20 things to put, and 20 things not to put, in your UCAS personal statement

"This is a must-read for students applying for Uni." (Head of Careers, University of Warwick, 19/10/2021) I originally wrote these four articles, along with about sixty others, for the Which? University website. The site was very popular amongst schools and careers advisers until it sadly closed down a couple of years ago. These four articles … Continue reading 20 things to put, and 20 things not to put, in your UCAS personal statement

Week 82: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – lots of activity

Latest reflections This update covers two weeks, during which I’ve recorded nearly 500 new vacancies. Most parts of the country and a wide range of occupational areas saw significant activity and my cumulative data provides an updated picture of a changing careers landscape and how different regions compare. One of numerous highlights was the posting … Continue reading Week 82: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – lots of activity

Week 80: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – some intriguing trends

Latest reflections DAs have started to stir again slightly after a very quiet summer, while HAs were plentiful. The most prominent DA posting was for 10 Solicitors with Mishcon de Reya in London, followed by 3 Cyber Security Analysts at CGI in Reading. EY, IBM and Morrisons have also shown their hand, but as yet … Continue reading Week 80: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – some intriguing trends

Week 79: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – it’s not just about grades

Latest reflections It’s been a relatively quiet week and DAs especially are yet to pick up any momentum following their customary summer lull. There are signs of forthcoming activity on that front, but I’m still waiting to see firm details of the latest tranche of vacancies from a couple of the bigger players. Meanwhile, at … Continue reading Week 79: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – it’s not just about grades

Week 78: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – sport and construction on the rise

Latest reflections As is customary from July to late-September things have been very quiet on the DA front again but HAs have continued to thrive. In particular, the Construction sector has been busy with more than 50 new HA vacancies this week, while the rise of School Sports Coaches has accelerated with a further 17. … Continue reading Week 78: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – sport and construction on the rise

Week 77: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – another mixed bag

Latest reflections HEPI Director Nick Hillman wrote in a recent blogpost that apprenticeship numbers are only a “miniscule fraction” of total HE entrants and this has largely been borne out by my own data. In Week 77 I recorded just 9 new DA vacancies in the whole of England, although numbers will surely pick up … Continue reading Week 77: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – another mixed bag

Week 76: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – a quietish week

Latest reflections As we entered September, the trend that’s been noticeable over the summer vacation period continued in a similar vein with Degree Apprenticeships (DAs) very weak but Higher Apprenticeships (HAs) reasonably buoyant. However, it was only a four-day week and I’m hopeful that DAs will pick up soon, especially as some of the larger … Continue reading Week 76: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – a quietish week

UCAS personal statements: writing a killer opening

This is the time of year when a lot of students start getting anxious about their UCAS personal statement. I thought it might therefore be an appropriate time to try and put a few minds at rest by re-blogging an article on this topic that I first had published three or four years ago, but which I think still holds true.

Alan Bullock Careers

This is an article I originally wrote for the Which? University website. A version of it can currently be found on the UCAS site.

Are you getting frustrated because you can’t think of a good way to open your personal statement? Or, worse still, are you struggling to write anything at all because you just don’t know where to start? If so, you’re not alone – and our advice is to stop worrying.

We’ve picked up numerous tips on this from admissions tutors up and down the country and they all tend to take a similar line, which is …. don’t get stressed about trying to think up a killer opening!

Yes, it’s important to ‘sell yourself’, but don’t overdo it. In fact, one of the dangers of trying to come up with a killer opening is that what you often end up with is overkill. As one admissions tutor…

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Week 75: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – the story continues

Latest reflections The final week of the summer vacation period followed the same pattern as the previous few weeks, with Degree Apprenticeships (DAs) very quiet but Higher Apprenticeships (HAs) relatively buoyant. The HA numbers were boosted by 14 new PCSO vacancies in North Yorkshire, which explains this week’s choice of image from my photographic collection. … Continue reading Week 75: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – the story continues

Week 74: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – a mixed bag

Latest reflections The summer vacation period has proved to be a fairly quiet time for Degree Apprenticeships (DAs) but a relatively buoyant one for Higher Apprenticeships (HAs). This does put into quite sharp context any rumours that some UCAS offer holders were turning to DAs as a last-minute alternative to full-time uni. If they were, … Continue reading Week 74: Higher & Degree Apprenticeship vacancies in England post COVID – a mixed bag