Help With Writing A Personal StatementPosted: 29th of June 2015 by
If you are applying for a job or apprenticeship, you will need to write a personal statement about yourself. This is the part of the application where you get to sell yourself to a prospective employer and make them want to keep reading. Generally found underneath your personal information on your C.V., a personal statement usually needs to be tailored to the role you are applying for, although you can also create a more general one too. However, many of us are reticent when it comes to selling ourselves, it just doesn’t quite fit in with the British sensibility, and so it can seem a little bit odd writing about yourself in this manner. While a personal statement is generally quite short at around 30-60 words, getting it right can be tricky, so here we present a few pieces of advice to help you to get your personal statement right.
Your personal statement should introduce you and your skills and qualities, and it should also be tailored to match what your prospective employer is looking for. Think of it as a summary designed to draw the reader in and highlight your main selling points. Getting all of this into such a short space can be tricky, but you want to make sure you don’t waffle on, so the first tip is to come up with a few key words or phrases that you can use.
These words may include things like ‘approachable,’ ‘committed,’ ‘creative,’ ‘diplomatic,’ ‘organised,’ and ‘professional.’ You might also want to note down some relevant skills, such as being a good communicator, a problem-solver, or a skilled writer.
Try to align these words with the requirements of the job. You may want to look at the job description and try to come up with words that match those listed there. You don’t have to copy them, but try to hit similar notes with the words you choose.
Once you have compiled your list of key words it is time to spin them into short, punchy sentences. Make sure to speak in the third person as if you were writing about someone else. This may make the actual task of writing about yourself slightly easier, as you can allow yourself a little distance and make the writing more abstract. For example, “a conscientious and motivated professional with excellent communication skills and an eye for detail.”
You might want to try writing a more general personal statement first, which you can then adapt to suit certain industry sectors. However, you may need to be able to prove what you have written when it comes time for your interview. So, if you say you are good at problem-solving, you may need to come up with an example of when you did so.
As with every other part of your application, you should get someone to proof-read it for you to make sure you have not made any spelling or grammatical errors. This will also help when it comes to suggesting alterations or any points you may have missed. It is always easier for someone else to write positively about you than it is to do it yourself!
Include only positive and relevant information in your personal statement, and keep it short and to-the-point. However, you don’t need to include any personal information here – such as if you are in a relationship or how long you have been looking for work. This should be all about your skills and experience, rather than your life story!
If you are still stuck on what to write, have a look online for example of personal statements and find one that works to use as the basis for your own. This may give you an idea of what sort of things you should be writing, but don’t copy it as it should be about you!
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