How to Write a Personal Statement for Jobs

Updated March 23, 2017

Many jobs require applicants to submit not only a standard resume, but a personal statement that summarises why the applicant is the best fit for the job. This might seem like an intimidating challenge, but when broken into steps it becomes easier to write an effective personal statement for jobs.

Personal statements help companies evaluate whether a candidate is a good fit for the job. Professional experiences, goals and motivations become more clear in the personal statement for jobs.

Read the personal statement prompt, if any. Some jobs may require that applicants summarise career accomplishments within the personal statement, while others may ask applicants to describe specific personality characteristics. Plan to address each element of the prompt in the personal statement.

Do some soul-searching. Before taking pen to paper, brainstorm about specific accomplishments, goals or impressive life challenges. Think about what events or which people have shaped these experiences. Consider which experiences best define personal and professional goals to include in the personal statement.

Know the field. Tailor the personal statement to reflect the specific requirements of the potential job at hand. If applying for a medical position, for example, describe any related job experiences, classes, research or seminars in the medical field.

Choose a compelling narrative. Personal statements for jobs work best when they include concrete examples that demonstrate ability. A single detailed, vibrant story better emphasises a candidate's desirability rather than pages filled with abstract, general statements.

Make the first paragraph count. A personal statement for jobs should contain an engaging introduction that will grab the attention of review panels without being showy or resorting to gimmicks. Carefully include language in the introduction that summarises experience, goals and motivation.

When finished with early drafts, ask a trusted friend to read the personal statement. Fresh eyes can sometimes better spot grammatical errors, narrative gaps, boring paragraphs or confusing sections.

Choose high-quality paper to print personal statements for jobs. Impressions count and the personal statement should reflect quality and good taste even in its appearance.


Choose depth over breadth. Well-chosen words and statements better describe candidate's desirability than scattered thoughts that cover every topic. Be honest. The personal statement describes a candidate at his or her professional best, but should be truthful at all times. Choose conventional, conservative fonts, line spacing and margins. A wacky font indicates poor judgment not creativity.


Beware of suspicious gaps in work or academic histories and be prepared to account for them. A two-month gap of unemployment might be accounted for by listing professional development classes or workshops taken in the interim, for example. Avoid making strong political, religious or controversial statements that potential employers may find offensive. Avoid mentioning money or salary requirements as a motivator to land the job.

Things You'll Need

  • High-quality printer paper
  • Computer
  • Printer
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About the Author

Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.