How to write a personal statement for a job

Updated February 21, 2017

Personal statements may be required when you are applying for a job in your field, possibly your first challenge when embarking on a career path. It is an opportunity for you to express your talents, accomplishments and qualifications. Employers will not only be considering your background and experiences, but also your ability to write successfully; this should be kept in mind when writing a personal statement. Make sure your letter is unique so that it stands out from the pool of other applicants.

Print out a copy of the personal statement requirements provided by the employer to whom you are applying. Keep in mind specifications such as the word count and questions you need to answer in the letter. If you are not provided with any guidelines, ask the employer if there is anything she would like you to address.

Look at your CV and highlight any past jobs, accomplishments and experiences that are related to the position or company/organisation you are applying for.

Brainstorm about yourself, addressing factors such as your strengths, what makes you ideal for the position, why you are interested in the career and your long term goals. You also may want to research the company/organisation so you can describe why you are personally interested in working there.

Organise your letter. Write a brief outline for the introduction, body and conclusion. Decide where the relevant items from your CV, brainstorming session and research belong in the letter.

Write the introduction. Start your personal statement with a hook in order to grab the reader's attention. For example, commence with a personal story that somehow relates to your interest in the job position. Also include in the introduction the position you are applying for and the name of the company or organisation. Note that some people find it easier to write the body of the letter first.

Write the body or supporting paragraphs of the personal statement. Each paragraph should have its own focus. Generally, supporting paragraphs answer the questions that are outlined in the requirements, your qualifications, strengths and background that make you qualified for the position and your future goals.

Write the conclusion and end the piece in a memorable way. The conclusion should briefly summarise the entire letter and reaffirm your strong desire for the position you are after.


Be concise. Unless otherwise specified, a personal statement should be no longer than 500 words.

Avoid sharing information that is overly personal or content that could be potentially offensive.

Refrain from using "text book answers" or expected statements. Be creative and show the employer that you are an independent thinker.

Things You'll Need

  • CV
  • Print-out of personal statement requirements
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About the Author

Michelle Brunet has published articles in newspapers and magazines such as "The Coast," "Our Children," "Arts East," "Halifax Magazine" and "Atlantic Books Today." She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Saint Mary's University and a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University.