A personal statement is a record of one’s accomplishments, skills, objectives and interests, included as a part of their job or university applications. Employers and universities require applicants to provide their personal statement so that they can have the details of their qualifications for the specific role or program. A well-drafted personal statement, highlighting your aims and capabilities can go a long way in helping you secure your desired job or college placement. Read this article to know how to write a personal statement that is effective and gives you a competitive advantage.
Your personal statement is either an account of your qualifications and capabilities or an answer to the prospective employer or university’s questions. Before you write your personal statement, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
A well-composed personal statement that highlights your qualifications and capabilities can help boost your chances of selection. Here’s how to write a good personal statement:
Don't rush into writing your personal statement. First, make an outline of the different points that you want to include in your personal statement. Ensure that these points answer the questions that have been posed by the prospective employer or university and if no questions have been asked, be sure to include what your field of interest is, why you are interested in it and how your capabilities and qualifications make you best equipped for that field.
Your personal statement has to look neat and uniform. This is how to format a personal statement - separate your statement into proper paragraphs, including an introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph. Ensure that all the paragraphs are properly connected and your personal statement reads in a clear flow.
It is important to have a strong first introductory paragraph to capture the interest of the reader. Make it specific and avoid beating around the bush. Highlight the qualifications and capabilities which are relevant to the position or program you are applying for, in a concise manner.
While giving a record of your accomplishments and activities, it is important to relate them to yourself. Make sure that your personal statement also talks about how those experiences helped you develop certain skills.
See to it that your personal statement does not seem generic and impersonal. Include your personal qualities and experiences, all the things that make you distinct and unique from other applicants. Refrain from mainstream methods, like using famous people’s quotes, and give your thoughts instead.
It is important to show that your interest in the field is serious and that you feel passionately about it. Be sure to include any books you’ve read or courses you’ve taken that are related to it. Demonstrate your knowledge in the field but don't make it sound braggy.
Make sure that the final impression you make is a long-lasting and good one. Use your conclusion to use themes that you have previously explored in your statement in a wider context and reaffirm the main message that you are conveying. Refrain from making the conclusion too long.
Check your personal statement for any structural or grammatical errors and then ask a friend or family member or colleague to check it for any errors that you may have missed.
A good personal statement can be a driving force for your selection for the role or program that you are applying to. How long a personal statement should be depends upon the specific requirements of the employer or university. Here are some tips on how to write a personal statement:
Make sure that your statement doesn’t seem impersonal by including aspects about your personality and experiences in the introduction. Clearly put across why you are interested in the role or program and how your qualifications and skills make you well-suited for it. If it is a job application, you can include previous job experiences and for university applications, you can include courses you have taken that increased your interest in the particular program.
Your personal statement should concisely communicate the skills, interests and experiences that you possess that set you apart from other candidates. Here’s some things you could include:
You need not include all of these aspects in your personal statement as it will become a long and tedious read. Mention two or three of them and explain them briefly, depending upon the required length as specified by the prospective employer or university.
Make sure that your conclusion makes a lasting impression and makes a strong case for your selection by the prospective employer or university. Connect it to the rest of your personal statement and end it on a compelling note. In this final section of your statement, you can include:
Avoid writing a really long conclusion. Limit it to a couple of sentences.
Never send your personal statement without proofreading it and checking for structural, spelling or grammatical errors. You can also ask your friends or family members or colleagues to read it. These are the elements you should check for:
Reviewing your personal statement to check for these errors is very important. Getting someone else to read your statement will help you identify errors that you may have missed out on. Their feedback will also help you improve your statement.
A personal statement should be direct, concise and should communicate clearly your skills and qualifications. Here are some tips on how to write a personal statement:
Here are some examples of powerful personal statements:
This is an example of a personal statement for a job application:
“I recently obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design from the University of Indiana, and I am very eager to use the skills that I have refined at my university and the passion that I possess for fashion at your design assistant position. Apart from my academics, I have been designing and creating dresses for the last five years, which I have sold at the monthly Indianapolis Arts Market. Witnessing the excitement on my customers’ faces, especially when they try on my new creations, has strengthened my commitment and heightened my passion for a career in fashion. I am a quick learner and I thrive on challenges, which I am sure I would encounter and overcome at your design house.”
This is an example of a personal statement for a university application, which is usually longer than that for a job application:
“I am applying for your Master of Business Administration course as I am passionate about marketing and would love to learn more about management strategies. My interest in marketing began when I was earning my Bachelor of Science in Business at the Peru State College, Nebraska.The way marketers use images and text that persuade consumers to purchase their products as well as the wide array of modern marketing tools, including social media and virtual reality have fascinated me.
After my graduation, I began working as a marketing coordinator at The Digital Eye, where my eagerness to learn helped me progress through the company. I quickly made y way from research and administrative tasks to coordinating events and assisting with the creative process, all of which made my passion for marketing grow.
I am confident that I am ready for the next phase of my career and work as a marketing manager. A Master of Business Administration at Stanford University would equip me with the skills required and I feel the coursework in leadership, operation management and production management will be instrumental in helping me succeed in a managerial position. The online classes and part-time study options offered will help me focus on academics without compromising my performance at The Digital Eye.
I respect your university's reputation for excellence as well as commitment to career development. I am confident that it will be a stimulating learning environment and help me connect with like-minded students. My passion for learning and extraordinary academic and professional record make me an asset to your university."
Here are some tips on how to start a personal statement:
These are some common errors that you should avoid in the beginning: