In case you are looking for information on how to write a personal statement, you will find this article very enlightening. Personal statements are used to market a person. They can be written when seeking employment or when applying for admission in a certain institution. Unfortunately, not many people know how to write a good personal statement. In these statements, all you need to write about is who you are, what you can offer and the career goals that you possess. In short, introduce yourself and convince the recipient of the message that you have the right skills, experience and attitude required in that institution.
How to write a good personal statement
When writing a personal statement, there are some steps that you must observe. A poorly written personal statement will have you rejected by the university you are applying to or the company in which you are seeking a job.
Below are some personal statement tips;
1. Understand what to include in a personal statement
As mentioned before, personal statements are usually written to apply for admission in a higher learning institution like a university or when seeking a job in a company. Each of these scenarios requires a different approach on how you express yourself. For instance, if you are seeking admission in a university, you must talk about why you need the course, why joining the institution can help you acquire more knowledge and other information regarding the course. If you want to study a course in nursing, you can relate to some concepts in nursing. You can say that you want to join the university or get admitted to a particular course so that you can gain knowledge to provide quality care to patients. Similarly if you are applying for a job, you must relate to the particular concepts associated with the job position.
There are common aspects in personal statements regardless of what you are using them for. One of the things to include is who you are. Briefly, you should tell the recipient of the message who you are, the strengths that you possess, the experience you have had in that particular field. Other details to include are the reasons why you are seeking the position or admission in the institutions.
You must also write about the skills that you possess. Some of these include leadership, problem-solving, decision making, creativity and management skills among others.
2. Structure for personal statement for graduate school or a job
When writing a personal statement, you must ensure that the recipient can easily go though it without getting confused. Remember, that person might be receiving a lot of personal statements from different individuals. Therefore, ensure to structure it in a very good way.
Here are some guidelines on how the structure should look like;
- Who you are
You must definitely start by explaining who you are. This enables the recipient to know who they are reading about and connect what they read to them. For instance, you can write, “A qualified nurse with three years of experience seeking admission for a Bachelor in Nursing.” The introduction should be quick and short.
- Why the university or job you want to pursue interests you
Remember, by the time you are writing a personal statement, the university expects that you a really interested in the institution or the course. In your statement, you can include something like, “I want to in this university because it has the best lecturers in the area.” Or “ I would like to pursue this nursing course so that I can help in the elimination of health disparities in the country.”
- What makes you the most suitable person for the position
Basically, give the reader reasons to believe that you have the right skills and passion towards the position that you are seeking. If you are seeking a job, talk about the skills that you have. Do not talk about the common values that many people talk about. If you mention you are a great team leader, talk about a successful project that you led previously. Also talk about other job positions you have held in the past or training events that made you significant skills in your career. Once you showcase your capabilities, the reader will be impressed by the information that they read.
- End the personal statement
The last sentence in your personal statement is very significant. End it with the objective that you have. In short, wrap up the whole statement explain why you are best individual for the position. A good way to end it would be to write something like this; “Looking to advance my career in the nursing sector where I can learn how to end health disparities in the country.”
To make sure that you have included all these points, first make a draft of the personal statement as you tick the ones that you have already discussed.
3. Length of personal statement for scholarship
A personal statement is not an essay or a cover letter. It is simply some few words to explain who you are, you skills and the reasons why you are the best candidate for the institution. It should therefore be very short. Around 500 words or less should be enough for a personal statement. There you have it if you were wondering how long should a personal statement be. However, in most cases, the institution will specify the number of words each applicant should write.
4. Use convincing language
Remember, you are writing a personal letter so that you can get that job or admission to the university. Try to sell yourself in convincing language. Let the reader believe that you really need the position and you have the skills that you claim to possess. Sometimes, you might lack a working experience which is required for the job. If for instance you do not have it, at least talk about some essential things that you did in school. Talk about being the best student in a certain class, scholarly achievements or how you were a football captain leader in school. Such aspects seem small but they could be what the employer is seeking from the potential candidate.
5. Maintain consistency of the tense
Personal statements can be written in any tense. What is required is that you maintain that particular tense throughout. If you look at perfect personal statement examples, you will realize that they are written in a single tense.
6. Do not clutter the personal statement with unnecessary information
Often times, people get it wrong by adding information that should not be in the personal statement. Remember, the personal statement should be very short. Unnecessary information can be details about you going through a divorce, or if you are married and other personal details. Such details will put off the reader. Avoid them!
7. Be mindful about the language and grammar
If you are writing a personal statement in a hurry, you are likely to make several grammatical errors. Why not avoid such by taking your time as you go about the exercise? Remember, misspelling of words and poor sentence structure can make you become less employable. Your employer already has a hard job going through several personal statements and CVs. If your composition is hard to read, they might as well trash it because it is making their wok complicated.
To avoid grammatical errors, first write a draft of the personal statement. Then proceed to write the final copy as you proofread it. To be sure that there are no errors, you can have someone else read it before you submit it to the recipient.
Personal statement sample
A recent nursing undergraduate with a first class honors from the University of Ghana, seeking to secure admission to do a Master’s in nursing to enhance my skills in the health-care sector. I am a goal-oriented person and passionate about nursing. Eventual career goal is to acquire skills and knowledge of eliminating health disparities in the country.
Remember a personal statement can mean a very big breakthrough in your career. Write in the best manner possible.
Here are the don’ts when writing a personal statement;
- Do not talk about your weakness or anything negative about you. Your potential employers know you are human and bound to have flaws but that is not what they expect in the personal statement.
- Be realistic and try to tell the truth. Even though you must be convincing you must be realistic with the scenarios you are talking about. If you cannot backup the claims, your potential employer will not be impressed.
- Avoid being vague and exaggerating details. For instance you cannot talk about having 6 years working experience and you are just 18 years old.
- Do not be flamboyant or overly confident in the language you use. Just be polite and professional.
- Be authentic. A lot of people tend to send personal statements that they used in the past or those which the copied from their friends. This is wrong. You are supposed to write a personal statement that relates to the position that you are seeking. If you copy online, your employer might see it and will not bother hiring you.
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