Careers & Education

How to write a personal statement

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Woman getting interviewed
A well-written personal statement makes a good first impression and shows others why you are the best person for the job
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Get a clear focus on where you are going by writing your personal plan.

A personal statement is a brief synopsis of your past experiences and future goals. A personal statement is often requested when preparing to enter a graduate program or when you're trying to get a job in the field you've studied. Hiring experts say that knowing how to write a personal statement gives you the opportunity to:


- Execute an unforgettable first impression.


- Project why you are a good pick for your chosen field.


- Speak about your goals and values.


- Write about what attracted to your field of choice.


- Explain what strengths you'll bring to the field.


Follow the Application Guidelines


Before writing a personal statement think about what a reader may be searching for. Check the application you are filling out because it may tell what you should include on your personal statement. A few things you may see noted on the application are:


- What the program is about and the career opportunities they offer 


- What other educational training do you have?


- What is your present and future goal?


- What is your reason for pursuing a graduate/professional degree in the field of your interest?


- Why do you want to attend that particular institution or work for that particular company?


- What about you sets you apart from the other applicants and why should they chose you?


Show Them What Makes You Unique


When considering what to write about your personal characteristics, the key questions to keep in mind would be:


- What are some things about you that make you different?


- What keeps your interest and why do they interest you?


- What about your life has given you the mindset to pursue that degree or job?


When writing a personal statement always consider topics that will capture the reader's attention:


- Goals you would like to obtain now


- Goals you'd like to see obtained in the future


- The support of family and friends


- Activities you have done which have influenced the thought for your career path


- Your desire for pursuing your career



Tell Them Why You're Successful


In choosing a topic, don't choose one that will question your maturity. You want the reader to know you are capable to achieve whatever you set in your mind to do. Go into further detail about your career:


- What made choose your field of interest?


- What is your first memory of the field in which you find interest?


- Who is the person in your chosen field that you admire and you'd like to model your career after?


Highlight Your Drive and Ambitions


Write about yourself. If you are applying to a school, they will want to know about you. They will want to know your drive and motivation. Be specific and write about things which may have led you to choosing your field. If you've been praised for having leadership skills or you always get a job done on time, mention those attributes. 


Be sure and tell a story. Write your personal statement in a way that will capture the reader's attention. You could also find ways to write about yourself and the field that you choose. Be straight forward but not egotistic when talking about you.


Always Speak Positively


Avoid any words that put your character down and only speak about the positive things in your life. Talk about things you've experienced but try not to repeat yourself in the statement on why you'd be the perfect candidate. Also try not to use phrases such as "I want to make a change in the world" or "I've always wanted to be a dentist." Using quotations at the beginning or ending of your statement is not required.


First Impressions are the Most Memorable


When you think about how to write a personal statement you can also go over your personal characteristics, such as:


- Be sure your personal reflection clearly shows you as you are.

- Write only about things that you want to discuss.

- Think about your experiences in life that show you can be successful.


- Whatever field you choose to go into or whatever school you may be applying to let the reader into who you are. First impressions are the most memorable.

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