Resumes & Cover letters

How to Craft an Eye-Catching Personal Statement

You should most likely submit a personal statement along with your application if you’re making preparations to apply for employment or update your CV. Personal statements are frequently used by recruiters and potential employers to determine if you are a good fit and to make decisions between candidates who are in a tight race for the post. In light of this, a compelling statement is particularly helpful when seeking an extremely competitive position. In this post, we’ll go over how to create a personal statement and offer advice on how to start strong.

What exactly is a personal statement?

A personal statement is a succinct description of your qualifications, professional background, and character. You might wish to write a different statement for each and adjust it to any requirements they may have as universities frequently want a longer statement than employers or businesses. Regardless of the kind of company you’re drafting your CV for; the goal is to wow the reader by carefully highlighting your unique qualities to demonstrate why you’re the best person for this specific role.

What distinguishes a personal statement?

The most effective personal statements are succinct and simple to read. Without mentioning anything you’ve already said, try to be unique and detailed. Even while you want to create a distinctive personal statement, you still need to include certain common information, including your school and work history.

A personal statement is a unique type of document that serves a distinct purpose in various contexts, such as college or job applications. What distinguishes a personal statement are the following key characteristics:

  1. Personal Narrative: A personal statement is a more personal and narrative document compared to other application materials like resumes or cover letters. It often focuses on your personal journey, experiences, and growth.
  2. Self-Reflection: It involves self-reflection and introspection. A personal statement requires you to think deeply about your life experiences, values, and goals, and how they have shaped you as an individual.
  3. Subjective Content: Unlike resumes or cover letters, which are typically more objective and focused on qualifications, a personal statement includes subjective content. It may delve into your emotions, beliefs, passions, and aspirations.
  4. Life Experiences: A personal statement often discusses significant life experiences, challenges you’ve overcome, pivotal moments, or influential people in your life. It provides a holistic view of who you are.
  5. Motivation and Goals: It explains your motivations and goals, whether you’re applying for college, a job, or a specific program. A personal statement helps the reader understand why you’re interested and what you hope to achieve.
  6. Unique Voice: A personal statement allows your unique voice and personality to shine through. It’s an opportunity to convey your individuality, which can set you apart from other applicants.
  7. Fluid Structure: While personal statements typically have an introduction, body, and conclusion, they don’t follow rigid structures like essays. They allow for more creative and flexible storytelling.
  8. Context-Specific: Personal statements are highly context-specific. A personal statement for a college application will differ from one for a job application or a scholarship application. Each context may have different expectations and prompts.
  9. Emphasis on Fit: In some cases, personal statements emphasize how you are a good fit for a specific program, institution, or job. It shows your alignment with the values and goals of the entity you’re applying to.
  10. Expression of Passion: A personal statement often includes your passion for a subject, field, or career. It provides a platform for you to express why you are genuinely excited about your chosen path.

In summary, what distinguishes a personal statement is its focus on personal experiences, self-reflection, and individuality. It allows you to share your life journey, motivations, and goals in a narrative and subjective manner, making it a powerful tool for applications that require a deeper understanding of who you are as a person or candidate.

Writing a Personal Statement: A Guide

Your competitive edge over other applicants might be greatly increased by a compelling personal statement. It could also be the deciding element in whether you get a job, an interview, or a place in a university. Due to this, it’s important to spend some time learning how to create a personal statement that will differentiate you from other applicants.

You may make sure you incorporate all the essential elements of composing your statement and maintain your writing’s clarity and conciseness by taking the following steps:

1. Go over all of the guidelines.

Usually, a university will give instructions if you are preparing a personal statement for them. A work personal statement’s criteria are frequently more lenient. To get a broad notion of the type of information the employer would expect to find in your statement, visit their website. Before starting, always read any rules or directions. Once you’re done, make sure you’ve followed all the requirements.

2. Before you start, ask yourself some questions.

If you’re unsure about the type of content to include in your statement, the following questions could help you come up with ideas:

  • What is special about your life story?
  • What accomplishments or difficulties make you stand out from the competition?
  • When did you first become interested in this topic or profession, and why do you believe you would be a good fit for it?
  • What long-term professional ambitions do you have?
  • Do you need to provide any explanations for any inconsistencies in your academic or professional history?
  • How have you dealt with significant obstacles in your life?
  • What are your strongest arguments for being hired by this company?

3. Identify yourself

Composing a personal introduction is made much simpler when you concentrate on highlighting your strongest qualities. It’s critical to start strong and grab the attention of your reader because the beginning will determine the overall tone of your statement.

You might start by explaining your motivation for choosing this particular field when composing a personal statement for a cover letter or job application. Other attention-grabbing introductions include a thought-provoking quote or a topical concern related to your preferred field of study or job. Regardless of what you decide, make sure it is pertinent to you and serves the aim of your application.

4. Compose a compelling opening paragraph.

Consider the following advice if you intend to produce an opening paragraph that will stick in the reader’s mind and entice the recruiter or admissions committee to read more:

  • Keep the opening sentence brief and to the point.
  • Clearly describe your position and its implications.
  • Ensure that your starting paragraph connects to your concluding paragraph.
  • Write the remainder of your statement first and the introduction last if you’re still unclear about what to say.

Don’t be scared to take some time coming up with an opening paragraph that you are proud of because it will serve as the mood for the remainder of your statement.

5. Describe your pertinent expertise, passions, and experiences.

Include information about your relevant work experience, skills, and accomplishments in the next portion of your statement. Your personal statement’s primary body should contain the following information:

  • Your experience: If you’re applying to a university, you may mention any relevant experience. For instance, if you are seeking a degree in public policy, you could discuss your volunteer work at a nearby homeless shelter. Your relevant prior professional experience might be mentioned while submitting a job application.
  • Your accomplishments: Your personal statement should outline the kinds of achievements you’ve made in your working life for a prospective employer. Generally speaking, make sure to list all of your academic accolades and any pertinent training qualifications. Consider including any more recent honors you may have gotten, such as awards from the related industry.
  • Your skills and abilities: Describe the skill sets you have developed throughout your career. Concentrate on particular abilities that are pertinent to the program or position you are looking for.
  • Qualities you can provide the institution or business: Describe why you believe you might benefit the group or community. Along with stating your experience, be sure to mention how eager you are to learn new skills or join a team to achieve the employer’s objectives.
  • Your educational or career objectives: Describe how the position you’re looking for will enable you to realize your professional objectives and long-term intentions.

A brief paragraph is typically sufficient for a recruiter or employer to read the content of your personal statement.

6. End your statement.

Finish strong with a summary of your main points that will leave your reader with a positive impression. The conclusion should reaffirm the key elements and encourage the employer to select you as a candidate. These factors will help your conclusion to be stronger:

  • Instead of starting with “in conclusion” or “in summary,” use a compelling introduction. You must demonstrate that you know exactly the direction you’re going with your conclusion.
  • Make a point of highlighting the qualities you’ve already discussed rather than adding something new.
  • Describe both your immediate plans and your long-term educational and/or career aspirations.
  • Summarize your personal statement’s primary ideas in a few sentences.
  • Refer back to your introduction and the reasons you first wanted to apply for this degree or job.

Finish strong and enthusiastic in your personal statement. Your reader will get the idea that you are serious and committed to your application if you do this. Typically, the end of your personal statement for a position should be no longer than one or two sentences. This makes it easier for the prospective employer to assess how you may fit in together with their business.

7. Revise and proofread

Take a break from writing your personal statement for ten to twenty minutes, then return to it and read it thoroughly. You must spend time editing and proofreading your statement. Ensure your statement is submitted without any grammatical or spelling mistakes. You can catch any errors and get a sense of how your statement sounds by reading it aloud. Look for areas that can be improved and eliminated. These might consist of the following:

  • Spelling and grammar: Check your statement via a grammar-checking program or have someone else read it if you’re not sure about a certain grammatical or spelling rule.
  • Repetition: Check for repetition to make sure that your statement doesn’t contain any material that has already been stated in another area.
  • Passive voice: Make use of the active voice as frequently as you can in your personal statement. This makes it simpler to understand and keeps the reader’s interest.
  • Wordiness: Use straightforward, understandable language. If it fits with your overall writing style, you are allowed to utilize some complicated jargon; nonetheless, you must continue to ensure that the sentence reads naturally and fluidly.
  • Honesty: Throughout your entire statement, be sincere. Exaggerations are likely to be seen by employers who read hundreds of personal statements, so it’s always a good idea to keep your description of yourself and your qualifications accurate.

A friend or coworker reading your statement aloud to you might be helpful. This could assist in pointing out any potential areas for development that you may have overlooked. Additionally, they might be prepared to provide you with some insightful criticism so you can produce a compelling personal statement for hiring managers.


Consider creating a connection between your opening and concluding sentences. This tactic is referred to as the “necklace approach.”

You can either offer an additional dimension or restate what you said at the outset. For instance, if you began with a compelling statement about what inspires you to pursue your chosen degree program, you could refer back to it towards the conclusion, possibly by stating why you’d like to pursue this further in college.

Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Statements

  • What is some effective personal statement writing tips?

Try to summarize this in one or two sentences after starting with the reason you chose it. Be creative and use your own experiences to gain attention. Avoid overused quotations, openings, and cliches like “when I was young… ” They’re interested in you right now, not in your past or in Shakespeare!

  • What would a decent personal statement hook be?

The hooks in a personal statement…  What Do They Do? An essay’s opening “hook” is a literary trick used to pique the interest of the reader and encourage them to keep reading. A hook can take many different forms, such as a sobering incident, a brief autobiography, a humorous tale, a quote, etc.

  • Which words should you stay away from in a personal statement?

Avoid using words like “also,” “as well as,” “additionally,” and similar expressions excessively. Instead of having your personal statement flow smoothly, these make it read more like a detached list of the things you’ve accomplished.

  • How Long Should a Personal Statement Be? The ideal length of a personal statement can vary depending on the context, such as college applications, job applications, or scholarship applications. Generally, personal statements can range from 250 words to 1,000 words or more. It’s essential to review the specific guidelines provided by the institution or organization you’re applying to. Some may have word or character limits, while others may provide general recommendations. Regardless of the length, it’s crucial to be concise and focus on delivering a clear, impactful message that addresses the prompt and highlights your key qualities and experiences.
  • What Should I Include in a Personal Statement? The content of a personal statement can vary depending on the purpose, but there are common elements to consider including:
    • Introduction: Begin with a compelling hook or an engaging story that draws the reader in.
    • Personal Journey: Share relevant life experiences, challenges, or moments that have shaped you.
    • Academic or Career Goals: Explain your motivations, goals, and how the program or opportunity aligns with your aspirations.
    • Strengths and Qualities: Highlight your strengths, qualities, and unique attributes that make you a strong candidate.
    • Relevance: Discuss how your experiences and skills relate to the program or position you’re applying for.
    • Why You’re a Fit: Explain why you’re a good fit for the program, institution, or job, including how you align with their values and goals.
    • Conclusion: Summarize your main points and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
    The specific content will depend on the prompt or requirements provided by the application. It’s essential to focus on what sets you apart and why you’re a compelling candidate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *