Useful tips on writing a personal statement
Useful tips on writing a personal statement
Personal statements are one of the options that can be used to highlight your expertise when applying to a job role or a university. A personal statement that is constructed well, has the ability to derive you a competitive advantage over the rest of the applicants. Let’s discuss further how a powerful personal statement should be drafted.
What is a personal statement?
Among various definitions, a personal statement can be simply defined as a summarized account of your noteworthy achievements, talents, expertise, and career objectives presented to a potential employer or an academic body. Moreover, a personal statement is considered to be a vital part of your resume that sells the applicant with a direct, straightforward, and easy to digest paragraph. This short paragraph should not be longer than 150 words in total. However, it is important to align the personal statement with the job description highlighting the specific set of skills that the employer is looking for or the academic area that is being approached.
How should you start writing?
Always start with a clear introduction about yourself that includes your highest professional or academic qualification along with the experience you have covered so far coupled with your key objective of the application. As an example, a professional marketer should ideally start as, “A Chartered Marketer and an enthusiastic Sales Professional with over 10 years of distinguished experience, currently looking forward to utilizing the expertise and serving a managerial position.” The statement can be written in a preferred tense or person; the important fact will be to maintain consistency throughout the writing.
Structuring your statement
The general structure that is recommended to follow, starts with the detailed introduction, followed by the reasons why you are interested in the job role or the academic qualification. If the purpose of the personal statement is to be included in a job application, the next couple of lines should emphasize what you can offer for the prospective employer highlighting the specific skills that you possess. Ideally, the skills you mention here should coincide with the skills that are required in the job description. Your academic goals or career objectives should come next. Include a convincing justification on how the chosen firm or the university can effectively help you achieve above mentioned goals and objectives. Try to be realistic with your objectives and future career goals at all times. Sounding overly ambitious might add a negative impression towards you. The last section would be the conclusion of the personal statement.
A powerful conclusion
The conclusion you include in the personal statement should be powerful enough to set a strong positive impression towards your forthcoming employer or the university admission counselor. Likewise, your conclusion should be capable of persuading the prospective employer or the university scholar to take positive action about your candidacy. You can restate the intention of the personal statement shortly here as well, but make sure to be mindful to keep everything in a simple manner. Recruiters and university admission officers usually go through countless amounts of resumes, cover letters, and personal statements; therefore, being thankful for their time might make you stand out with a humane positive impression. Lastly, end your conclusion by enthusiastically appreciating the time invested and for the consideration done by the reader.
Additional tips to improve and enhance your statement
As this is going to be a well-summarized format of writing, it is important to try and put your best effort into it. Therefore, take all the time needed to put thought into your writing. Rushing your writing might compromise the output quality of the personal statement as you need to invest time in finding the perfect tone, adequate language, and the right expressions. Research abundantly over the internet for samples and trending techniques to try out. One of the smart techniques that are recommended to try out would be, the S-T-A-R technique that is being often used in interviews. The abbreviation stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. When you are phrasing a sentence to emphasize your skills and expertise, focus on describing a situation and the task you were assigned, the actions you took to accomplish results. Likewise, brief how you were inspired to follow the applied career path of the academic course. Additionally, the writing style you put into the statement should be authentic while reflecting your own character. It will be ok to link an unconventional experience or a personal story that would sound interesting but make sure that the story can relate to a potential skill or a valuable insight that might help you get selected.
Furthermore, once you complete your writing, always make a habit to get it proofread by someone else expecting constructive feedback from them. This is one of the important points that are attention-worthy, as it will give you a proper insight into your writing and make necessary changes wherever required. Even though writing personal statements is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort, you cannot have a single personal statement that would fit all your applications. Different personal statements should be drafted for different applications as the purposes and requirement list will differ from application to application.
There can be instances where you might have to submit a cover letter as well for the same application. In situations like that, avoid using repetitive content from your cover letter or resume. You can read the article published on writing cover letters for valuable tips on writing cover letters separately.
Be mindful that this piece of writing has the ability to make or break opportunities. Review and proofread plenty of times until you confirm that the personal statement you drafted is free from grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and other formatting errors. As discussed earlier, prepare yourself to go back and forth a couple of times in re-drafting your personal statement. Therefore, it is recommended to start early and invest enough time in drafting the perfect version of your personal statement.