Avoid the word passion like the plague !

When it comes to writing a personal or supporting statement for  a job, many potential applicants find themselves staring at a blank page, unsure about where or how to begin. Like many things, personal statements come in all shapes and sizes. Some will be quite general, others like the Civil Service, will be specifically linked to competences and have specific word or character limits.

Our team have worked on personal statements across lots of industries and levels of positions and will be happy to help. Check out the services that we offer to those that require support with personal statements for job applications

It may be many years since your 18 year old self penned the all-important personal statement for your UCAS application. It may be that your career to date has not required you to supply a personal statement.

Whatever your current employment status, there are a few golden rules.

  • Avoid the word ‘passion’. It has become one of the most overused and meaningless words in the English language. Describe your interest in the position you are applying for using different phraseology – you could be ‘ deeply committed’, ‘determined to sustain the very highest levels of customer satisfaction’, ‘dedicated to achieving company goals’ etc.,. That way you can easily avoid the passion trap door !
  • Study the personal specification carefully, and then study it again and again until you have internalised it. In many cases you may not have all the requirements listed but that is no reason not to apply. Begin by thinking about your key qualities – what sets you apart, what are your values? Jot these down and draft an opening sentence or two designed to capture the reader’s attention. Think of it like a Tweet – short and engaging.

Now begin to align your qualifications and experience with the essential and desirable criteria listed. Your task here is to sell yourself, to show how you are a good ‘fit’ for the role you are applying for. Present your achievements in a positive way but do not lie. Avoid negative statements such as ‘I am not skilled at’.

Above all, do not ‘cut and paste’. Too often employers see personal statements which are generic in approach. The keywords from the person specification may be used but the range of examples used are limited and non-specific in nature. In a nutshell, there is nothing ‘personal’ about the statement!   If you are genuinely interested in landing the job, you will do your homework and it will show. 

When it comes to writing a conclusion, think hard about what you can bring to the role you are applying for, how the employer will benefit from the skillset/personal qualities you currently have. Link back to your opening paragraph to remind your reader why you are eminently suitable for the post.

You do not want to fall at the first hurdle so it is essential to proof-read what you have written and, if possible get someone else to critique your work. Careless mistakes in spelling, grammar and expression create a negative impression. You are better than that and that is how you can demonstrate passion – by making sure that your supporting statement is flawless.

If it seems daunting, don’t worry, we are here to help.

We offer a full service to clients who need to include a personal statement to support a job application.  If you don’t want to proceed after your initial review call, we offer a full refund!


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