How to write a personal statement
A personal statement is a brief summary of an individual's learning and professional history. It is sometimes called a letter of intent or a personal essay. It is usually sent alongside a curriculum vitae to prospective employers and colleges when one seeks admission.
Writing a personal statement has rules that applicants must follow. Most colleges and jobs always lay ground rules regarding length, form and details that applicants must include. However, a personal statement should be written either in first or third person point of view.
Personal statement writing could be a challenging task if you are not well prepared for it. Take time for self-reflection before beginning to write and go through the essay questions and the requirements. It helps in putting together the details to include in your statement. Giving yourself time is also important in helping you ask family and friends ideas on what to include. It also gives you more time to proofread and edit your work.
Keep your statement real. Include real-life experiences that the readers are likely to identify with at some point. Do not exaggerate or fictionalize your personal statement to please anyone. The readers, especially a selection panel, can detect lies in your statement that could harm your chances of being selected. Have reasonable goals and objectives and make the readers of your essay see you can achieve them. Having unrealistic goals makes the reader disinterested in reading your statement to the end.
If you are writing a personal statement to accompany your curriculum vitae, make the prospective employer realize how interesting you are. Include the unique experiences you have had in your last job. Being interesting does not mean to be unnecessarily humorous. Remember you want to appear serious and a person who can give the job the seriousness it deserves. Show what you have done outside the classroom and prove how relevant it can be for the position.
Be original. A personal statement should be written by an applicant. Be creative and write an interesting piece about yourself. A copied personal statement might contain details which could put you in a difficult situation. You should also not take someone's personal statement and edit the name section, that is dishonesty to yourself and the selection committee.
Use simple, clear and acceptable language. Most applicants always want to appear complicated by using jargons and inappropriate language. Make your personal statement official and clean. Use a simple language and avoid small grammatical errors. Such errors give the selection committee the fastest picture of a lazy applicant who cannot proofread his work.
Well-written personal statements put you a level above in competition for a job, scholarship or college admission. You should, therefore, have the following in mind at all times:
- Give yourself time.
- Be real and personal.
- Make it interesting to read.
- Be original.
- Use simple and appropriate language.
- Read and edit your work.
- Remember not to use one personal letter for all your applications.