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

How to Write a Personal Statement for Internship – 2020


This article contains information on how to write a personal statement for an internship in 2020.

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Whether it is a paid or unpaid internship, some organization would require a professional personal statement to get a glimpse of your interests and if they have the capacity or resources to help you reach your career or professional goals. It’s an opportunity to sell yourself and to prove you’re the person the employer wants as an intern. Usually, internships are for students who in between their school year are sent to the field to get professional competencies before they finally move to the labour market. Some of the professional courses that require internships are Medicine, Law, Mass Communication, Engineering, Nursing, pharmacy, computer science etc. Your personal statement is one of the most important documents to get an internship position. A personal statement is a type of essay that provides a brief summary of the skills and competencies of an individual based on what it is he or she is applying for. So not just those applying for scholarships for graduate schools need scholarships as many have thought, some employers, especially in well-respected companies, need a personal statement to attract the right set of minds. Imagine your friend telling you he just got an internship position at Unilever, if you ask for how he got such appointment, don’t be surprised if he had to write an examination and provide a personal statement.  Apart from the personal statement, you attach a resume and other requested materials. Your personal statement should be limited to 500 or a maximum of 800 words. It’s for an internship, so it should not be too long. We have decided to help you by providing you with these guidelines on how to structure your statement.


1. Take time to reflect

First, you should spend a good amount of your time reflecting on what makes you unique- your personal brand.  Every human has his or her unique abilities; it would take you and not someone else to find yours. What qualities do you possess that the organization doesn’t know they need? You can answer this question by going through the objectives and values of the organization. When you are able to articulate these qualities, it would be seamless convincing the selection committee of the value you are about to offer them. Apart from self-reflection, you can ask friends, family members and co-employees who know you and have been with you for a while especially through your undergraduate programme. This exercise means that you would have to give yourself some time. So if the deadline for submission is in May, you can start your writing in March. However, do not wait till the day of the deadline before you submit, two weeks to the deadline is fine.

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2. Check your Introduction

Second, your first sentence should be attention-grabbing because it would determine if the readers would go ahead till the end or not. To achieve this, you would have to make an outline of how you want to write it, this would determine what would come up first. Your introduction can be a noteworthy accomplishment in your career or during your undergraduate study or start with a story or experience that shaped your decision to venture into that particular field. Check for previously written ones for guidance. Your introduction, body and conclusion should be written in active voice. Look at this example

Passive Voice– The academic award was received by me

Active Voice– I received an academic award

3. Include your Competencies

Third, you should include information about your skill and how it can benefit the organization. Provide anecdotes and real experiences of how you applied your skills were put to play. For instance, if you apply for an internship position in a media house, you can provide examples of stories of how you served as a volunteer writer for your school’s newsletter and how you think that skill would aid you work efficiently if granted a new role. Make it as brief as you can and avoid irrelevances during your accomplishment. Also, note that the company would do everything possible to protect their reputation, hence they would only take those once who would be worthy ambassadors. Also, note that the company would do everything possible to protect their reputation by attracting the brightest minds, hence they would only take those once who would be worthy ambassadors.

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4. Keep it short and simple

Fourth, be as specific as possible. 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. Give your point, explain when need be. For instance, as a lawyer, it is not enough to say you are interested in re-sharpening the judiciary system in your country and a little of the problem you have observed. You must explain how your position in their legal chamber 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 much stories never win.

5. Be genuine

Fifth, while trying to give a good notion of yourself and providing every noteworthy accomplishment, remember to be as sincere as possible.  Your statement must be able to convince them of your ability to succeed and be of good conduct throughout your short stay. Employers can tell when you’re exaggerating what an experience meant to you because they read thousands of personal statements probably quarterly. 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?

6. Employ your research skill

Sixth, do your homework by doing a 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.

7. Proofread again and again

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. 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 a hurry work and a well thought out work and you know, every organization would not trade a detailed and thoughtful person for anything.

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8. Get a professional or critic

Take careful note at your introduction, they serve as leads for your readers. 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.


Getting an internship position especially in a reputable company is a dream of every student, but you can bring yours to reality by doing the right thing, which is providing the right documents that prove that you are worth the try. As a student or fresh graduate, you do not have an excuse to provide a professional personal statement.

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Joeme is a biochemist by training and a SEO content writer by passion. He has been writing content for the past 4 years. He has expertise in career-related information, education and university admissions.

He is also a certified web publisher.


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