Personal statements are a great way for employers to learn more about the potential interns applying for their internships. It is also a chance for those who want an internship to showcase their amazing skills and talents.
So, that is why it is important that you are able to write a fantastic personal statement.
A personal statement is an opportunity to show how you are more than just the figures on your resume. It is a chance for you to tell them about your background, challenges you’ve faced, and prove to them that you are the type of person they are looking to hire for this internship.
It can seem a little daunting trying to figure out what to write about yourself. Well, don’t panic. This guide will help you to figure out what to include and how to write a personal statement for an internship.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Personal Statement?
- Plan And Reflect
- Plan Your Format
- Writing Your Opening Paragraph
- Writing About Your Experience
- Top Tips
- Final Thoughts
What Is A Personal Statement?
Before we look at how to write a personal statement, it is important to go through what a personal statement is.
A personal statement is an essay that goes through the individual’s skills, background, and why the individual would be perfect for the internship. A personal statement should be all about you.
It might seem like a personal statement is a biography but it is important to keep linking what you’ve put in your personal statement to what you are applying for. This is why it is more like an essay than a biography of your life.
It is an opportunity to show how you stand out from the other applicants.
Now that you know what a personal statement is, let’s look at some things you can do to help you write a personal statement.
Plan And Reflect
The best personal statements are the ones that have been planned out thoroughly. Your personal statement should have a clear structure to it. However, before you can plan what you are going to include, you need to reflect on your life.
You need to be able to take the time to reflect on your life experiences and what makes you a unique candidate for the internship.
You should go back to the description of the internship and ask yourself what they need that you’ve got to offer. You should think about what you’ve got but they don’t realize they need it.
If you are struggling with what makes you stand out, then you can ask some of your family and friends. Discuss what qualities they think make you a great candidate for the internship.
Once you have an idea of what you want to write about to sell yourself, then you can move on to formatting your personal statement.
Plan Your Format
Personal statements tend to have the same format. They often start with an introduction, then a few main body paragraphs that discuss your skills, experience, knowledge, and how they relate to the internship you are applying for.
Then you might want to include a paragraph of your future goal in relation to your career and link how this internship will help you achieve your goals.
Then it ends with a paragraph that concludes what you have discussed. This paragraph should be like a closing statement of the argument you have explained.
However, there might be other guidelines as to how you should format your paragraphs from the internship you are applying for. Make sure you follow any instructions they have when it comes to writing your personal statement.
These instructions could be the font you are allowed to use or the size of the font. They might even have a word count limit for how much you can write for each paragraph or in total.
Writing Your Opening Paragraph
You might be tempted to state who you are and where you are from in your opening paragraph. However, this doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd like your personal statement is supposed to.
Instead, you should start your introductory paragraph with a story about the moment in your life that made you decide to pursue the career you have chosen. The point of this story is to hook the reader so that they want to read on.
For this to be a good opening paragraph, it needs to be personal to you. Don’t go for any generic moment, make sure you are able to convey the importance and influence this moment had over your life.
Writing About Your Experience
The main body paragraphs or the middle paragraphs should be about your experience. You should explain how your experience benefits the internship you are applying for.
During these paragraphs, you want to talk about your experience and what skills you have developed because of this experience.
Make sure you look over the description of the internship you are applying for and that you have included examples to show that you meet the requirements of the candidate they are looking for.
The aim of the middle paragraph is to discuss your life and how the things you have experienced in your life have made you right for the role you are applying to.
An example of this would be discussing how being part of the relay team during college has helped you develop resilience, determination, and teamwork skills.
For your final paragraph, it is important to include a summary of what you have stated in your essay. It is a good idea to link back to the story you included in your first paragraph and develop the significance of that event.
At this point, some decide to write about their life goals. Others prefer to write a paragraph before their conclusion about these life goals.
Either way is perfectly fine as long as you do include information about your career goals and how this internship will help you achieve your dreams.
Here are some tips to help you when writing and after you’ve finished writing your personal statement.
Use The Active Voice
When writing your personal statement make sure you are using the active voice rather than the passive voice. The active voice will make your personal statement seem more personal and the reader will feel more connected to you when reading your personal statement.
When writing your personal statement it is important that you are genuine and authentic. The reader will be able to pick up on any moments where you are not being genuine in your personal statement.
Personal statements are about you, so you need to be yourself when writing about your life. Don’t over-dramatize events that have happened in your life as the reader will be able to see that you’ve done that.
The point of a personal statement is to prove to the employer that you are worthy of a place on this internship. If you are not being truthful or genuine in your statement then you are proving that you are not worthy of a place.
You might be tempted to include skills that you haven’t developed yet because those skills seem easy to learn. However, if you do get through to the next stage, then you might be required to demonstrate those skills. This will only reflect poorly on you.
Keep Your Personal Statement Short And Sweet
The last thing you want to do for a personal statement is to talk about yourself for pages and pages. This will not leave a good impression of you on your employer. Instead, you want to be selective about what you include in your personal statement.
They are not interested in where you went to kindergarten. You should only be writing about the life experiences that are relevant to what they are looking for. If you do this, it shows them you are able to stay on topic and cut out any unnecessary information.
Proofread Your Work
There is nothing more important than proofreading your personal statement. If you send off a personal statement that has a lot of small mistakes littered in it, this gives those reading your personal statement a bad impression.
Sending off a personal statement that hasn’t been checked for mistakes gives the impression that you don’t care. It makes it seem like you are less passionate about the role you are applying for compared to other candidates.
Attention to detail is a valuable skill that a lot of employers want their interns to have, so if your personal statement has mistakes in it, you’ve expressed to your employer that you don’t have this skill.
Those who are looking at your application are able to tell when you have rushed your personal statement. So, give a good first impression by thoroughly proofreading your work for mistakes.
Get Someone To Give You Constructive Criticism
Something that you can do in order to check your work is to get someone else to give you feedback. Ask your family or friends for help with proofreading. They might be able to spot mistakes that you haven’t noticed in your work.
Having someone else read your work is a great way to see what they know about your personal statement and whether it is effective or not. They can help you with the structure of your personal statement to see if it flows smoothly.
Don’t Repeat Yourself
One thing to keep in mind is that you are not repeating yourself. These could be phrases like ‘I am a good fit for the internship because’. Try not to repeatedly use ‘I’. Instead of explicitly telling them you are a good fit, explain how the skills you have are relevant to the role.
That brings us to the end of this guide on how to write a personal statement for an internship. The main thing to remember is that a personal statement should highlight your strengths and what makes you valuable to them.
As long as you are true to yourself then you should find it easy to plan what you are writing. Make sure to stick to any instructions they give you about writing your personal statement.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you feel more confident about writing your personal statement.