How to Write a Personal Statement for Employment

Personal statements: one chance to make a lasting first impression. At least this chance has the opportunity to be mulled over and edited for days at a time. Many employees are familiar with this essay, designed to explain why a person would like a certain job and what qualifies him or her to be hired. However, for the first-time job applicant -- and even for veteran workers -- the personal statement poses a challenge. Summarising a lifetime of experiences, education, and skills is nearly impossible, but can be made much easier with some set guidelines.

Brainstorm about your qualifications for a job. This may include your educational background, previous jobs, or hobbies.

Brainstorm about why you are interested in this particular job. Consider the exact job title and company, past experiences that led you to this field and what you find enjoyable about this line of work or where this job will take you.

Write an interesting introduction. Many successful job seekers write their statements chronologically by beginning with a story about their first interests in the field. Another method is to choose the most significant event that led you to this job and beginning from there.

Solidify your interest in this job through examples. The body paragraphs allow you to explain your interest in the particular job, as well as explain why you are qualified and what you would add to the company if hired.

End powerfully, so that the company is reassured about your skills. This is often in terms of a forward-looking statement, explaining where you hope this job will take you in the future and how being hired will help the company.

Edit your personal statement for grammar, style and content. This is best done after distancing yourself from the writing for a few days and having a trusted editor look it over with a fresh eye. Check for length as many employers are particular about word counts.


Do not try to cram every qualification or interest into a personal statement. Focus on the few that are most powerful and convey the most in the fewest words.

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About the Author

Christine Roberts is a graduate from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in biology. As an activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, her previous writing experience has been with related magazines. She has written for "N'Touch" and "Echo" magazines and she has served as a guest columnist for Wingspan, an LGBT center in Arizona.

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