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is like a short reflective essay you write about why you’re the perfect candidate for the undergraduate degree course/s you are applying to. 

It is important to note that you only write one personal statement, which is seen by all the universities you apply to. Also, a university personal statement works differently to a personal statement when applying for a job.

Why is your personal statement important?

Your personal statement is where you can distinguish yourself from other candidates. It is where you can fill in the picture a tutor has of you in their head, and where you can leave a real impression that makes them want to meet you, or offer you a place.

How is your personal statement used by universities?

At the end of the day, you still need to meet the formal entry requirements of a course, as laid out by the university. However, if the final spot on a course comes down to you and someone else with the same grades, what you write in your statement could nab it for you.

If you are invited to attend an interview, your personal statement is an opportunity to shape what you will be asked about. At the very least, something in your statement could serve as a friendly icebreaker to ease you in.

If you fall slightly short of the grades you need on results day, it is a distinct possibility that your personal statement could clinch your place for you. Universities will prefer to give it to you if your statement shows the kind of commitment and enthusiasm they are looking for.

Your statement can help you make a big impression quickly during this fast-paced, short-notice interview process. In fact, we recommend re-reading your personal statement in the lead-up to results day to remind yourself why you would make a strong candidate – this could be a real confidence boost if you don’t get the grades you need.

How do you write a personal statement?

There is no definitive one-method-fits-all approach to writing your personal statement. But here are some pointers to guide you:
It’s not a sprint…
You’ll likely go through a few drafts before you get the polished final version that you submit as part of your application. So do not expect to thrash it out in a weekend. 

Start with your subject

It is pretty much impossible to start your personal statement without a degree subject in mind (e.g. English or Biology). It would be like applying for an unknown job by simply stating your general strengths or interests as a person.

It is easier with a few courses in mind

While you could pull together a rough draft while you’re researching, it is much easier to write your statement with a good idea of your five choices.

Remember that your one personal statement goes to all the universities you apply to, so making specific references might not be the best idea. 

You can search for courses for the subject you are interested and learn about the courses offered, to get a sense of what a course would involve.

The key word is ‘personal’ 

This does not mean pouring your heart out or emotionally blackmailing an admissions tutor.

But it does mean your personal statement should reflect why you’re the right candidate for the courses you’re applying to, based on your experiences, skills, and understanding; after all, these make you unique. 

Can you guess what the magic word is?

So while you can ask a friend for their advice or look at statement templates online, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. Make sure you tie any feedback back to you and the courses you’re applying to.

Plus, any personal statements that show signs of plagiarism (i.e. copying from another statement) will be detected. The universities you’ve applied to will be notified too. Obviously, that won’t impress them and it may affect your chances of being accepted. 

How long does a personal statement have to be? 

You have a maximum of 4,000 characters to write your personal statement. 

That might seem a lot (or maybe not enough) from the outset, but your perspective might change as you begin writing and have to boil down all those relevant thoughts, skills and experiences.

It is best to draft your statement and get it finalized in a Word document, and then copy this over to a system to submit it, rather than make changes afterward.

Some admissions tutors will recommend that you leave a blank line to separate paragraphs, as any indentation or formatting will be stripped out. Others will argue that each blank line will count as one of your 47 lines to play with. Rather than leave a blank line, try and finish your paragraphs midway along the line. That way it looks as if it’s still a paragraph.    

Ten must-haves for your personal statement

1. Explain why you want to study the course
What motivates you to take this course further, at a university level? Talk about how your interest developed, what you’ve done to pursue it or how you’ve drawn inspiration from your current studies. Try to avoid overusing the word ‘passion’ when doing so. 

If you want to get something specific out of the course, provided it's reasonable, say so.

2. Explain how you're right for the course
Provide evidence to show that not only do you meet the selection criteria but also that you’ve researched the course (or profession) and understand what studying the subject at university-level will involve. Also, show that you're prepared for this by giving examples, such as having worked as part of a diverse group.

3. Say what you have done outside the classroom
Outline how you’ve pursued your interest in your chosen subject beyond your current syllabus and developed your understanding as a result. But don’t just give a long list of things you’ve done; it’s important that you give your critical views or reflections too, so admissions tutors can see how you think.

Here, you could talk about specific books, quality newspapers, websites, blogs, periodicals or scientific journals you’ve read. Or you could discuss films, documentaries, blogs, radio programmes, podcasts and public lectures you’ve watched or listened to.

Also, try to avoid the things everyone else will mention so you stand out.

4. Why it is relevant to your course...
Reflect on your experiences, explaining what you’ve learnt from them or how they’ve helped develop your interest in the subject. 

It could be work experience, volunteering, a university taster session or outreach programme, summer schools, museum, gallery or theatre visits, archaeological digs, visits to the local courts, travel, competitions or a maths challenge. It’s not about quantity and it doesn’t have to be particularly special. The key thing is showing what you took away from it.

5. … And relevant to your chosen career
Reflecting on relevant experience or observations will be essential for some professional courses where, in effect, you’re applying for the career as well as the course:

Reflect on your experience, don’t just describe it. Talk about the skills the profession needs, how you’ve noticed this and how you’ve developed those skills yourself.
Occupational Therapy Admissions Tutor
Whatever environment you’ve been in, what did you spot or learn from what happens there, or what have you observed about how the qualities exhibited by professional staff helped them engage effectively with patients or service-users? 

6. Can you demonstrate transferable skills?
Yes, you can – and admissions tutors will want to hear about them! 

It could be your ability to work independently, teamwork, good time management, problem-solving, leadership, listening or organisational skills. Often universities will set these out in the description for a course. You just need to look for them.

7. Expand on the most relevant ones
But don’t simply rattle off all the skills you think you have. Think about which ones relate most readily to the course you’re applying to – another reason to search for your course and read up about it, as you write your statement. Then demonstrate how you’ve developed, used and continued to strengthen these.

Again, admissions tutors want to hear about specific examples, like:
positions of responsibility (what you achieved)
volunteering or a part-time job (what have you observed, what extra responsibilities have you taken on, what skills have you demonstrated yourself?)

8. Show that you are a critical thinker
University is all about being able to think independently and analytically, so being able to demonstrate that you’re already working in such a way is a big plus point.

9. What is the long-term plan?
Mention what your long-term goals are if you can do it in an interesting way and you’ve got a specific path in mind. If you do, then try to show a spark of individuality or imagination.

If you’re not sure yet, just talk about what you’re looking forward to at uni and what you want to gain from your course or from university life.

10. Keep it positive
It can be difficult to get started with your personal statement but don’t panic. Start with your strengths, focus on your enthusiasm for the course and talk positively about yourself. 

Personal statement dos and don’ts: summary

Do tailor it to your subject, showing your understanding and interest so far (and even what you want to learn more about).
Don’t make a long list of things you’ve done/read/watched without explaining how these developed this understanding.

Do research what skills and qualities the courses you’re applying to, demand and show how you already have these.
Don’t mention irrelevant or general hobbies; you want to stand out but not in the wrong way.

Do mention any career or post-uni paths you’re considering; but on the other hand, if you prefer to keep your future options open, then it’s OK to leave this out.
Don’t leave your statement to the last minute; give yourself time to draft and re-draft, plus share with others for feedback.

Retrieved from 

Personal Statement: Application for a Job
Writing a Personal Statement - Useful Tips

Job Interview Questions

Answer the following questions:

  1. Where do you want to be five years from now?
  2. Discuss a time when you used poor judgment or made a poor decision? How did you resolve the issue?
  3. How do you know if you met objectives? What if you did not?
  4. How do you know how long to spend on your objectives?
  5. What are your weaknesses?
  6. What would you do if your superior tells you to do something that you know is not right in the way of doing?
  7. If I call your supervisor/teacher, how will he describe you?
  8. What would you say about your time management?
  9. Is there any workplace environment that is ineffective for you?
  10. What kind of people do you find hard to get along with?
  11. You seem to have little work experience. How do you intend to perform well in this job?
  12. Can you adjust yourself to rapidly changing the environment?
  13. What kind of people do you work with most effectively?
  14. Can you give me an example of your creative skills?
  15. What do you want from this position?
  16. What can you contribute? 
  17. Describe yourself in three negative adjectives.
  18. Describe yourself in three positive adjectives.

About Labor Market

The term 'labor market' refers to the market in which workers compete for jobs (demand side) and employers compete for workers (supply side). It also includes employment agencies which act as an intermediary between job suppliers and job seekers

The market is composed of two sides:

1. Supply refers to the number of workers (labor force) who are already in the labor market or the economically active part of the population who are ready to enter the labor market at a certain period of time.

2. Demand means the demand for labor, which represents the other side of the market, or the human efforts required by employers from public and private institutions for certain benefits.

Labor Market Movement

The labor market can be shown as a dynamic system. The number of unemployed and employed workers at any time is the result of the movements shown below: unemployed persons find work at the same time as many employed workers lose their jobs and become unemployed.

UAE Economic Drivers

Oil and gas accounted for 42 per cent of the UAE’s GDP in 2012, with Abu Dhabi holding the overwhelming majority of the country’s reserves (well over 90 per cent)

Industrial development is playing an increasingly vital role in driving UAE economic expansion and diversification, accounting for 16 per cent of GDP. The main pillars of UAE industry are petrochemicals, aluminum, and steel, but the automotive sector, chemicals, cement, electrical machinery, power equipment and food processing continued to gain momentum in 2012.

Dh193.6 billion (US$53 billion) or 14 per cent of the UAE’s GDP came from the tourism industry in 2012, a figure that is expected to rise in coming years. Tourism provides one in nine jobs in the country, which beats the global average of one in 11 jobs. The industry grew by 14 per cent in the UAE in 2012, faster than the world average of 9 per cent. The UAE aims to increase tourism arrivals from around 15 million in 2012 to 26 million over the next ten years.

Driven mainly by rising trade and tourism activity, the UAE has also taken great strides towards becoming a regional hub for transport and logistics, and for the global travel industry. The country is currently constructing and expanding several port and airport facilities, as well as roads and a nationwide rail network. The aviation industry alone contributes about 15 per cent to the UAE’s GDP (and as much as 28 per cent in Dubai).

The UAE real estate and construction sector is showing strong signs of recovery after the property slowdown caused by the global financial crisis in 2009. According to 2011 statistics, the sector accounts for around 10 per cent of UAE GDP.

The banking and finance industry has maintained its position as one of the leading contributors to the economy, at around 7 per cent of total GDP. UAE banks witnessed 8 per cent growth in total assets to Dh1.8 trillion (US$490 billion) in 2012, enabling the banking sector to remain the Arab region’s largest in terms of assets.

Dubai, which accounts for around 30 per cent of the UAE economy with a population in 2012 of 2.1 million, has positioned itself in recent years as a regional hub for trade, transport, and logistics, retail, tourism, and banking. These key pillars have shown resilience since the financial crisis, with
overall GDP growing by approximately 4.5 per cent in 2012. Oil and gas represent only 2 per cent of the economy.

Abu Dhabi. The energy-rich capital accounts for well over 60 per cent of UAE economic output and in 2012 saw GDP grow by an estimated 3.9 per cent. The population of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2013, as a whole, is just over 2.5 million, with annual growth of over 8 per cent, one of the highest rates in the world. Abu Dhabi has diversified into cultural tourism, aviation, manufacturing, media, healthcare, financial services and renewable energy.


When you are looking for a career and a job, broaden your search:

• Consider all economic sectors and companies
• Consider private, government and semi-government organizations.

Submit Your CV Online

You should advertise your skills and let employers find you. Over 70% of employers search the CV database without even advertising their jobs. Make yourself visible to employers. Upload your CV online. Uploading your CV to online database is fast and easy.

Click on the following links and upload your CV:

Bayt (join 40 000 employers on Bayt)
Bayt is the leading job website in the Gulf and Middle East, connecting job seekers with employers looking to hire. 
Add your CV to Bayt

Naukri Gulf
Naukri Gulf is an online platform for employers to hire quality talent and for job seekers to land their dream job. Thousands of job seekers from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar visit the site daily.
Add your CV to Naukri Gulf

Monster Gulf
Search hundreds of thousands of jobs, build and post your resume and access thousands of pages of career information. This is the place where job seekers and employers meet. Employers search resumes, screen candidates and streamline their entire hiring process.
Add your CV to Monster Gulf

Gulf Talent
Gulf Talent is the leading online recruitment portal in the Middle East, used by over 6 million experienced professionals from all sectors and job categories. Employers search CV database and and recruit young professionals.
Add your CV to Gulf Talent

Gulf Jobs Market
Make your CV available to hundreds of recruiters. They are regularly searching for candidates online.
Upload your CV to Gulf Jobs Market

The Gulf Today
The Gulf Today is an English-language daily newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the four UAE broadsheet newspapers. Make your CV available to hundreds of recruiters.
Add your CV to the Gulf Today

Emirates Diary
You can submit your CV to Emirates Diary database. When there is a matching job you will receive an alert. 
Submit your CV to Emirates Diary

Create an Indeed CV and let employers find you. With an Indeed CV it is easy to apply to jobs posted on Indeed, even from your smartphone or tablet.
Upload your CV to Indeed

Gulf Job Network
Apply to UAE’s top recruitment agents, placement firms and talent acquisition consultancies.
Submit your CV to Gulf Job Network

Hire Fire
Free CV posting service. Type in your email address.
CV can be submitted to potential employers.

Jobs Me
Jobs Me is one of the leading placement agencies in the Gulf. The agency offers a wide variety of recruitment solutions for the past two decades varying from skilled labors up to senior management positions and it caters to diversified industries.
Upload your CV in word format.

Job seekers search and employers advertise positions.
Sign up as a new Job Seeker at Gulfaar

More useful links:

CV Building Tools

Sample Cover Letter

Job Interview Questions (with answers)

Inspirational Quotes

The following ideas can make you move forward:

1. Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. B. F. Skinner

2. Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them. Unknown Author

3. Focus on making yourself better, not on thinking that you are better. Bohdi Sanders

4. Just remember there is someone out there that is more than happy with less than what you have. Unknown Author

Rule 1: Never quit 
Rule 2: Always remember Rule 1.  – Unknown Author

Draw your future - Take control of your life, 
START HERE (Skip the ad).

Here are the ideas worth spreading: 



Modern Workplace Etiquette

Specific Purpose: Explain the importance of etiquette in the workplace

I.    Definition of etiquette 
II.   Thesis statement 
III.  Overview 

I.    Etiquette in our time 
II.   The importance of workplace etiquette
III.  Workplace etiquette 
1.   Social media 
2.   Open office considerations
3.   Conversation topics
5.   Communicating 
6.   Meetings
7.   Workspace
8.   Leaving for vacation
IV.  International business etiquette 

I.   Summarize or review the most important points.
II.  Formulate a final statement that finishes my speech smoothly.
III. Questions & answers




Cross-Cultural Communication

Specific Purpose: Provide a general understanding about cross-cultural communication

                I.        Explain what culture is
                II.      The important feature of communication 
                III.      Why cross-cultural communication is important

                I.        Common cultural differences
                                  A.   Perception of time
                                  B.   Perception of space
                                  C.   Fate and personal responsibility
                                  D.   Importance of face

                II.       Ten tips for successful cross-cultural communication

                I.       End with quotation
                II.      Do you have any questions?
                III.     Thank you.