Any advice for the personal statement?

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SakuraMei
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:03 am

Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by SakuraMei » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:33 pm

Hi all

I was lucky enough to stumble across this website and read the helpful comments and success of those who have been accepted onto their Dclin. I know no one has the 'perfect answer' or structure for writing their personal application. However, this is my first time applying for the Dclin and I'm struggling to write my thoughts into words, I would appreciate if anyone has advice on how to tackle the writer's block. I understand the purpose of the first question is asking you to relfect on your experiences but I would appreciate learning how, others have tackled there applications with the feeling of being nervous. So far I have written the relevant experiences and reviewed what I have gained and learnt from each one.

However I'm not sure whether it's worth treating it like a job application and provide examples of how I've learnt my skills from each one?

I would appreciate any help as this may help others in a simialr postion :D . Thank you!
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lulabelle98
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by lulabelle98 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:50 pm

I am by no means an expert here, and am going through the application process myself, but I would spend some time in supervision reflecting on this question and how to go about answering it. Are you in a role where you have a clinical psychologist as a supervisor?

SakuraMei
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:03 am

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by SakuraMei » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:30 pm

Unfortunaltelty I’m not in a role working alongside clinical psyhologsist. Although I am thankful both my previous academic supervisors are referring me to their colleagues who can help. Thankfully I’ve made some progress since, thank you for responding though.

I’m just curious but which uni’s are you applying for the doctorate?😊
Difficult roads often lead to beutiful destinations. Don't quit

lulabelle98
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by lulabelle98 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:43 am

I think I would use the personal statement as a chance to show what you have learnt, but in a reflective way which indicates how you've grown as a health care professional and person in general. So not just simply stating I did this, this and this - if that makes sense. It's good to hear you've made some progress.
I'm not fully decided on which universities yet. I've been using the alternative handbook to help me decide, as well as the individual university websites. Currently narrowing down some options :)

rhapsodyinred
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 1:08 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by rhapsodyinred » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:55 pm

One of the most valuable things I was told by one of my referees (a consultant CP) was that I should not take up more than 1/4 of the form talking about what I did. Instead, talk about what you learnt from the experience, what it made you think about, how it influenced your practice, the questions it brought up for you, etc. Remember that being a reflective practitioner and a scientist-practitioner are essential elements of the CP role.
If you are trying to structure an outline, it might be worth listing your top 3 relevant experiences, then thinking about what was challenging in each, as well as a) what questions you had coming out of them b) what you wish you had known before and c) what you liked most. That's something I found really useful when writing my application!

SakuraMei
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:03 am

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by SakuraMei » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:17 am

Thank you all for the helpful suggestions, I always find it helpful to understand how others have approached this. I think I've been over thinking this PS but I've come to realise, it should be personl and not robotic. I was talking to a few helpful Clinical psychologists at Nottingham Trent uni. One of them often reviews applications for the interview panel, he mentioned the worst thing anyone could do is make it sound perfect. All he wants to see is that you are able to reflect and learn from your experiences :D .
Difficult roads often lead to beutiful destinations. Don't quit

SakuraMei
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:03 am

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by SakuraMei » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:25 am

lulabelle98 wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:43 am
I think I would use the personal statement as a chance to show what you have learnt, but in a reflective way which indicates how you've grown as a health care professional and person in general. So not just simply stating I did this, this and this - if that makes sense. It's good to hear you've made some progress.
I'm not fully decided on which universities yet. I've been using the alternative handbook to help me decide, as well as the individual university websites. Currently narrowing down some options :)
Which universities have you narrowed down to?I've made my firm decision between:

Lancaster uni and Trent university (my favourite uni's so far)

I've also out down Leister and Plymouth uni :)
Difficult roads often lead to beutiful destinations. Don't quit

JB99
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:12 pm

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by JB99 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:07 pm

Again, no expert here, as I'm also in the stage of applying (although I did get an interview last year).

As others have mentioned, I have also been told that you want to make the statement as reflective as possible. I went through quite a lot of drafts, and with each revision, the main feedback was "describe less, reflect more".

Building on what rhapsodyinred said, I've found it's really helpful to think about the clinical insights that you have learned from your experiences. Are there any reflections from your experiences so far that have helped you to develop as a clinician? You can then take that reflection and form it into a paragraph. As before you really do not want to spend many words describing the activity itself. I've found that less detail actually reels readers in more; it makes them want to find out more about you.

The only other tip I have is try to watch out for too much repetition of "Therefore, I feel that this experience would make me a better candidate for training". Not only does it get samey, but look at all those precious words wasted. I', still working on ways to most effectively eliminate this repetition without also failing to link the paragraph back to the question. Food for thought at least.

Harri30
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:04 pm

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by Harri30 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:46 pm

I wasn't going to apply this year as I've only just started a new AP position, but my supervisor persuaded me to give it a go as it's good experience and I've got nothing to lose. That said, it does mean that I only have 2 weeks (just under really) to complete and submit my application! I'm struggling with how to structure my answer to the first question (the "what makes you a good candidate?" one). My initial thought was to try and get in as many of the core competencies as possible, but that's really hard in 3000 characters!

Sounds like from what people have said here that it's less about what experience you have and more about what you learnt from it? How have others structured this part?

(the rest is ok, pretty much a copy and paste job from last year!)

Thank you in advance :)

SakuraMei
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:03 am

Re: Any advice for the personal statement?

Post by SakuraMei » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:27 pm

I found that a struggle to write too but with the limited character count (estimate 500 words), I've structured it with reflecting on my expereinces and how I've actively continued to develop my skills and experiences to support both service users and other local organisations.

Not sure if that's any help but that's just an idea of how I've structured mine, good luck with it and I hope you manage to get it done in time :).
Difficult roads often lead to beutiful destinations. Don't quit

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