PS Tip 56 : Order your statement logically

It’s quite common for “experts” to claim that personal statements should always address the requirements of the job or course in the order they appeared on the spec. As you’ve probably realised by now, that is simply not true.

It may be that in some cases it’s best to respond in this way, but just like any other aspect of your personal statement, the best way is always to use your head. For starters, chances are that some aspects of the spec are more important than others. It’s usually a simple matter to work out which are the most important points, but if not it would help your cause to get in touch with someone at the company/university to discuss the job spec – these conversations are often enlightening, and will give you a good feel which aspects of the spec need to be addressed most urgently.

Beyond this, it’s about covering off the requirements whilst writing your statement in a way that’s easy to follow. For instance, if you’re going to be covering several previous positions from different industries, they will probably be easiest to follow if kept in separate paragraphs. If you’re applying to university and have several instances of relevant work experience, however, you can probably group them into a single paragraph.

Equally, if you do decide to order your statement entirely by the requirements on the person spec – a perfectly reasonable approach – you may want to keep each requirement to a separate paragraph, unless some of them are linked.

If there is a rule here, it’s that you don’t want to confuse your reader, so make sure you introduce each new concept carefully; it should only take a few words to do so, but if you don’t tell the reader when you’re changing topics, the result can be rather confusing.

<< Structure Tip 55 tip 57

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