Personal Statement: Work Experience


Talking about your work experience is important in your personal statement, some universities have work experience as a requirement, so demonstrating that you have done work experience in your personal statement is essential.

A common question we get asked is how many experiences should I mention? We recommend you reference at least 2 experiences out of your hospital, GP and volunteering placements. On top of this, try to focus on the interesting aspects too, for example if you spent 5 days at a GP surgery with 1 day being full of interesting patients you saw with the GP, focus on this instead of the other 4 days where you were doing menial tasks. 

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Writing the Perfect Personal Statement

How do I talk about my work experience?

You should follow this structure:

  • What work experience you did – was it a hospital placement, volunteering, work shadowing?
  • Where you did it – was it in a hospital, GP surgery, hospice, care home?
  • What you saw – was there a particularly memorable interaction that you remember, or did something you see stand out to you?
  • Reflection – what did your experience tell you about medicine? Did it make you more certain that a career in medicine is right for you?

When talking about your work experience placements, try to focus on skills demonstrated by doctors that you have seen, this will help focus your writing. Within each work experience it is important that you are:

  • Reflective – donโ€™t just state what you did or saw, but talk about what you learnt about the role of a doctor in this particular work experience setting. This is how to impress the examiner as it shows insight and maturity of your thoughts that they are looking for in medical students.
  • Positive yet Realistic – It is important that your work experience has shown you the reality of becoming a doctor, as it isnโ€™t the glamours role that it is sometimes portrayed on TV or in movies. Therefore, showing your realistic understanding is important. On top of this, showing that you are still positive about being a doctor will help to demonstrate your commitment to the profession. Try to maintain this positive tone throughout your personal statement. 

Examples of writing about work experience:

โ€œI saw how the GP was always rushed due to the number of patients he had to see, and how stressful and challenging a job medicine isโ€

Although this shows your insight into the realities of medicine, it is written in a rather negative tone. This makes the reader feel like this is a job no one would want to do, especially not someone who has seen this and identified this as a problem. Instead why no try:

โ€œI appreciate the GPs skills in time efficiency and management, which enabled him to see so many patients in the dayโ€

This instead focuses on the positive attributes of the doctor that enables him to function with more ease in a challenging role. This positive spin is still acknowledging the large number of patients that the GP has to see, however, comes across to the reader in a much more positive way. Try to replicate a similar thing with your own examples. 

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    Final Note

    So, hope you found that all useful! In a nutshell – Talk about at least 2 different work experiences, focus on the interesting aspects of your work experience, remember to reflect, as this is what the examiners are looking for, try to focus on one skill demonstrated by a doctor per experience

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    Frequently Asked Question

    ๐ŸŽค What is a work experience personal statement?

    A work experience personal statement is a section of a job application or university admission application that describes a candidate’s relevant work experience. This statement is used to demonstrate the candidate’s skills and experience to the employer or university and to show how this experience will contribute to their future success.

    ๐Ÿ’Ž Why is work experience important for a personal statement?

    Work experience is important for a personal statement because it demonstrates the candidate’s relevant skills, knowledge, and work ethic. It can show how the candidate has applied their skills in real-world situations and how they have developed professionally. This information can be valuable to employers or universities when considering candidates.

    ๐Ÿ† What is the best opening sentence for a personal statement?

    The best opening sentence for a personal statement is one that immediately grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of the statement. Here are some examples of effective opening sentences:

    “As a lifelong lover of science, I have always been fascinated by the way that the natural world works.”

    “Growing up in a family of artists, I have always had a deep appreciation for the power of creativity and self-expression.”

    “From a young age, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world and help those in need.”

    “As a first-generation college student, I have overcome numerous obstacles to pursue my passion for learning and personal growth.”

    “Throughout my life, I have been driven by a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to explore new ideas and experiences.”

    These opening sentences all effectively introduce the writer and set the stage for the rest of the personal statement. They grab the reader’s attention and provide a glimpse into the writer’s personality, passions, and motivations.

    ๐Ÿ“– What should I include in my work experience personal statement?

    In your work experience personal statement, you should include a brief description of your work history, including any relevant experience, responsibilities, and achievements. You should also highlight the skills and knowledge you have gained from your work experience and explain how these skills will contribute to your future goals.

    ๐Ÿงต How long should my work experience personal statement be?

    Your work experience personal statement should be concise and focused. It should typically be no more than two or three paragraphs in length, but this can vary depending on the requirements of the application.

    ๐Ÿ“Œ Can I include volunteer experience in my work experience personal statement?

    Yes, you can include volunteer experience in your work experience personal statement if it is relevant to the position or program you are applying for. Volunteer experience can demonstrate your commitment to the field and show that you have developed skills and knowledge that are applicable to the position or program.

    โœจ How can I make my work experience personal statement stand out?

    To make your work experience personal statement stand out, you should focus on the specific skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the position or program. You can also use examples and anecdotes to illustrate your achievements and demonstrate your passion for the field.

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