How to Write a Personal Statement of Experience
A personal statement of experience can be one of two things. It can either be simply another way of referring to a personal statement for a college or graduate school application, a type of essay that asks the applicant to narrate why he belongs at a particular institution as a result of his goals and experiences. Alternatively, a personal statement of experience might be part of a job application, which asks the job-seeker to explain why she would excel at a certain job, based on her strengths, goals and experiences. Both essays require you to express introspection about your life.
Write down why you want to either attend this university or do this particular job. Write down as many reasons as you can think of. Circle the best and most unique ones.
Write down on another sheet of paper events, experiences and circumstances that have shaped your life. They can be positive or negative. For example, you could write down things such as the divorce of your parents, moving to a new city, learning a new language, fighting a disease, studying a form of art or helping others in some capacity.
Jot down how these experiences and circumstances have shaped your character and goals in one or two words. Write how they have made you want to attend this specific university or do this specific job.
Use a funny or moving experience that you've had in your life that relates to your goals as the opening paragraph of your personal statement. Avoid colloquialisms and informal speech.
State your life and career goals plainly in paragraph two and explain how the experiences of your life have shaped you to have these goals. Be specific and avoid generalizations.
Explain in paragraph three how this institution or job will help you complete those goals more than any other institution or career. Do research and add specific details about the university or company that most people don't know.
Recap the points you've made in a concluding paragraph. Do not repeat words or phrases. End with a compelling final thought. Consider using a memorable but pertinent quote or anecdote from a philosopher, politician, historian or writer.
Reread your statement out loud, checking for grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. Fix awkward phrases.
Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."