How to write a good personal statement | LIFE ON CAMPUS life on Campus

So you’re looking for internship placements…There are many job/ internship placement opportunities that will require you to submit a personal statement.

There are many job/ internship placement opportunities that will require you to submit a personal statement. Some people are already familiar with what a personal statement is, as some universities require you to have one as a requirement to be accepted– as well as with your certificates.

Not only universities require personal statements of interested applicants, you might need one to get internship placements, industrial training. In fact, it is sometimes recommended to attach a personal statement to your CV (if you are strictly required submit just a CV, you might not want to attach a personal statement as they strictly require a CV).

How to write a good cover letter

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is a short (2 or 3 paragraph essay) summary that describes who you are, your skills, achievements, goals and the reason for your application. You are trying to convince the recruiter that you are a perfect choice.

how to write a good personal statement - life on Campus -
You are trying to convince the recruiter that you are a perfect choice.

While personal statements can vary pertaining to organisation or position (for instance, a personal statement by someone looking to get into university and someone looking for an IT slot), there are few basic things to add into your personal statement and tips on writing a good one.

1. Know about the organisation

First things first, any student looking for IT placements needs to know about the organisation they intend to apply for. What type of organisation is it, is it an accounting firm, a law firm? How does the nature of the institution correlate with your career path? If you would like a paid internship, if possible find out if the organisation pays its interns.

2. How can the organisation be of value to you?

Think about how the organisation can add value to you. That is, in your skills, experience and strengths. This needs to be spelt out, as that will help you write your statement.

3. Plan your essay structure

It’s OK to have few drafts, as long as you get the right one. Your first draft is where you plan your essay structure. Like I said earlier, personal statements are used to tell whoever is reading who you are and everything about you they need to know.

how to write a good personal statement - life on Campus -
It’s OK to have few drafts, as long as you get the right one.

Most importantly, talk about yourself a bit more, do not over define the specific role or subject you studied. For example, if you are studying business and want a placement in an office, do not spend a whole 30 lines paragraph on who a business person is. Instead, write how you can be of help to the company, how you can add value with the skills you have been able to learn after a year in university.

See an example of a personal statement structure —

First paragraph : Start by giving an overview of what you study, your career path, why you chose to study the course, what you intend to do with it, your interests and skills that further propelled you to study that course. Why you want an internship. Make it interesting to read, something captivating!

Remember, the first paragraph is the charm

Second paragraph : Give the reasons why you are interested in getting a placement at that organisation, explain how the organisation can be of help to you (for example ; “ABC firm is a reputable establishment and with a large share in the market, it has become a household name. I would love to serve as an intern as I can surely learn and sharpen my marketing skills” . It’s just a quick example but I hope you get the gist).

In the second paragraph, you also explain a little how you can be of help to the company, again highlighting your skills and strengths. Put in some of your achievements in school or in your community other work experience (you can add why you want this one, how it can be a valuable addition to your other experiences). Show off what you have learnt being in university and be detailed about it. I am guessing you would have spent up to at least four semesters in uni before your uni program asks you to go for industrial training.

Portray how much you’d love to have a placement at that workplace or organisation, in the body of your letter.

Impress the recruiter with your knowledge on the company – that requires extra reading.

Third paragraph : Discuss your hobbies and interests and link them with how it can help you in the workplace. You can also discuss vaguely about your future plans career wise and how interning will help you. You can write down what you expect to learn after your IT program.

You’re probably wondering “well, didn’t I write that in the first paragraph?” it’s best you touch on it a little at the end, sort of reminding the recruiter who you are.

Conclude with a call to action. For example , “I would love to, or I’ll be looking forward to your acceptance”.

4. Tweak Tweak

rewrite your statement, remove unnecessary information and add what’s necessary.

5. Give an expert to go through it

It might be a lecturer friend, someone who has interned before .

6. Reread with fresh eyes.

What to check out for in your personal statement review

1. Don’t copy – be original, don’t copy a personal statement you saw online, you can get caught and it doesn’t say nice things about you. You can learn from personal statement structures or formats online.

2. Make it readable and easy to understand. Do a grammar check, make sure to put punctuation marks where necessary, avoid words or phrases that are cliché. Crosscheck your work, ask if it all makes sense.

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