Sunday, 16 February 2014

Personal Statements

Hello to any readers that stumble across this!

I want to have a quick post on Personal Statements. The feedback I got from all 4 of my University Interviews was that my Personal Statement (PS) was "excellent" so I thought I might talk about what sort of things I added in to it.

"Start off 'punchy' with a story and leave them wanting more" was the advice I was given - and so I did!

The beginning
My opening 4 lines was literally a story about a severe trauma incident I dealt with in the Army. I talked vaguely about the situation and then left it on a cliffhanger before moving right into my profile.

My Profile
This made up about 70% of my statement, I talked about my relevant experience as a military Combat Medic, then I wanted to show that there's more to me than Trauma and that I understood that the Ambulance Service is very different to what I had done in the Army so I talked about being a Community First Responder and how that allowed me to gain exposure to the Patient demographic a Paramedic would routinely deal with (elderly, the drunk, and a little on mental health). I then ended this part with an example of an elderly patient I came across as a CFR where no Medical treatment was needed in the end, however the Patients quality of life wasn't great and their was a clear safeguarding issue - this allowed me to demonstrate that I was aware there was more to the role of a Paramedic than medical emergencies.

The nitty gritty
Most Unis will require you to make it very clear on your Personal Statement that you can drive and you have a clean licence, and some that you have full/provisional category C1 entitlement - make it very very bloody clear! A colleague was unsuccessful because all he said was "I have a drivers licence" you need to say you have one, it's manual, it's clean, and your C1 entitlement if appropriate or you risk not being shortlisted for any Uni as my colleague did. This took up a line and a half in my personal statement but it will literally make or break your chance at interview.

There's more to you
Than your desire to be a Paramedic, Universities want to see you are a well rounded individual so talk briefly (2-3 lines) about what you do, I mentioned I'm a father of my two children and some outdoors activities and volunteering that I do.

Close well
My ending probably took me the longest to figure out, everyything up to this stage just flowed out of my fingertips to the keyboard but I really struggled to close this. You may find a better way of doing it but for myself I went for the "To me a Paramedic is..." and said a few words that envoked my passion for the role (very important at this stage an interview) and ended stating that I very much want to be apart of that world.

I hope this has helped someone, remember - write Passionately, don't start with the "I want to be a Paramedic because...." and think of something that will really grip the admissions staffs attention, something that makes you stand out from the rest.

Good luck!

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