Presentation on theme: "Oh, hello real life writing! WRITING PERSONAL STATEMENTS AND COVER LETTERS."— Presentation transcript:
Oh, hello real life writing! WRITING PERSONAL STATEMENTS AND COVER LETTERS
A personal statement is a bit of writing about you, including a sense of your personality, mission, and/or skills that may not come through in your resume or college application. PERSONAL STATEMENTS
Normally one-two typed pages (sometimes specified length) Title-less In essay form with paragraphs (continuous narrative or segmented narrative) Written in first person Nearly always driven by a specific question or prompt Almost always fairly vague—lots of room for interpretation WHAT DOES A PERSONAL STATEMENT LOOK LIKE?
CLASSIC: This is your opportunity to tell us things about yourself that have not been asked elsewhere if you believe they will help us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, and test scores. MIND-BENDING: Identify something about yourself that often goes unnoticed and describe why it is important to your identity. ACADEMIC: What’s the most influential thing you’ve read in the past two years? Discuss its impact on your life. OUT THERE: If you could balance on a tightrope, over what landscape would you walk? (University of Chicago) WHAT KINDS OF QUESTIONS ARE ASKED?
Who are you? BASICALLY, THEY ALL ASK THE SAME THING:
Positive things about your core personality Insight into your behavior/attitude under pressure and while interacting with people Your ideology/life philosophy (Demonstrate) an ease with written language and communication WHAT TO INCLUDE:
There isn’t one right way, but you might consider one of the following methods to make the message of your personal statement direct, interesting, and cohesive… “MOVIE TRAILER” – segmented life highlights working around a single message PIVOTAL EXPERIENCE – reflective narrative focused around an impactful life moment/transition I AM WHAT I DO – use major pursuit or hobby to reveal personal characteristics (be careful of cliché here…) LIFE MOTTO – build essay around a unique life motto that encompasses who you are (again, watch out for cliché, pick something a bit off the beaten path) HOW????
COVER LETTERS A cover letter is a briefer, more pointed personal statement… in letter form! It is the letter that accompanies the submission of a resume and job application, meant to introduce you as a person to your potential employer Example>>
Before writing a cover letter, really consider the marketable skills you have to offer that may be relevant to the position Training/education Communication/people skills Technology familiarity Leadership/innovation Writing/speaking Passion/Purpose I HAVE… SKILLS?
May be sent electronically (e-mail attachment of.pdf or.docx, Google Doc) or in print along with mailed application materials Same format either way: Right-aligned, neutral font and size, block text separated by additional spaces Includes your address, potential employer’s address, a greeting with a colon, and three paragraphs of content End with contact information, a closing, your signature and typed name [If you’re working online, you can always add an image of your signature to the document before converting it to.pdf] If it is a mailing and there are more pages (like a resume), include “[ENCLOSURE]” at bottom left WHAT DOES A COVER LETTER LOOK LIKE?
PARAGRAPH 1. Greeting, how you heard of the job opportunity, who you are/what your basic source of interest is—sound excited! PARAGRAPH 2. Talk up your own skills and qualifications, in an informed way—research what the employer values and point your description in that direction, in order to appear as appealing as possible! If your application has any glaring weaknesses (ex. lack of experience) and you can rebuff them in some way, do so here (but don’t dwell). PARAGRAPH 3. A confident look ahead, genuine compliments, another hint at you being a good fit for the position and a courteous person, provide easy contact information for ANYTIME. THREE PARAGRAPHS OF… WHAT?