Home Student & Career Tips How to Write a Personal Statement for a Job – 2020

How to Write a Personal Statement for a Job – 2020


This article serves as a guide on how to write a personal statement for a Job in 2020.

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Some jobs require applicants to submit a curriculum vitae which outlines succinctly your educational qualifications, previous job experiences and skills while others might go as far as asking for a personal statement. Some recruiters and employers love personal statements as they can easily see if you are a match in skills, experience and attitude to their job.

Your personal statement for a job is very different for schools. It is an opportunity to summarise your unique selling points and allow employers to know if you articulate enough to convince them that you are fit for the task.

In a very competitive market, where technology is disrupting existing sectors and establishing new ones, prospective employees must prove that they are worth the time of their employers amid the numerous applicants who possess almost the same skill sets as you.

Let’s walk you through the major requisite for a sound personal statement.

Your first sentence should be attention-grabbing because it would determine if the readers would go ahead till the end or not. Remember your employer has hundreds of documents to review. Your overall statement should not be more than 200 words. Your introduction should include your job title, number of years’ experience, particular expertise you have, use active positive words or verbs. Avoid the cliché of  “I am a graduate of English and I am interested in your company”. This is rather common, do something simple, catchy and different. Here is an example

Seasoned Environmental Microbiologist (Put your certification here) with over 7 years’ experience conducting research for the National Institute of Research.

Secondly, the next paragraph should include your skills that are specific to the job.  Avoid generic statements such as ‘possess good communication skills’ and be more specific by using a unique value you can bring to the table. A good example would be ‘skilled in biological research and presenting findings with the latest research software’. This would give the selection team a vivid view of you which is enough to make you stand out from all the other applicants. Your statement must reflect the values of your prospective company. What do I mean by this? If for instance, you are applying for a job as an English tutor, but you have never been in the education sector, you must provide examples of how your previous job exposed to writing, public speaking and other relevant skills that would help you thrive in the job if you are chosen

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Further, after stating your specific skills, you must provide clear evidence of how you have utilized such skills and competencies. For instance, if you state that you are a Client Service Manager, you should provide experiences of how you provided optimum service to your former company’s client which led to the recommendation of the company.  Make sure your skills are written in such a way that it matches the requirements set out in the job description/advert. Do well to avoid irrelevances too, still, the example given above, do not provide skills that do not relate to the job even if you possess them. If you do not need a public speaking skill to succeed in this new job, leave it for another time.

Still, on being specific, remember that no one has the luxury of time to read unnecessary things about you. Don’t try to fit all your life experiences here. No one is interested in your life travails except you and maybe your close friends and family. Give your point, explain when need be. For instance, as a public health worker, it is not enough to say you are interested in re-sharpening the public health system in your country and a little of the problem you have observed. You must explain how your position in their organization would be relevant to your overall goals. When you do this, you stand out from other applicants! It simply tells your selection committee that you have plans to grow and the company can help you grow too. Too many stories are very boring and exhausting.

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While trying to give a good notion of yourself and providing every noteworthy skill you possess, remember to be as sincere as possible. Employers can tell when you’re exaggerating what an experience meant to you because they read thousands of personal statements often. Briefly mention any noteworthy and appealing features that attracted you to the job advert, but do not overemphasize on it. Briefly mention any noteworthy and appealing features that attracted you to the organization, but do not go overboard. Do not be tempted to write skills you do not possess, you might be required to defend it. For example, if you are applying for a job that says a computer programmer is an “added advantage” if you do not have that competences do not bother. Many make that silly mistake, thinking that without adding that they might never be considered. But is it not better to be denied the job than caught lying? Think about it?

If you are media personnel interested in a media job, your statement should provide your passions, that is why you are interested in the job and prove your capacity to succeed. You can also state your career objective, both short term and long term. This would guide the employers in their decision. Every employer is interested in applicants who would add value to their company and individuals whose career or professional objectives tallies with the company. Further, every employer wants a worthy ambassador, who would be proud to represent then in whatever capacity. Anything aside this would be a total waste of time.

Your introduction, body and conclusion should be written in an active voice. Active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb while the passive voice makes the subject the recipient of the verb. Look at this example and observe the difference.

Passive Voice- The required skill is possessed by me to perform

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Active Voice- I possess the required skill to perform

In your first two drafts, errors are inevitable. Read over again as often as you can to check for the correct use of transition words, sentence structure, commas, first-person and active voice, elimination of weak words like “in order to, I believe” for more professional alternatives. That is why it should be given adequate time. Take careful note at your introduction, they serve as leads for your readers. You do not start your writing two days before submission. That is rather wrong. Since you know that you know from the onset that you would need to go for internship, surf the internet for samples, read as many as you can, compare it with yours, however, avoid plagiarism at all cost. Two to three month before the submission is not a bad idea, though, spending an hour to proof ready daily or bi-daily would do you a lot of good. Your selection committee can tell between an article written in a hurry and a well thought out work and you know, every organization would not trade a detailed and thoughtful person for anything.

Get another set of eyes such as a consultant, professional or other outside sources to aid you to critique the essay. You might conclude that you have done an amazing job, but you might be surprised that another ready was able to point out errors you might never have seen. Two heads they say is better than one.

Do your homework by doing thorough research on the particular organization you are applying to. Every organization has its values, objectives, competitive advantage and they are ready to share some of it with anyone that cares to listen. If you are able to prove that you know about the organization you are applying to, you stand a greater chance. You can achieve this through thorough research from the company’s website and social media handles, doing a tour (some companies allow it) and consultations from staff and former interns of the company.

In conclusion, Writing a personal statement can be very challenging especially as a novice, but when you follow these aforementioned tips, you would be glad at the outcome of writing about yourself in less than 200 words.


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