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How to write an effective personal statement

Some nursing jobs may require you to write a personal statement. Here’s how to show how well you can nurse in a few hundred words …

Your personal statement is your first opportunity to impress a possible future employer. You only have a few hundred words, but get these right and you’ll be sat in the interview room before you know it.

Why are you applying?

Employers are looking for someone who is passionate about their specific job, not someone who wants any job they can find. Your personal statement is an opportunity to tell your future employer how enthusiastic you are about the unique position they are offering.

Why should they hire you?

You’ve probably already listed your qualifications in other sections of your application, so don’t waste words repeating yourself. Your personal statement is all about setting you apart from everyone else and is a chance to show what a perfect candidate you are.

Use their job description to your advantage

An employer’s job description tells you exactly what they are looking for in an ideal world. You need to let them know how well you match it.

Run through their job description and list, with examples, why and how you could fulfil each requirement.

 

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If they haven’t given you a detailed guide, although every job will be different, there are certain areas that all nursing jobs want you to be competent in and are definitely worth mentioning:

  • Communication skills: being able to talk clearly and convey messages with people in different types of job positions and also being able to empathise with patients
  • Multi-professional working: working effectively with different members of the team, knowing who to refer to and building a good relationship with other professionals
  • Assessment skills: knowledge and experience of different assessment tools and techniques
  • Record keeping: showing accuracy and clarity in your documentation
  • Administering medication safely: how you ensure you do not make any drug errors
  • Using research-based practice: using the current evidence base to ensure your practice is up-to-date

Check it

  • Have you checked your spelling?
  • Have you given examples?
  • Have you shown how you meet all the essential competencies in the job description?
  • Have you said why you want the job?
  • Have you read it back and made sure it makes sense?
  • Have you asked someone else to check it makes sense?

Keep it simple

Although written skills are important, employers are not expecting an essay.

Keep your points concise and remember that they are looking for someone who shows enthusiasm and professionalism.

As long as you link back to the job description to show you really know what they want, you can’t go far wrong.

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