Personal statements are used for different purposes, but their primary function conveys the story of who you are and why you are apt for a job position. This guide will help you create the best personal statement for a teaching job, so you stand out from the others.
A personal statement allows an academic institution, an organization, a workplace, or a potential client to know more about you. Any personal statement will be slightly different, but each one should highlight why you are the right candidate for the program or the position. You should also use past experiences and accomplishments to support the statement.
There is a fundamental difference between personal statement and a cover letter, as the former is written casually and informally, while the cover letter is a formal document.
Writing a Personal Statement for Teaching Job
Begin any personal statement by researching the institution that will read it. Read the organization’s mission statement, history, and recent news or bulletins to determine their value in a student or potential employee.
Write for specific job
Each institution and organization will seek content specific to its mission and objectives in a personal statement. Do not send the same personal statement to several institutions and personalize each one you write.
For example, if you apply to a college that emphasizes community service and involvement, you will need to highlight your service work in that statement. However, another school may value academics more for that school and your grades.
Describe the education and experience
While you should not include a complete list of accomplishments in your statement, some of the most important ones are worth mentioning. Writing a list of your actions will help you remember each one and determine which ones to include.
The following are some formal accomplishments you can consist of:
- Academic degrees and certificates
- Scholarships, internships, and grants
- Awards or distinctions from academic institutions (departmental distinctions and list of honors.)
- Promotions, reviews, and workplace evaluations
- Speak at a conference, convention, or workshop.
- Published works in the field of specialization.
- Official recognition for community service or contributions
Show your passion
Remember, you have to impress. Start by saying how excited you were about this position and how happy you would work for this institution. Your first sentence should emphasize your passion for this job, your interest in the institution, and perhaps emphasize why you want this job. Write a list of experiences and turning points in your life that led you to develop your current career or academic interests.
The following are some questions worth asking yourself:
- When did you start showing interest in the field of your choice?
- What do you like the most about the teaching?
- Why do you think a teaching position is important?
- What experiences have you had that helped you develop expertise in teaching?
- Have you missed other dreams or expectations to focus on this position?
Some institutions may ask some questions. Write your text in a way that answers these questions. These are usually questions to know a little about you, your reasons for choosing the program, and what you can add if you teach at the institution.
Put emphasis on your value
When talking about you, talk about your projects, interests, and experiences that helped you grow as a human being. Remember to name even failures (if any) if you have added some exciting learning.
What can you add to the program? Think about what they might have from you: your skills on the subject, recognized research you have developed in the field, your personal experiences, and acquired knowledge to enrich the program. What is good offers the institution without extolling pride or excess vanity.
Typically, you will only have 1 or 2 pages to include all the information in return. Outlining it before writing it will ensure that you include the most salient points in the limited space. Try to pick 2 or 4 critical issues to have. Prioritize the purpose of the statement in the outline.
Address the job that the institution or organization has specifically mentioned. If there is a topic that the reader demands to see, please include it in the personal statement.
Show your personality
The opening paragraph should grab the recruiter’s attention. A strong introductory paragraph will present the thesis or the topic of the personal statement, and at the same time, create a narrative sense as if you were giving a story. Use a personal anecdote to hook recruiters with your personality. Avoid starting with common phrases or clichés like “The most important moment of my life was when.”
A better way to present that “important moment” would be to start simply by describing it in an informal and personal way. Provide as much detail as possible in the first paragraph. Present the main idea of the personal statement and explain how it connects to the narrative. However, save any elaborate details or related notes and experiences for the body of your essay.
One of the best ways to avoid sounding like everyone else in your statement is to omit some of the most used phrases. For example, don’t say that you are a “hard worker” or that you “go above and beyond.” Try to find unique ways to explain who you are. One way to do this is to focus on particular examples: show them who you are, rather than tell them.
Use this Checklist
Before the final submission of the personal statement for the teaching job, it is necessary to polish the statement to maximize your chances of getting selected. Use this checklist to help you with the process:
Many individuals just spend a few minutes proofreading, trying to spot some obvious mistakes that surface from the page. But particularly after you’ve worked long, a simple and cursory reading typically misses a great deal. Acting with a definite strategy that encourages you to consistently look for forms of mistakes is easier. The ideal is to wait sometime after writing to do the review because if you do it right away, some errors under your nose may go unnoticed.
Edit and draft
As soon as you complete your first draft, editing is something you start doing. For starters, you reread your draft to see if the document is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are seamless, and the proof supports your point. It is possible to edit on many levels.
Does each paragraph have a simple sentence about the topic? Does one key definition stick to each paragraph? Are there any sentences in any of the paragraphs that are irrelevant or missing? Don’t forget to use short sentences and short paragraphs. Large blocks of text impair the understanding of the message where a line of reasoning begins and ends.
Spelling and grammar
A text full of misspellings can wipe out all the authority that you have struggled so hard to build, so review all the content you produce, not just to find errors but to see if it fits the standards mentioned above.
Once you are satisfied with the content, review it once to correct necessary spelling and grammar errors. Then, put the statement aside for 3-4 days, and look at it again with fresh eyes. You may come across some mistakes that you missed during the first reading. Once you have resolved these issues, your personal statement is ready for you to submit.
Prove your writings skills
In the personal statement, you will have the opportunity to express yourself more fluently and show the reader your writing skills and your commitment to describing yourself. Remember to use a captivating and persuasive style, use keywords related to the position and the sector, and communicate enthusiasm.
Keep a positive tone
Write in an optimistic and confident tone, even if you tackle difficult topics. The statement should show how you will address problems and create solutions, and the style should reflect this. Avoid vague or weak phrases like “I’m not sure, but I think I would be a good candidate for the show.” Even when discussing the challenges or difficulties you have faced, focus on the triumphs rather than the problems.
Expand the statement if it is too short
The first draft can be as long or as short as you need it to be, but many institutions or organizations have a word or page limit for personal statements. If yours is not long enough, then you have space to add more additional information. When expanding your statement, look for ways to detail the information you already have. Include more specific details to create a complete description. Alternatively, you can make another point that contributes to the overall purpose of the statement.
If your statement has a short, full-page paragraph but contains all the relevant information, you do not have to expand it.
Shorten the statement if it is too long
When narrowing down the personal statement, check it for any parts that do not directly address the point. You should also remove any points that only serve to provide background information. You can also consider reducing the number of main points if any do not seem especially significant. Unlike a short statement, a lengthy statement cannot stay that way. Many job programs will not allow you to press the submit button until the return is of the proper length. That means if it is too long, you will have to shorten it.
Read the personal statement aloud
Reading the document out loud will give you a more accurate idea of how it sounds. As you read, listen for mistakes, or unclear phrases. You should also notice if there are sentences that seem out of place or inappropriate. When you hear the statement, ask yourself if it sounds like your natural voice. If you were to describe these things in person, would the way you speak sound like what you have written?
Now that you know what a personal statement is and how it is written for a teaching job, we offer a fully customizable template that you can download for free!
Tips for Strong Personal Statement
That you will get the job will depend much more on you, but we can give you some tips that will help in your approval process in the selection:
- Do not be wordy; it is not the number of words that will guarantee your approval; on the contrary: the limit of words usually imposed is to avoid this.
- The clearer and more objective, even if you emphasize some detail, the better your text will be. Find that balance.
- If you have difficulties with this, train, ask for help. But do not make that mistake.
- Never lie! Even if your resume is not extensive, trust and bet on your qualities, your talent; focus on that. Don’t you think your information will be verified for accuracy? Yes, they will be. So, be sincere and do not overdo it. Believe in your potential and bet on it.
Pro Tip : The focus should be on you, your work, and what you will have to share with the institution.
- One of the best ways to avoid sounding like everyone else in your personal statement is to omit some of the most used phrases in cover letters. For example, don’t say that you are a “hard worker” or that you “go above and beyond”. Try to find unique ways to explain who you are. One way to do this is to focus on particular examples: show them who you are, rather than tell them.
Generally, 500-550 words are allowed in a personal statement.
It is not necessary to include a personal statement on a CV unless it is required.
Yes, you can talk about hobbies in a personal statement if they complement the application.
A personal statement gives a chance to highlight your story, experiences, and struggles. If written properly, a personal statement can be a real difference in getting a teaching position.