For this assignment, you will submit the second document to be included in your Professional Portfolio: Your personal statement or a cover letter. Find a graduate program (if you are preparing your Professional Portfolio with the Graduate School focus) or a job opening that you would like to apply to (if you are preparing your Professional Portfolio with the Employment focus). Look up the details for the application requirements, and tailor your personal statement/cover letter to these specific graduate school/job requirements.
Personal Statement (for those with the Graduate School focus)
This essay may be the single most influential component of a graduate school application. The statement you write for this portfolio gives you a forum for presenting yourself to the admissions committee, scholarship committee, and others who want to know something about you.
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In preparation for writing the statement, conduct an Internet search for these key words “Preparing Personal Statements” to find several sources. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- find and use your voice
- use concrete examples of what you’ve done
- avoid generalizations, such as “I’m good with people”
- proofread and edit (and ask others to proofread and make suggestions about) your statement to be sure it is free of grammatical and typographical errors, and informal language, “I’m okay with sciences but weak in math”
Cover Letter (for those with the Employment focus)
A cover letter is a way to introduce yourself to a potential employer. This letter should include details about yourself and why you feel you are qualified for the position. Summarize your undergraduate experiences, your strengths and weaknesses, the reasons you are applying, and how they will help you meet your professional goals.
Write a cover letter to a prospective employer. The letter, which should accompany your resume, should summarize why you are interested in the job and what qualifications and skills make you an ideal candidate or match for the position. Limit your letter to one page.