When applying for a nursing or care worker job, you’ll find that some employers or recruiters will ask for a personal statement to support your application.
Unlike a cover letter, which requires content about the job and employer, a personal statement is all about you – giving you a chance to demonstrate your skills concisely, show your passion and apply more quickly.
They’re usually required when applying for a university, as they are a great way of understanding an applicant’s skills, experience and personal goals.
And the same principle applies to the care industry as well.
As an organisation, it isn’t always easy to choose between a handful of candidates – especially if it’s for an entry-level job.
Or similarly, if they want to hire quickly, receiving a personal statement can speed up the process and enable them to shortlist candidates more efficiently.
Therefore, this makes a personal statement extremely important.
With this in mind, what does a good personal statement look like?
And what do you need to include?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Why choose the position?
One of the most important fundamentals of any personal statement is to actually tell an employer or recruiter why you’re passionate about working in the industry itself.
Think about what draws you to it and include specific examples if applicable.
Are you wanting to make a difference? If so, in what ways?
Don’t forget to cover the real elements of the job too like long hours, challenging situations and being responsible for someone else’s life.
While these points may sound a bit dull and negative, they’re the harsh reality of the care industry.
It might be a highly rewarding one, but you need to tell an employer that you’re aware of these difficulties and you’re willing to do it without a fuss.
Cover the role itself
Talking about the industry is one thing, but going into further detail about the specific role tells an employer or recruiter that you’ve spent time customising your personal statement.
Focus on why the job speaks to you and how you specialise in that field – whether this involves working in mental health, elderly care, child care or something else.
The key word here is why.
If you successfully answer this, the employer or recruiter will start to understand your thought process.
Your skills and experience
As well as all of the ‘whys’, you need to sell yourself as an applicant by including any relevant skills, qualifications and experience you have.
For any academic achievements, write a brief overview detailing a few bits which you were unable to expand on with your CV.
If your experience is relatively low, use your personal statement as an opportunity to address this and include any transferrable skills which could help you fulfil the role.
For example, if you’ve worked in customer service or in a call centre, your ability to provide a personable experience for people will come in handy while dealing with patients.
Lessons learnt in your life
A personal statement is also a time where you can reflect on life and tell an employer/recruiter how certain events have made you who you are today.
You see, the care industry can be very emotionally taxing, so it pays to show an honest and empathetic side.
Learning from mistakes or certain outcomes plays a pivotal role in how you grow as a person.
Caring for a patient isn’t easy, so letting the decision maker know that you’re aware of it will present yourself as a realist, rather than a dreamer – which is a valuable trait every professional in this field should possess.
What makes you the best candidate?
Last but not least, tell the employer or recruiter why you’re the right person for the job.
Sure, skills and lessons learnt form part of this answer, however, addressing your shared core values can be a great way to clinch the deal.
What qualities do you have that other care workers might not necessarily possess? Are you compassionate, respectful and patient?
Do some research into the hiring organisation and get to know what they look for in their employees.
Finding common ground is a powerful thing – especially when there’s not much to choose from between candidates.
Just remember to back up your claims with real-life examples, otherwise, it might sound like you’re just making it up.
The main thing to remember is to not over complicated this written piece. Be concise, factual and honest.
Use this blog as a checklist of what’s needed to write a successful personal statement and you’ll cover all basis.
If you still feel like you could do with some help completing this stage of the application process, don’t be afraid to get in touch with our expert team.