Writing a personal statement
There are a number of occasions on which you might be asked to write a personal statement. You will write one in your CV, you may be asked to include one with a college or university application.
Take time with this, it is your chance to sell yourself, highlight your specific skills, or your unique talents. This is what will set you apart in the mind of the reviewer, so these few sentences are extremely important .They should convey who you are, what you have to offer, and what your goals are.
To decide what to write, carefully consider the requirements specified for the application you are making –what is the job description, what requirements are there for the programme you want to enter. Address and answer each point one by one, and then craft what you have written into a couple of well-constructed sentences.
Points to cover
- Explain how you fulfil the requirements of the job or course, addressing them individually.
Be positive, talk about your strengths, abilities , enthusiasm
- Make sure you explain your motivation –why you want this job, why you want to enter this programme or study this course. Say how your interest developed, what you have already done to pursue it.
- Talk about how this fits in with your long term career goal.
- Demonstrate, illustrate or evidence your interest with examples. Show you have experience in, or have researched the subject. This could be in ways outside your studies, such as work experience, memberships of relevant clubs or societies, or voluntary work
- Explain what this additional experience has taught you. Also reflect on this rather than just describing it. For example talk about your observations of the people you met and how they had certain skills, attributes, professional qualities, and how you have tried to develop in the same way.
- Mention transferable skills such as organisational skills, teamwork, time management or leadership and link them to the requirements of your chosen course or profession.
- Give specific examples such as positions of responsibility you have held and what that taught you. How your self-confidence was boosted by an achievement such as a Youth Award for example.
- Demonstrate that you can think independently and analytically – this is an important skill for many courses. Maybe give examples of projects you have done, conclusions drawn.
Example personal statement
A recent business studies graduate with a 2.1 from Liverpool University, with practical retail experience, gained on work placement and weekend work. I am seeking a position as a trainee retail buyer or similar, to use my current skills and knowledge and develop these skills in a challenging environment. My career goal is to work in retail management and use my skills to contribute to the success and growth of the company that employs me.