UK University Personal Statement Buzzwords to Avoid

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You’re about to apply for university study in the UK, and the school’s requirement includes submitting a written personal statement. This personal statement is supposed to show how enrolling for the course will help you achieve your plans. So, you’ve done your research, and you’re about to start writing your statement; but, you’re not aware that some of the words that you’re about to use in your statement have been used too often that they’re now seen as “personal statement buzzwords”.

Understand that, universities in the UK receive thousands of study application from citizens and foreigners yearly. And, since most of the schools require a personal statement, the tendency of sounding like every other applicant is high. That’s why, you need to know some of these personal statement buzzwords and structure your statement to avoid them. Secondly, you could use the assistance of personal statement experts to review your statement and present it with better sentences.

Truthfully, these buzzwords are not bad words or phrases, the challenge is that they’ve lost their power due to constant usage. Hence, overusing them in your statement will make you sound naïve, which is not something you want to do.

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University personal statement buzzwords to avoid

In some cases, you may not be able to avoid using these words in your personal statement. The idea is not only for you to not use them; the idea is to bring the buzzwords to your notice, and encourage you to use them in small doses.

More so, there are alternatives that could help give your statement the same meaning without having to use the usual buzzwords.

  1. Passion
  2. Fascinated
  3. Feeling
  4. Compassion
  5. Helps (helping people)
  6. Ignited
  7. Fuelled
  8. Burning (Burning passion, burning desire)
  9. Adverb: Truly, Very, Effectively
  10. Committed
  11. Firsthand
  12. Realized
  13. Valuable
  14. Fabulous
  15. Amazed, Amazing
  16. Interested (Interesting)

Personal statement overused phrases to avoid

The phrases/ sentences presented are not bad ideas to use on your statement. As a matter of fact, they usually convey strong messages: the challenge lies in the fact that most school applicants like you express their inspirations with the same phrases and sentences. Hence, due to the continuous usage, the phrases have lost their power which is why you should avoid them and try expressing your ideas differently.

1. I love helping people:

While it is nice to express your love for people, country, community etc. There are better ways to indicate your love for people without having to use the cliché “I love helping people”.

2. I am passionate:

This is similar to the first.; as a guide, always remember to show not to tell.

3. I have always dreamt of (…):

In most cases, you have about 4,000 characters to convince the university that you’re a good fit for their program. So, you want to utilize that space to convey you goals and how the program will help you achieve it, rather than remembering your dreams.

4. When I was younger/growing up:

You’ve passed your childhood; you probably should focus your energy on the present. Hardly will any committee be moved by your childhood desires; they want to know who you are now, and how their program can contribute to you.

5. I have always been fascinated by (…):

Again, utilize the space you have to actually show that you’ve always been fascinated rather than just saying it.

6. Ever since I can remember (…):

Here’s what to remember instead, remember a better way to present your point next time you are tempted to write “ever since I can remember”

7. Hands on/Firsthand experience:

Why is it even called an experience, is it not because it was firsthand?

8. I am a people’s person

9. I realized/I decided/I believe/I think

10. In my opinion/I feel

How to avoid using personal statement buzzwords

  • Try not to start most of your sentences with “I”
  • Avoid starting consecutive paragraphs with the same word.
  • Display your passion, desire, and interests with examples. For instance, you can describe an experience and the growth that happened in your academic or career life through that experience. This will help you showcase the extent of you interest more than just writing “I have a passionate desire to…
  • Explore other transition words that are useful to reinforce the points in your story.
  • When you discover that you’re falling into the temptation of using buzzwords, consider restructuring/paraphrasing your sentences.
  • Lastly, avoid the temptation to lie, boast, or exaggerate while writing your personal statement.
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Other relevant words to use in your personal statement

  1. Achieved
  2. Addressed
  3. Assesses
  4. Authored
  5. Budgeted
  6. Built
  7. Changed
  8. Communicated
  9. Computed
  10. Conceptualized
  11. Conducted
  12. Constructed
  13. Created
  14. Demonstrated
  15. Designed
  16. Determined
  17. Earned
  18. Enhanced
  19. Evaluated
  20. Found
  21. Gathered
  22. Handled
  23. Identified
  24. Implemented
  25. Incorporated
  26. Influenced
  27. Innovated
  28. Introduced
  29. Joined
  30. Learnt
  31. Led
  32. Monitored
  33. Organized
  34. Oversaw
  35. Participated
  36. Performed
  37. Placed
  38. Posted
  39. Proficient
  40. Projected
  41. Proposed
  42. Pursue
  43. Reorganized
  44. Review
  45. Save
  46. Shaped
  47. Simplified
  48. Sorted

Conclusion: personal statement buzzwords to avoid

When writing your statement avoid certain recycled words that appear in almost every other applicant’s statement. The admission committee is already used to reading statements with those words/phrases, which will make yours look like another recycled statement.

Need assistance writing your university personal statement?

If yes, then reach out to us today. Our personal statements are written to cover the relevant questions that the admission committee considers before making their decision.

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Richard Okiasi

I started Fasthire in 2019 with the goal of helping young professionals bridge the gap between their current position and their dream careers. Through my growth process, I have worked with clients from different parts of the world. By writing CVs, Personal/Statement of Purposes, optimizing LinkedIn profiles, I have discovered certain things that make candidates successful in their job or school application. We share all the relevant information here. Do well to drop your thoughts about our content and also share with your loved ones. If you need our service, send us a mail to