What is a personal statement?
To put it simply: a personal statement is you on paper. Whether you are applying to college or for a job, a personal statement should be a reflection of you. It’s easy for anyone to say: “I want to be this” or “I would like to be that”, but a personal statement should not only state what your hopes and dreams are for the future, it should also tell of the experiences you have had towards reaching your goal in life.
A personal statement should not be confused with a cover letter. A cover letter is a more detailed account of your personal and professional experiences. A cover letter is also a lot longer. A personal statement should be no more than one paragraph or four or five lines. It should also include more descriptive terminology such as: dependable, responsible, skilled, energetic, etc. It should never include language that compliments the person, company, or college that you are applying to. It should also never include any personal information such as if you are married or divorced or how many children you have. A personal statement should answer who you are professionally, what you can bring to the table, and what your plan is for the future.
To write a personal statement is not bragging about yourself; rather, it is about selling yourself. It should show the confidence that you have in yourself and in your abilities, therefore it should always be a positive statement, never a negative one. You should also never include a definitive statement towards one specific job goal such as: “I want to be an accountant” or “I am looking to be a general manager”. It should be more of a statement about your general abilities which will show that you can be flexible, comfortable, and adaptable in any position.
In conclusion, a personal statement is the first impression a college or a potential employer has of you, and we all how important it is to make a good first impression. It should be well-written to show that you can communicate effectively. It should also be a summary of who you are and where you are going in life, so keep it simple and to the point. The abilities you include in a personal statement can be tailored for the position you are seeking, but it can also be a general statement about your myriad of accomplishments and abilities.
I might also suggest people write a personal statement just for their own eyes. Everyone needs a boost of confidence every now and then, especially when determining their future goals. It’s easy for people to get discouraged and feel unsure of themselves these days given the instability of the economy and world situation. Therefore, I think everyone should sit down and write a personal statement just for themselves so they can see for themselves just who they really are and what they hope to accomplish in life. People may be very surprised with the results.