How to Write a Personal Statement for a Job Application Form
This article will quickly explain how to complete the Personal Statement section in a job application form, for more tips on completing job application forms click the link.
Many companies now use their own PDF down-loadable job application form on their website; this gives you the choice between printing off the job application form, completing the form by hand or saving the PDF to your desk top and typing up the application form and most employers prefer typed job application forms.
What to add to the personal statement?
Throughout the job application form, you will be able to add your contact details, past employment history and your qualifications, so they do not need to be added (and repeated) on the personal statement.
Most job specifications that accompany the job application form tell you in detail, what requirements the employer is looking to be evidanced on the job application form and the importance the employer places on each criteria.
Example Job Specification:
As you can see some job requirements are essential and MUST BE EVIIDENCED in your personal statement while other job requirements are desirable, if you possess them add them to the application form.
With most job specifications the employer will tell you when they will assess each criteria; Interview/Application Form
The whole of the application should be easy to read, if you need to add additional pages to the application form, add them and make a note (and give a reference number to each individual page) in the application form so an employer does not miss this vital information.
Always complete a spell and grammar check, if possible ask someone else to check your application form for you.
You can use headings to split up your text; the essential criteria requirements make the best headings. If you do not like to use headings follow a format so information is not missed or duplicated throughout the job application form.
How to Sell Yourself
Start with an opening paragraph; a mini summary that can highlight your best strengths and skills in 4-5 lines. For ideas ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What is your key message you want to convey to the employer?
- What are your 3 main strengths relevant to the job role?
- How would the company benefit from hiring you?
The opening paragraph must intrigue the employer, encouraging them to read your statement in more detail.
Avoid writing general information such as “I’m a good team player” write how your experience has made you a good team player, stories work well in personal statements.
Ensure every paragraph you write is relevant to at least one of the essential criteria from the job specification.
Remember you have to prove to the employer that you understand the job role, duties and industry. The best way to prove you possess this knowledge is to record that you have completed the essential criteria in a past role.
Feeling tired, take a break and grab a bite to eat, don’t make mistakes due to tiredness; in most cases you will have several weeks to complete the application form.
Make your statement interesting; if you were reading the statement would you want to carry on?
- Keep the statement positive – use stories
- Use enthusiastic language
- Highlight your strengths and key skills
At the end of the personal statement, write a brief summary why you have applied for this role, what has made you pick this particular role and/or organisation?
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Once you have completed your application form.
Re-write your application 2 more times, each time edit your statement, deleting negative language and adding more positive stories; you want this statement to be the best it can be, ensuring you get a guaranteed interview.
Imagine you’re the interviewer, really visualise yourself as the person who is going to read your job application form, get into their mind and even sit how you think the interviewer would sit. Read the application form, from the interviewer’s eyes, remember the interviewer has never met you and only knows what you have recorded about yourself.
- Prepare for your next job interview – Tricky Interview Questions, this e-book has the answers to over 60 Tricky Interview Questions and explains how to turn your experiences into stories to create intrigue .
As the interviewer, did the “you” on the application form come across well? Do you feel the application form has mentioned all your strengths’? Will the interviewer want to interview you, now they have read the application form?
- What have you missed from the application form, which needs to be added?
- Double check the job specification, have you highlighted all the essential criteria in your personal statement?
- Is there anything else you can do to improve the application form?
Now you have a completed application form, an application form that really highlights your strengths and skills, you are probably really proud of this application form, especially after all the hard work you have put into it.
Keep a copy of this completed application form as you can use this draft copy as a basis for all your future job application forms.
When writing a new application form, copy and paste the statement from your original application into your new one, edit each new application/profile to make it relevant to this new position and company, this will save you a large amount of time.
The job application form will secure you job interviews, which means next you need to plan your interview – did you know that you can use psychology, nlp and hypnotic persuasion in the job interview to get more job offers?
by Michael Cheary
OK, so putting a personal statement together is never easy…
But even if you’ve written one before, how you write a personal statement will always depend on your current situation. In other words, what you write as a school leaver will look a lot different to someone who has many years of previous work experience.
To help you find the right one for you, here are some real personal statement examples – and how you can use them to make your CV stand out:
Free CV Template
Download Free CV Template
University personal statement
First things first: personal statements aren’t just for your CV.
They’re also a key part of the UCAS application process, and a way to sell yourself to prospective universities. However, they will be much more detailed – and longer – than the one you write for a job application.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about personal statements for university here.
School leaver personal statement example
All personal statements should be tailored to the role in question. No exceptions.
Start by answering the following three questions: Why do you want to work in this industry? What skills make you right for the role (hint: use the job description)? And where do you want to go in your career?
However, school leavers should always focus on the latter – and what you can bring to the business, as well as focusing on the knowledge and skills gained through education, rather than employment history. Soft skills are also a great place to start.
A highly motivated and hardworking individual, who has recently completed their A-Levels, achieving excellent grades in both Maths and Science. Seeking an apprenticeship in the engineering industry to build upon a keen scientific interest and start a career as a maintenance engineer. Eventual career goal is to become a fully-qualified and experienced maintenance or electrical engineer, with the longer-term aspiration of moving into project management.
School leaver CV template
Graduate personal statement example
Similar to a school leaver personal statement, but with extra attention paid to specific things you’ve studied during higher education.
Once again, try and explain why you’re applying and where you’d like to go in your career, as well as the specific skills or knowledge you can offer. But try and drop in a few more details on your degree (projected grades are fine), as well as particular modules that have inspired you to work in this profession – if possible.
And remember: a personal statement written for a CV differs greatly from one written for a university application. If you haven’t written one before, you should start by reading our tips on how to write a personal statement.
A recent business economics graduate with a 2:1 honours degree from the University of X, looking to secure a Graduate Commercial Analyst position to use and further develop my analytical skills and knowledge in a practical and fast-paced environment. My career goal is to assume a role which allows me to take responsibility for the analysis and interpretation of commercial data for a well-respected and market-leading leading company.
Graduate CV template
Unemployed/redundancy personal statement example
Dealing with redundancy is never easy. But when dealt with in the right way, it needn’t be a hindrance when making applications.
Put the main focus on your employment history, and provide further information for your break in your cover letter. You don’t even necessarily need to mention it again, if you’ve already explained it elsewhere.
Remember, your personal statement is intended to sell yourself. So emphasise your positives rather than apologising for a negative.
Driven Retail Manager with over ten years’ experience in the fashion industry. Proven track record of success, including managing the top performing store in the region, and having the lowest staff turnover rate of all UK outlets. Currently out of work due to company closure, looking for the right opportunity to bring my expertise to a well-established fashion brand in an upper management position.
How to: Deal with redundancy
Redundancy CV template
Career break personal statement example
There are many good reasons someone may need to take a career break.
Some possible examples could include parental leave, caring for a family member, plans to travel or long-term illness. However, whatever the reason for your own break, it’s never something you should feel the need to justify to a prospective employer.
In fact, knowing how to explain a gap in your CV is mostly about confidence. So leave any extra explanation for your cover letter and focus your personal statement on your career before the break – and any skills learned during your time off which may be applicable to the role.
A highly motivated and experienced PA, currently looking to resume my professional career after dedicating the last five years to raising a family. Excellent admin skills, thorough knowledge of all Microsoft Office programs, as well as proficiency in minute-taking and extensive experience liaising with clients. After volunteering for one day a week with a local charity to refresh my skills, now fully committed to continuing my career on a full-time basis.
Career break CV template
Career change personal statement example
If you’re changing industry completely, think about any transferable skills and applicable to the sector you’re moving into.
Any numbers you can give to demonstrate your success could be crucial – even if you’re moving into an area where your expertise may seem slightly different. So always aim to back up your claims with real examples.
Focus on one or two achievements, demonstrate the impact they had, and you’ll instantly start adding value to your application.
As an experienced sales manager, my tenacious and proactive approach resulted in numerous important contract wins. My excellent networking skills have provided my team with vital client leads, and my ability to develop client relationships has resulted in an 18% increase in business renewals for my current organisation. After eight years in sales, currently seeking a new challenge which will utilise my meticulous attention to detail, and friendly, professional manner.
Changing careers: What you need to know
Career change CV template
If you’re still not sure of what to write, don’t panic.
Crafting a winning personal statement will take time, especially if you haven’t written one before. Use these examples as a loose structure to follow, and you’ll be able to add to them as your experience grows.
And remember: you should always aim to edit your personal statement for each role you apply for. That way, you can ensure you’re really selling yourself to their role, rather than simply sending the same generic statement for each application.
It should only take a few more minutes to complete. But if it’s enough to attract an employers interest, it will be time well spent in the long run.
How to write a personal statement
Personal statement dos and don’ts
Read more CV help & tips
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