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4 Essential Personal Statement Tips and Common Mistakes

4 Essential Personal Statement Tips and Common Mistakes

Ten Things To Know About Personal Statement Tips.

Personal Statement, Job seekers have a problem in modern times: they face tens, sometimes hundreds of applicants, and the average recruiter looks at a resume for only 20-30 seconds. The purpose of your resume is to be called up for an interview, but chances are, especially if you are not familiar with writing personal statements. This is because the personal statement section of your resume is probably the most important element. The goal is to highlight your characteristics and explain your career goals while persuading the hiring manager to read the rest of your resume. The catch is that you have to do all this in about 50 words! Below we give you 4 quick personal tips for writing statements.

  1. Forget telling stories

This is not a cocktail party and the hiring manager is not interested in your life story. Consider your personal statement is your own personal brochure. It must be written in the third person and in an objective manner. It should be impersonal and short, yet explain who you are, what your position in the workplace is and why you are the right person for the job. Read also about positive youth development.

  1. Ban Clichéd phrases

Your personal statement should never contain expressions such as “I am a team player” or “my communication skills are excellent”. The fact is that these expressions waste valuable space because they state the obvious. Few personal sayings in human history have ever admitted to having terrible communication skills! Your goal is to show the potential employer that you have skills beyond the level of someone else applying for the job.

  1. No images

Adding photos of yourself with a personal statement is a terrible idea. The unfortunate truth is that the hiring manager will judge you based on the photo. Even if you are “attractive” by conventional standards, the person reading your personal statement may not like you. One of the most important rules for writing resumes is to never give the rental company a reason not to call you. While your photo won’t damage your application 90% of the time, what about the other 10% of the time your ideal job is at stake?

  1. Sell yourself

Most jobs will have up to 100 applicants because unemployment continues to bite hard. It is likely that 80% of applicants have qualifications similar to yours. Employers are always on the lookout for a candidate with the best return on investment and are particularly picky about whom to call for an interview. That’s why it’s your job to sell your strengths and achievements. It’s entirely possible to do this without sounding boastful and will vastly improve your employment prospects.

Once you have completed your personal statement, read it out loud. Now imagine it was a TV ad, would you buy the product? If you are objective and the answer is ‘no’, you have to start all over again.

Common mistakes in Personal Statement

While a personal statement is considered an optional part of a resume. it’s a golden opportunity to grab the hiring manager’s attention from the moment he picks up your application. This is crucial because you have about 5-10 seconds to impress on paper, not an easy task! Basic personal statement tips include keeping things short and sweet, including your ambition, making sure that every word counts and avoiding boring and clichéd sentences. Few people seem to follow these guidelines and pick up one of the following errors instead.

Resume again

A personal statement should never be a mini-biography, but many applicants insist on doing no more than adding a chronology of their work experience, employment history, and responsibilities from previous jobs. This does not add to their desirability, as the hiring manager will collect all this information from the rest of the resume. This is your chance to shine, which means incorporating details that aren’t on the resume, such as a description of ‘soft’ skills such as analytical thinking and interpersonal skills.

Tell them you want the job

The hiring manager already knows you want the job or you wouldn’t have applied, but applicants insist on telling the potential employer how much they enjoy their job and their desire to work for the company. Your personal statement should focus on the reasons WHY you should be hired, NOT why you want the job.

Being an apologist

You do not use your personal statement to explain why you are missing certain skills or experience. The purpose of writing this short paragraph is to sell yourself and this means emphasizing your strengths rather than apologizing for your weaknesses, which in itself is a sign of weakness. The time and place to discuss flaws in your suitability are the interviews and at that point, you should focus on how you plan to overcome any gaps in experience/skills, etc.

Empty words

Since most personal statements are about 5-6 lines, you have no room for empty statements such as ‘I am a hard worker’ or ‘I am a people person’. How can the hiring manager establish that this is the truth without any evidence to support such lofty statements? You should provide them with examples of your work ethic and how it has positively impacted your employer, as well as evidence of your interpersonal skills.

Too technical

In many cases, the person reading your resume and personal statement will be in a different department than where you are applying. Therefore, he may have no knowledge of the more technical aspects of the job, so avoid using jargon. Your personal statement should be succinct, informative and enjoyable and understandable to all readers. Vivid images always catch the reader’s attention, so work on your writing skills!

A strong resume should be backed up with an equally powerful and compelling personal statement if you want to proceed to the first round of interviews. Take the time to prepare your statement and you will immediately be ahead of the majority of candidates who keep making the above mistakes.


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