Curing Underemployment (or) Josh’s Six Step Plan to a Great Resume (part 3 of 6)

Check out yesterday’s post, the second step towards writing a great resume, listing all of your experience.

Step 3:  Write a personal statement for each of the resumes you need to create.

write by the trial on fickr
write by the trial on fickr

This is the worst part of writing a resume (well, next to the cover letter). Some people will tell you that these are unnecessary and I rarely see a company that requires one but better safe than sorry. Also, it’s a good exercise and won’t look BAD on there.

A personal statement, also known as an objective, is, in your own words, why the job you’re trying to get is good for you. It’s really the only time during the resume process that you get to be selfish. Why, in your grand plan, in your overall scheme, does this job help you? Why are you applying? Why do you care whether you get it or not?

What you DON’T want to do is to make this one of “those” statements. You know what I mean, the two-sentence mush-fests that, at the end, say nothing about you except that you read 20 personal statement examples on the internet and “came up with your own.” There’s no need to say that you’re looking to “develop professionally” or “improve your career skills” or “practice your expertise.” If you say something in your personal statement, ask yourself “does everyone else in the world want this as well?” If so, what you said is painfully obvious and should probably be trashed.

Examples of what you might want to say:

  • …that you want to work with people because you’re an extrovert and like to connect, hence applying to be an outside sales rep.
  • …that you love children and try to spend as much time with them as possible, hence applying to be a neo-natal nurse.
  • …that you get a kick out of writing creative code and want to learn from people who do the same, hence applying to be a software engineer at a start-up.

Write the statement for the job you want and tell the interviewer why you want that job. Be honest, let your personality come out, and keep your mind open. When you’re done with this step, you should have one personal statement for each resume in a “final draft” form.

Oh, and if you’re finding it impossible to write a personal statement for the job you’re applying for, maybe you should re-think applying for that job.


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