Having looked at some hints and tips for writing personal statements for CVs and UCAS forms, I thought we might have a look at the kind of personal statement one has to write for other job applications: the sort that do not require a simple covering letter and CV.
For this kind of job application a new and unique application form must be completed for each job applied for. While the facts such as qualifications, contact details etc can simply be recreated for each application, the personal statement is critical in that it must not be simply ‘cut and pasted’ from another application. This personal statement, as for those written (much more briefly) on a CV, must be carefully tailored to meet the specific requirements of each position. Do not be tempted to submit a blanket statement – this would not impress.
- Keep it relevant and focussed: Explain why you are the best person for the job, how your skills and experience relate to the job for which you’re applying. Do not make it too personal by talking about your hobbies, what you like to eat for breakfast or the time you broke your leg skiing in Whistler. Keep it professional in content.
- Think carefully about the structure: Try to avoid dense blocks of copy. Always use full sentences and break them up into small paragraphs. This will make your statement appear much more easily accessible to those who have to read it. The use of sub headings will help to guide the reader’s eye and will enable him or her to pick out the most relevant information as easily as possible.
- Adopt a fresh, easy-to-read style: Try not to sound too stuffy and formal. You need to use this statement to sell your personality as well as your skills and experience. But be careful not to go over the top. Make yourself stand out for the right reasons.
- Include all the relevant information: Make sure to highlight all the reasons the company should hire you. They won’t know, unless you tell them, that you have the perfect set of skills and the most relevant experience for this position. Outline how you could benefit the company and be honest about your aspirations.
- Draft and re-draft: Don’t hope that dashing off a quick few paragraphs will suffice in this situation. This kind of project deserves time and effort. Make a first draft then, if necessary, re-draft it until it’s perfect. Always take the time to read it through for sense and to spot any errors you might have made. If possible, ask a third-party to read it through too, as they may be able to spot some errors that you can’t see.
So that’s it. Good luck!
And now it’s over to you. What experience do you have of writing personal statements for job application forms? Do you have any helpful hints and tips?