A personal statement can be a supporting document to your application package. Along with your resume, cover letter, and recommendation letters, a personal statement speaks to your skills and talents as a professional in your respective field.
If you are a newly qualified professional or a career changer, a personal statement is even more relevant to your application as this provides you with a platform to explain and highlight your related skills and accomplishments and how you can benefit a company, where your resume may struggle to communicate these facts. So, knowing how to write a personal statement is imperative.
In your personal statement, you will want to emphasize your individual strengths relevant to the position. Additionally, your personal statement should explain why you are applying, detail your credentials and include professional development or training sessions, your relevant professional experiences, your career path and development, and any other related skills and interests you have that will benefit the position.
The introductory paragraph of your personal statement needs to start off in an interesting way. You want to draw the reader’s attention and make them want to read the rest of the statement. Beginning your statement by saying something like “I’m writing this statement to apply for the ____ position” is a boring way to start off your personal statement and is also unnecessary to write.
This is already stated in your resume, cover letter, and other application documents. The reader knows what position you are applying to, so it’s important that you find a more interesting opening line that will stand out among the other applications. Instead, you can use the opening paragraph to discuss how you got interested in your field and why.
The personal statement itself should focus on your experience and skills and how they would benefit the position. If you are new to your field, this would focus mostly on your educational background and what you learned from your degree and student placements if applicable. If you are a seasoned professional, you will want to bring attention to the relevant experiences you have regarding the position you are applying to. You will also want to bring up any involvement in community activities, career development, and leadership initiatives.
Your personal statement should aim to end on a positive note. It should also sum up why you are a good candidate for the position. By showing your enthusiasm for the position and for your field in general, you will enhance your application.