Tips for Personal Statements

Personal Statements on Job Applications

On many job application forms you have to complete a section at the end called ‘additional information’ or ‘personal statement’.   This empty box  might look a bit scary – but it is  your chance to really impress a future potential employer and make your application stand out from the crowd.

Usually the form tells you what they expect you to include in this additional information  – it might say  ‘please use this section to explain why you feel you are suited to this job and what you can bring to it’ or ‘please include any further information relevant to the person specification, such as your  skills, knowledge and experience ’.

You don’t need to go over all the details of your  qualifications and work experience again –  this section is for you to show that you are understand what the job entails, that you are  motivated to do the job and that you have carefully considered why you feel you would be good at it.

Use the Person specification as a guide  : You should try and provide information relevant to most , if not all,  of the points in the person specification provided by the employer for the job in question.

Use examples …  because they provide clear evidence that you’ve got a skill and know how to apply it in real situations. Don’t just write   ‘I’m good with money and adding up’,  – you should put something like  (as long as it’s true)   ‘I’ve been in charge of the office petty cash for two years and have been responsible for cashing up at the end of the day’.

No Job Experience?  Even if you haven’t got the actual work experience to show that you’ve got a particular skill, you could say how similar experiences and skills would help you approach this area. For example, “my experience of learning how to use a spreadsheet from scratch shows I can pick up software packages very quickly

Enthusiasm :  Try to find out some information about the company and their future plans or problems.  Write about these facts and use them to say why you are attracted to the organisation. Try to use very positive language and describe what you could bring to the company.
Try and find out about the line of business the organisation is in – and any developments in that area. Mentioning them will show you are interested in them.

Don’t lie – you will probably be caught out at interview.

As with all parts of the application – read it over a few times to check for spelling and grammatical errors . Also ask someone else to proof read it and check it for you

Photocopy or print out the finished form, so that you have a record of what you’ve written. You’ll need to be able to refer back to it at the interview stage.