It’s shocking how often the request for a personal statement is made and yet it is still so difficult to do. Whether you’re filling out a job application, writing a resume or joining a site like Connect for the Best (just kidding - there are no sites like CFTB!), personal statements are used as a steadfast way for employers to figure out who you are.
And perhaps, that is why they remain difficult.
How much do they want to know? How honest should you be? Is it related to the job you want, or the jobs you've had? Should you mention your pet cat?
If you’ve got one to write, look no further. I have three tips to get you out of this unscathed.
1. Stay relevant.
If you’re applying for a job, or if this personal statement is meant to be used for work purposes, keep it professional! Any non work related activities should only be brought up if they relate to a new position or demonstrate work ethic.
2. Put your best self forward.
This is your opportunity to create an ideal first impression. Imagine meeting someone in person. What would you want them to assume about you? Think of compliments that have come from past employers or family and friends.
3. Keep It Short
The personal statement is a lead. The majority of the information will be contained on the job application, resume or profile. This is just a summary of it.
A professional personal summary tells me three things: what kind of job you’re looking for, what your best skills are, and why that’s important to me.
And unless you’re applying to the local veterinarian clinic, it’s probably best to leave the details of your cat for emails to your mum.
Share in the comments a bit of your personal statement. I would love to see what you’ve come up with. Or if you’re still having trouble, feel free to post a draft and I’ll see if I can help you out.