From the established self-critic to the social butterfly, everyone experiences minutes of hesitation and slight confusion before putting down the first lines of self-description. How to grab the reader’s attention? What is just the right amount of words? How to find those right words at all?
Sharing your greatness with the mirror every morning and writing about ‘inimitable me’ are a little different, especially if you are trying to reach a potential employer. Let’s do it together – grab your laptop, have a sip of your favourite coffee, shoot a glance at your fireplace (real or imaginary), in other words, make yourself comfortable and let’s get started.
Be confident. Introducing your achievements and projects to the busy person on the other side of the screen requires confidence. No one wants to waste time on reading an incoherent piece on “once upon a time, I thought of maybe trying…”. You should know what you’ve done and most importantly – why. Put your reasons and motivations behind every undertaking – whether in regards to education, work experience or volunteering. Did you take judo classes to improve your concentration skills? Have you spent your gap year at the farm to see how production works? It is your confidence about your decisions that makes you know what you did, what you do, what you will do and where do you want it to bring you.
Be consistent. There’s nothing worse than reading a piece in which you constantly lose the thread. Don’t jump from one experience to another without making a clear connection. You are the director in this story, so make sure your audience won’t leave the spectacle because the storyline makes no sense. Lead from education to your work experience and onto your personal interests. Above all have a clear structure.
Be relevant. Once you start revisiting your past, it is sometimes hard to prioritise your achievements. However, be aware that the employer wants to see only your relevant experiences. Your Mom may be happy you won the ballroom dance competition in 6th Class, but honestly:
Be positive. We hear it from everywhere, but it is especially important to show the employer you pursue a can-do attitude. Success and failure are friends that usually travel together. Don’t just erase every unsuccessful project you’ve faced. Instead show how you learn from every experience and how every push back only enriched your knowledge and skills and made you stronger. This also means you are ready for the new challenges. And there will be a lot on your way!
Be professional. In the ecstatic condition of typing up the final closing sentences, there’s a big temptation to quickly press the send button. Stop right there! Don’t let your efforts be wasted simply because you didn’t proofread the text or amended the parts that were unclear. Reread your statement and/or ask someone who is on friendly terms with a grounded criticism to have a look.
Got your revised version? Would you hire yourself? Then it is time to
press that send button and get your dream career!