Top tips for your UCAS personal statement

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This month, 16 and 17 year olds across the land will be scratching their heads in unison about writing their UCAS personal statement. The statement, a key part of the application process for university or college, can challenge even the most confident of students.

The challenge that awaits them can seem rather daunting. Having to sell yourself and your skills to an unknown academic in 2,000 words after all, isn't a relaxing Sunday evening task. Worse still, if you're a little lacking in the extracurricular department.

But even if you are the star player of the hockey squad and volunteer your time on Saturdays, it can be hard to show how these activities translate into useful skills that are appealing to a university.

Thankfully, whilst getting the grades and showing your extracurricular activities is important, it's not the only factor in a university's decision to welcome you into their golden gates. Instead, they want to hear about your 'soft skills'. These are the modern world's most sought-after qualities, like grit, confidence and communication skills.

If you are a volunteer or a budding sportsperson, the best way to make your personal statement stand out is by demonstrating how your chosen activity has developed your transferable soft skills. Think of real-life situations in which you've applied those skills. After all, universities don't just want to know that you have them, but that you can put them to good use too.

They'll also want to hear about some of the following:

Your achievements outside of school
Your ability to cope with the pressure of the course
Your ability to fit in with university life

Of course, there is another way to make a university sit up and pay attention to your application: an Outward Bound summer adventure. Our  Skills for Life Award is specifically designed to build a whole host of behaviours that are on every employer's wishlist. From resilience and self-management to team skills, we'll help you to explain how you can demonstrate each and every one of these qualities.

The Award will show that you're unique, that you're a motivated person, as well as ticking off the list of things they want to hear about above.

Download our quick guide to writing a stand out personal statement with the Skills for Life Award now.