What is a Personal Statement and How Can You Write a Good Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a vital document required by most Universities abroad during your admission application process. A personal statement (also known as Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Letter of Intent) is simply an essay that describes your intent and purpose for wanting to study a particular program and at a particular University. It shares your story with the admission committee and explains why you are the ideal candidate for admission into that program.

But as simple as this essay might appear to be, a lot of work goes into crafting a personal statement that stands out and impresses the admission committee. There are several things you must know and consider when writing a personal statement. This article covers all of these and more.

Writing a Good Personal Statement: Questions You Must Answer

Before getting started with writing a personal statement, there are several questions you must answer. What program do you want to study, and why do you want to study the program?  Do you have relevant skills or experience in that field or course? And if so, how do you plan to utilize it to contribute to your program’s success and immediate community?

All these are important information and a bedrock of what your personal statement would entail. But writing a good personal statement goes beyond just penning down answers to these questions; there are several things you must also keep in mind.

How Do You Write a Good Personal Statement?

First, you must ensure you read the instructions on the University’s (and program’s) website. Most schools have requirements regarding personal statements. For example, some schools demand that your personal statement essay shouldn’t exceed a word count of 500 words, whereas other institutions might allow a word count of about 1000 words.

After reading these instructions, write your personal statement by following these tips.

1. Ensure your personal statement is clear and concise

Many applicants make the mistake of stuffing the personal statement essay with inconsequential information, making it very boring and challenging for the admission committee to understand. You want to write your personal statement such that it explicitly states your story and passion. Read every sentence in your essay to determine if it is absolutely necessary and useful to the readers.

Also, ensure your introduction is catchy, as this is what sets the tone for the admission committee reading your essay. For example, you could start the essay with a story, quote, research work, or achievement that sparked your interest in the particular program you intend to study.

2. Show evidence of relevant experience, interests, and goals

The admission committee wants to know a little about your background, motivation, leadership and influence, relevant skills, and competencies. As such, you must craft your essay such that it shows all of these and more. You want to show the admission committee how the program or institution will help to achieve your future goal and plans.

If you have already published a research article in that field, you also want to include it in your personal statement. Not to worry if you don’t have any publications yet. You can mention the possible areas and topics you are looking to explore.

3. Use appropriate language and avoid grammatical errors

Ensure that you communicate using the vocabulary relevant to your field and avoid complicating matters. You should demonstrate that you have a good command of the English language by avoiding slang/informal words, using vocabulary appropriate to your field, and adopting a logical structure. Also, you want to make sure your essay is free from spelling and grammatical errors. We always recommend using spell-check tools like Grammarly for proofreading your personal statement and CV. You could also have writing experts look at your essay to help identify spelling and grammatical errors.

(Related Post: Are You Making These 4 Mistakes When Writing Your CV)


BTDT Hub can help you write an outstanding Personal Statement

A good personal statement must tell the admission committee who you are, your relevant experiences, interests, and why you are an ideal candidate for admission. While this article presents helpful information to help you craft a good personal statement, we understand that you may not have the time and competency to do it yourself.

At BTDT Hub, we have a team of highly qualified academic advisors capable of reviewing and crafting your personal statement to increase your chances of gaining admission in desired schools. We have reviewed over 5,000 personal statements for students in a broad range of fields, and have recorded a success rate of 90%.

Visit our Study Abroad page to learn more about our personal statement writing services. To get started, send an email to INFO@BTDTHUB.COM today.


Are You Making These 4 Mistakes When Writing Your CV?

If you are looking to get an entry-level position in a particular company, you would have to create (and submit) a curriculum vitae (CV). Your CV is simply a detailed summary of your educational background, qualifications, previous jobs, and sometimes your personal interest. As simple as this document might appear to be, a lot of work goes into crafting an excellent CV that stands out and increases your chances of getting invited for an interview. There are several things you need to keep in mind and a ton of mistakes you must avoid when crafting a CV. In this article, we discuss four common mistakes to avoid when writing your CV. 

Mistake #1: Not Tailoring your CV to the Job

Mistake #2: Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Mistake #3: Placing Responsibilities Over Achievement

Mistake #4: Poor CV Format


Mistake #1: Not Tailoring your CV to the Job

“You cannot use the same CV used in applying for a Procurement role to apply for Marketing or a Lecturing role,” – Dr. Dipo Awojide, in a recent tweet.

A CV is not a one-size-fits-all document. It should not contain everything or every activity you have been involved in. Instead, you want to craft a CV that outlines the relevant skills and experience needed for the job you are applying for. Many recruiters and hiring managers now use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) — a software that scans and ranks all of the applications and CVs — to vet applicants. If your CV doesn’t pass the ATS test, you can be sure that it will be discarded before human eyes even see it. For someone looking to apply for several job positions, it can be overwhelming to create a new CV from scratch for every job posting. 

Not to worry.  “You can have four versions of the same CV. The trick is to change the keywords to suit the specific role you’re applying for,” says Dr. Awojide.


Mistake #2: Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Another common mistake made by job applicants includes having tons of spelling and grammatical errors in the CV or other application documents. No matter how properly formatted your CV is, spelling mistakes can mar your chances of landing that interview invite. One way to check for spelling and grammatical errors is to proofread your CV, using tools like Grammarly and Microsoft Office Spell Check, which offers you specific suggestions to improve your writing. 

However, a challenge with using these spell-check tools is that they are unable to detect misuse of incorrect words. For example, the use of “diary” in place of “dairy” might go unnoticed. Hence, it is always a good idea to review your CV and have a CV writing expert take a look at your CV to spot all these errors.

Mistake #3: Placing Responsibilities Over Achievement 

A perfect CV should not just highlight what you did, it should also show how well you performed your duties and the results you achieved. At BTDT Hub, we always recommend that you follow what we call the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula. 

For example, instead of writing “Responsible for implementing email marketing strategies,” you should write something along the lines of “Spearheaded a comprehensive marketing strategy for a new line of products.” 

Keep in mind that we do not encourage you to lie or exaggerate your duties, responsibilities, and achievements. Instead, we want you to take the time to assess each of the activities you performed and quantify your achievements with numbers. If it is impossible to quantify your achievements, you should include how your activities helped the organization or client you worked for.

Mistake #4: Poor CV Format

One thing to always keep in mind when writing a CV is that there are over 100 applicants trying to get the same job you are applying for. As such, the hiring manager (or employer) typically skims through each CV for a few seconds before deciding whether to read it or proceed to the next applicant. One of the factors that influence their decision is the CV format. Many applicants make the mistake of following (or using) the conventional chronological CV format available online.

Don’t get it twisted. There is nothing wrong with the conventional CV formats available online. But they are not just suitable for all kinds of job postings. For example, the CV for a Software Engineering role should better showcase your core competencies, skills, projects, and work experience rather than your educational background. Likewise, an academic CV for a Research role should better showcase your research experiences, educational background, and research skills.

Ready to craft a Winning CV, we can help you

While this article presents information to help you craft a winning CV, we understand that you may not have the time and competency to do it yourself. At BTDT Hub, we have a team of highly qualified CV Advisors and Human Resource Professionals capable of reviewing and crafting your CV to increase your interview chances. We have reviewed over 20,000 CVs and resumes for professionals across a broad range of industries and several of these professionals have landed their dream jobs. 

Visit Personal Branding to learn more about our CV writing service. To get started, send an email to INFO@BTDTHUB.COM

You are a Brand


How do people perceive you online and offline? Do they connect you with the values you represent? Personal branding is the deliberate decision to create a popular perception about oneself, promoting your uniqueness, and building a reputation.  It is about seeing yourself as a marketable product, whether online or offline and consciously choosing how people connect with you and your values.

Importance of Personal Branding

If you do not brand yourself, others will do it for you.  Your personal brand defines who you are, showcases your knowledge, and depicts what you represent.  You are a brand, whether you know it or not, so it is best to be in charge of your brand identity by creating a compelling brand story that will establish the kind of perception you want. 

Personal branding helps you stand out from everybody else and your brand attracts people of your kind.  It also helps you build trust with people that matter and connects you with people who share similar thoughts and values.  Indeed, a good personal brand can help you build blocks that will lead to success and open doors to great opportunities for advancement in your career. 

Consequently, building a personal brand broadens your employability opportunities, as it sets you apart from other candidates and highlights your value.  It also helps build your status as a thought leader in your industry, as people will come to you for industry insights and knowledge, thus ensuring increased visibility online and offline.

Tips for Developing Your Personal Brand

Here are 3 tips for building your personal brand:

  • Carve your niche

To develop a brand identity that is in line with who you are, you have to understand who you are and consciously build an identity that resonates with your knowledge, not one solely based on profitability. 

Identify your core skills and interests, and focus on being the best in the selected field.  It is not a practical approach to be an expert in all fields, hence defining a niche makes it easier to focus on being the best in a smaller field.

  • Identify your target audience

What’s the use of a great voice if only the bathroom walls hear you sing?

After carving your niche, ensure to identify the community you want to engage with.  Your target audience is generally made up of:

  • People interested in what you know and represent
  • People willing to pay you for what you know and represent
  • People available to influence those who will pay you for what you know and represent

Always remember that your brand cannot be appealing to everyone.  Therefore, for your intended audience to give regard to what you are offering, you need to engage with your audience and design relatable content.

  • Be active on social media

Personal branding extends to offline reputation, but having a social media presence ensures that you are always visible and at the forefront of your networks’ feeds.  Hence, ensuring effective and efficient use of social media platforms will help you promote your brand and increase your reach.

On a platform like LinkedIn, which is swarmed with potential candidates and active recruiters, maintaining a good and consistent personal brand can connect you with recruiters and other available opportunities in desired fields.  


Written by Damilola Adebowale

BTDT Intern (Obafemi Awolowo University)

BTDT Insights is an initiative of BTDT Hub, a leading human capital development company focusing on careers advisory, recruitment services, corporate training, and employability services.

DISCLAIMERThis article only provides general information and insights on the subject matter.  It does not by itself create a client/consultant relationship between readers and BTDT Hub.

We are available to provide expert career/business advice and services on specific circumstances via INFO@BTDTHUB.COM 


  • Oluwatayo Dada (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Odunola Oyeyipo (Product Manager)

A Note to Job Seekers


Being a job seeker could be frustrating, especially when you’ve been at it for quite a while.  All you wish for is one opportunity – just one employer to give you a chance to prove your worth.

The job-seeking phase is inevitable for a large number of recent graduates and young professionals.  However, implementing necessary techniques and tips may ease the burden and uncertainty attached to this phase. 

Here are 4 tips to help enhance your employability.

  • Get good grades 

This tip is applicable to students currently enrolled in tertiary institutions and with feasible chances of striving for higher and better grades.  Achieving a good grade is not the sole requirement for attaining success, but possessing such grades can serve as a great boost in a variety of educational and extracurricular activities.  

Do not join the league of people who assert that ‘school is a scam’.  Education paves the way and you can strive to be the best in your desired field.  

  • Invest in your personal development 

“Grades will open doors for you but you have to fight to sit at the table.  Fighting means acquiring hard skills as well as soft skills to prove your worth” – Tobiloba Aminu (LinkedIn comment).  

Getting a good grade is not the magic wand for getting a good job.  You need to enhance your employability skills by taking courses or training to improve your skills and demonstrate your initiative and organizational skills to employers.  

Taking an online short course or a professional course is a great way to improve your employability skills.  There are a wide range of free and paid courses to help improve your technical knowledge and develop core soft skills.  There are also case studies and online resources to help actively practice problem-solving skills, effective communication, teamwork, and other soft skills necessary within and outside the workplace. 

It is worthy to note that understudying mentors can also help improve your learning and employability.  To be prepared for the world of work, it is necessary to research active and key players in the industry, read interviews, articles, and other published works, and deduce lessons and tips, as may be relevant to your workplace or career path.

  • Pay attention to your CV 

An average recruiter or employer spends less than 5 seconds on each CV at a first glance and only CVs that catch their attention would be given ‘more seconds’.  The goal of every applicant is to give your CV the chance to be looked at more than once. 

Spend extra time reviewing your CV and ensure that it adequately sells your skills.  Does it contain unnecessary or inaccurate information? Is it formatted correctly? Does it showcase your core skills and experience?  Does it include transferable skills garnered from internship or volunteer experiences?  Does your CV demonstrates criteria or skills required by the job description?  Does it contain errors or typos?  

A well-crafted CV can give your application fair leverage, thus improving the chances of receiving an interview invite or favorable response.

  • Engage in active networking

Networking involves engaging with people from different fields and diverse industries, whether offline or online.  Therefore, building a strong base of professional networks can help develop your career in the right direction.  You can also interact with experts from different industries, who can help provide valuable inputs with their varied knowledge and skills.  LinkedIn is highly recommended for professional networking, both at national and international levels.

Networking is important for everyone who wants to grow.  The trick to getting the best out of networking is to intentionally cultivate the habit of networking, rather than trying to hunt down opportunities.  Therefore, it is important to always develop online and offline networking skills early and not only when searching for jobs or opportunities.

Remember that you require a strategy for an effective job search and there is more to a job search than simply applying for online postings.  A good number of job search techniques include utilizing your network and targeting specific opportunities in selected industries.

On a final note, there are chances that you will be turned down for a role and you need to deal with the rejection positively, though this is never a fun experience.  Do not regard the rejection mail as a negative statement about you.  Instead, focus on improving your strengths and this will provide the renewed energy and momentum you need to find the job that is right for you.


Written by Moyinoluwa Laniyan

BTDT Intern (Federal University Oye-Ekiti )

BTDT Insights is an initiative of BTDT Hub, a leading human capital development company focusing on careers advisory, recruitment services, corporate training, and employability services.

DISCLAIMERThis article only provides general information and insights on the subject matter.  It does not by itself create a client/consultant relationship between readers and BTDT Hub.

We are available to provide expert career/business advice and services on specific circumstances via INFO@BTDTHUB.COM 


  • Oluwatayo Dada (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Odunola Oyeyipo (Product Manager)