What is a Personal Statement?
In the simplest of terms, a personal statement is the one which best describes your achievements and interests. A brief personal summary is written as a part of an application or for a job, or when you’re applying at a university, and is used for you to stand apart from your competitors.
Each personal statement is different, hence the word personal. It’s probably the first thing the interviewer is going to see, so that’s where you make your first impression.
Your goal is to distinguish yourself from the rest of the competition, make yourself appeal as a real person, and not just be an applicant number.
In the personal statement, you will describe yourself, who you are as a person, as a functioning member of society, what you are passionate about, your thoughts and other experiences.
There is no specific rule as to how long it should be, but usually, a personal statement for a resume is about 150 to 200 words. This is not your cover letter or resume, but an introduction to one, so the shorter it is, the better.
How to write a personal statement?
A good personal statement will have the following characteristics:
• Clearly, explains why you want to apply for the job/position. You cannot drag on and on; it must be concise, pertinent to the subject matter and to the point.
• Why you are the best person for the job: give facts and prove that you are the most suitable candidate for the position, try to showcase that you have done your research and know what you’re doing and getting yourself into.
• Mention about your personal achievements as well, but don’t get too informal. The interviewer doesn’t need to know certain unnecessary information.
• Explain how your experiences and skills make you the best candidate for this particular position and where do you see yourself in a few years. Tell them what your expectations of the company are.
• Concentrate on the most relevant skills to this job, but don’t completely leave out your other skills either.
• Show them that you don’t need your hand to be held throughout the period you will be working for them, make sure they understand that you can work independently, and are capable of taking on more workload as time goes on.
• Again, even though it is a “personal” statement, remember the interviewer doesn’t need to know each and every detail about your life. Keep it professional, but informative, and as entertaining as possible.
Keep the tone of the statement consistent, don’t keep changing tenses/persons. Resume writing comes after, and it mostly stays the same, but each personal statement has to be custom made for every job interview.
That way even though it might not seem like, but the interviewer can tell at first glance. They will take notice of all the time and effort you have put into writing this three to four-line statement, and it will pay off.