How to Ensure Your College Application Form Stands out Ahead of Time

If you’re contemplating getting that college admission form written up, thoughts may be turning to that often-dreaded personal statement section of the process! While some people find it easy talking about themselves and take delight in this part of the application form, not everyone enjoys having their character and lifestyle scrutinized in a restrictive word count.

However, the earlier you begin to look towards this process, the better prepared and equipped you are to satisfy its demands.

Paid Part Time and Temping Jobs Show Considerable Strength Here

If you have made an effort to combine your studying alongside that of a part-time paid position, now is the time to highlight it in full. What it says to a prospective college is that you are prepared to get out there and earn money, but it also does more by highlighting how motivated and self-starting your overall character is.

Putting yourself out there into the job market means entering a whole new environment but certainly gives you leverage over a candidate who has only ever known the study route all their life. This is especially so if you’re looking at accessing places such as Forward Pathway where your intended universities are overseas universities where you will have to up and leave everything that you know, and all that is familiar.

As soon as you start any paid work position, begin keeping a notebook of all the duties you’re required to do, no matter how small you think they may be. Then apply all the skills, and knowledge needed to do such tasks directly to your college application form.

Volunteering Work Is Great but Make It Count

One thing I tend to hear an awful lot of from young people is how they’re continuously told to volunteer and offer their services during the term time to places such as local schools, care homes, and other institutes. Referred to as enrichment, while I applaud this concept, after all, what better way to help your local community, I can’t help but wonder if this is the best path at this crucial stage?

So many employers that I speak with on a daily basis will tell me the problem with hiring college graduates is their lack of solid work experience in the industry in which they’re coming in to. Yet, if they’re expected to pick a volunteering role up for the sake of it, and then spend their time performing this role, overtaking the need to look for paid employment, it’s a problem that will continue to pose obstacles.

Volunteering looks great on your college application form as it shows commitment and dedication – but take your time to search for the most relevant of roles and environments beforehand. For example, if you’re keen on studying medicine, a role caring for others would be more suitable than a role sat at a desk in front of a PC! Likewise, if you’re looking to get into finance, a position working on the accounts for a local school would be much more beneficial than that of a classroom helper.


  • Zack

    November 6, 2018

    I’m so glad you brought this up, Daniela. The personal statement section brought me out in hives. I had to get someone else to write it as I dictated it!

    • Trent

      November 6, 2018

      Me too! Wow, I thought I was just weird, but everything I wrote sounded corny.

  • Shaun

    November 7, 2018

    Working with kids getting ready to write theirs, I can tell you it still haunts me each time we approach the subject!

  • Belinda

    November 8, 2018

    Couldn’t agree more about the volunteering aspect. The amount of kids I see pushed into placements that are of no relevance to them just to get something into their personal statement is criminal!

    • Carol

      November 9, 2018

      Never thought of it like that Belinda, but I can see your point. We had a young lady assist us at our local school, yet she was applying for an accountancy course. I couldn’t help but feel a year playing with paints and putting out snacks for break was a colossal waste of time and could have been better spent elsewhere.

    • Daniela Bucatele

      November 9, 2018

      Belinda, this volunteering aspect does bother me as well. It’s all very well for a personal statement aspect, but wouldn’t something that relates to your degree be an even better idea here?


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