10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Personal Statement

The reason for application or personal statement is possibly the most important part of any job application. Your ‘Reason for Application’ is where you can show schools why you are perfect for the job, so it is important to take your time to get it right.

Here are 10 tips to ensure your personal statement is the best it can be and give you the best chance of securing an interview.

1) Use the Person Specification. Person Specifications are provided on most adverts on Kent-Teach and these should form your starting point for writing your reason for application. Work your way through the document and include as many key words as possible and criteria listed into your statement. This will ensure that when your application is shortlisted you have addressed the criteria and can demonstrate that you meet any competencies required for the role.  

2) Ensure you write a new personal statement for each role you are applying for. We recommend that you keep a template saved on your device which you can use and add to or amend to fit each vacancy. Each application should be tailored to the role and the school you are applying to work in. So if are applying for a role as a 1:1 teaching assistant talk about instances where you have supported children with additional needs. If you are applying for a position for a teaching assistant you will include different examples than what you would include for a 1:1 TA role.

It is important that you use the correct school's name in your application and reference the correct job title, it is easy to copy and paste the statement without including a specific school name but it is well worth the time to personalise each application you send. 

3) Use examples in your reason for application, for example you could include ‘I am able to teach using a wide range of teaching strategies to meet differing learning styles’, you can expand this statement by explaining what strategies you have used and how these were successful in supporting pupils to learn new skills.

4) Ensure you write enough to showcase your skills and talents but equally try not to write too much. 1 side of A4 is normally sufficient but we recommend you do not exceed 2 sides of A4 as this will be too long and the shortlisting team may lose interest before they reach the end. Imagine reading 20 applications forms each with reasons of applications that exceed two pages, and you will understand this tip!

5) Show you are passionate. What do you love about working in your profession or about the role you are applying for? What draws you to the specific vacancy or the school you are applying in? Ensure you read the school's ethos on their website and if there are any points that resonate with you then talk about this in your personal statement. If you are applying for a role in a church school then you may wish to include information about your faith (if applicable) and explain how you would be a good fit for the school. 

6) Visit the school beforehand if possible or take a virtual tour on their website. It is commonplace in education for potential candidates to visit a school prior to submitting an application. If you have visited the school or done a virtual tour then mention that in your personal statement. This shows that you have invested time and are a serious candidate, it will also give you time to talk to current staff members and get a feel for the school which will also help you decide if you actually want to work there. 

7) Explain why you want to work at that specific school. Does the school have a reputation for excellence in a particular field or perhaps they have a large number of disadvantaged pupils which you feel you can impact positively? Whatever the reason you want to work there then make sure you explain this.

8) Talk about career progression. Schools will be interested in candidates that can demonstrate that they are thinking of their professional development. A good example of this would be an individual looking to start their career as a teaching assistant with the aim to undertaking a teaching qualification in the future. 

9) Mention any volunteering experiences. If you are limited in your work experience or you are looking to change career to the education sector then volunteering can be a great way to gain valuable experience. Voluntary work can give you useful experience and skills which you can use to show why you are suitable for the role, especially if your voluntary work was with children or young people. 

You can even talk about your hobbies in your personal statement, for example if you are applying for a role as an IT Technician and your hobby is building websites then it would be beneficial for your application that you mentioned this. 

10) Check once, check twice, and check again. For our final tip we recommend that you check your personal statement and the whole application form before you submit it. Spelling and punctuation are really important and need to be correct. Make sure that you check your application yourself and ask a family member or friend to check it too, a fresh pair of eyes will often pick things up that you have missed.

So, there we have it, our top ten tips to writing the perfect reason for application. Follow these steps to give yourself the best chance of being offered an interview. 

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